Monday, May 26, 2008

From Joe's Vault On Memorial Day: Remembering A Real American Hero

By Manifesto Joe
Originally posted on, Aug. 5, 2005

In an age of faux heroism, illustrated by the swagger and tough talk of our "president," we should perhaps take time to remember a real American hero.

July 30 was the birthday of Smedley D. Butler, born in 1881. Few Americans have heard of this two-time Medal of Honor winner, who rose to the rank of major general in the Marine Corps. But history teachers ought to note that Butler probably thwarted the first serious conspiracy toward a coup in the United States.

In 1933, soon after he retired from active duty, Butler alleged that he was approached by a representative of a group of super-rich business interests, led by the Du Pont and J.P. Morgan industrial empires, with a proposition. The representative, a top Wall Street bond salesman named Gerald MacGuire, was said to have tried to recruit Butler to lead a move to strip recently inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt of his political power.

Butler testified before a congressional committee that he was promised a militia of 500,000 men for a coup, after which Butler would assume near-absolute power as "secretary of general affairs," with Roosevelt retained as a figurehead. The men behind MacGuire feared a major redistribution of wealth by an FDR administration, and they were prepared to bankroll the force needed to prevent it.

The outcome of Butler's testimony was predictable. The press, at the time mostly owned by business-friendly conservatives, generally played the story way down. The tiny "reports" that did run ridiculed Butler and said he lacked evidence. Those whom he accused of the conspiracy, including former Democratic presidential nominees Al Smith and John W. Davis, professed innocence and did not come under public scrutiny. MacGuire -- known through his correspondence to have been an admirer of Mussolini's fascist rule in Italy -- was the panel's only open-session witness besides Butler. Of course, he told the lawmakers he never made such a proposition. The allegations are now a footnote in history.

But in 1967, journalist John Spivak vindicated Butler (who died in 1940) when he uncovered the House committee's internal, secret report. It clearly confirmed the story. The panel's public report was a whitewash and even omitted the names of the powerful men whom Butler accused.

This was not the only time Butler tangled with the early U.S. military-industrial complex. He had seen its operations firsthand many times, and blew the whistle on it. In a speech delivered in 1933, the same year he went public about the conspiracy, Butler told his audience:

"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the few at the expense of the masses. ...

"I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

"There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its 'finger men' to point out enemies, its 'muscle men' to destroy enemies, its 'brain men' to plan war preparations, and a 'Big Boss' Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

"It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

"I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

"I helped make Mexico ... safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. ... I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. ... I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

"During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

Today we have other names -- Iraq, Halliburton, Diebold, Rove. We've had two Bush administrations; the first was at best legally questionable, the second possibly elected through voting irregularities in the deciding state and high-tech rigging in others. The stench of war for profit, and of crypto-fascism, is in the air.

Those who discuss this odor are being either ridiculed or ignored by the mainstream media. Perhaps they will be vindicated one day, as Butler was.

Meanwhile, let's honor a real hero, a man who blew the whistle on nascent American fascism.

HISTORICAL SOURCES: Wikipedia; excerpts from an online transcript of a 1933 speech by Smedley D. Butler

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rev. Rubber Room Repudiated: McCain's Hand Finally Forced On Hitler Apologist Hagee

By Manifesto Joe

It took awhile, but presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain was finally compelled to reject the endorsement of fundamentalist pond scum John Hagee. It seems that Hagee is on record as having said that Adolf Hitler was, in some way, an instrument of God in forcing Jews to go to Israel.

Granted, Hagee wasn't McCain's personal minister, which raises a distinction between this situation and that involving Sen. Barack Obama and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. But I've had a hard time figuring out exactly why Obama was as compelled to run from Wright as he was. Wright has said a couple of kooky things, but much of it is no different from what one can read in a Noam Chomsky polemic. And Wright certainly comes across as far more intelligent, schooled -- and sane -- than Hagee.

