From Pine View Farm

April, 2008 archive

Retired Generals on the Take 0

I seldom cast stones at the main stream media, but they have earned this rock.

Most of the stones cast at them are not cast at news reporting, but at opinion columnists. Opinion columnists trade in, natch, opinions, and they have the right to be stupid mistaken (though, damn! I’d love to have a job where I could get paid large sums of money for being consistently, repeatedly, continuously wrong, wrong, wrong, but then I’m neither Tom Friedman nor the CEO of Citibank).

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times broke the story that many of the persons who posed as “military analysts” for various media outlets were in the pocket of the Pentagon and likely spouting the Bushie line in their “analyses.”

If you wanted more, you pretty much had to listen to NPR or read the left blogosphere.

The story has been pretty much ignored by those media organs implicated in that same story.

Who woulda thunk?

Glenn Greenwald has addressed it in great depth here and here.

ASZ talked about it here.

But in the print and broadcast media? Nada. Zilch. Nil.

The bottom line is that the Bushies pressured persons to lie to the public about what was going on in Iraq and implied that their sources of income would be jeopardized if they did not toe the Republican Party line.

This week, On the Media interviewed one of these analysts who who found his role as Bushie toadie to be–er–uncomfortable. From the website:

As reported in The New York Times last weekend, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and others have turned, again and again, to military analysts – retired members of the armed forces hired by broadcast and cable networks – for their supposed expertise on the war. Only, it turns out, the analysts were often coached by the Pentagon in what the Times said were “hundreds of private briefings.” Among those named was Maj. Robert Bevelacqua, a former Green Beret and Fox News contributor through 2005. Bevelacqua discusses his own role in the march to war.

Visit the website or listen here:

I don’t know about you.

But I am tired of liars running our government and tired of our government suborning perjury–well it’s not perjury unless you are under oath lies.

Lying. It’s a Bushie thing.

(Aside: I didn’t use to give money to Democrats. Then there was Bush.)


More on the Ethanol Scam 0

Read it here.

H/T Bill.


Transport 0

Opie reflects on gas prices.


As I Watch the Baseball Game, I Am Reminded, “Keep Your Eye on the Ball” 0

Steven D. pulls us back to the issues.


More Republican McCrap 3

From FactCheck dot org. As always, follow the link for the full analysis:

McCain says in a new TV ad: “Let’s give every American family a $5,000 refundable tax credit” to buy health insurance.

Sounds good. But McCain failed to mention how existing employer-sponsored health benefits would be affected.

  • Employers could no longer deduct the cost of health plans for their workers, which several experts say is likely to cause companies to reduce or eliminate health benefits for their employees.
  • Workers would be taxed on the value of any employer-paid health benefits, partially offsetting the $5,000 credit for those now covered by such plans.

The aim of the McCain plan is to reduce health care costs through increased competition, by encouraging individuals to shop around for health insurance and medical care. There are many who favor such an approach, and we take no position on it one way or the other. But McCain’s simplistic ad misleads viewers by promising to give “every American family” a $5,000 benefit while failing to mention what he would also take away.

As I pointed out shortly after I started this blogging thingee, competition and health care are incompatible. Sick people are just not in the position to shop around for health care. They go where their doctors send them and do what their doctors tell them to do.

This could more properly be called the Rich Insurance Company Preservation Proposal.

God help that the rich should fail to get richer, while the middle class and the poor are still there to get poorer.


Sauerbraten 0

This is not the recipe to which I linked in this post. This is the recipe I used, Craig Claiborne’s recipe from the 1971 New York Times International Cookbook, the best cookbook ever written.

As with any of Craig Claiborne’s recipes, it is to die for. We verified that tonight.


