Saturday, March 31, 2007

The neocons meet the Martians



"Oh look. Those puny neocon Earthlings are planning World War III in the Middle East. Guess I won't need that Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator after all."









Via Daily Kos, we find Charles Krauthammer, who (naturally) thinks leaving Situation FUBAR is a bad idea. In the first three paragraphs, he dismisses the Democratic claims that Afghanistan is where the war on terror should be fought. You remember Afghanistan? The place where Osama and his goon squad were hiding out amidst a motley assortment of religious fundie freaks?

"Of all the arguments for pulling out of Iraq, the greater importance of Afghanistan is the least serious," Krauthammer says. In truth, he insists, Afghanistan is not as important as Situation FUBAR.

Yeah, I responded to that with a big "Whuh?" too.

It would all be just another pile of wrongheaded neocon slop if Krauthammer didn't start channeling the Weekly World News:

Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents. One is in Afghanistan, a geographically marginal backwater with no resources and no industrial or technological infrastructure. The other is in Iraq, one of the three principal Arab states, with untold oil wealth, an educated population, an advanced military and technological infrastructure that, though suffering decay in the later years of Saddam Hussein's rule, could easily be revived if it falls into the right (i.e., wrong) hands. Add to that the fact that its strategic location would give its rulers inordinate influence over the entire Persian Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf states. Then ask your Martian: Which is the more important battle? He would not even understand why you are asking the question.


Well, maybe he would if you had a Martian-to-English dictionary, but that's beside the point.


"Of course, as a Martian, I have no idea why Mr. Krauthammer is asking this question, either. Before the United States invaded Iraq, the latter nation had nothing to do with the war on terror. As you Earthlings would say, 'Duh.' The only reason anyone mentions 'Iraq' and 'war on terror' in the same sentence is because Mr. Krauthammer and his fellow neocons did so."

Methinks Krauthammer et al. don't like being reminded of Afghanistan, it seems. I mean, Krauthammer conveniently forgets that we abandoned a crumbling wreck of a nation, worn out by years of war, to invade a tin-pot dictatorship that even he admits was collapsing from within. Folks, this is like eating at Wendy's instead of McDonald's.

And in his sniffy dismissal of Afghanistan as the "backwater" of Central Asia, he ignores the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline. You read that correctly. Trans-AFGHANISTAN Pipeline. And what is this pipeline?

The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAP or TAPI) is a proposed natural gas pipeline being developed by the Asian Development Bank. The pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India.

The 1,680 km pipeline will run from the Dauletabad gas field to Afghanistan. From there TAPI will be constructed alongside the highway running from Herat to Kandahar, and then via Quetta and Multan in Pakistan. The final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between Pakistan and India. The pipeline will be 1,420 mm in diameter with a working pressure of 100 atm and the capacity of 33 billion cubic meter (bcm) of natural gas annually. Six compressor stations are to be constructed along the pipeline. The cost of this international infrastructure is estimated at US$3.5 billion (2005 figures). Proponents of the project see it as a modern continuation of the Silk Road. The Afghan government is expected to receive 8% of the project's revenue.

Sounds like Afghanistan has some strategic importance after all, if it's got the 21st century version of the Silk Road running right through it. Maybe it would be a good idea for the country to have a stable government and infrastructure, hmmmmmm?

Back to Krauthammer:

Osama bin Laden, the one whose presence in Afghanistan (or some cave on the border) presumably makes it the central front in the war on terror, has been explicit that "the most . . . serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War that is raging in Iraq." Al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri, has declared that Iraq "is now the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era."

And why do you think that is, Charlie? Because U.S. troops are there, that's why. You and your neocon pals keep babbling about how al Qaeda is now drawn to Situation FUBAR like flies to cow pies. It wasn't that way before 2003. Gee, Charlie why do you think that is?

Also noted is Krauthammer's sniffy use of the word "presumably." As in: "Osama bin Laden, the one whose presence in Afghanistan (or some cave on the border) presumably makes it the central front in the war on terror." That's right, the place where the terrorist mastermind himself leader is hiding isn't that important in the war on terror.






"Gah, the stupid...it burns!"








Krauthammer continues:

You can argue about our role in creating this new front and question whether it was worth taking that risk to topple Saddam Hussein. But you cannot reasonably argue that in 2007 Iraq is not the most critical strategic front in the war on terrorism. There's no escaping its centrality.

How nice. Krauthammer acknowledges this nation's role creating in Situation FUBAR amidst all the talking points. He does not, however, make a good case for sticking it out. He does not acknowledge that the presence of US troops might actually exacerbate problems. As the above-linked Kossack puts it:

Krauthammer's Martian might point out that the current chaos in Iraq was widely predicted before the war, and he might ask why our military and political leaders failed to listen to the experts who said that the removal of Saddam could very well unleash sectarian violence and revenge killings against the minority sunnis who had dominated the Shia under Baath party rule. Our Martian might ask why anyone would listen to Richard Perle and Bill Kristol instead of people who actually knew something about the Middle East? And he would certainly be able to see, looking back, that we've made a huge mess of things, and that there is no good solution to the current situation.

It's sort of telling that Krauthammer has to imagine conversations with Martians to make a point. It's not like he has any real-world, Earth-based evidence to back him up, you know.


"I don't care what he says. I've never met this man. In fact, he makes me very, very angry!"

Friday, March 30, 2007

Michael Savage, Islamofascist sympathizer

Shorter Michael Savage: "Y'know, I think these Islamic fundie freaks are actually pretty cool!"

If this guy weren't a pathological liberal-hater, he'd probably be on an FBI watch list right now.

Prog blog time!