Here's a report from Bloomberg News:

Republican John McCain today rejected the presidential endorsement of the Reverend John Hagee after revelation of an audio recording in which the Texas televangelist said that God's will was at work in the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.

``Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them,'' the Arizona senator said in a statement released by his campaign. ``I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee's endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well.''

McCain had declined previously to repudiate Hagee after reports of the pastor's earlier anti-Catholic remarks and his contention that the U.S. must join Israel in military strike against Iran. Hagee argued that the conflict would lead to a second coming of Christ.

Hagee is pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, and McCain had sought his endorsement.

Hagee isn't much different from certain other popular American televangelists in that he seems to think he has a direct line to the thinking of providence, and a special knack for interpreting Scripture.

Let's go back to what Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson had to say on the subject of the Sept. 11 attacks -- transcript furnished by

Then Falwell said, "What we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be minuscule if, in fact, God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve."
Robertson replied, "Well, Jerry, that's my feeling. I think we've just seen the antechamber to terror, we haven't begun to see what they can do to the major population."
Falwell said, "The ACLU has got to take a lot of blame for this. And I know I'll hear from them for this, but throwing God...successfully with the help of the federal court system...throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad...I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen."
Robertson said, "I totally concur, and the problem is we've adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government, and so we're responsible as a free society for what the top people do, and the top people, of course, is the court system."
Falwell added, "Pat, did you notice yesterday that the ACLU and all the Christ-haters, the People for the American Way, NOW, etc., were totally disregarded by the Democrats and the Republicans in both houses of Congress, as they went out on the steps and and called out to God in prayer and sang 'God bless America' and said, let the ACLU be hanged. In other words, when the nation is on its knees, the only normal and natural and spiritual thing to do is what we ought to be doing all the time, calling on God."

It's all self-righteously demented, and a lot like the things Hagee was already on record as saying. But Hagee, in a moment of "youthful" indiscretion, finally went a step further in suggesting that Der Fuhrer was in some way doing the work of the Lord by carrying out the Holocaust.

On MSNBC, Republican mouthpiece Susan Molinari said, in response to today's development, that McCain, by disavowing Hagee and purging his campaign of active lobbyists, is "acting like a presidential candidate."

Yes, he is. He's acting a lot like the Republican nominee of the past two cycles. And like a couple of others of the past 30 years.

The Matter Of Rod Parsley

And Hagee isn't the only Chrust-chun kookster that McCain has courted. Mother Jones reports that:

Senator John McCain hailed as a spiritual adviser an Ohio megachurch pastor who has called upon Christians to wage a "war" against the "false religion" of Islam with the aim of destroying it.

On February 26, McCain appeared at a campaign rally in Cincinnati with the Reverend Rod Parsley of the World Harvest Church of Columbus, a supersize Pentecostal institution that features a 5,200-seat sanctuary, a television studio (where Parsley tapes a weekly show), and a 122,000-square-foot Ministry Activity Center. That day, a week before the Ohio primary, Parsley praised the Republican presidential front-runner as a "strong, true, consistent conservative." The endorsement was important for McCain, who at the time was trying to put an end to the lingering challenge from former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a favorite among Christian evangelicals. A politically influential figure in Ohio, Parsley could also play a key role in McCain's effort to win this bellwether state in the general election. McCain, with Parsley by his side at the Cincinnati rally, called the evangelical minister a "spiritual guide."

The leader of a 12,000-member congregation, Parsley has written several books outlining his fundamentalist religious outlook, including the 2005 Silent No More. In this work, Parsley decries the "spiritual desperation" of the United States, and he blasts away at the usual suspects: activist judges, civil libertarians who advocate the separation of church and state, the homosexual "culture" ("homosexuals are anything but happy and carefree"), the "abortion industry," and the crass and profane entertainment industry. And Parsley targets another profound threat to the United States: the religion of Islam.

In a chapter titled "Islam: The Deception of Allah," Parsley warns there is a "war between Islam and Christian civilization." He continues:

I cannot tell you how important it is that we understand the true nature of Islam, that we see it for what it really is. In fact, I will tell you this: I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore.

