Thursday, August 31, 2006

Endless Summer

We'll be out of Iraq before Bush finishes any of these.

A new low for the Wall Street Journal (the news side).

p.s. -- The biggest news in the article is that Jeff Jarvis goes to a pricey resort and then wastes his time there writing his shitty blog. And makes his 14-year old kid pay for half of the internet connection. (Maybe Jarvis didn't check the facts before slandering the members of the 9/11 Commission because he's too fucking cheap to bother with accuracy.)

p.p.s. -- If the Jarvisian track record holds, Jeff will accuse me of disclosing the private location of his family, putting their lives at risk.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Found Comedy

I'm not up to speed on all this YouTube stuff, but if you've got some time to kill, follow this link to some unintentional comedy. It's the funniest thing you'll watch all year.

(But this is pretty funny too!)

Great Moments In Ignorance

It's coming up on the one year anniversary of the date Jeff Jarvis blamed the 9/11 Commission for Hurricane Katrina:

The 9/11 Commission bears some responsibility for the disaster that American disaster relief has become.... [Para.] But there was no deliberation after the commission issues its report and browbeat Washington into doing what they said. So Washington did. And FEMA is a mess. And New Orleans is a mess.


I've been trying to find how exactly FEMA's reorganization plan came: Were the details laid out by the commission or by Congress? Doesn't matter, really.

How did Jarvis respond to the news that FEMA's reorganization predated the 9/11 Commission Report by more than a year? Like this:

"It's at moments like these that I feel ashamed for my 'profession.' They call this news? They call this journalism? It's not the voyeurism that's most offensive. It's the stupidity."

Oh, wait... that was Jar Jar on the media coverage of Jon Benet Ramsey.

What Jarvis actually did was piss and moan about how rude people were for pointing out his incompetence, and deleted those comments from his blog (and lied about the reason). And then went on being a superior pompous blowhard with nothing to say.

Why is Jarvis such an ignorant ass? Doesn't matter, really.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Boobs, Not Bongs

Taxpayer-subsidized pornographer Ken Starr is an enemy of free speech.

Anyone surprised?

Mickey Kaus Has Hair, Up To A Point

In his desperation to locate reports supporting Bush and the Endless War Against Iraq, Mickey Kaus stoops to quoting a nameless e-mailer who claims to be a Marine:

"I don't want to paint any overly rosy picture of things here as I never have indulged in that practice before, but we have control everywhere now (up to a point)."

The "up to a point" qualifier is particularly telling, as it echoes the famous line spoken by the toadies of Lord Copper in Evelyn Waugh's Scoop. When Copper, a London newspaper magnate, asked his yes men to agree with his ridiculously false statements, they responded with qualified agreement -- "up to a point, Lord Copper" -- rather than tell their boss he was fucking nuts. (One imagines that Kaus perfected that art himself at The New Republic.)

Of course, Kaus doesn't seem particularly interested in the outcome in Iraq, let alone the fate of the Iraqi people; he just uses the e-mail message to flog his fantasy that the news media is anti-GOP. And Kaus has forgotten Lord Donnie's Copper's most important marching orders:

"Remember that the Patriots are in the right and are going to win. The Beast stands by them foursquare. But they must win quickly. The British public has no interest in a war which drags on indecisively. A few sharp victories, some conspicuous acts of personal bravery on the Patriot side and a colourful entry into the capital. That is The Beast policy for the war."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mind Fucked

So fifth-rate columnist Andy Sully has dipped a tiny toe into the ocean of righteous skepticism about the Bush War on Terror and the accuracy of reports on the alleged airline bombing plot.

I'm not impressed.

Five days ago, Sullivan, writing about one of the men arrested, but not charged, in same alleged plot, proudly articulated bigotry that George Allen would give his right nut to duplicate:

There is something terribly sick within the Muslim mind at this moment in history. It is Nietzsche's ressentiment, but with God re-attached. We should indeed fear these people for the hideous carnage they can wreak for the sake of their God. But we should never let our fear overwhelm our contempt for them - their sickness, their evil, their petty insecurities, their inability to live meaningful lives and their attempt to assuage this by murdering others in God's name. Yes, they evil [sic]. But they are also pathetic, miserable excuses for human beings.

At this moment in history there are hundreds of millions of Muslims living peaceful lives, doing good works and doing the same things, good and bad, that non-Muslims do. Millions of them are Americans. These people do not share a mind with Muslims who are violent, nor are they sick, evil or violent. A small but significant number of them have been victims of hideous carnage we brought upon them for sake of fuck all.

And don't get me started on Sully's weak and weaselly defense of his hatred, in which he lumps together pedophile priests and their victims as common members of another group of sick fucks.

Sullivan is a classic populist bigot: creating an enemy -- Muslims -- and targeting them to draw a paycheck through his shitty blog.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mohawk My Ass

George Allen (R-KKK) is a true Reagan Republican:

RICHMOND, Va. -- Sen. George Allen apologized Tuesday for remarks that offended a man of Indian descent who was tracking the Republican's re-election campaign for Democratic challenger Jim Webb.


On Monday, Allen spokesman Dick Wadhams said the name "Macaca" was a variation of "Mohawk," the nickname Allen campaign staffers gave Sidarth for his partially cropped haircut. Allen, however, said Tuesday that he made up the name himself.

Allen has been accused of racial insensitivity before. He wore a Confederate flag pin in his high school yearbook photo, used to keep a Confederate flag in his living room, a noose in his law office and a picture of Confederate troops in his governor's office, but has said he has grown since then.
Grown as a raving bigot, yes.

And once he gets his ass kicked by James Webb, he can put his talents to their best and highest use: rightwing blogger.

Over at NewsBusters, Dan "the Klan" Riehl claims that Sidarth got what he deserved for training a video camera on Allen during a public speech. The fraud of "free speech" Republicans exposed once again. (Sorry, no link to the bigot.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Blowing Smoky

Howard Kurtz was at his most putztacular on Sunday's Reliable Sources. Kurtz is on vacation from his Post column, and I think feels more free to push his agenda when he doesn't have to hear from readers via his Post chat the following day. (Correction: As gimmeabreak points out in comments, Kurtz held an online chat today. It appears from his comments, however, that he is still on vacation from his column for another couple of weeks.)

Bob Somerby already has debunked Howie's laughable claim that the Joe-loving Beltway press has spurned Holy Joe. However, I haven't seen anyone comment on Kurtz's loving embrace of Charles "Smoky" Johnson, proprietor of a bulletin board for genocide enthusiasts:

KURTZ: All right. Charles Johnson, I don't think there's any question that liberal bloggers played a significant role in Lieberman's defeat. I mean, you had Markos Moulitsas, better known as Daily Kos, actually appearing in an ad for Ned Lamont, the man who defeated Lieberman.

What did you think do you make of the tone of much of the liberal commentary in the attacks on Lieberman?

CHARLES JOHNSON, LITTLEGREENBIGOTS.COM: Well, I was very appalled by the tone, actually. There was quite a bit of real nastiness directed at Joe Lieberman in this campaign.

For example, an image was posted on Arianna's site of Lieberman in minstrel black face. And there was also some sort of homophobic images posted on Markos Moulitsas's site. So yes, I think the overall tone was very negative, very nasty.

This is not just throwing Johnson a softball. By asking Johnson about blogger civility, the Putz is deliberately misleading viewers who don't know Johnson is the ringmaster of a hate site.

As an avid follower of blogs, the Putz surely can't claim he was aware of Johnson's promotion of bigotry, since it was documented in the Putz's own paper.