3lbs. Bottom round of beef (I used 2 lbs. chuck roast)
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon mustard seeds (I substituted horseradish because I had no mustard seeds and didn’t want to go back to the store, and the Internet told me I could use horseradish)
25 whole cloves
25 bay leaves (only had six and some flakes)
3 large onions peeled and sliced (I used only two, because I was using less beef)
2 cups wine vinegar
1/4 cup butter
salt to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp. sea salt)
6 slices bacon (I used five, because that was all I needed to cover everything fully)
beef stock
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup cold water
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream

1. The meat must be marinated three days in advance. Trim off most of the fat from the beef, then cut the beef into six large chunks. Select a glass, enamel, or stainless steel bowl large enough to the been comfortably. Combine the peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves, bay leaves, onions, and vinegar and pour all of it over the beef. Refrigerate for 3 days.

2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Melt the butter in a casserole.

4. Drain the meat and reserve both the meat and half the marinade with the seasonings.

5. Place the meat in the casserole and add the reserved liquid and seasonings. Add slat to taste. Place the casserole, uncovered, in the oven. Cook about one hour, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees.

6. Turn the meat in the liquid and cover each piece of meat with bacon. Continue cooking about one hour, or until the meat is tender. Remove the bacon and discard it. Cook the meat about ten minutes longer, then transfer to a warm platter and strain the cooking liquid. Discard the solids. To the cooking liquid add enough beef stock to make four cups. (I made three cups because of the smaller quantity of beef.)

7. Return the meat to a clean casserole and add the liquid. Bring to a boil. Blend the flour with the cold water and add it to the boiling liquid, stirring. Simmer about five minutes, adding more salt, if desired. Stir in the cream. Serve hot, with noodles, dumplings, or potatoes. (We served it with rice. I know, thanks to Bush and his ethanol scam, once we run out of rice, we won’t be able to afford any more.)

H/T to Linda for transcribing the recipe.


Bushonomics 0

I had to fill up with gasoline on the way to DL last night.

$3.57 per gallon.

Driving to my training gig this morning, I saw prices in Pennsylvania in the $3.75 range.

Three houses on my way had Corvettes parked in front “for sale by owner.”

Now, Corvette mileage ain’t bad, at least on the highway. Not great, but not terrible. But Corvettes are essentially toys.

My guess is, those folks have to sell the cars so they can eat or pay their mortgages.


Endless War: John McCain Doesn’t Like It When Persons Actually Pay Attention to What He Says 0

Josh Marshall:

Now that the nomination process for the Republicans is over, McCain is running and hiding from what he said on his quest for the nomination. He’s no Horton the Elephant–but, then, we have already established that “Horton the Elephant could not have been a Republican.

More from TPM:

The rub here is this: McCain does not want to leave Iraq. Period.

He wants tens of thousands of troops to stay in Iraq permanently. He made a big point of this during the primaries when it was politically advantageous to do so. And he followed up with a qualifier explaining that it’s okay because our occupation of Iraq will soon be like our presence in Germany and Japan where nobody gets killed. But there’s little reason to believe our occupation of Iraq will ever be like that.


The relevant point is that McCain believes American troops should stay in Iraq permanently. His pipe dream about Iraq turning into Germany doesn’t change that. It just shows his substitution of wishful thinking for sound strategic judgment.


Catch 22 0

It’s the best catch there is.


Support the Troops, Bushie Style 0

There’s really nothing to add to this:

When Edward Frawley went to welcome home his 22-year-old son, who was returning from a tour of duty with the 82nd Airborne Division in the mountains of Afghanistan, he was in for a shock.

So, Frawley did what any concerned citizen does — he posted a video on YouTube two weeks ago, containing still photos of moldy ceiling panels, broken toilet seats, backed up sewage water flooding a bathroom, exposed pipes — and demanded that viewers contact their congressmen.

Fortunately, First Son lives off-base.

H/T Linda.


Drink Liberally 0

Tonight, Tangier Restaurant, 18th and Lombard, Philadelphia.

Festivities start at 6 p. m.


Bugs 1

Great commercial. Low production values, stupid costumes, silly plot.

Kind of like Fox News, but with some little bit of truth in the message:

Of course, I use Paramount and am quite happy with them.

But it’s still a great commercial.