It's England's weirdest prog band. The only major prog band to feature flute solos on almost every song. The only prog band to win a heavy metal Grammy. The only prog band to have a keyboardist who underwent a sex change. The band, of course, is Jethro Tull. This is Ian Anderson and company in 1973.

Random things I wonder about

Why do we have to wait until 2008 for the next season of Battlestar Galactica?

Why is Guns 'n' Roses still on Geffen when there's still no sign of this mythical Chinese Democracy album? Why do they keep throwing money at Axl? Why don't they just drop the schmuck?

In all the discussion regarding Anna Nicole, why hasn't anyone asked the most important question: What was this woman famous for?

Why did it take so long for New York City to start work on that Second Avenue subway line it's needed for, like, forever?

Why is Ed, Edd, and Eddy still on the air?

Why isn't The Powerpuff Girls still on the air?

Is that just me, or is a synth-pop version of "Come On Eileen" being used for VH1's Classic Rock channel?

Why would any sick fuck poison pet food?

Why does D.C. Comics keep revising continuity?

Why does Marvel Comics do a retcon on the Scarlet Witch?

Why has Rod Stewart put out an album of 1970s radio hits? Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't he a big rock star back then? And aren't most of his hits up to 1975 or so leagues above most of the stuff he sings here?

Where the fuck is Aretha Franklin? Why hasn't she put out any new music in years?

Am I the only one to notice that "All You Need Is Love" nicks the opening bar of the French national anthem? What did the French have to say about this?

Who told Karl Rove he should try rapping?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Does anyone remember laughter?

In the 1990s, I was that nerdiest of nerds: a Usenet sci-fi television geek. I argued over the merits of various shows. I wrote fan fiction. I hung around chat boards and chat rooms. Some Usenetters became online buddies; others started out as adversaries and became buddies; one or two stayed adversaries. Those people in the first and second categories were and are cool folks; as for the few in the third, well, screw them. They don't know what they missed.

Originally, I was one of those posters who became a little, uh, too emotionally involved in Usenet. It happens to everyone, and looking back, I suspect I did get too vehement or strident or even, on occasion, misguided. Eventually, I just outgrew that and tried to remind myself to have some perspective. (Of course, I ventured onto a couple of political Usenet groups as well...and THAT, in retrospect, was asking for trouble. Ah well. I was a newbie then.)

Over in SF fandom, there was a handful of unpleasant, annoying, sociopathic trolls who stuck around Usenet and the bulletin boards like zits that just wouldn't go away. Nobody liked these people. They didn't say anything good about anybody. They insulted the creators of TV series and net-stalked Usenet posters. In short, they were the sort of people William Shatner was speaking of when he cried, "Get...a...life!"

Everyone was outraged by these trolls. Me, I found them to be unintentionally hilarious in their mean-spirited zeal. They were snotty. They had delusions of grandeur. They were very, very easy to mock. And someone had to mock them. So I did. I wrote joke posts and song parodies about them. And I discovered that on Usenet, humor could be very, very effective when an argument got too heated. If there was a flame war, I'd reply with a non sequitur. If a thread argument got too heated, I'd make a silly aside. This was quite easy because a lot of the arguments were based on nonsense; therefore, nonsense was the proper response. The fact that the trolls generally had no humor made things much easier.

I'm reminded of those trolls (who, hopefully, did eventually find real lives) when I look at today's batch of humorless right wingers. Yeah, I know someone's going to bring up P.J. O'Rourke. Where is he these days? In the Witness Protection Program? He's been AWOL for years. And he's about it as far as effective right-wing humorists go. Faux News' attempt to clone Stewart/Colbert is a bomb. To be fair, the network hired Dennis Miller, whose previous TV gig was also a ratings flop. But a Faux gig is like a consolation prize these days. In terms of exposure and name recognition, Miller doesn't come close to Al Franken.

The conventional wisdom these days is that today's conservatives aren't funny. For one thing, humor requires a kernel of truth to it. That's one strike against the current right-wing punditocracy. Moreover, today's right-wing "humorists" tend to rely on straw men and easily take offense when they're the subjects of mockery. In short, they don't really have a sense of humor.

Take Mallard Fillmore, for example. In addition to the aforementioned straw men, the strip's creator, Bruce Tinsley, is quite thin-skinned. You'd think that a comic strip writer would be able to handle being made fun of. Maybe Tinsley could've had Mallard tell the reader, "You know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

It's not just Tinsley and Mallard who can't take a joke. To be funny, you have to be willing to ruffle feathers (pun intended). Pundits like Horowitz and Malkin whine when liberals throw pies. And despite all efforts to paint Coulter as a prankster, a performance artist, or a satirist, it's clear that her blatherings are not a joke. Plus, I remember how she spat and snarled when some wacky students tried to throw pies at her. People who become upset over cartoons and pies can't really handle funny, it seems.

So in facing the nonsensical right-wingers, the people who believe things that aren't true, who stick their fingers in their ears and go "lalalalalaaaaa," who make up lies and then believe those lies, there's something one needs to remember. When you think about it, some of these people are, believe it or not, unintentionally hilarious.

Bill Maher once wrote that our religious wackos are funny, compared to the ones in the Taliban, and he's got a point. And that point applies to the non-religious wackos as well.

Yeah, they've done a lot of damage. Yeah, a lot of them are bigoted and downright evil. Yeah, they believe all kinds of scary things. Should you take them seriously in this respect? Sure! But should you take their beliefs seriously? Uh, probably not. These are people who believe cartoon penguins promote homosexuality. They compare George W. Bush to Theodore Roosevelt. They work as porn actors. Like Usenet trolls, they preen and fancy themselves as special. They stomp their feet and complain when anyone disagrees with them. And they're ideal subjects of satire and mockery, because they're both serious and wrongheaded. (Nonetheless, I'm sure the wingers spell better than your average Usenet troll.)