Howie also left unchallenged Johnson's claim that "if you notice, a lot of the people who voted for Lieberman are now experiencing a sort of a sticker shock and sort of wondering whether they did the right thing." It's clear that the racist douchebag meant to say "Lamont" instead of "Lieberman," but Howie neither asked Johnson to clarify nor called him on a claim that Johnson clearly pulled out of his ass. If you want to talk about media dishonesty, Howie, you don't call upon a liar without calling him on his bullshit.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Comedy = Near Tragedy + Time / 24-Hour News Cycle

"This is the second aviation bomb threat this week. The in-flight movie on my return trip was Mission Impossible III."

"Paul Greengrass and Oliver Stone are teaming up for a new Hollywood thriller based on actual events. It's called Shakes On A Plane."

"Rush Limbaugh was once again detained at the Palm Beach Airport for carrying contraband on his return flight from the Dominican Republic. In his defense, Rush claimed, 'That's not hair gel.'"

The staff of The Jimmy Kimmel Show can contact me at the address to the right.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Team Connecticut

Joementum is now Joe Dirt Nap:

"Tomorrow is a brand new day and tomorrow we launch a new campaign to unite the people of Connecticut - Team Connecticut - Democrats, Republicans and Independents so we can go forward together to solve our most serious problems together. That is what this campaign will be about.

"And let me say to the people outside of Connecticut, if you are disappointed with the ugly tone of our politics, if you are fed up with the nasty partisanship in Washington, then I ask for your help, too. You can go to my Web site, - when it is unhacked - to send me your ideas about how we can build this new politics of unity and purpose. Come to Connecticut to help, and don't hesitate to send a campaign contribution."

Joe Lieberman (NPR-Conn.) just launched his Team Connecticut website, and already it's been hacked!

I hear Katherine Harris has a bunch of former campaign staffers looking for jobs, Joe.

The Wedding Singer

Marty Peretz is thinking of starting his own blog. He hasn't learned the software (or, as he calls it, "how to post a Plank"), so he's been having Frank Foer and the boys type up his late-night rants for him. Marty's thinking of calling it "The Spine."

See the title above for my alternative suggestion.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Thank You, Guest Bloggers

I want to thank all of the guest bloggers for keeping hope alive during my vacation. Personal thanks will follow.

I've been on a lo-news diet for the past couple of weeks and, even worse, haven't read a blog (or been on the 'net) in weeks. (For those curious about my trip, here's a hint:

"In August 2001, a University of Tennessee law professor named Glenn H. Reynolds, the author of the popular, libertarian-leaning blog InstaPundit, and pro-gun activist Dave Kopel wrote an article for National Review Online complaining that the upcoming conference was stacked with anti-gun people....

"In continuing online debates over gun issues, Reynolds and Kopel have refused to identify the anonymous source. However, Tim Lambert, a computer scientist in Australia who maintains an anti-Lott blog, has said on his blog that Levitt told him he was nearly certain that Lott was the source.")

By the way, if you tried to e-mail me at my fastmail address, my account got filled up by July 28. I apologize for any inconvenience.


11 Egyptian Students Disappear After Arriving in NYC:

11 of 17 male Egyptian students bound for an English language and culture program never showed up in Montana, where the program is being held. They flew in to Kennedy airport on July 29th, and the FBI only issued an announcement on August 5th. The 11 range in age from 17 to 21, and all had valid student visas.

It is hoped the students are looking for work in NYC, but nobody really knows. The FBI bulletin states, "At the present time there are no known associations to any terrorist groups. Approach with caution."
Sneaks in, looks around and posts!

Lamont Ahead in Wins Connecticut Democratic Senatorial Primary: (Updated)

New York Times photo

The results are:

Lamont 51.9%
Lieberman 48.1%
98% of precints reporting; Lieberman concedes.

Results and photo courtesy of the treasonous, who had a robust results counter on their front page. 'Out-of-staters' crashed the Connecticut Secretary of State's site earlier this evening, according to the Secretary, Susan Bysiewicz.

Other commentary can be found on, which has been overwhelmed with hits all day, but keeps battling back (unlike Lieberman's site). Also try FireDogLake and MyLeftNutmeg.

Scurries away!
Shorter David Broder: "Let's blame 'gridlock' and overlook Republican majorities in both houses of the U.S. Congress."
Shorter Lanny Davis: "Let's pretend I don't know blog comments from blog posts and that I don't know the difference between condemning McCarthyist tactics and using them myself."
I have been deeply, deeply negligent in my duties as a guest blogger.* Thus, in my last chance to post in this legendary realm, I offer you...

a haiku that, for no reason whatsoever, imagines sen. lieberman on Wednesday morning

the ragged man cries,
"why am I such a loser?"
summer, a cruel month.

Welcome home, Roger.

*Sporty, FP, Steve M. and Ahab -- all marvelous multi-taskers -- have not.
Checks email again. Sneaks into Blogger and looks around. No sign of Roger. No sign of the other guest bloggers. And then...

The Power of Misinformation: Increasing Number Believe Iraq Had WMD's:

I'm revisiting this article because it shows that, for most of America, the Bush-league Administration's apparent campaign of misinformation is working all too well.

Do you believe in Iraqi "WMD"? Did Saddam Hussein's government have weapons of mass destruction in 2003?

Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in Iraq.

People tend to become "independent of reality" in these circumstances, says opinion analyst Steven Kull.

The reality in this case is that after a 16-month, $900-million-plus investigation, the U.S. weapons hunters known as the Iraq Survey Group declared that Iraq had dismantled its chemical, biological and nuclear arms programs in 1991 under U.N. oversight. That finding in 2004 reaffirmed the work of U.N. inspectors who in 2002-03 found no trace of banned arsenals in Iraq.

Despite this, a Harris Poll released July 21 found that a full 50 percent of U.S. respondents - up from 36 percent last year - said they believe Iraq did have the forbidden arms when U.S. troops invaded in March 2003, an attack whose stated purpose was elimination of supposed WMD. Other polls also have found an enduring American faith in the WMD story. [emphasis mine]

Just so we are all on the same page - all the chemical weapons found in Iraq have been old and degraded ordinance. The looming threats of mass destruction described by Bush-league Administration officials in 2002 and 2003 simply did not and do not exist.

Now, it would be good if we found ways to let everybody else know!

Thanks again, Roger!

Last weekend I went to Krakow, Poland, and visited Auschwitz, which, as you can imagine, was quite a sobering experience (and I just hate having my buzz harshed). One strange fact was brought to my attention, however. In the camp all prisoners' uniforms had a triangle whose color signified what they were imprisoned for. Yellow were Jews, red were political prisoners, pink were gays (no comment), and purple were for Jehovah's Witnesses. I of course thought it rather strange that the JW's should be singled out and given their own color, so I asked our rather taciturn guide why the Witnesses in particular were persecuted. She didn't know but she said there were only about 400 there in Auschwitz (.0025% of the population).

Why the JW's and not, for example the Mormons whom I consider just as annoying*? My mind grasped for explanations: did one of them knock on Goering's door too early one weekend morning? Did the Reich have an extra 400 purple triangles to give away to some lucky group?

Of course, Wikipedia came to my rescue. It turns out the Witnesses, disparagingly called Ernste Bibelforscher (Earnest Bible Students) refused to swear allegiance to Hitler or to serve in the military. In fact, the Witnesses in pre-war Germany were often linked with Communist movements, which runs counter to their current conservative image here in the States. In addition, they were persecuted in the US and other countries for refusing to serve in the military (in Canada were interned in camps along with political dissidents and people of Japanese and Chinese descent). Now, the Supreme Court has ruled that they are allowed to be exempt from military service, and their children also don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance! (Don't let the LGF wingnts find that out, or they'll start in on the JWs as well.)