In case there's any doubt about this, here's the video, posted on YouTube by bravenewfilms:

Perhaps McCain, in seeking so ludicrously to ally himself with the forces of the "divine," has actually made a couple of starkly different kinds of deals that he has come to regret. I, for one, intend to do all I can to make him regret them most profoundly come a Wednesday morning in November.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Update: McCain Forced To Confront Lobbyist Issue

By Manifesto Joe

Last week, in response to criticism about his habit of employing current and former lobbyists for his Republican presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain and his staff set down a new rule: No one currently working as a lobbyist can also work as a paid campaign staffer.

There was a casualty reported yesterday, and on Page One of today's Washington Post. Tom Loeffler, a former Texas GOP congressman who had been on McCain's staff as a fundraiser, resigned over his status as a lobbyist.

Here's some of what The Washington Post had:

Tom Loeffler, the national finance co-chairman for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, resigned yesterday because of his lobbying ties, a campaign adviser said.

He is the fifth person to sever ties with the campaign amid a growing concern over whether lobbyists have too great an influence over the Republican nominee. Last week, campaign manager Rick Davis issued a new policy that requires all campaign personnel to either resign or sever ties with lobbying firms or outside political groups.

The story also clarifies the question over Charlie Black, a longtime lobbyist who (see my previous post on this subject) was with a firm that has done PR for a who's who of nasty foreign dictators going all the way back to Filipino "strongman" Ferdinand Marcos:

McCain has built his reputation in Congress on fighting special interests and the lobbying culture, but he has been criticized for months about the number of lobbyists serving in key positions in his campaign. Until recently, his top political adviser, Charles R. Black Jr., was the head of a Washington lobbying firm. Black retired in March from BKSH & Associates, the firm he helped found, to stay with the campaign. Davis ran a lobbying firm for several years but has said he is on leave from it.

Black, in particular, remains in the cross hairs of McCain's critics. Campaign Money Watch, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, yesterday praised Loeffler's departure but renewed its call for Black's departure. The group has launched a Web site,, to urge McCain to rid his campaign of their influence. Loeffler's lobbying for Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments was revealed over the weekend.

McCain has steadfastly defended Black and Davis. "Charlie Black and Rick Davis are not in the lobbying business; they've been out of that business," he told reporters. "Charlie Black has been involved in every presidential campaign going back to President Reagan's first campaign. He has severed his connections with the lobbying group that he was with. Rick Davis has not been involved in any lobbying for years."

So, since Charlie Black finally retired from lobbying for international pond scum like Mobutu Sese Seko, it's more than proper for him to stay on as a McCain campaign staffer? And what about his involvement in all these presidential campaigns going back to Reagan's first? (1968, 1976, or 1980? Reagan won the GOP nomination on his third try.) And what does this suggest about the ethics and values of the modern Republican Party?

Back to Loeffler, there's the Saudi connection. (That government isn't exactly one to win over a little-d democrat's heart, is it?) More from WaPo:

Loeffler, a former congressman from Texas, is a close friend of McCain's and took over the campaign's fundraising last summer. He did not respond to e-mails or a message left on his office voice mail yesterday.

Newsweek reported that his firm, the Loeffler Group, had collected $15 million from Saudi Arabia and millions more from other foreign governments. He is listed as chairman and senior partner at the firm.

There is also the matter of past conflicts of interest involving Loeffler and the Arizona senator. ThinkProgress cited the Newsweek article:

[Loeffler’s] lobbying firm has collected nearly $15 million from Saudi Arabia since 2002 and millions more from other foreign and corporate interests, including a French aerospace firm seeking Pentagon contracts. Loeffler last month told a reporter “at no time have I discussed my clients with John McCain.” But lobbying disclosure records reviewed by NEWSWEEK show that on May 17, 2006, Loeffler listed meeting McCain along with the Saudi ambassador to “discuss US-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia relations.”