America today is like a fun, wide-open Usenet newsgroup that has been overrun and monopolized by the trolls. And this time, there's no killfile to weed them out. Faced with the trolls of American discourse and politics, wit and laughter are what we need. Real humor--effective humor--is based on sense, and as such, is the best way to respond to nonsense.

Late-stage McCain's disease

During the advanced stage of McCain's disease, the sufferer has completely surrendered his dignity in an attempt to please people. Instead, he (and the sufferer is usually a "he") displays a strangely childlike delusion that reality is much different than it really is. See below for evidence.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tony Snow and Elizabeth Edwards

Like Elizabeth Edwards, Tony Snow is now fighting cancer. Now, it's spread to his liver. Crooks and Liars sums it up best:

We give a lot of grief to Tony Snow (and not without cause), but as someone who had a cancer scare of my own, this is the last news any cancer patient wants to hear. And as we sent thoughts and prayers to Elizabeth Edwards, so too, should we send them to Tony Snow and his family, for what they are about to face. This isn't about partisanship, this is about humanity.


As someone who lost a parent to cancer, I couldn't agree more.

Wow, I'm really shocked.

The Faux follies continue. Looks like they're not taking recent events very well.



They must be using the Conserv-O-Meter to generate news content.

Further analysis from the Stealth Badger.

Introducing the Conserv-O-Meter!

When Li'l Ricky's done making his movies, he might want to consider investing in one of these new contraptions. If his soon-to-be produced film output doesn't succeed in shaping the nature of our reality, maybe the Conserv-O-Meter will.

Say, if Evil Bobby doesn't mind, why don't we test this contraption and see what we get?

Rick Santorum (cling-clunk doop-zweek DING!). Rick Santorum was elected during the Great Wave that Purified America in 1994. He was a champion of family values and personal integrity and all those other wonderful things that the newly elected GOP Congress promised when they were ordained by God's law to challenge the odious liberal rule of the Great Liar Clinton. Rick Santorum loved fetuses and hated sodomites, and for this, he had a disgusting sexual byproduct named after him. To compound the humiliation, he was voted out of office in 2006. Obviously, Pennsylvania voters did not recognize his outstanding moral character. His loss was theirs.

Eleanor Roosevelt (vrrrrrrm-voooooom-DING!). Bleeding-heart harpy with bad taste in clothes. Married America's first pinko president, who didn't know how or when to keep her on a tight leash. Luckily, our current First Lady isn't uppity like she was.

Jack Abramoff (durrrr-durrrrrr-DING!). Uh, sorry. We have nothing on this guy. Never heard of him. No way, nohow.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Rick Santorum, film auteur



I know; I can't think of Santorum as an auteur, either. Anyway, Li'l Ricky is yet another ex-politician who will. not. go. away. Not only is he blathering on Fox News and leading a think tank program on "America's enemies," he's going into movies.

You read that right. Movies. Specifically, two documentaries. Sadly, neither is called "Spreading Santorum."

The first project, Santorum said, would explore the relationship between radical Islam and the radical leftists in various countries around the world, including Latin America. It would be about an hour in length.

The second would be a longer, broader documentary that he said would aim to ''change the culture of America.'' He declined to go into specifics about the proposal.

Gee, my heart's just pitter-pattering with excitement. How's Li'l Ricky hoping to "change the culture of America"? And what's this guy still doing in the public eye, anyway?

Central to most of what he is doing, though, is his focus on what he says are the dangers of ''Islamic fascism,'' which Santorum often talked about as he toured the state during his re-election run last year. He said at the end of his campaign he made a decision o stay in the public sphere because of the gravity of the danger he thinks America faces from radical Islam.

Ricky blabbing about radicalism is kind of like Simon Cowell discussing the lack of civility in public discourse, don't you think?

Really, since so many of these ex-Senators and Congresscritters love the spotlight so much, how about milking all this for as much amusement value as possible? I suggest a reality series: "The Surreal Life: GOP Edition." A bunch of disgraced former politicians have to share a house together, and wackiness ensues. We could have Ricky, Newt Gingrich, Mark Foley, Katherine Harris, Tom DeLay, and George Allen. Ricky and Foley could be roommates. Admit it: the show would be a ratings hit, and maybe these guys could do some good for America by making them laugh.

(Via Susie Madrak.)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A sincere wish

Tonight's episode of The Dresden Files features Claudia Black in a guest role. As a "Farscape" fan who's also caught Ms. Black on Stargate SG-1, I have an honest request. Won't someone give her a series of her own? Since SG-1 is ending, she'll be looking for a steady gig. There don't seem to be any plans for "Farscape" films or miniseries, so how about a new TV show with Claudia Black as the lead and the center of the action?

Please?

I KNEW history wouldn't be kind to this guy

Fuhgeddabout that final Potter book that everyone's so anxious to pre-order. I'm going to be waiting for Glenn Greenwald's new book, A Tragic Legacy. If it's anything like Greenwald's blogging, it'll say everything that needs to be said about Bush's disastrous presidency, and it'll sum everything up perfectly.




If nothing else, it will keep readers busy until Doughy Pantload finally publishes his oft-delayed book comparing liberals to fascists. Greenwald's book will found in the Current Events sections at most fine bookstores. Pantload's tome, meanwhile, will most likely be stocked in the humor section or the remainder bin.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why didn't Nike think of something like this?

Reef is selling a line of sandal-cum-canteens. You read that correctly.