So, I got to give the Witnesses their props. The next time one of them knocks at my door I will tell them how much I respect their nonviolent stance and regret their bethren who died in the camps. Then I'll sic my dog on them.

*I was raised a Mormon, so I am particularly attuned to them. I can spot them a mile away, although of course in most circumstances that is not difficult.
One thing before I go -- did anyone notice that Randy is still doing his auto-repeat whining in comments about the reaction to his racist Photoshop Hillary?

I think his real name is Hiroo Onoda.

I have had a great time subbing for you, Roger. It was, in fact, the ... finest two weeks of my life! Now I leave the glamorous life of a well-known blogger and go back to my miserable solitary existence as a little known blogger. No, I don't want to go!! I like it here!!! Please, don't return me to that plaaaaaaccccceee!

Of course, it could be worse:

Paris Hilton: I'm going celibate

"I'm not having sex for a year. ... I'll kiss, but nothing else," says Hilton, who told the magazine she has had sex with only two men during her lifetime.

When pressed on the subject , she insisted that there was only the one wearing the black ski mask and the one wearing the yellow ski mask.

I can see this is going to put a big dent in MY Internet popups.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Beam Me Down, Sporty
Back to a quieter life in comments

Thank you Roger for the opportunity to drive the nice shiny blog. It's been a hell of a frolic. Thanks, Sporty, for the technical guidance you gave me at first and for all of your fun comments. Thanks to the portion of Roger's audience who stayed with us and tolerated our un-Rogerness so graciously and especially to those of you who livened things up for everyone with your comments.

But I owe my biggest debt of gratitude to the wingnuts. Thank you for being there for me, wingers. Whenever I needed you, there you were, all over the moronofascisphere, clinging to the craziest of crazy notions. You are legion and you are borderline insane. And I salute you all with a special salute. (Especially you, Bobowens, still rooting around in photos of dead people after a solid week of futility. Qana you sink any lower? Why, yes -- yes, I truly believe that you can.)

Welcome home, Roger! I hope you're well rested, because you've got your work cut out for you in this country.
Same here -- thanks for the use of the hall, Roger. Welcome back.
Thanks, Roger! Hope You Had A Great Vacation!

I'd like to take this opportunity to once again thank you for letting us blow up your blog. It's been great fun to josh and pontificate in the same outlet. Any time you need help again, feel free to email -- I'd enjoy it even if your readers don't.

See you in the Comments section!

"You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!"*

*hat tip to the Urban Sombrero

NAPALM: Stop the Desecration of Our Most Sacred Institution!

In this time of turmoil in the Mideast, political conflict here at home and an uncertain future for humankind, we at Little Green Fascists (LGF) urge you to focus on the biggest priority our Nation has had to face to date.

As you know, we believe in giving back to our communities, our towns, our states and our government which have been so good to us (No! I am NOT collecting welfare!). So, it is with great pride, that we announce our newest campaign to improve the moral sphere of this great country in which we live - NAPALM, the National Association of People Against Left-hander Marriage.

We've all been hearing too much about the immorality of gay marriage, or as Swank calls it 'homo-nup', but have you heard about the evil which is left-handed marriage ('lefty-nup')? I don't think so.

Consider these facts:

- Left-handedness has always been considered evil. For example, 'sinister' comes from the Latin word for 'left-handed'
- In the Final Judgement, Jesus sorts the good onto his right hand and the evil onto his left hand and casts the evil down into hell where they roast for all eternity (No! This does NOT mean that Jesus is left-handed!)
- Left handers are more likely to die in accidents
- There has been no 'Left-hander' gene discovered, so it's just a deviant lifestyle choice - no matter what those left-handers tell you. And who would choose such a deviant lifestyle? Deviants of course! They shouldn't be allowed to marry!!
- Society is set up for right-handers. Can openers, scissors, spiral bound notebooks... all for right-handers. How evil would someone have to be to reject this sensible plan of the Almighty?
- Ned Flanders is evil; Ned Flanders is left-handed.

The Aim of NAPALM is to get legislation introduced in all 50 states and at the Federal level to ban left-handed marriage. These laws will require manual dexterity tests of all people applying for marriage licenses (that includes you homos in Massachusetts!) to prove that both partners are right-handed. If the tests show someone is sinister handed, they will not be allowed to marry.

If either partner proves to be ambidextrous, the license will only be awarded after that person proves they do everything with only their right hand for a period of 6 months (acceptable proof will be a doctor's note that the person's left hand has been temporarily or permenantly disabled by means of injury, a cast or wiring; or 24 hour a day, seven day a week video footage of the person to prove no left-handedness or an affadavit from a paid professional who observes the person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

You see? Simple.

We realize that these laws will probably not apply to all those evil lefties already married, so we'll have to see what we can do to shame those folks into divorcing their spouses. It's the moral thing to do!

Marriage is our most sacred union. We cannot continue to let it be dirtied by the sinister ones! Join me in this fight by emailing me at NAPALM. Do it today and keep our great Nation moral and strong!

Cross-posted to Little Green Fascists. Come visit us sometime!
No Citizen Left Behind
In battle of wits with President Bush

Take The Bush Quiz: The Twentieth Hundred Days.

[Via Froomkin.]
I Got Nothin' This Morning
So here's a list of 15 great recent rock albums

Yeah yeah yeah, de gustibus non est disputandum, blah blah blah. But I don't read Latin, so I'm going to go out on a limb and vouch for these as objectively great albums. Superb, every one. Guaranteed.

Listed alphabetically.

Ryan Adams -- Cold Roses (2005)

Badly Drawn Boy -- The Hour of Bewilderbeast (2000)

Devendra Banhart -- Cripple Crow (2005)

Caitlyn Cary and Thad Cockrell -- Begonias (2005)

Calexico -- The Black Light (1998)

Cat Power -- The Greatest (2006)

Nick Cave -- Lyre of Orpheus (2004)

Hayden -- Elk-Lake Serenade (2004)

Joe Henry -- Tiny Voices (2003)

Damien Jurado -- On My Way to Absence (2005)

Lambchop -- What Another Man Spills (1998)

Lambchop -- Aw C'mon / No, You C'mon (2004)

Mark Olson -- My Own Joellen (2000)

Various Artists -- Total Lee: The Songs Of Lee Hazlewood (2002)

Paul Westerberg -- Stereo (2002)

I've tried to focus on relatively recent releases, but I've recommended a few earlier albums where I think they're clearly superior to a band's later stuff. While I've listed just an album or two from each Lambchop, Hayden, Calexico and Damien Jurado, I'd feel comfortable recommending pretty much their entire catalogs.

If you'd like to sample anything from this list, just go over to Amazon and listen to the free excerpts they provide toward the bottom of most CD listing pages. That's often a good place to buy, too, from the "new and used" reseller listings.

And for those of you not familiar with All Music Guide, it's a very powerful, free web resource for researching both popular and classical music. I've found it to be valuable for cross-referencing from bands I know I like to ever more of the great music being made today.

What are you listening to that you'd like to share? Please contribute in comments.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Monday Morning Oil Shock:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In a sudden blow to the nation's oil supply, half the production on Alaska's North Slope was being shut down Sunday after BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. discovered severe corrosion in a Prudhoe Bay oil transit line...

Once the field is shut down, in a process expected to take days, BP said oil production will be reduced by 400,000 barrels a day. That's close to 8 percent of U.S. oil production as of May 2006 or about 2.6 percent of U.S. supply including imports, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration...

