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Saturday Morning Crime and Accountability Watch

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As bad as DC crime – corporate, white collar, K Street crime – has become over the last six GOP controlled years, the really scandalous, offensive, criminal stuff is the stuff that's legal:

– Human Sacrifice Watch:  A car bomb rocked the Shiite holy city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, killing at least five and wounding around forty-four, according to this report by CNN.  The same report says US forces busted up a weapons site and killed a bunch of Iraqis, around twenty.  No word on any American casualties.  Though all deaths in this monumental crime of an occupation matter, I'm instituting an informal "Human Sacrifice Watch" to see who will be the last American to die to protect George Bush's fucking ego from having to admit he's been mass murderously wrong, wrong, wrong.

– If you missed Matt Taibbi on the Baker-Hamilton Bush Family Intervention, go check it out.  Here's just one paragraph, and bless Matt for unleashing fully his inner DFH (and check out Jon Stewart on the subject, courtesy of Crooks and Liars, and our very own Hugh from last night):

Baker-Hamilton was a classic whore-panel in every sense. None were Middle East experts. None had logged serious time in Iraq, before or after the invasion. All of them had influential friends on both sides of the aisle all over Washington, parties in the future they wanted to keep getting invites to, ambitions yet to be realized. You could assign Jim Baker, Lee Hamilton, Sandra Day O'Connor and Vernon Jordan, Jr. to take on virtually any problem and feel very confident that between the four of them, they would find a way to avoid the ugly heart of any serious political dilemma. If the missiles were on the way, and nuclear Armageddon was just seconds off, those four fossils would find a way to issue a recommendation whose headline talking points would be something like "heightened caution," dialogue with Sweden, and a 14 percent increase in future funding for the Air Force.

– Speaking of skewering the scum sucking cheerleaders for mass murder in DC, please join me in another chorus of everyone's favorite song, "what digby says."  Digby riffs off an excellent insight from our good Roots Project friend Lambert at Correntewire, to the point that the pearl clutching civility police are really insisting on deference as a way to sustain their positions of greater social power.  It's another way of saying, "Hey, buddy, don't you know Who I AM!!?

– Does anyone have time to go to Jeane Kirkpatrick's wake or funeral to make sure she's really dead?  I think lots of people who remember (see the comments) the actual effect her public career had on people's lives would appreciate anyone who can perform this service.  And to extend the Lady MacBeth metaphor, "Out, damned spot!"

– Our good friend, the wholly owned K Street subsidiary, Ellen Tauscher, joined GOP'ers and corporate rentboy Dems like Joe Crowley to sell out American workers so corporate America can access slave labor in conservative human rights Shang-gri-la, North Viet Nam.  David Sirota has the scoop.  Have you bookmarked David's blog yet?  It's a must read for those of you like me who believe in holding sellout K Street whores accountable.

– And speaking of accountability sacrificed on the altar of civility and deference, how about this paragraph from the Washington Post about the House Ethics Committee's Friday dump of its Foley whitewash investigation results (for a little more on the whitewash, see this bit from CREW and this from C&L):

But the ethics panel, officially known as the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, decided against taking any action against the leaders, aides or House officials involved in the saga, declining even to describe their actions as bringing ill repute on the House.

– The Rubber Stamp 109th Congress managed to slip in some extra class warfare into the tax bill.  In committee, the bill got loaded up with extra giveaways to the uber-wealthy, never voted on by either chamber, just because.  Millionaires and billionaires really just don't get a fair shake in our society, so they need lots of government welfare.  Remember that when you see Mr. Potter in It's A Wonderful Life this holiday season.

– I'm reading The Great Risk Shift, recently profiled in our Book Salon.  I highly recommend it.  I had not had time to read it before our Book Salon.  It uses very accessible anecdotes about people and families to make larger economic points.  Most of the economics I read back in my student days bored me beyond tears, but this is written with a non-wonky audience firmly in mind.

– Taylor Marsh rocks.  Have you been checking out her online radio show?  No?  Really, and you admit it in public?

– Yes, Matt, the silly season has indeed arrived.  Time for us all to buy new special edition silly season pajamas, somewhere.

– Contest:  name the uncivil DFH who said,

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and as a pretense you make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you don't enter in yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering in to enter. . . .

[snip] Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the Torah: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel!

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and unrighteousness. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the platter, that its outside may become clean also.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

– From the Friday night newshole:  the FCC is trying to shoehorn in a late procedural move to abet telecom consolidation.  What's at stake?  Among other things, net neutrality, of course. 

– Finally, Bob Geiger made me cry this morning.  I keep refreshing, looking for his Saturday morning cartoon roundup, to no avail.  Go visit his blog anyway.  Who knows what you might find.  UPDATE:  In response to my nagging email, Bob writes back to say he's on the road home after driving to DC to interview some guy named Reid.  He'll have that interview written up on Monday, and will post some comics later tonight.  Drive safely, Bob.

What's on your mind today? 

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Pachacutec

Pachacutec

Pachacutec did not, as is commonly believed, die in 1471. To escape the tragic sight of his successors screwing up the Inca Empire he’d built, he fled east into the Amazon rain forest, where he began chewing lots of funky roots to get higher than Hunter Thompson ever dared. Oddly, these roots gave him not only a killer buzz, but also prolonged his life beyond what any other mortal has known, excluding Novakula. Whatever his doubts of the utility of living long enough to see old friends pop up in museums as mummies, or witness the bizarrely compelling spectacle of Katherine Harris, he’s learned a thing or two along the way. For one thing, he’s learned the importance of not letting morons run a country, having watched the Inca Empire suffer many civil wars requiring the eventual ruler to gain support from the priests and the national military. He now works during fleeting sober moments to build a vibrant progressive movement sufficiently strong and sustainable to drive a pointed stake through the heart of American “conservatism” forever. He enjoys a gay marriage, classic jazz and roots for the New York Mets.

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