Sure to be just as popular as flatulence filters and sex toys for iguanas.

Cue the Lone Ranger theme...

"It's a dump, it's a dump, it's a dump-dump-dump..."

DOCUMENT dump, that is.

Oh, and quel surprise! Abu Gonzales was more involved in the attorney firings than he let on.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales approved plans to fire several U.S. attorneys in a November meeting, according to documents released Friday that contradict earlier claims that he was not closely involved in the dismissals.

The Nov. 27 meeting, in which the attorney general and at least five top Justice Department officials participated, focused on a five-step plan for carrying out the firings of the prosecutors, Justice Department officials said late Friday.

There, Gonzales signed off on the plan, which was crafted by his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson. Sampson resigned last week amid a political firestorm surrounding the firings.

The documents indicated that the hour-long morning discussion, held in the attorney general's conference room, was the only time Gonzales met with top aides who decided which prosecutors to fire and how to do it.

Justice spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos said it was not immediately clear whether Gonzales gave his final approval to begin the firings at that meeting. Scolinos also said Gonzales was not involved in the process of selecting which prosecutors would be asked to resign.


At this point, scandal fatigue is starting to settle in, don't you think?

Another day, another crybaby conservative

Via Badtux we find Conrad Black, a rich conservative Canadian who is now facing trial in Chicago. Selecting an impartial jury is proving to be tough because it looks like a lot of potential jurors don't like super-rich people:

Regardless of what else happens in the Black saga, the jury-selection process has already provided an extraordinary window into the way regular Americans, randomly selected, view their elites - not as heroes but as thieves. As far as Black is concerned, this is all terribly unfair - he is being "thrown to the mobs" because of rage at the system and, unlike American billionaires, he doesn't "dress in corduroy trousers" or donate his fortune to Aids charities. Black's lawyers even argued (unsuccessfully) that their client could not get a fair trial because the average Chicagoan "does not reside in more than one residence, employ servants or a chauffeur, enjoy lavish furniture, or host expensive parties".

Say, I thought these righties believed in personal responsibility. Nice to see another right-wing talking point debunked repeatedly, ain't it?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Some thoughts of an on-and-off feminist

As I've noted before, I'm sort of on-again, off-again as far as feminism goes. Some days, I'm pretty enthusiastic about it; other times I don't think about it too much. Yes, I'm a typical Gen-Xer who was a wee tyke during the second wave of feminism. And no, my mom never took me to any ERA rallies. OTOH, my parents did take me to a Vietnam war demo when I was an infant. My mom says there's probably a photo of me as a baby in an FBI file. But I digress.

Despite drifting in and out of feminism, I've always supported the concept behind it, even when you got the occasional nutcase. Katha Pollitt and Barbara Ehrenreich are, in my opinion, two of the smartest, most insightful writers today, and they don't just write about feminism, either. Also, I find anti-feminists, by and large, to be a noxious bunch. The men are often all-around woman-haters who think feminism made their lives miserable when, in fact, it was their own bad attitudes. Anti-feminist women, meanwhile, clearly have issues. Why don't they stay home and channel their inner June Cleavers if they think feminism is such an awful idea?

I firmly believe that, with the decline of movement conservatism, liberalism will re-emerge as a vital part of political discourse. I hope that this will be followed by another wave of feminism (a Fourth Wave, perhaps?) that will focus on women's issues inside and outside America. The Feminist Majority Foundation and similar organizations were among the first to bring attention to the issue of Afghan women--a fact that the right wing, in its "librulz luv Muslims & hate USA!1!1" hysteria conveniently overlooks.

At the same time, I think feminists need to be smarter and more savvy when addressing portrayals of women in the mass media. The whole "war on porn" was a waste of time that backfired badly. I edit erotica for a living, so I'll admit to some bias. Note that a. this is erotica written by and for women, b. it sells like crazy. Women LOVE erotica. The books practically fly off the shelves.

Still, I hate the endless parade of professional celebrities with more publicity than talent. I think the Pussycat Dolls have no business being in a recording studio. I don't care HOW hard the producers worked to Pro-Tool their voices. The same is true of Fergie, Jessica and Ashley Simpson, and Britney Spears. Speaking of Britney, you ever wonder how she was signed? Allow her A&R guy at Jive to explain:

Sony Music’s Michael Caplan admitted he’d passed on Britney Spears while he was at Epic. “She came in and warbled, ‘I Will Always Love You.’ She had a bad complexion, small boobs, I couldn’t wait for her to get out of my office."

However, Jive’s Jeff Fenster viewed a young Britney quite differently. Her package contained a one-song demo on cassette and professional photos, including a wholesome shot of her in a cropped top, sitting on a picnic blanket with a puppy. “She was the all-American girl you just wanted to defile and do bad things to,” he said.

Well, in a way, Britney was lucky. She may have been marketed to dirty old men, but at least she was never photographed as a murder victim for a reality show so that the judges could fawn over how ravishing she looked. Echidne has more. Man, this makes me appreciate "The Price Is Right" and all those other old game shows, where contestants didn't have to simulate drowning or strangulation to win neat prizes. What's next, snuff films?

On the other hand, you have Lindsay Beyerstein who's troubled a NY Times cover story about female soldiers from PTSD. Specifically, she's got a problem with the accompanying photographs, which look too cheesecake to her and appear to be out of place given the subject matter.



Why would you get a woman in jeans and a t-shirt to pose like a swimsuit model on a beach in order to illustrate a story about how she got PTSD in Iraq and went AWOL? I'm not saying it's a bad photograph. Actually, I think it's very good technically and aesthetically. It just doesn't make any sense.