A 400,000-barrel per day reduction in output would have a major impact on oil prices, said Tetsu Emori, chief commodities strategist at Mitsui Bussan Futures in Tokyo.

"Oil prices could increase by as much as $10 per barrel given the current environment," Emori said. "But we can't really say for sure how big an effect this is going to have until we have more exact figures about how much production is going to be reduced."
Two Lightly Covered News Stories:

The final version of the House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Members' report The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War, and Illegal Domestic Surveillance, was released on August 4th to almost no fanfare and very litte press coverage. Perhaps it was the title - not the most gripping is it? But according to Ranking Democrat John Conyers:
Approximately 26 laws and regulations may have been violated by this Administration's misconduct.

Our Constitution established a tri-partite system of government, with the notion that each branch of government would act as a check on the other two. Unfortunately, for the last six years, the Republicans in Congress have largely viewed themselves as defenders of the Bush Administration, instead of a vital check on overreaching by the Executive Branch. By doing so, I believe they have acted to the detriment of our Constitutional form of government.

The second story is the ongoing crisis in Gaza, which is worsening. and the 'arrest' of the Palestinian Speaker of the House.
At least 163 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have died in the offensive, according to an AFP count, and much of the densely packed territory's infrastructure has been destroyed, including its one power plant. The UN said that according to its figures, 175 Palestinians have been killed, including approximately 40 children and eight women. More than 620 Palestinians have been wounded, the statement said.

On the Israeli side, the UN said that one soldier has been killed and 25 wounded, including 11 from homemade rockets fired from Gaza. "All parties to the conflict are obliged to protect civilians during hostilities," the UN statement said.
Palestinian officials said Israeli forces arrested the speaker of the Palestinian parliament at his house early Sunday. The director of the speaker's office and security officers said about 20 Israeli army vehicles surrounded the house of parliament speaker Abdel Aziz Duaik, a member of Hamas, and took him into custody.
Twenty vehicles because he is such a dangerous terrorist.

When the NY Times blasts the lid off a newly discovered (at least to them) societal trend, it is often regarding a fairly socially conservative concern, such as the a) prevalence of sex among teenagers, or b) women who decide to have careers instead of having kids. However, the article about middle-aged men without college degrees who have never been married left me puzzled about exactly what startling fact they had uncovered.

At first, it looks like the opposite of their typical b) type of piece mentioned above, that there are all these nice single lonely guys who may not have a college degree, but they're willing and able, ladies! And of course the Times Select version has their contact info so all the MoDo types can call them up (ok JUST KIDDING), the clear implication being that if these guys end their lives single they will be miserable ,depressed, financially strapped and a drain on society.

However, quite quickly it is apparent that not only are these guys doing pretty well (the lead photo kind of gives it away) but most of the ones interviewed don't really want to get married. In a rare nod to actual social science research, they cite data showing that marriage doesn't actually seem to confer any benefit on these guys in terms of contentedness, financial health or longevity.

Hmmm. Then they bring up the fact that a lot of gays are now more open and THEY are obviously not getting married (Note to the GOP: hey, if you want to bump the marriage rate up, there's a real fast way to do it). Then it seems, that, well, a lot of the straight guys had lived with women at some point, and in the olden days they probably would have gotten married, which means that their predicament, whatever it is, wouldn't have worried the authors of the article at all. I guess even if you got stuck once in a loveless, brief marriage, you're still better off than these guys.

Finally, in conclusion they say "All the men interviewed for this article looked younger than their age. All said they were happy with their lives.."

But really they're miserable, people!

Mr. Ryan, too, said he enjoyed being single. He stood talking in his kitchen on a Saturday when he had no plans other than a solo bike ride. It was a slow weekend day - his birthday, in fact - and though the phone never rang, he was free for dinner.

OK, it's August, a slow news time (except for, you know, a couple of wars in the Middle East), but I really can't see the point of this article. If it's not a trend that threatens to rend the fabric of society as we know it, what is it? A bunch of guys who, for various reasons, are single as they approach middle age. Some by choice, some not, some are happy about it, some not, and it's not really clear what the long term implications of it are. Whew!! Thank God the Times is around to alert us to things like this! I might have thought it was really not all that important. But of course, I'm an approaching-middle-age single guy (I do have an advanced degree, though) so I'm probably just being willfully ignorant.
Breaking: Stunning Hypocrisy on Right
Powerline for doctored images before being against

Like JPod, down there, The Corner's Kathryn Jean Lopez was engorged this morning on the excitement surrounding the swirling blown smoke of a doctored Reuters photograph. Surrendering to another day of unremitting blogging, she posted of her passion:

Reuters [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Powerline was all over it, too.

George Conway has a good roundup .

Posted at 11:22 AM

And Powerline was indeed "all over it." Even before JPod was stirred awake by the story very early this morning, one of the not-Assrockets had posted on it (with required reference to the apocryphal Qana denial tale) only to have Assrocket himself zoom in right behind him with a bright Reuters "Picture Kill" graphic and an explanation of how someone had apparently Photoshopped a pretty bad post-bombing image into a...pretty bad post-bombing image.

Where are the morals of these people? Faking news pictures?! What's next -- manufacturing video clips to make our political opponents look bad?

What's that? Earlier this week, Assrocket posted a manufactured YouTube clip of Representative John Dingell of Michigan? One that falsely made Dingell out to be a supporter of Hezbollah?

Well surely once Assrocket knew he'd been punk'd (for surely he had no idea what tripe he was posting), he promptly apologized and tracked down the perpetrator and taught him a lesson with his enormous blog? Right? Right?

Um, not so much. Since then it's been pretty much, as Steve M calls it, *crickets.*

Update: Think Progress has the details on Powerline's lowly tactics.

[Subtitle, first paragraph edited for clarity and eroticism.]
See? Stem Cells Don't Cure Disease!

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher, who in 1986 became the race's second female winner and brought increased national attention to its grueling competition, has died. She was 51.

Butcher died Saturday in a Seattle hospital of a reoccurrence of leukemia after a recent stem-cell transplant, her doctor said.

If stem cells can't cure a celebrity athelete like Butcher, they can't work on anyone. And if Snowflake Children can't stay alive in Alaska, where can they stay alive? And it was obviously global warming that killed them. Damn you, Al Gore!

Cross-posted to Little Green Fascists
JPod: "Charles Johnson Does It Again"
Blown smoke gives Tiffany Midgeson morning wood

Over at The Corner (my new homepage), only John Podhoretz could get it up to write a post this Sunday morning. And what is it that floats his pitiful boat? In the midst of a developing total war in the Middle East, the legions of warbloggers in hot pursuit of "a most revolting Hezbollah fraud" at Qana have turned up a -- drumroll, please -- doctored photograph of smoke.
Charles Johnson Does It Again [John Podhoretz] At Little Green Footballs, definitive evidence that a Reuters photographer is using photoshop to make the Israeli strikes on Beirut look vastly worse than they are in fact. (Warning: There's a highly upsetting photo in the string of pictures here of a toddler killed in the Qana bombing.) LGF's Charles Johnson was, you'll recall, the guy who typed the Rathergate memo into Microsoft Word and discovered it could not possibly have been typed on a 1972 typewriter. Posted at 7:01 AM
JPod stood silently by last week, of course, while his peer Jonah celebrated the Qana denial tale, linking credulously to its every more disgusting permutation around the moronofascisphere. And isn't there a certain poignancy to the Rathergate reference? Ah, fading glory. And JPod clinging to it like debris floating around the wreckage of his life. I mean his father's life. Oh well, same diff.

