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January 31, 2007

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Well, two things come to mind about this story:

1. Large Caterpillars nowadays are not particularly difficult to drive, if you know which levers to push and pull. Gone are the days of the clunky, jerky clutch-and-brake steering systems Cats used to be infamous for.

2. Our President is clinically insane. Who let him in the cab? What possible purpose could have been served by this display? Someone, please, take the football away from him.

hilzoy - this is just another symptom of your Bush Derangement Syndrome™.

First of all, wild-tractor-maneuvering-involving-serious-risk-of-death is a heartland tradition, like cow tipping and the Iowa State Fair, and you reveal your latte-limousine-liberal-lifestyle for not knowing this (indeed, hundreds of heartland children are lost every year to these silly hijinks, and they take it in stride).

Second, the D-10 is harmless. Only silly members of the MSM™ would be afraid of something so obviously non-threatening. I mean, 70 tons, who doesn't weigh 70 tons these days?

Finally, the Commander-in-Chief/Decider does not wear "stylish" safety glasses. He wears only manly-man safety glasses approved by none other than the holy triumvirate of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris and Lee Van Cleef. Your uncritical acceptance of the reporting of the MSM™ shows you to be a non-serious person who, from now and forever, has lost all credibility because of this mistake, unless you say something I happen to agree with, then it's god's honest truth.

So I say to you, hilzoy, retract your awful slander on the man who has never been wrong about anything never (see here, for example) and join those of us committed to the imperial fellating.

That goes for you too, stickler!

stickler: Our President is clinically insane. Who let him in the cab?

Wait, who let him out of the cab? I think he'd do far less damage joy riding in a 70-ton bulldozer for the next two years than he can do (and often has done) in a single day in the Oval Office.

I'm terribly, terribly sorry that Molly Ivins didn't live to see this him unseated.

What I meant by "who let him in the cab," was something along the lines of "who thought it would be a good idea to put Michael Dukakis in that tank," more or less. Somewhere (Shakespeare's Sister? can't remember) I read that Karl Rove added the Caterpillar visit last minute. Given the (entirely predictable) result, I find it flabbergasting that even Owwer Leedur's handlers aren't up to the task of "handling" him.

Oh well. It's not like the man has a huge thermonuclear arsenal at his fingertips, or anything. What's the worst he could do?

Good... god.

I thought the time he injured a police officer (crashed into him while riding a bike in Gleneagles 18 months ago: police officer was off work for 14 weeks, and any other bicycle rider would have been charged with assaulting a policeman) was bad enough, but at least Bush or his handlers knew enough to send apologies to the police officer the same day. What would he have done if he'd casually murdered a few members of the press and a special agent or two?

This is, after all, a man who couldn't handle a Segway. But I view this as an escalation of the fratbot dominance from the days of subjecting reporters to insulting nicknames. Now if they want access, they need to smile and tolerate pranks that could result in serious injury or death. What new indignity will next year hold for the White House press corps?

Hmm, I meant "fratboy", but maybe "fratbot" works, in a Transformer sort of way.

What new indignity will next year hold for the White House press corps?

The White House press corps deserves to suffer some indignities. Maybe there's a bit of poetic justice here.

Bernard: The White House press corps deserves to suffer some indignities.

Yeah, but at our hands, not the fratboy's.

it's like a scene from Tommy Boy

Anyone else think of Rachel Corrie?

Hmm, I meant "fratboy", but maybe "fratbot" works, in a Transformer sort of way.

All your cat(erpillars) are belong to us.

Yes, Paul, but I was afraid to go there.

I just made the mistake of visiting BW and saw Thomas is writing about "Hell's newest permanent resident: Robert Drinan." No doubt he'll have a Molly Ivins post up soon.

it's like a scene from Tommy Boy

The sad thing is, even though I never saw Tommy Boy, I know exactly what you mean.

I don't know. This reminds me of when LBJ lifted his suitcoat and Brookbrothers shirt to reveal the stitches.

He needs a cable show. Preferably animated.

Molly Ivins is dead?

So she is.

I'm sad. She could spot an Andover-educated bohunk 500 cowpies away.

I just made the mistake of visiting BW and saw Thomas is writing about "Hell's newest permanent resident: Robert Drinan." No doubt he'll have a Molly Ivins post up soon.

Krempasky of all people cried foul. Thomas is a Dubya-esque uniter.

Father Drinan is dead? Now I am back a few years even before I remember Molly Ivins.

Man that wayback machine is gunning for me today, like a crazed frat-boy in a really big tractor.


The D-10, also known as the IDF's favored instrument for crushing homes and the occasional unarmed protester.

Restoring dignity and honor to the White House, one (dare I say "drunken?") fnckup at a time.

I wish there was a video of this. Not so I could chuckle at it (though I might), but just to drive home what an irresponsible jerk the guy is.

Out of control, not knowing what he's doing, blundering at the helm of a large, destructive apparatus, and acting cocky about it. Seems appropriate, somehow.

First of all, wild-tractor-maneuvering-involving-serious-risk-of-death is a heartland tradition, like cow tipping

You ever tried to tip a cow? Bring lots of friends; the damned things are as heavy as a D10.