Beyerstein may have a point, but this is a case where the representation of these women is not the issue. And I don't see the cheesecake. This photograph shows an unhappy-looking young woman suffering from psychological trauma. Her pain is all too apparent on her face. There's also an interview with another woman who was raped by her fellow soldiers. Shouldn't this be the real focus of outrage? Instead of analyzing a handful of photographs, shouldn't we be asking more important questions?

Because it can't be posted often enough...

It's Boxer, 1; Inhofe, 0

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Crybaby conservative alert!

What, two crybaby conservatives in one week? Yes, indeedy. This time, Doughy Pantload is sad because "Rome" is ending. The Galloping Beaver tries to help him out of his funk.

But, now that "Rome" is coming to an end, Goldberg will be free to take all this strategic and tactical knowledge he's acquired from HBO and offer his exceptional expertise to his favourite branch of the US military. I'm thinking he'll go for the Marines.


Whaddya mean, "don't hold your breath"?

Heifer International

Heifer International is a terrific organization. It's so terrific that, after giving money to them, I've decided to help raise even more money for them. Hence, the Heifer International donation button in the right hand column. Anyone interested in finding out more can click the linky-winky. Anyone interested in donating can click the button. Click away!

Prog blog time!

And this week, it's Pink Floyd, performing "Careful With That Axe, Eugene."

Blogthing break!

OK, this is a quiz result I can get behind.

You Are 50% Boyish and 50% Girlish

You are pretty evenly split down the middle - a total eunuch.
Okay, kidding about the eunuch part. But you do get along with both sexes.
You reject traditional gender roles. However, you don't actively fight them.
You're just you. You don't try to be what people expect you to be.


Now, this result is amusing, since I actually AM a Virgo. Only 73 percent, huh? Goes to show you astrology is a crock.

You are 73% Virgo


Now THIS I agree with. Maturity is overrated anyway.

You Are Somewhat Mature

You definitely act like an adult sometimes, but a big part of you is still a kid at heart.
While your immature side is definitely fun, you're going to have to grow up sooner or later.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A MUST-READ blog!

For anyone who still thinks Situation FUBAR isn't really FUBAR, please please please PLEASE visit Gorilla's Guides. (Kudos to Moxiegrrrl for the link.)

All of a sudden, I wonder if sending the Yellow Elephants over there is a good idea. The Iraqis deserve better than the Yellow Elephants.

Georgie Anne Geyer explains it all for you

Geyer has seen Situation FUBAR-type scenarios before, during decades as a foreign correspondent. Her most recent column is the best summation of Situation FUBAR I've read. Unlike the current generation of winguts, she remembers the war whose name begins with a "V" very, very well. (And no, Geyer is not a liberal, so that talking point won't work.)

My old friend Barry Zorthian, who was the official American spokesman in Vietnam and beloved by journalists, told me last week he wrote a memo to the commanding generals in 1968, outlining all the problems there -- and that they were virtually a mirror image of Iraq today. Then he told me sadly, "We could have had the same deal with the North Vietnamese in 1968 that we got five years later -- only in those five years, 25,000 Americans died."

But is the experience in Vietnam in any real way equal to the experience in Iraq? As a matter of fact, in many ways, yes.

Imagine if people like Geyer had been in the Bush cabinet instead of clueless neocons with no concept of the world outside their cushy think tanks. Things would've been a lot different, yes?

Crybaby conservative alert!

Actually, I suspect Tom DeLay falls in the cracks between crybaby and crazaaaaaaaay. Now, normally I'd hate to link to Faux News, but this headline is just too good to ignore.

Lay-deez and gennelmen...from Faux News...

Ex-Congressman Tom DeLay Insults Former GOP Leaders in New Book! Yes, the Bugman turns his rhetorical pesticides in the direction of Dick Armey and Newt "Never Mind My Sordid Personal Life, 'Kay?" Gingrich in his new book. The book is called No Retreat, No Surrender, an ironic title considering that's what DeLay did in 2006.

For more knee-slappers, here's Buggy Boy trying to rewrite history on NPR:

DeLay says he relished the business of "counting votes," but he doesn't miss being in the congressional leadership.

"It was time for me to go," he says. "If you'll remember, I was the only leader that lasted the whole 12 years. And it's a pretty grueling job – to be in leadership and driving an agenda against all the odds. And I was getting tired."

Right. That's why you resigned from Congress AFTER winning the primary, thus making it impossible for your party to remove you from the ballot. The possibility that you'd be trounced that November had nothing to do with it. Neither did those pesky criminal charges. Right, Tom?

I'm almost hoping this guy stays in the public eye for a while. The potential for nuggets of comedy gold is priceless.

The Bush administration hates Muppets

That's what I realized as I was following Bushco Scandals 55 and 78.2. Bush and his cronies hate Muppets even more than they hate liberals, Democrats, Iraqis, French people, the troops, other Republicans, and the 65 percent of the American population who's decided they suck.

Don't believe me? There's a word/image association going on in Camp Repuke to sour the public image of the Muppets by associating them with the Bush camp's cast of idiots.

First, there's Scooter. At first it seemed weird that a grown man could still carry a nickname like Scooter. Okay, maybe he has a boyish, playful side underneath that law-breaking, amoral exterior.





But then I noted people giving our (soon-to-be ex?) Attorney General the nickname Gonzo.



And no, I don't think anyone means to invoke the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson. (Does anyone on Team Bush know who Hunter S. Thompson is? C'mon!)



It's bad enough that these guys have to trash war veterans, loyal Americans, and other patriots. Now they're messing with the MUPPETS! Damn it, this is NOT going to be tolerated! After six and a half years of Bushco blather, they've crossed a line. They will NOT sully my childhood memories by evoking memories of the lovable Muppets! If anyone takes to calling Dick Cheney Statler and/or Waldorf, I'm going to lose it.