Commenter Kip W saw the way the wind was blowing earlier this week, opining in one of our livelier comment threads in Roger's absence, "Gravestones improperly kerned?"

The heroic 101st Fighting Keyboarders will leave no Cheeto unturned (and duly snacked upon) in their quest prove that the Israeli offensive in Lebanon is a figment of Dan Rather's twisted dumb liberal emmm-esss-emmm imagination. And that Michael Moore is gay gay GAY!

Stay tuned for even more ridiculous developments.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Fruit Does Not Fall Far From The Tree:

Charles Osgood, in his book Funny Letters from Famous People, reproduces a letter (from pre-email days) from George H.W. Bush to Barbara Bush while he was campaigning for President against Michael Dukakis. Mike and Kitty Dukakis were getting good press for their spontaneous displays of affection, and George's staff thought he and Bar should do the same. George wrote:


Please look at how Mike and Kitty do it. Try to be closer in, more - well er romatic - on camera. I am practicing the loving look, and the creeping hand.
Yours, for better TV and more demonstrable affection.
Your sweetie-pie coo-coo

Love ya

That letter creeped me out on several levels and not just because I first read 'creeping hand' as 'creepy hand'. First, Osgood thought it was funny and not a illustration of a cold and calculating politician. Second, Bush was trying to get his wife to fake it for the cameras. He isn't asking for more displays of affection period. He's asking for more displays of affection on camera. Finally, the mental picture of H.W. practicing the appearance of affection just turns my stomach. I'm sure there was a mirror involved and that is just wrong!

Then I made the mistake of reading Bush On the Couch. The book is o.k., but it takes a lot of words to say what we all have learned about Dubya - he's a spoiled-rotten rich kid ignorant frat boy sociopath drunk with a charming manner as long as he's not challenged. Plus, the book is rather Freudian, so seems out-of-date ('Rejection of the breast', 'Unmet infant's needs', 'The infant must heal his psychic split', etc).

At any rate, in the book, we learn more about George H.W. and Bar. For example, Bar had such a difficult relationship with her mother, that she didn't attend her mother's funeral. Granted, she was pregnant and living in Texas and the funeral was in Connecticut, but she had travelled to the East Coast just a few weeks before for a family wedding.

Most chillingly, George H.W. and Bar didn't tell Dubya that his sister Robin had leukemia. They just took Robin to various East Coast hospitals, where Bar stayed to care for her daughter, leaving the seven year old George Jr back in Texas. He was only told not to play with his sister on the occasions when she was home. And the Bushes didn't even have a funeral for Robin:

Robin died in New York in October 1953; her parents spent the next day golfing in Rye, attending a small memorial service the following day before flying back to Texas. George learned of his sister's illness only after her death, when his family returned to Texas, where the family remained while the child's body was buried in a Connecticut family plot. There was no funeral.
Can you imagine? Did George H.W. say to Bar, "Lighten up Bar, we knew she was going to die. Let's go golfing!" and to Dubya, "Sister? What sister?"

So, with cold parents such as these, is it any wonder Dubya is unable to show compassion for soldiers his orders have killed or the victims of the 2004 Tsunami or the civilians killed in Lebanon or...?

Update: Blogger sometimes bloggers the best of us. This was originally a draft, so I saved it in draft form while I went about my Saturday chores and such. Strangely enough, Blogger posted it, all the while displaying it as a draft on what they call 'the Dashboard'. Yay, Blogger!

There was more I wanted to write, but since the element of surprise has been lost, here it is. Sorry for any confusion.
What's missing?

U.S., France OK U.N. Mideast truce pact

An official with knowledge of the document said the draft calls for a "full cessation of violence" between Israel and Hezbollah, but would allow Israel the right to launch strikes if Hezbollah attacks it.

"It does not say immediate cessation of violence," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the draft had not yet been made public.

...The full 15-nation Security Council was expected to meet later Saturday to discuss the resolution, and it was likely to be adopted in the next couple of days...
Call me silly, but I'd think Lebanon would be mentioned in there somewhere...

Update: I removed the premature thanks for Roger, so that's why Ahab's comment makes no sense.
Video Mocking Al Gore is Apparently 100% Astroturf

Stay Free Magazine passed on a report of 'astroturfing' from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) yesterday. A popular spoof of Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, showing on was apparently created and publicized by Exxon's public relations company. The Wall Street Journal writes:

In the video, Mr. Gore appears as a sinister figure who brainwashes penguins and bores movie audiences by blaming the Mideast crisis and starlet Lindsay Lohan's shrinking waist size on global warming. Like other videos on the popular YouTube site, it has a home-made, humorous quality. The video's maker is listed as "Toutsmith," a 29-year-old who identifies himself as being from Beverly Hills in an Internet profile.

In an email exchange with The Wall Street Journal, Toutsmith didn't answer when asked who he was or why he made the video, which has just over 59,000 views on YouTube. However, computer routing information contained in an email sent from Toutsmith's Yahoo account indicate it didn't come from an amateur working out of his basement.

Instead, the email originated from a computer registered to DCI Group, a Washington, D.C., public relations and lobbying firm whose clients include oil company Exxon Mobil Corp.

A DCI Group spokesman declines to say whether or not DCI made the anti-Gore penguin video, or to explain why Toutsmith appeared to be sending email from DCI's computers. "DCI Group does not disclose the names of its clients, nor do we discuss the work that we do on our clients' behalf," says Matt Triaca, who heads DCI's media relations shop...

Traffic to the penguin video, first posted on in May, got a boost from prominently placed sponsored links that appeared on the Google search engine when users typed in "Al Gore" or "Global Warming." The ads, which didn't indicate who had paid for them, were removed shortly after The Wall Street Journal contacted DCI Group on Tuesday.

Update: Video Review - Whatever DCI paid toutsmith was way too much money! Although I suppose the childish stupidity of the video, and the Linux penguins, will appeal to some.
Roger Is Coming Back!

O.K. guys, we have to clean up this place! Roger is getting back from vacation today! Or tomorrow! I don't know, he said "around August 5th"! It is too August 5th today!

Steve, I don't care if you two are 'in love', you have to get the stripper to leave. And Frito, could you just vacuum up the snack food crumbs for once in your life?

Ahab, I know you were just learning to blog, but you have to empty the wastepaper baskets of all those rough drafts and stuff. Sheesh, they're all over the floor! No, I don't know where the garbage bags are. Check under the sink. Also, is there a recycling bin? We have to keep the environment in mind... Oh please. Don't be a hypocrite!

Marshall, you gotta either finish those beers in the fridge or give them away, man! We have not been drinking them! But there are too many of them for just you to finish in one day... Oh yeah? I dare you to drink 'em all today then!

And has anyone seen TS? There's this... 'thing' in the middle of the living room that's just been sitting there for two weeks! Does anyone have TS's phone number. No! I'm not touching it. I don't even know what it is. It could be dangerous!

O.K., I'll clean the bathroom. Just stop arguing. We've gotta get going!

Update: Oopsie! Roger is coming back on Tuesday, so this post is definitely premature. I'll just have to deal...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Night Zombie Blogging:

Thanks, mjs! See, I'm not the only one obsessed with zombies!
Israel Cuts Off Last Major Road Between Lebanon And Syria:

(AP photos)

Israel intensified their bombing raids on Beirut and northern Lebanon last night, cutting the last four highway bridges into Syria from Lebanon. They said the highway bridge bombings were to prevent arms from being transported from Syria.

Israel said nothing about cutting off the last major escape route for Lebanese civilian fleeing to safety. In the photos above, you can see that apparently only civilian vehicles were on the highways at the time.

