TGIF/Weekend Edition -- December 10-12, 2004







Halliburton gets over $10 billion of work in Iraq, 12-10-04
... Congressional critics say the Bush administration is going easy on the oil services company, which Vice President Dick Cheney ran from 1995 to 2000.




Bush, Rumsfeld Try to Soothe Angry U.S. Troops
Washington Post, 12-10-04

President Bush said on Thursday U.S. troop concerns about inadequate equipment for Iraq combat are being addressed and he did not blame soldiers for raising the issue with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Charges of Poor Planning for War Revived

AP, 12-10-04

Critics of the war in Iraq seized on charges that U.S. troops there don't have enough armored vehicles as another example of poor planning by the Pentagon.

Rumsfeld should order from these guys:

USA Body Armor
High quality custom made body armor
Shipment within two weeks

“Today in Kuwait, Donald Rumsfeld held a question-and-answer session with soldiers on their way to Iraq, and one soldier asked why a lot of their vehicles still don't have the proper armor. And Rumsfeld said, ‘You go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish for.’ Then he said, ‘Besides, armor doesn't always protect you.’ Then he got in his armored car and he left.” -- Jay Leno

Dave Casey

The Large Editor

Reader questions War President's leadership


The total disconnect shown by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in his response this week to a U.S. soldier who expressed concern about inadequate armor on some vehicles in Iraq stunned many people. But it shouldn’t have.
This administration chose to wage a preemptive war on the cheap, with too few ground troops and a last-minute logistical crisis caused by Turkey’s decision not to provide U.S. troops with a northern front from which to also invade Iraq. (Not to mention that the reason for going to war was based on a false premise, that the U.S. has had to bear 90 percent of the burden, and that the duration and intensity of the Iraqi insurgency were grossly underestimated.)
Many current and former military personnel of all ranks have been openly challenging the Bush Administration’s conduct of the Iraq war for quite some time now. This e-mail from one such critic arrived in my mailbox Monday – at least a day or two before Rumsfeld’s pathetic display during the televised meeting with U.S. troops in Kuwait. It states more clearly than I ever could what many military members, veterans and their families perceive about this Commander in Chief and his top advisers.

I am a retired career military officer, West Point graduate, infantry, etc. Come from a military family. Father and uncles in WWII, mother's brothers in Korea, older brother, older cousins in Viet Nam. I was in Grenada, Panama, Iraq in 1991.
My father pointed out to me early on that the ones who wave the flag the highest, the ones who rattle their sabers the loudest, the ones who proclaim to love this country the most, are the ones who never do anything, never serve, never leave home. Neither do their children.
They sit at home and reap the benefits from the seeds sown by other good men, pat themselves on the back for being clever, and do their damndest to screw everyone else.
This is the state of the current administration.
I cringed at the Army-Navy game on Saturday when the current occupant of the White House had the nerve to appear with these fine young women and men, smiling and waving, knowing he was going to order them to do something he himself did not have the (insert body part here) to do when it was his turn.
I work in DC, and have many interesting conversations with the right-leaning folks, always politely volunteering, depending on age, to put them or their children in touch with some friends of mine. I assure them that, within 6 months, they could be part of the great effort to keep us safe. Sex does not matter. Their daughters could be driving unarmored fuel or ammo trucks, or could even be MPs, manning a machine gun mounted on an unarmored Humvee, guarding these same trucks.
Many take affront at my suggestion that their children should take part. They are too precious, have other priorities (sound familiar?), have families, are attending college.
I guess we get what we deserve.

Best regards,
David Belles

As with so many things in life, e-mail is a mixed bag. Another reader sent me the terse yet charming message, "You arer gay." To which I respond, "Don't tellel Lisa."

Email Dave

The-World-Is-A-Safer-Place-Without-Saddam News

“Little note to the Army: They might want to cancel the next question-and-answer session with the troops. You see, unlike our media, they ask real questions, apparently.” -- Jay Leno

Disturbing News

"There is good news back home. Congress finally signed a bill approving a bill completely reorganizing America's intelligence community. And all is took was three years of nagging from grieving 9/11 widows. Cause you know, it was a back burner thing for Congress. It ain't Freedom Fries, people." -- Jon Stewart

Graphic By Patricia Gerber -- San Francisco

The Illustrated Daily Scribble

Republican Shenanigans

Retired Gen. Tommy Franks has signed on to be the spokesman for a company that uses global positioning system technology in teens' cell phones to let parents know how fast they're driving.

Rock-The-Voter News

“I would feel safer in a Volvo than I would in one of these Humvees,'' says Murphy, 25, a reservist with the 372nd Military Police Company out of Cumberland, Md., and currently a law student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.




Subject: Ms. Rice/Aunt Jemima


Dear Sir/Madame:

I am an an avid webviewer of your site. I enjoy and appreciate the
hard  work that you do. However, I have found myself in a very scary

Thank you. Don't be scared.
Although I do not agree with the rationalization of Ms. Ann Coulter, I
do agree that the Aunt Jemima cartoon posted on Dec.9, 2004, wreaks of
Anyone who knows the history of marketing these products would know
that this goes far and beyond any positive message. I'm ashamed that those
I feel are on 'my side' of the political spectrum would stoop this low to
criticize Ms. Rice. There are plenty more constructive ways in which
to do so that avoid bringing up a painful past that still makes many
African-Americans scowl at the grocery store. To clarify my position,
I would suggest that you look into "Making Whiteness" by Grace Elizabeth

You are incorrect about the history of marketing Aunt Jemima. Click here for the History of Black Women. And here for the Advertising Age article. Aunt Jemima's image became distorted, similar to Uncle Tom's.
I realize that the result of your parody may have been
unintentional, but nonetheless it is disgusting, and I would hope that you would
announce a retraction. Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

What I find disgusting is that Ms. Rice exaggerated (knowingly) the urgency to go to war in Iraq, and now over 1,000 U.S. troops are dead. Not a cartoon that shows Ms. Rice on a "yellow cake" box. Yellow cake was the point of that toon.  Would you have liked it better if I made her a black Betty Crocker or Chef from South Park? Heavens, this is a comedy site. We make fun of everyone, even Democrats, occasionally.

Thanks for writing.
-Christopher V
Portland, OR


Click here for the article from

Good News


"The Pentagon right now, in its post debacle spin, is trying to convince everyone that contractors are operating at peak capacity. In our case, it's flat-out not accurate."-- former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, a conservative Republican, now a consultant for ArmorWorks, which makes armor kits for Humvees
He said the firm is producing about 300 armor kits a month but easily can ship twice that many.

Biz-Tech News

2004 Political Dot-Comedy Awards

Cast Your Votes Today

AllHatNoCatt le was nominated for the Best Bush Humor Category!


"Now, settle down, settle down. Hell, I'm an old man, it's early in the morning and I'm gathering my thoughts here." -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, fielding hostile questions from U.S. troops in Iraq

I go here when I need to feel good, and I listen to the song, Costa Rica.   Click here

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Bush-Prison-Torture News

Graphic By Patricia Gerber -- San Francisco

Go-F***-Yourself News

"President Bush visited with soldiers yesterday in an effort to f*ck up morale. I'm sorry, that's buck up morale. ... [Video of President Bush: 'Today's war on terror will not end with a ceremony on the deck of a battleship.'] Mr. President, if you're asking me not to trust ceremonies on the deck of battleships, I'm way ahead of you." -- Jon Stewart

Odd News

PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2004 -- Ukrainian sunbathers stand in the sun on a crisp, frosty winter day in Kiev, on February 22, 2004. (Reuters/Str)