What all this indicates is that McCain, for all his grandstanding, is fundamentally no different from others in the modern Machiavellian Republican Party dating back to even Richard Nixon, in terms of ethics and values. If he wins the White House, expect more of what we've been seeing for decades.

Amusing postscript: The late, great Molly Ivins had an anecdote about Tom Loeffler. Molly wrote that Loeffler "wore shower caps on his feet while showering during a visit to San Francisco back in the '80s lest he get AIDS through his feet."

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

McCain: Time To Come Clean About Your Lobbyists' Links To Homicidal Dictators

By Manifesto Joe

Sen. John McCain did a fair job in the past of selling himself as a "maverick" Republican -- you know, not one of those whose knees both jerk when Rush Limbaugh's right knee does. I have a vague yet fond memory of him calling Herr Lardbaugh "a circus clown."

But apparently ambition can get the best of people. Or perhaps they never were what they depicted themselves as. Amid all the volleys flying about in the presidential race, it came out early this week that McCain's campaign has been employing lobbyists who have worked for blood-stained foreign dictatorships, and for tidy sums.

The one they call Charlie Black is the senator's "chief political adviser," according to The Washington Post. Here's a current report on Charlie Black's experience as a lobbyist, from Progressive Media USA:

Black Enlisted to Improve Marcos’s Image. The Globe and Mail reported, “A politically well-connected U.S. lobbying firm is being paid nearly $1-million to help a Philippine client linked with President Ferdinand Marcos, and some analysts believe its task is to improve Mr. Marcos’ image.” “The firm, Black, Manafort & Stone Public Affairs, began a year-long contract with a client called the Chamber of Philippines Manufacturers, Exporters and Tourist Associations.” “Stanley Roth, who serves on the staff of a congressional subcommittee investigating Mr. Marcos’ business dealings in the United States, called the arrangement ‘just means of Marcos hiring a public relations firm.’ Under the terms of the contract, the suburban Washington-based concern is to be paid $950,000 plus expenses to provide ‘advice and assistance on matters relating to the media, public relations and public affairs interests’ as well as lobbying services.” [The Globe and Mail, 12/20/85]

Meet Charlie Black: lobbyist, political scientist, public relations man for homicidal dictators. As far as I can gather from the latest news dispatches, Charlie is still on the John McCain payroll.

But wait, there's more:

While Black Lobbied for Somalia, Siad Barre’s Army Killed 40,000 – 50,000 Civilians. The Associated Press reported, “The Somali army killed 40,000 to 50,000 unarmed civilians between June 1988 and January 1990, according to human rights group Africa Watch.” [Associated Press, 1/2/95]

Black Lobbied for Zaire’s Dictator. Black, Manafort, Stone lobbied for “Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaire.” The “military dictator, Mobuto, was a $1 million-per-year Black, Manafort client until December 1990.” [Common Cause Magazine, Winter 1993; Department of Justice, FARA database, accessed 2/26/08]

There's actually much more than that, but space limitations compel me to keep things relatively brief. Just bear in mind that this is one of Mad Jack's main men.

Granted, there are now a couple of dudes who are no longer on The Straitjacket Express. They were the ones who had to fall on their swords. This is from a recent post on MSNBC:

Doug Goodyear and Doug Davenport, the two McCain aides who resigned from positions within the GOP contender's campaign, stepped down this weekend after Newsweek reported that their lobbying firm, Washington power player DCI Group, represented Myanmar's military junta in 2002 to the tune of $348,000.

It should be noted that Mr. Goodyear was, until his resignation, heading McCain's GOP convention team. That's not a small post to award someone without checking their background -- or perhaps figuring instead that no one important would ever know.

In 2008, we're in a political mode of Barack Obama having to give multiple speeches explaining that he differs markedly from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright on crucial issues. So perhaps this calls for, at the very least, an explanation from McCain to the effect that he doesn't agree with lobbyists who promoted murderous dictators for pay. It seems appropriate and equitable for Mr. Black to get his walking papers, too. I'm sure he will prosper in his Faustian bargains for many years to come, so no one should worry.