International Aid workers say the highway bombings will prevent them from getting humanitarian aid into Lebanon. Meanwhile, around 28 farm workers unloading vegetables were killed by Israeli warplanes. Israel said the vegetables were bombs.

Details here.

Friday Cat Blogging:

Fuzz and Sweetpea. This is what happens when you have one cat who likes air conditioning (our solution to global warming) and another who doesn't.
I didn't like Jane Hamsher's blackface Lieberman, but does anyone recall a similar reaction when, a favorite of the conservative blogosphere, ran this?

*crickets*, as I recall.

(That was in reaction to Hillary's comment that the GOP-controlled House of Representatives "has been run like a plantation.")

And if Wizbang's Kevin Aylward found the Lieberman picture so appalling, er, why did he run a black John Kerry Photoshop contest back in '04?

Apparently, the only on-topic entry was this, but here are a few other items found elsewhere:

From Baltimore right-wing talk-show hosts Sean and Frank (via



Also from pete-online.

Reactions from the right? Especially from, say, Michelle Malkin, who's been known to scour the Net looking for the most obscure "unhinged" anti-GOP products imaginable?

Again, *crickets*.



UPDATE: In comments, Randy from RightWinged says of his masterwork,

There's nothing racially charged about this on my end.

Good Lord, these people are shameless.


UPDATE: Randy, you tried to pull the picture so I couldn't link it, but it's back in a non-hotlinked version. You created this. You should be proud of it. Grow up.
No "Shorter" E.J. Dionne: "The End Of the Right?" You'll want to read the whole thing.

Update: Upon further reflection, "Shorter" E.J. Dionne: "Conservatism is dying. Let's be kind to the family."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Some Like it Hot: Devil Made Them Do It
Conservatives extol denial, air conditioning, oil stocks

As George W. Bush retreats to hellish Waco, Texas amid yet another national heat wave for yet another recess from the real world, Americans who have seen Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, are growing concerned at the nation's extreme weather conditions.

From Bob Herbert's column in today's NY Times (behind subscription wall):
It's certainly true that heat waves in July and August are not unusual. But we need to keep in mind that the first six months of this year were the warmest ever recorded in the United States. And that this summer, according to the National Climatic Data Center, more than 50 cities in the continental U.S. have set records for high temperature.

We should keep in mind, as Al Gore has pointed out, that of the 21 hottest years ever measured, 20 have occurred within the last 25 years. And the hottest year of this recent hottest wave was last year.

[According to] Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle: "In northern California, it was hotter for longer than ever on record, hitting 110 degrees four consecutive days in the nine-county Bay Area."
But thanks in great measure to Bush, who has stubbornly refused to acknowledge the strong scientific consensus that exists on this issue that threatens to significantly alter life as we know it on planet Earth, attitudes toward global warming have become largely a matter of political faith.

To the Bush boosters at NRO's The Corner, for example, concern at the notion of global climate change is by turns absurd and comical. The Corner's Iain Murray wrote yesterday:
The truth is that humans have lived for millennia in really inhospitable climates - think Inuit and Bushmen. Yet modern technology allows us to combine those climates with an industrialized lifestyle. There's no need for siestas or igloos, for the most part. Occasionally, the weather reminds us just how inhospitable it can be, but we have the technology to defeat that, for the most part. Air conditioning makes 100 degree heat bearable (it was 117 degrees in the sun feet from where I am writing this a few minutes ago) and, if it is getting warmer for whatever reasons, more and more of the country and indeed world will adopt the technology. Central heating systems did the same for the icier parts in the past. It is the easy availability of affordable energy that has done that. It's a blow to those of us who rather like the idea of a siesta or a fortifying dram as night falls, but it is vastly increasing our ability to create wealth.

Indeed, you could view the spread of temperature control technologies as the globalization of the working conditions associated with a temperate, maritime climate. It might even be an essential component of successfully adopting that climate's most successful economic framework.

Posted at 3:39 PM
Two weeks ago, during New York City's last 100-degree heat wave, Peggy Noonan floated the notion that global climate change is relatively benign and might actually save her money on her heating bill:
... how sad and frustrating it is that the world's greatest scientists cannot gather, discuss the question of global warming...and come to a believable conclusion on these questions: Is global warming real or not? If it is real, is it necessarily dangerous? What exactly are the dangers? Is global warming as dangerous as, say, global cooling would be? Are we better off with an Earth that is getting hotter or, what with the modern realities of heating homes and offices, and the world energy crisis, and the need to conserve, does global heating have, in fact, some potential side benefits, and can those benefits be broadened and deepened? Also, if global warning is real, what must--must--the inhabitants of the Earth do to meet its challenges? And then what should they do to meet them?

These are the very questions -- the sane ones, anyway -- Gore's movie addresses. But Peggums hasn't seen it, won't see it. Republicans uniformly regard Gore's film as they did Fahrenheit 9/11: as unpatriotic, an affront to the cult of Bush.

Back over at The Corner, within an hour of the earlier piece, Murray receives from "a scientist friend" a 1948 article on "The Present Climatic Fluctuation." It concludes that climatic fluctuation is "actually resulting in an improvement in the climate of our world." So there! Contra Gore, since at least the 1920s, things have been steadily improving here on Earth. Murray closes playfully [as melting glaciers crash playfully into the sea in the background], "How times change!"

A word on Iain Murray. The Corner regular is employed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank with an Orwellian "Control Abuse of Power" project that contests "unaccountable government power" through public relations, opposition to regulation, and litigation -- all on behalf of industry. Among the project's "Power" targets are the 1998 tobacco settlement, which sought to hold tobacco companies to account for some of the death and disease they've spread throughout the nation, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which was created by the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act to protect US investors from Enron-style accounting practices. Murray's just the person to trust for the straight poop on global climate change.

Late this afternoon, Murray and his patrons had their world rocked by the Rev. Pat Robertson:
Strange Bedfellows [Iain Murray]
Pat Robertson joins Al Gore:

The Rev. Pat Robertson said he hasn't been a believer in global warming in the past, but this summer's record-breaking heat is "making a convert out of me."

On his "700 Club" broadcast, Robertson said, "It is getting hotter, and the icecaps are melting and there is a buildup of carbon dioxide in the air."

Switching sides on an issue that divides evangelical Christians, Robertson said, "We really need to address the burning of fossil fuels."

The religious broadcaster told viewers, "If we are contributing to the destruction of this planet, we need to dosomething about it."

I hope they'll be very happy together.

Posted at 2:00 pm
Outflanked on the left by a guy who talks to God. That's gotta hurt. No report was available on whether Robertson has seen Gore's movie.

Update: Iain Murray reports today that it's currently not hot in Alaska and the wintry parts of the Southern Hemisphere. Nor, presumably, in his refrigerator.

Dairy states are liberal because dairy farmers are big softies.

Yeah, I can really picture this guy doing farm chores in Vermont on a January morning at 20 below.
Shortest Summer Vacation Ever for Bush-league!

He's only going to have nine days off. The poor guy.
Shorter David Broder: "Bush has gambled and lost in Iraq (and driven reactionary views in this column within parenthesis), but maybe history will spin him (and me) out of it."
Shorter Peggy Noonan: "Purchase Cuba. Overpay. Then grant amnesty absolution and a path to the Republican Party to Cubans."
Rumsfeld: Iraq Isn't In "A Classic Civil War At This Stage...Certainly Isn't Like Our Civil War"...
(via the Huffington Post)

That's right Don, and do you know why? No good songs!! That's right, WHAT are the Gulf War II renacters going to sing as they recreate the grand battle of Falujah? We've got to right this immediately:

I-I wish I wuz in the land of petrol
Where the damage is co-lateral
Fire away, fire away, fire away
There's IRE's and SAMs abounding
Oh to see a Blackhawk grounding
Fire away, fire away fire away

*Since Michael Ledeen referred to Syria and Iran as "Syran", I figure why leave Iraq out of the fun. Besides, it scans better.