Yeah, almost as much fun as seeing your life flash before your eyes."

You know, I'm generally annoyed by talk that sounds like 'Bush is evil', but this really does sound like it comes from a sadistic maniac. "I have total power over you, and almost just killed you." It's hard for me to read it without picturing a nefarious glint in his eye, like some kind of supervillain.

Anybody remember Theodore Sturgeon's 'Killdozer' about a berserk, possessed D-7 tractor that goes around killing Seabees on a South Sea Island in the waning days of World War II?

Off Topic
There is obviously a prawn spam attack in several threads

You ever tried to tip a cow? Bring lots of friends; the damned things are as heavy as a D10.

Yeah, I know.

As I recall, Kruschev did make a habit of visiting tractor factories in the sixties. It was a favorite Soviet photo op.

im in ur traktur, killin yur pres.

His handlers probably figured, a nice pic of Bush in a tractor, what harm could that do?

Seriously: if Bush had killed someone in this mad spree of let's-see-how-fast-reporters-can-run, what's the procedure for charging the President with murder?

I'm not thinking that it's a pity Dick Cheney hadn't just happened to be right in front of the tractor, really I'm not, but: President kills Vice President, President charged with murder, hello President Pelosi...

if Bush had killed someone in this mad spree of let's-see-how-fast-reporters-can-run, what's the procedure for charging the President with murder?

I imagine it begins, "George Walker Bush, you have the right to remain silent...", but in practice he'd go sick and leave it to Dick.

So nobody'd notice the difference.

I have to imagine that a secret service agent or one of those aides would push the press guy out of the way and then this kind of talk would be denigrating the sacrifice made.

future BW headline: "Commenters at Hate Site lust for Cheney's death!"

cleek - don't forget, we're a "cesspool" too.

JSpragge: No, you're not the only one who recalled "Killdozer", altho I had forgotten it was by Theodore Sturgeon - I remember that it was a Cat D-7, jocularly nicknamed "Daisy Etta" - its size and power just increased the potential horror - kind of like a rabid Yorkie vs. Cujo. Although in this instance it's not the machine, but the "operator" that is off the wall....

This post is not complete with a comment by bril bemoaning hilzoy's Bush-bashing.

They actually made a TV movie from "Killdozer", starring Clint Walker IIRC. Not as good as the book but not half bad.

I must be the only one here who is laughing with the president, not at him. This is hilarious.

byrningman: I got a chuckle out of it. It would have been funnier if it was the WH press corps, but you work with what's on hand when you improvise.

JSpragge & JayC --

I've occasionally thought of Theodore Sturgeon -- a man who had had such severe rheumatic fever as a child that he was 4F but was so determined to fight the good fight that he volunteered to help build airstrips in the South Pacific -- in comparison with our president with respect to personal military history. But the latest link is more characteristic of Philip K. Dick or maybe Harlan Ellison, I'd say (except Ellison would have him killing everyone in the factory, no doubt).

Rachel Corrie, I'm c-c-c-coming to k-k-kill you. That and I flashed 'D10T' as 'IDIOT'. What would a Palestinian think? "There goes the neighborhood"?

if Bush had killed someone in this mad spree of let's-see-how-fast-reporters-can-run, what's the procedure for charging the President with murder?

Well, first you have to impeach him. Good luck with that.

I don't think it's a big deal that Bush drove the thing around, and had a little trouble getting used to the controls -- politicians do this kind of thing all the time. But I think most of the comments here miss the point. If we could get W a D-10 of his own to play with, it might keep him safely diverted for the next couple of years.....

If we could get W a D-10 of his own to play with, it might keep him safely diverted for the next couple of years

My thoughts exactly. In fact, if someone had just bought him a bulldozer of his own years ago, then he wouldn't have needed to become President to drive one.

Actually, if he had one of his own, his vacations would be a lot shorter. Wouldn't take long to clear the brush with this monster.

Incidentally, this is the third anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death.

Togolosh, that "today" message seems to have been up since March 16, 2006. Wikipedia agrees that she died March 16, 2003.

Off-topic - Iran. Tick tick tick:

If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a "defensive" U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Iran. Tick tick tick

"Everything the advocates of war said would happen hasn't happened," says the president of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, an influential conservative who backed the Iraq invasion. "And all the things the critics said would happen have happened. [The president's neoconservative advisers] are effectively saying, 'Invade Iran. Then everyone will see how smart we are.' But after you've lost x number of times at the roulette wheel, do you double-down?"

ici

cleek - I just printed that article off 5 minutes ago. Sadly, the Neo-cons won't listen to Grover (plus double-down is blackjack term, so obviously he doesn't know what he's talking about).

In fact, I can't imagine there is anyone they would listen to - heck, Jeebus himself could show up and tell them they are wrong and they still wouldn't listen.

Jeebus himself could show up and tell them they are wrong and they still wouldn't listen.

If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
He'd be gunned down cold by the C.I.A.
--The The

someone needs to reign-in Bush. he's a menace.