Except maybe John McCain?

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Monday, May 12, 2008

If I Wuz A Trrrrrist ...

This video, posted by HillbillyReport on YouTube, should explain itself -- MJ

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Blue Dogs: DINOs Could Be More Of A Problem Next Year

By Manifesto Joe

Imagine it's January 2009. A Democratic president has just been inaugurated. In the Senate, the party has won a 60-vote supermajority, enough to invoke cloture on Republican filibuster attempts. For liberals and progressives, it's party time.

But there's one big problem -- by April, it's apparent that a number of crucial bills can't get through the House of Representatives. The problem is the group of lawmakers known to some as the Blue Dogs, to others as Democrats in Name Only (DINOs).

You can recognize them by their voting records. Americans for Democratic Action rates members of Congress on a liberal/conservative dichotomy. When you spot one who's got a voting record like a moderate Republican of old (not the Republicans who are being characterized as "moderates" now), that's a Blue Dog.

The potential for this to become a big problem for any new Democratic administration became clear Thursday during a House fight over GI educational benefits. The Web site Politico reported in its feature called "The Crypt":

Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) issued a stern rebuke to a group of fellow House Democrats on Thursday, saying that the behavior of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition was “absolutely shameful,” after the group revolted on Wednesday over the cost of veterans’ educations benefits in a war funding measure, delaying consideration of the $183 billion supplemental spending bill.

“It is absolutely shameful that members of the Blue Dog coalition would vote to take this country into Iraq on false intelligence and lies, repeatedly vote to fund the disastrous military occupation of that country, but choose to turn their backs on the brave members of our armed forces by refusing to support an expansion of education benefits for them when they come home,” Hinchey said in a statement. ...

House Democrats were forced to postpone consideration of the measure after many Blue Dogs objected to the bill, saying a provision to provide education benefits for returning soldiers violates “pay-as-you-go” rules, which require offsetting new spending.

The veterans benefits package was estimated to cost $720 million for the first two years of the program.

Many Blue Dogs argued the GI benefits package was tantamount to creating a new entitlement program and thus should be offset, an argument that did not sit well with Hinchey, who has long opposed the Iraq war.

“This is a slap in the face to our servicemen and women who courageously risk their lives each day in Iraq and in Afghanistan,” Hinchey said.

“The idea that these benefits should be subject to pay-go is ridiculous,” Hinchey said in an interview. Instead, Hinchey argued that providing returning soldiers with a college education is an investment that will benefit the country far more than paying for reconstruction in Iraq. ...

“How can the Blue Dog coalition possibly say that an expansion of education benefits is too costly when their votes to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to fight in Iraq violate the same pay-as-you-go rules they claim to so deeply respect?”

The "fiscally conservative" Bloo Dawgs, among them Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, not only didn't back down but pushed back. Ross pointed out that a number of Blue Dog caucus members are veterans.

I, for one, was less than impressed with their response, and found Hinchey's comments rather damning. On the scale of federal spending, this is penny wisdom and pound foolishness.

The $3 trillion (estimated cost to the U.S. -- read here) folly known as the Iraq war is arguably the most fiscally irresponsible thing our government has ever perpetrated. And the Blue Dogs are worried about $720 million over two years? That's chump change compared to what they've been complicit in.

But back to next year. Even if the Democrats have wishes come true in November, it's inevitable that many of the returning members of their House majority will be Blue Dog DINOs.

Republican obstruction could turn out to be among the least of the leadership's worries. This underscores the importance of primaries, and of electing real Democrats, not "fiscally responsible" poseurs.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Green Zone Of Hotels And Amusement Parks: Six Plagues Over Baghdad

By Manifesto Joe

There is a place, right next door to hell, that stays under regular mortar and rocket fire, and there's no working sewer system. My wife has a first cousin who was a contract worker in the Baghdad Green Zone for a year, and she's been doing the PTSD thousand-yard stare much of the time since she returned.