Uh-huh. I. Don't. Think. So.

From the "jokes writing themselves" department:

Via Bark Bark Woof Woof, we find the Newtster trying to restore dignity and propriety to political life.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is considering whether to run for president, said Tuesday the personal lives of White House hopefuls shouldn't be an issue in the 2008 campaign.


Note to Mr. Gingrich: Even if you weren't cheating on your missus while trying to nail Clinton, you need to realize that a lot of people won't accept a president whose first name is Newt. (Mitt sounds more businesslike, but still...) Really, these face-saving measures are a waste of time, dontcha think?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Welcome to reality, Mr. Hitchens

Via Parenthetical Remarks, we find that Christopher Hitchens has managed to stay away from liquor long enough to write something based in reality.

If people still took the guy seriously, I'm sure that they'd be applauding his good sense.

Please, try not to laugh.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Get me outta chilly NYC

I'm going to be in Austin, TX for the musical shebang to end all musical shebangs. Yes, I'm talking about South by Southwest. Nothing but summery temps for the next five or so days. Woo-hoo!

There's a solution to this troop shortage, you know

Following yesterday's post on those badly injured soldiers being sent back to Iraq, I'm going to join my fellow bloggers and offer a really constructive solution. The Yellow Elephants should enlist. There's just no excuse not to. If the preznit wants his surge, the Yellow Elephants should give it to him.

Chief among the Yellow Elephants being encouraged to enlist is Mark Noonan, founder of Blogs for Bush. Mr. Noonan claims that he tried to enlist after 9/11 but was told that he was too old. This could be genuine, or it could be similar to Tom DeLay's excuse that he wanted to go to 'Nam but a bunch of minorities beat him to it. (Drag the military and its affirmative action plan. Why wouldn't they take a butt-kickin', bug-killin' man's man like the Hammer?)

Thankfully, the powers that be have raised the age limit, so Mr. Noonan is now eligible. So why isn't he running to the nearest recruiting office? That's what a lot of people are wondering. Below is a picture of Mr. Noonan. Truly the image of a manly man.




Can't you see this guy in fatigues? What's he waiting for? Why is he farting around a keyboard writing a dumb partisan book that'll wind up in a remainder bin? (I mean, Caucus of Corruption? Could the pot call the kettle any blacker?)

But say, if Mr. Noonan is unable or unwilling to enlist, I would like to suggest another candidate: Mr. Noonan's co-author and fellow Blogger for Bush, Matt Margolis. Mr. Margolis is 26 years old and, judging from the picture below, looks healthy.



Indeed, in the push to encouage patriotic Americans like Noonan, we forget that the next generation of Bush cheerleaders have ample opportunities to demonstrate their patriotism. I should add that the infantry is not the only area that needs soldiers. The military are always looking for cooks, truck drivers, and medical staff. Thus, Yellow Elephants who are concerned about things like bloodshed and weapons and that scary stuff should realize that there are many ways they can serve their country. In the meantime, Noonan and Margolis' book is sure to make great compost for whoever buys it in bulk.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Oh. My. God.

Okay, I am now convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt. The present administration hates the troops. Hates, hates, hates the troops. When soldiers aren't sharing hospital rooms with rats over at Walter Reed, they're being sent back into combat even when they've still got serious injuries which, in saner times, would render them unfit for duty. Salon has more. I'd suggest that the Yellow Elephants enlist, but that would, I suspect, do our hard-working troops a greater disservice. In fact, I suspect that the Yellow Elephants would be crying to go home after sustaining paper cuts.

And the Preznit still thinks this surge is a good idea?

Even the Mayans hate Bush

Something more frightening than any scene from "Apocalypto": a visit by George W. Bush to Mayan ground. From WaPo:
Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits" after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.

"That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday....

Tiney said the "spirit guides of the Mayan community" decided it would be necessary to cleanse the sacred site of "bad spirits" after Bush's visit so that their ancestors could rest in peace. He also said the rites _ which entail chanting and burning incense, herbs and candles _ would prepare the site for the third summit of Latin American Indians March 26-30.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Prog blog time!

It's one of my favorite Peter Gabriel songs, "Games Without Frontiers."

These aren't real. Right?

This below was sent to me by a friend in an online role-playing game. For the sake of today's schoolchildren, I really, really hope that these aren't real. I mean really. Really, really, really.

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners.....

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Clevelandat 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

(I could understand an ice cream truck, but a garbage truck?)

Larry Johnson is a brave, brave man

Who else but a former CIA analyst who's gone to bat for Valerie Plame would collect a bunch of Fox News screen captures? "Sadly, the author regrets that not a single one of these have been Photoshopped," Johnson adds.

The second-to-last one, about NASA delaying a shuttle launch because of a UFO, is particularly, uh, interesting. Murdoch should just cut his losses and rename Fox the Supermarket Tabloid Network.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Crybaby conservative alert

It's been a while since I've blogged about crybaby conservatives. But this story is too good to overlook. Seems some people with too much time on their hands are mad at an Iraq war veteran's decal.. Basically, he served his country honorably but still thinks killing is a sin. The armchair commandos don't like that sentiment. Hopefully, the dude in uniform will tell them to simply mind their own business.

But seriously, if they're riled up by a decal, I wonder what they'd make of the words of this loony peacenik:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

Maybe Rudy should give it up

Something tells me that maybe "America's mayor" (must...not...laugh) should rethink his presidential bid. It's bad enough that the fundies are calling his split from Donna Hanover "divorce on steroids" and he's not on speaking terms with his kids. Via Parenthetical Remarks comes news of a sharp response to Newsweek's cover story from Rudy's biographer.