Add your verses in the comments

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"...Allow the Secretary of Defense to Add Crimes At Will to Those Under the Military Court's Jurisdiction..."

The Washington Post reports today:

A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such "commissions" to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal.

The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.
So who are these people not directly involved in international terrorism? Jouralists? Opposition politicians? Protesters? Me? You?

And what crimes do you think Rumsfeld might come up with to add to the cases against such people? Jay-walking? Protesting? Writing a critical letter to the President? Treason?

The proposal denies defendants such basic rights as the right to confront their accuser(s), to exclude hearsay, to bar evidence obtained with torture, to get a speedy trial and to choose their counsel. Their military lawyers would not have the same access to evidence as prosecutors. Sounds just like America!

Detainees would also not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.
So, you could sitting in your cell at Gitmo for years, then one day have someone come in and tell you you have been found guilty and are now going to be punished... some more. Or, as "...John D. Hutson, the Navy's top uniformed lawyer from 1997 to 2000..," puts it:
"We know you're guilty. We can't tell you why, but there's a guy, we can't tell you who, who told us something. We can't tell you what, but you're guilty."
Yep. Just like America!

[Military lawyers] objected in particular to the provision allowing defendants to be tried in absentia, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to describe the deliberations. Another source in contact with top military lawyers said, "Their initial impression is that the draft was unacceptable and sloppy." [emphasis mine] The source added that "it did not have enough due-process rights" and could further tarnish America's image.
Heck of a job, Bush-league administration!

Hat tip to Americablog.
Jean Schmidt Explains A Mideast Challenges [sic]

Schmidt is the new Ohio Congresscritter who last year called John Murtha a coward on the floor of the House... or rather conveyed a message from a 'friend' who said of Murtha, "...cowards cut and run". That little speech was so bad that she was booed soundly, forced to issue an apology and made to beg for her remarks be stricken from the Federal Register. Now, she explains the Mideast to us.

Why Do They Hate Us?

The Middle East has been a synonym for diplomatic challenges our whole lives. I hope that our children one day can tell their children it is the home of the Holy Land and no further explanation is needed.
"...a synonym for... challenges"?! Man, Mr. Johnson* would so bust her for that one!

..Some people are oppressed by dictators, some by Mother Nature, others by disease, still more by economics. Regardless of the cause, the oppressed all share the same misery, tears, and despair.
She forgot to mention the oppressed who are oppressed by oppression!

...The United States is the kindest, most generous country to ever exist on this planet. We spend billions all over the world feeding, caring, protecting, and building.
I guess Jean hasn't read the memo comparing our aid spending to that of other countries. And I guess she forgot we own about 45% of the world's armaments and most of its nuclear weapons. And I guess she might not have known about that little conflict we started in Iraq which has kindly killed up to 100,000 people.

It is easy to understand that when you know your liberator and he does not come, it must mean he doesn't care. Hearts begin to fill with hate. Evil takes root. Soon all of your problems only exist because the United States failed to solve them.
How about when you know your oppressor and he won't leave? Does that mean he cares? And what about when your problems only exist because the United States has caused them - in addition to because it has failed to solve them?

...The Iraqi's perception is that we are all powerful. We watch them from space with technology they cannot even imagine. Surely if we wanted to turn on [some complaining young man** from the Mideast's] electricity we could do so. He has no idea how large the problem is but he knows we can do anything. He was angry. Eventually his air conditioning began running and his anger cooled.
Air conditioners for the world!! (and no, I've already done one grammar flame. We shall leave the obvious grammatical error unremarked... well except for the remark I just made). But honestly, this is the first time the roots of extremism have been revealed to be lack of a.c. Who knew?

My point is the hatred towards America isn't always based on what we did but often simply not living up to the beliefs of what the oppressed think we are capable of doing.
But what if the hatred is based on what we did? Such as, oh, shipping tons of missiles to Israel so they could bomb more civilians. Or, say, virtually leveling the town of Fallujah so that only 10% of the buildings were habitable? Or, oh, putting a hotheaded asshole in the United Nations so he can veto and block measures which benefit people throughout the world?

Some are angry because in the past we made mistakes that compounded or even extended their misery. Many are angry because we fail to live up to their expectations. Ronald Reagan once said that our opposition is not ignorant it is just that so much of what they believe is just not true.
And here's the irony! Schmidt uses a snotty Reagan quote whose wrong-headedness illustrates why 'they' hate 'us' better than her entire essay does, yet she doesn't even realize it!

And the exciting conclusion?
For the United States the lesson must be -- as we head down a different path of foreign diplomacy - Evil that is ignored is indeed Evil that is assisted. The oppressed will always remember.
Absolutely! And not just because we didn't fix their air conditioners, but because we killed and maimed their children, raped them, tortured them, destroyed their infrastructure and imposed policies on them that are not in their best interests. Oh, and because we supported other countries who did the same.

*My high school English teacher, junior year.

**Jean was told about this angry young man by a young Iraqi soldier in Baghdad.
Lefty bloggers: Can we please just fucking stop with the blackface?

(That used to be here.)

Think of it as a new corollary to Godwin's Law: Any use of blackface, like any use of the word "Nazi," automatically makes further reasoned discussion impossible.

I don't care if it's fair. I don't care if the use of blackface is clever or ironic; I don't care if the blogger or the Photoshopper is African-American. Posting blackface is handing the other side a huge fucking trump card, one they can (and will) run gleefully off to the mainstream media with. It's just never worth it.

Weigh costs and benefits, for crissakes.
The Things That Matter Most

Dastardly Syrians and Iranians Helping Insurgents in Iraq! Outright War in Lebanon! Soldiers Getting Killed in Iraq and Afghanistan! Massive Cost Overruns and Corruption in Iraq Reconstruction! Record Trade Deficits! New Orleans' Still Not Fixed! Seniors Falling into the Medicare Doughnut Hole!

The Bush-league White House is focusing on the things that matter:

Next up: a renovation of the [White House] briefing room, likely with a video wall that could display everything from "flags waving in the breeze [to] detailed charts and graphs," according to a senior White House official working on the project. For TV viewers, the video feed could be the sole on-screen image, or could share the space with the speaker.

White House officials say they are weighing how -- and how often -- to use the video capability. But the new technology could help transform White House briefings -- midday exchanges with reporters in a utilitarian setting -- into more interesting viewing. Both the planned video capabilities and Mr. Snow's hiring appear to be part of a subtle but sweeping effort by administration officials to deliver their message directly to the public, particularly through video.
Because as long as we can give the illusion that everything is o.k., everything is o.k.!

Hat tip to the Agonist.
One of these things is not like the other, according to Michelle Malkin:

Filthy, disgusting Hispanics rallying around a foreign flag. In America!

Filthy, disgusting Hispanics rallying around a foreign flag. In America!

Admirable, saintly Hispanics rallying around a foreign flag. In America, baby!

Dual loyalties? To right-wingers like Malkin, IOKIYACANAM.*

(*It's OK if you're a Cuban and not a Mexican.)