But developers envision condos, luxury hotels, amusement parks and high-end shopping there -- and in the not-so-distant future. And the Pentagon is with them, all the way and more.

Welcome to the Green Zone of Western dreams. It's an air-conditioned yuppie paradise rising from sun-baked rubble. Starbucks, Macy's, Neiman-Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, an Audi dealership, and a few of those ice bars that are so popular now in oil-rich Arab cities (no booze in Muslimland, of course).

It's everything that a well-paid Halliburton type could ask for, except that the beer, wine and martini gin would come from smuggling or the black market.

Sound crazy? Well, lunacy has been sold more than once within the past seven or so years. It's a real plan, and here are some details, as reported by The Associated Press:

For Washington, the driving motivation is to create a "zone of influence" around the new $700 million U.S. Embassy to serve as a kind of high-end buffer for the compound, whose total price tag will reach about $1 billion after all the workers and offices are relocated over the next year.

"When you have $1 billion hanging out there and 1,000 employees lying around, you kind of want to know who your neighbors are. You want to influence what happens in your neighborhood over time," said Navy Capt. Thomas Karnowski, who led the team that created the development plan.

Karnowski said a deal already has been completed for Marriott International Inc. to build a hotel in the Green Zone. He also said a possible $1 billion investment could come from MBI International, a conglomerate that focuses on hotels and resorts and is led by Saudi Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber.

For the moment, however, it's mortars and rockets — not investment money — pouring into the Green Zone, which includes the U.S. and British embassies, key Iraqi government offices and other international compounds. Militants have escalated their shelling of the enclave since Iraqi forces began a crackdown on Shiite militias in late March.

But developers are clearly looking many years ahead and gambling that Baghdad could one day join the list of former war zones such as Sarajevo and Beirut that have rebounded and earned big paydays for early investors.

If it wasn't official before, I think it is now: One can dredge up, just about any place, anytime, wealthy vermin who are more than willing to capitalize on the organic rot of human misery, like maggots feeding on compost. It's so predictable.

And, our government is more than willing to encourage this, but not because of any economic concern for the Iraqi on the street. It's so that they can surround that new U.S. Embassy, the one that is supposed to top out bigger than the Vatican, with lots of swell commerce and housing so that perhaps the neighborhood guerrillas will think twice before shelling it.

Just when I think I've seen and heard it all, damn, I haven't. But wait, there's more:

Last week, a Los Angeles-based holding company for equity firms, C3, confirmed it was starting a $500 million project to build an amusement park on the outskirts of the Green Zone in an area encompassing the Baghdad Zoo. The first phase, a skateboard park, is scheduled to open this summer.

The investors' gamble is that by the time they get Six Plagues Over Baghdad completely open, conditions will have quieted considerably. It's just a matter of time, and staying the course.

Yeah. Like, where have we heard that one before?

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Manifesto Joe's Great Moments In Conservative History, Chapter 8: Fox News Has Lincoln Debating Frederick Douglass

By Manifesto Joe

The Pythons (as in Monty) couldn't have done better than this. The American history scholars at Fox News aired this Monday, in an attempted reference to Hillary Clinton's debate challenge to Barack Obama. A lot of bloggers and pundits got to the item before I did, but hey, better late than never for something this priceless:

An intern apparently had to take the rap for this screw-up, but the immaculately groomed boobs on the air seemed pretty oblivious as well. The conservative spin would be to blame it on the deficiencies of our public school system. You know, the one that pays so poorly that brighter teachers tend to leave the profession post haste.

Others went on to have fun with this gem:

And more fun still:

When Joseph Pulitzer was asked, what are the three most important things in journalism, he is said to have replied, "Accuracy, accuracy, and accuracy."

Fox must be sharing a fact-checking intern with Rush Limbaugh. They "report." This time, some of us get to deride.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.