In other news, the International Association of Firefighters is also unhappy with the guy. Unlike Rudy, the firefighters--and police officers--actually worked saving lives on 9/11. And they're not happy that Rudy cut back on crew searching for the remains of their fellow first responders. They feel that "America's mayor" had...other concerns.

The 280,000-member union accused him of carelessly expediting the cleanup process with a "scoop-and-dump" operation after the recovery of millions of dollars in gold, silver and other assets from the Bank of Nova Scotia (nyse: BNS - news - people ) that had been buried.

Yeowtch. If this is true, it's not good.

Meanwhile, Giuliani's ex-wife, Donna Hanover, has maintained dignified silence. She has married again, this time to her high school sweetheart, and written a book about it. Ellis Henican shows Ms. Hanover some love and pooh-poohs Rudy's sudden insistence on privacy.

The former mayor seems perfectly happy to publicize his family when it suits him. Plopping little Andrew front and center at the mayoral inauguration in 1994. Wet-kissing Judith Nathan in a recent pose for Harper's Bazaar.

But when things turned suddenly sour, privacy was the order of the day.


Ah well. I couldn't see Judith Nathan as first lady, anyway.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Here's to a long life and good health, President Bush

(The open letter below is inspired by Pissed Off Patricia's "virtual group intervention," for the preznit. Hope she doesn't mind me adapting some of my comments for here.)

Dear President Bush,

I hope you live a long, long time. You deserve it. I hope you manage to outlive even your vice president--and I don't mean "outlive him until 2008." I'm aware that you are obsessed with having a legacy. Don't worry, Mr. President. You will have a legacy. And I hope you live for another 40-50 years, just so you can see what that legacy is.

It's only 2007 and already people are comparing 2008 candidates. You know what that means? It means people are sick to death of you, Mr. President. They want your presidential term to be over. They want you GONE.

Already you're considered to be the worst president in America's history. Worse than Buchanan. Worse than Harding. You know how hard it is to be even worse than Warren G. Harding? Harding is the name Americans have generally thought of when they thought of presidents who never had any business running for office. Congratulations, President Bush. You managed to do something really, really hard for once and succeed at it.

People who remember Watergate--including John Dean--consider you and your cabinet to be even more criminal than Tricky Dick and company. Watergate used to be considered the nadir of U.S. national politics. Not anymore. Under your leadership, America has witnessed a stunning combination of snarling venality, pathological hatred of the best America offers, half-assed decision-making, bungled logic, disdain for reality, and mind-boggling, jaw-dropping incompetence.

Your presidency has been marked by the sort of evil, corruption, and sheer stupidity that would make rinky-dink dictators of Third World hellholes look like enlightened leaders. You took all that loyalty and goodwill that came after 9/11 and you abused America's trust. You abused her military resources.

Your "war on terror" was a lie. You never had any intention of fighting any war on terror. You just wanted to follow the whims of assorted neocon goons with more graduate degrees than intelligence. And you want your legacy based on a ruinous war. Well, Mr. President, you'll get your wish.

Rest assured, your successors will likely undo everything you've done in 8 years of government mismanagement--if they're smart. You will stand as an example of how not to run a country. You and the Republican Party of the early 21st century will be examples of how partisanship can come very, very close to destroying a country. Chances are, most of those paid administration shills, criminal hacks, neocon losers, brainless pundits, and sociopathic hate preachers will be forgotten by history. If they're lucky.

But you, President Bush? You and your cast of idiots will be remembered. Oh boy will you be remembered. And hopefully, you will live long enough to see your presidency put in its proper historical context when future generations talk about a president who fancied himself a despot and in the process came close to destroying the United States of America.

Here's to good health and a long life, Mr. President.

Gonzales getting the boot? Would be nice, right?

In response to GOP Scandal Number 845, a.k.a. Attorney-Gate, Senator Specter is sounding a rather ominous note about Abu Gonzales regarding those attorney firings. From WaPo:

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggested that Gonzales's status as the nation's leading law enforcement officer might not last through the remainder of President Bush's term, pointedly disputing the attorney general's public rationale for the mass firings.

"One day there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later," Specter said at a committee hearing where a new round of subpoenas to the Justice Department was considered.

After the meeting, Specter declined to elaborate on that remark, but told reporters that most of the blame for the ongoing controversy rests with the attorney general. "It's snowballing, mostly with the help of the Department of Justice," he said.

Cue Beethoven's Fifth: "Duhm duhm duhm duuuuuhhhhm!"

(Via Laura Rozen.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A cat is smarter than the government. Whatta surprise.

Morning Martini guest blogger Fred the Cat makes a painfully accurate point: even the vet's office is better than Walter Reed. Given how much pets love the vet's office, that's saying something.

Okay, maybe Rudy's divorce IS a problem

First, we learned that Rudy's estranged from his son. So estranged that the kid won't be campaigning for his dad. Now the evangelicals have reservations of their own.

Richard Land, head of public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention, told The Associated Press that evangelicals believe the former New York City mayor showed a lack of character during his divorce from his second wife, television personality Donna Hanover.

"I mean, this is divorce on steroids," Land said. "To publicly humiliate your wife in that way, and your children. That's rough. I think that's going to be an awfully hard sell, even if he weren't pro-choice and pro-gun control."

As a New York City resident, I remember the distinctively un-classy way Rudy handled his divorce from Donna Hanover, with his lawyer saying he'd make her "squeal like a stuck pig." And I knew that disgusting episode would come back to haunt the guy. And it has.