1) Fidel keeps all the good Cohibas for himself.
2) Wherever he embraces you, stuff from his beard gets in your ear.
3) Mama always said "Why can't you find a country to take over, like your brother?"
4) You always have to eat first, just in case someone poisoned the food.
5) Not much money in the economy left over to skim off.
6) The chicas always want to meet "tu hermano."
7) Knowing that when you take over and the US invades, no one will give a shit.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Man Seeks Dog to Enter Political Race
Tricky Rick Santorum Courts Selfish Green Rogue

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (Man, PA) is hoping lightning can strike twice. The highly unpopular Republican Senator, who is fighting for his Senate seat in this November's elections, is banking on wealthy Republican donors to plant and nurture a "Green" candidate who can drain progressive support from his opponent as Ralph Nader did from Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election.

(Despite trailing in the popular vote, George W. Bush ultimately prevailed over Gore in a 2000 presidential election that came down to a hotly disputed contest for Florida. Although control of the entire Florida state election apparatus was held in the hands of Bush's brother, Jeb, the 97,421 votes cast for Nader in Florida proved conclusive: George W. Bush's margin of victory in the state was 537 votes.

Bush has parlayed his assisted victory in 2000 together with the subsequent 9-11 terrorist attacks into two terms as president, majorities in both houses of congress, and at least two Supreme Court appointments. All that currently stands between the Texas-dominated national GOP and its goal of reconstructing the social world of a Theodore Dreiser novel is the health of 85 year-old moderate Republican Justice John Paul Stevens.)

Santorum, among the lowest-rated politicians in the nation on the environmental issues ostensibly important to the Green party, currently trails his Democratic opponent, Bob Casey, in polls by nine points, although the race is expected to tighten. Casey, however, shares Santorum's pro-life and pro-gun positions, stances Democrats hope will abandon the outspoken Santorum up shit's creek without a paddle.

Enter Carl Romanelli, Green party candidate from Pennsylvania's Luzerne County. According to Paul Kiel of, at least $55,000 of the $66,000 raised by the PA Green party to get Romanelli on the PA ballot in November was raised from conservatives, at least $40,000 of it from those who also gave to Rick Santorum's campaign.

"Both Republicans and Democrats have this notion that, if Greens are in the race, Democrats lose votes," Romanelli told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "If that was going to motivate someone to contribute, I am fine with that."

Santorum's campaign has admitted its complicity in the ploy, according to the Inquirer:
"We have encouraged those who have inquired or asked to assist in this effort," said Virginia Davis, Santorum's spokeswoman, of the Green Party petitions. She declined to provide specifics. "I think the bigger question here is why is Bob Casey going to such extremes to silence another voice in the Democratic process?"
Among the most active contributors to this PA Green party bid, the Inquirer noted, was the Santorum-boosting Taylor family of Salinas, California:
Steven and Kathryn Taylor and two others at the same address who listed their occupation as students contributed $10,000 to the Green Party; five Taylor family members have contributed $20,700 to Santorum's reelection campaign.
Salinas, California, is about 2,945 miles, or two days and two hours by car, from the Keystone state.

[Edited third paragraph and as noted in comments.]
It's National Clown Week!

Seriously. This is not a comment on politics at all. Honest.

Update: Shakespeare's Sister has the pronouncement which started it all...

As noted by Ahab below, some bloggers, including the EU Referendum, came up with evidence that the Qana atrocity was staged! The bloggers based this claim on their peerless expert opinions about degree of rigor mortis of the bodies, the types of injuries the kids had, the amount of dirt on the rescue workers' clothes, and time stamps on the photos posted on the web.

Now, well-known conservative radio personality, Rush Limbaugh, has weighed in:
"These photographers are obviously willing to participate in propaganda," Limbaugh said. "They know exactly what's being done, all these photos, bringing the bodies out of the rubble, posing them for the cameras, it's all staged. Every bit of it is staged and the still photographers know it."
Obvious, maybe, to a guy like Rush, who obviously has an M.D./Ph.D. in Forensic Pathology, a Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology and a Master's in Photo Analysis. Just so you know, he also did an internship just last year at AP, so obviously knows how their system works. But it's not so obvious to, you know, the photographers and photo editors in question. First, they note that the time stamps on the photos do NOT indicate when they were taken:

...AP does not distribute pictures sequentially; photos are moved based on news value and how quickly they are available for an editor to transmit. The AP indicates to its members when they are sent on the wire, and member Web sites sometimes use a different time stamp to show when they are posted.
They also express their confusion and amazement that such a thing would even be considered.

"It's hard to imagine how someone sitting in an air-conditioned office or broadcast studio many thousands of miles from the scene can decide what occurred on the ground with any degree of accuracy," said Kathleen Carroll, AP's senior vice president and executive editor.

Carroll said in addition to personally speaking with photo editors, "I also know from 30 years of experience in this business that you can't get competitive journalists to participate in the kind of (staging) experience that is being described."
Kath obviously has forgotten Rush's internship in her office. I guess she really was that sloshed at the Holiday party last year! She obviously forgot how he single-handedly solved that filing problem which had vexed the office for nearly a decade!

Despite Rush's qualifications, another photo editor type pointed out how unlikely it was that people would even be able to set up such a charade in a war zone:

"Do you really think these people would risk their lives under Israeli shelling to set up a digging ceremony for dead Lebanese kids?" asked Patrick Baz, Mideast photo director for AFP. "I'm totally stunned by first the question, and I can't imagine that somebody would think something like that would have happened."

The AP had three different photographers there who weren't always aware of what the others were doing, and filed their images to editors separately, said Santiago Lyon, director of photography.
Patrick?! Santiago?! Don't you remember Rush astounding you with his polymath knowledge? Remember how Patrick would fly in from France and you two would let your inter-agency rivalries rest while you and Rush discussed the very best photographs - the reason you all entered this dirty business in the first place? You remember!! He's brilliant, guys! Don't you remember he knows everything?! Obviously.

Cross posted to Little Green Fascists in honor of Rush. Obviously.

Update: Glenn Greenwald makes the point as well as anybody can... perhaps better!
Is Lebanon Israel's Vietnam?

The Boston Globe reports today from inside the Hezbollah unit which drove the Israelis from Bint Jbail:

It was here, a week ago, that Hezbollah fighters stopped several Israeli tanks and turned back an Israeli ground advance that sought to rout them from this strategic Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon. Israeli soldiers have given vivid accounts of hand-to-hand combat, sneak ambushes, and fighters who sprang from a network of tunnels to surprise the Israelis.

The article goes on to paint a portrait of rebels which are very much like the Viet Cong in tactics and determination. And there is a reason for that:

The two Hezbollah fighters described a discipline modeled on the Viet Cong, in which fighters live off the land, scavenge vegetables and canned food, and do battle in autonomous groups with little need for command supervision.

Hussein and Hamid credited their devotion to Islam for their success against the Israelis, but they described a meticulous blueprint for guerrilla warfare built around a carefully selected force, whose members begin training at age 14.

As for the dedication part, it apparently comes from deep religious belief and a profound sense of injustice:

Yesterday afternoon, downtown below Tel Masoud, Hussein was praying alone in a mosque whose rear wall had been blasted away by a shell, giving a view of the battleground above.

The fighter was by turns angry, mystical, and emotional. One day, he said, he gave his only food, a can of tuna, to a dog so hungry that its tongue was hanging contorted from its mouth.

"If I showed mercy on the dog, maybe God would show mercy on me," he said.

After scouring the battleground, Hussein returned with journalists to the hospital at the edge of Bint Jbail to visit friends. He put his head in his hands and started to weep.

"I'm not crying for the fighters. The fighters can handle it. I'm crying for the ordinary people," Hussein said.

Can Israel learn from the lessons of the United States in Vietnam, Somalia and now Iraq? If not, Lebanon just might be their Vietnam.