Josh Marshall on attacking Iran:

I've said this before. But perhaps it seems like hyperbole. So I'll say it again. The president's interests are now radically disjoined from the country's. We can handle a setback like Iraq. It really is a big disaster. But America will certainly surive it. President Bush -- in the sense of his legacy and historical record -- won't. It's all Iraq for him. And Iraq is all disaster. So, from his perspective (that is to say, through the prism of his interests rather than the country's -- which he probably can't separate) reckless gambits aimed at breaking out of this ever-tightening box make sense.

Think of it like this. He's a death row prisoner concocting a thousand-to-one plan to break out of prison. For him, those are good odds. The rest of us are doing three months for disorderly conduct. And he's trying to rope us into his harebrained scheme. Like I said, his interests are very different from ours.

It's been more than a year now, but I'm still expecting to hear this speech from Bush at some point.

More Josh Marshall:

Regarding when the bombs might start falling in Iran, a few different pieces of evidence point to a time frame in early March. More on this later this evening.

Cr@p.

Everyone knows Zbigniew Brzezinski is an unhinged moonbat, Ugh.

A video of the event just got posted on youtube - OMG!

Grover Norquist? Ugh. That asshole needs to be taken down to New Orleans and drowned.

I'm a big Ted Sturgeon fan and like Killdozer. Some of Your Blood is better, though.

Grover Norquist? Ugh. That asshole needs to be taken down to New Orleans and drowned.

I'm no fan of the guy, but even as a joke, this is really inappropriate.

Jeff: what Gromit said.

I mistakenly raised this topic on another thread, but originally intended to put it here:

Is it possible the whole world has gone completely nuts? (Link from DailyKos.)

hilzoy/gromit - I don't think Jeff's comment was out of line given Grover's past statements and the subsequent juxtaposition of them with New Orleans' katrina aftermath (i.e., not a joke, just throwing Norquist's rhetoric back at him, which s/be fair game - obviously YMMV).

Maybe it's too meta.

Is it possible the whole world has gone completely nuts?

yes. entirely possible.

Has there ever been a time where the world wasn't nuts?

Has there ever been a time where the world wasn't nuts?

nope.

it's mankind's biggest fault: believing He is far better than He actually can ever be.

Has there ever been a time where the world wasn't nuts?

Depending on how you define that, I'd say "Europe after Waterloo." Napolean defeated (temporarily), the European powers got together and created the "balance of power" doctrine, to make sure something like Napolean's imperial march wouldn't happen again. SFAIK, it lasted until Germany 'annexed' the Alsace-Lorraine in 1870.

"SFAIK, it lasted until Germany 'annexed' the Alsace-Lorraine in 1870."

Well, not counting Crimea and a little argument in the US, Europe did grant itself time for overseas imperialism. I am not sure the Africans and Asians would vouch for the sanity of the period.

Well, like I said, it depends on one's definitions.

Europe was pretty stable during that time period - and while that did give England, France, Germany, et al. the breathing space to colonize and conquer, it also gave revolutionary thinkers breathing space to expound, theorize, and agitate. France had its communard uprising. Germany exiled its revolutionaries - Marx, Engels, Hegel - to England, where they presided over intellectual salons and wrote their tracts. They inspired, or were inspired by, the Corn Riots and the Chartist Movement.

Meanwhile, in the US, people were moving en masse to the frontier territories, and taking their own utopian ideas with them: religious radicals, communards, free-love advocates, manumitted and runaway slaves, free blacks, etc. upon etc. Plus the gold strike at Sutter's Mill; that got folks moving West, too.

It's interesting to wonder what would have happened to all of those utopias and dystopias and free territories if the South had won the Civil War.

I think our part of the continent would have stayed fragmented, with other territories deciding not to join the truncated Union or the neo-medieval Confederacy. I'm not even sure what would have happened to the Native American nations, if the Indian Wars would have continued as they did. There would likely have been no Union Pacific railroad. Possibly no Homestead Act to encourage settlement. Texas might well have remained sovereign. If the continent had stayed fragmented, with at least five sovereign nations (Canda, Mexico, USA, CSA, and Texas) occupying it, the 'reduced' US would not, almost surely would not, have become a major power.

And the world would be an entirely different place today.

The Beehive State would have been a Beehive Empire, probably.

the European powers got together and created the "balance of power" doctrine, to make sure something like Napolean's imperial march wouldn't happen again

And decided to re-create a nice monarchistic country as a buffer between the bigger countries (1813), so it wasn't all nuts ;)

Breathing space? We actually had our 'blooming period' (golden age) in the 17th century - whilst our 80 year of war with Spain to fight for independency ended in 1648.

The National Intelligence Estimate is out. Key Judgements here.

It is incredibly grim.

Grim indeed.

Hmm, I meant "fratboy", but maybe "fratbot" works, in a Transformer sort of way.

No. The "bots" were the good guys, remember.

It makes so much sense now that they delayed the release of the NIE until Friday. That one sentence about Iran has all the hallmarks of having been fought over tooth and nail.

Cully Stimson resigns.

Now, that is good news.

Gosh, here I am writing posts, and having finally finished I come here and find that, well, they're all already here ;)

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