100 Years Is a Century 0

Pine View Farm, which my grandfather purchased in 1912, has been in my family for a shorter time than that:


Honor 0

Or not.

Honor killings in the Democratic Republican Republic of Iraq. Follow the link for the details.

Richard Blair asks the questions:

Q: How can “democracy” flourish in this kind of an environment?
A: It can’t.

Q: Why is the U.S. government (and many Americans) still supporting this crap?


Enhanced Dentistry Techniques 0

I was at the dentist’s today have a temporary cap replaced with a (what I hope will be a) permanent one.

Unfortunately, in this case, my dentist is very good. The temporary cap fit so perfectly that it didn’t want to break free and come out.

The tech wiggled it and wiggled it. No go.

It wasn’t very pleasant, because, as she wiggled the cap, the tooth rocked back and forth. The tooth itself didn’t hurt, but the rocking did. I nearly crushed my cell phone, which I was holding in my hands.

Finally, she said, “I’m not trying to hurt you” and called in reinforcements.

I said, “That’s okay. I know you aren’t working for Dick Cheney.”

She laughed.


Horton the Elephant Was Not a Republican 0

because he meant what he said, and he said what he meant.


That Sinking Feeling . . . . 1

The current BoatUS Magazine (BoatUS membership required) has a neat article on personal submarines.

Personal Submarine

But you can learn all you need to know to buy or build your own personal submarine (no missile silos included) here.


John McCain Is a Conservative Hack (Updated) 2

As I have mentioned before.

And, like most politicians who call themselves “conservative,” he has no principles. Just conveniences.

Josh Marshall has more.

Addendum, 4/27/2008:

Trudy Rubin. Follow the link for the complete analysis:

As the Democratic candidates battle each other, McCain’s ideas about America and the world have gotten too little coverage. Some see him as George W. Bush redux; others say his opposition to torture and his concern about global warming show he’s more open-minded.

In an obvious effort to distinguish himself from Bush, McCain describes himself as “realistic idealist.” Yet his speeches and comments reveal a disturbing lack of realism about the world, especially the Middle East.


Has the Arizona senator not noticed the world has changed since George W. made similar pronouncements at the turn of the century? The illusion that America alone can shape the globe should have passed.


Yet, when McCain lays out how he’d exercise American power in Iraq and elsewhere, he seems unaware of the consequences of seven years of Bush policies.


I Think I’m Finally over This Thing That’s Had Me Down 1

(Link Fixed.)

I voluntarily did more today than I have done in a month.

I started a Sauerbraten. I’ve considered cooking one before, but the problem is that you have to start three days ago.

Now, I didn’t use the recipe that I linked to. Rather, I used the recipe in the New York Times International Cookbook by the Greatest Cookbook Author Ever.

I also prepared a ratatouille for tomorrow (again, not the linked recipe). It’s sort of a vegetable casserole with aubergine, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and assorted other stuff. Takes about half an hour to cut everything up and about an hour of messing about with the ingredients before it’s ready to go into the fridge for tomorrow.

I spent all afternoon slaving over a hot stove. So Linda cooked supper.


Lies, Damned Lies, and Bushisms 0

From The Nation:

While most TV news organizations have refused to report or even comment on the bombshell Times article exposing a secret Pentagon propaganda campaign to sell Iraq policy, PBS just aired an important segment on the controversy. PBS’s Judy Woodruff kicked off the debate with a disturbing summary of the current media blackout:

“For the record, we invited Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC to participate but they declined our offer or did not respond.”

John Stauber, coauthor of Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq, contended that the Pentagon’s “surrogate” program violated federal law against domestic propaganda and called for a congressional investigation. “This war could have never been sold if it were not for this sophisticated propaganda campaign,” he said. Former ABC correspondent Bob Zelnick largely defended the program as standard operating procedure–an odd claim since the administration went to court to prevent its disclosure. Zelnick did concede, however, that news organizations should disclose more about military analysts’ conflicts of interest when they provide commentary.