Land noted that Republican presidential candidate John McCain has been married twice, but said the Arizona senator has acknowledged his part in the failure of his first marriage.

"It's a molehill compared to Giuliani's mountain," Land said. "When you're a war hero [like McCain], you have less to prove on the character front."

Karma's a bitch, right, Rudy?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The pay must suck if you're a professional wingnut

That is the only explanation for why upstanding, God-fearing conservatives (particularly male conservatives) turn to porn and prostitution to supplement their earnings. Even when they're manly men in uniform. How else do you explain Matt Sanchez, a.k.a. Rod Majors, a.k.a. Pierre LaBranche? Unlike Jeff Gannon, his comrade-in-arms (pun intended), Sanchez took the legal route, pursuing a career as a porn actor. A gay porn actor. A gay porn actor who starred in films like Donkey Dick.

DONKEY Dick?

Wait...aren't those DEMOCRATS?

And is it me, or is that a photo of Matt/Rod/Pierre next to Trash Can Ann on the linky-winky above?

Between the Libby verdict and now this, the week is shaping up to be great! Me, I haven't had this much fun since Dan Quayle was vice president.

(Via Scott EVill.)

Update: Whoops. I spoke too soon. Seems that Sanchez, in addition to porn, worked as a male escort, just like Gannon did. Meanwhile, Max Blumenthal dubs Sanchez, Coulter, and similar right-wing hypocrites Conflicted Conservatives in Crisis (CCC's). "CCC’s are aggressive toward groups they privately identify with, like sexual minorities or independent women, but they are simultaneously submissive to those who might otherwise persecute them," he writes. That's a nice way of saying that these guys all have issues over trying to be something they can never, ever be and all suffer from serious self-hatred.

A question regarding Libby

How do you suppose his fellow convicts will treat a guy named "Scooter"?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Having fun at Coulter's expense

The funniest thing about the fallout from Coulter's blathering is the hand-wringing and moaning that followed it from the right wing. Yes, the Reich Wing is shocked, shocked, that their favorite pundit would use a homophobic slur during a lecture. They were willing to let her get away with calling Middle Easterners "ragheads" at last year's CPAC gathering. And years before, they happily basked in her radioactive presence as she suggested that John Walker Lindh be killed "in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too."

But now, things have changed. The left wing is now--help!--laughing. At their favorite pinup. At a squirming Mitt Romney, who now has to denounce the same person he happily introduced to CPAC's eager audience. At dismayed right-wing bloggers, who're signing petitions telling CPAC not to invite Crazy Annie anymore. Because now the avatar of today's conservative movement has made herself a laughingstock--and that is why they want to distance themselves from her.

From The Nation:

So Ann Coulter called John Edwards a "faggot." All this proves is that the woman's gaydar is seriously on the fritz....

Ann Coulter couldn't find a homosexual at a Barbra Streisand concert, in San Francisco, on gay pride, if Elton John bitch slapped her in the face. I shudder to think what would become of her on Gay, Straight or Taken?

The article goes on to call Coulter a "village idiot" and suggests that Democrats not get "histrionic" over her ravings.

Keith Olbermann already had the right idea when he deigned to mention her last week:

She's one of the Global Warming Deniers, claims it's a plot by environmentalists to create a world "where they -- the beautiful, rich people -- live in their homes, and there are a few maids. Well-tempered maids will come in and take care of them..."

Maids, huh? Hey, Ann... you found your calling!


And meanwhile, Team Edwards has turned Trash Can Ann into their new fundraising mascot. Amidst all the debate over how to handle a whacked out sociopath like this ridiculous creature, people have ignored the most effective one: laugh in her face.

Coulter is a creature of the right-wing machine: a Scaife-funded stooge who parlayed a fondness of lame insult humor into a gimmick that made her a darling of the right wing. So when they shake their heads and roll their eyes, remember these guys were the same ones who'd sit back and chuckle as she babbled about killing "ragheads," liberals, journalists, and liberal "raghead" journalists. They made her, and now they're stuck with her.

And now she's finally overreached and opened herself--and the movement--to ridicule. She's in the same boat as Rush Limbaugh, who unwittingly helped Claire McCaskill win a Senate seat. She's the gift that keeps on giving for the reality-based community.

That's why conservatives so badly want to distance themselves from her. Because when we laugh at Ann Coulter, we are, by extension, laughing at them.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Prog blog time!

King Crimson, circa 1973. I think this is the Fripp/David Cross/Bill Bruford/John Wetton lineup.

For those of you sick of the old man from Nantucket

Following The Carnival of the Liberals, the inimitable Blue Gal has limericks galore.

Ann Coulter, Democratic fundraising mascot

Normally, Ann Coulter is so predictable and utterly nonsensical that she isn't worth a blog entry. Blathering in that weird upper-class hoity-toit voice of hers, she spouts the same variations on "LiBRulz R teh SUX0r!!1!1!" at the same lectures and on the same installments of "Hannity & Colmes." She's becoming quite boring, if you ask me...but not so boring that she can't be of some use to Democratic candidates.

She unwittingly volunteered for the job of DNC fundraiser when she called John Edwards a "faggot." Team Edwards didn't need No-Doz to stay awake during her ramblings. They decided to use her little outburst to raise campaign money. While Mitt Romney (who introduced her) is trying to distance himself from the twit, John Edwards' campaign crew is hoping to raise $100,000 in "Coulter Cash."

If the other candidates are smart, they'll follow Edwards' lead and use Coulter's outbursts to motivate future fundraising drives. Whenever she blabs about "B. Hussein Obama" (so his middle name's Hussein; what's your point, dimwit?), Senator Obama's campaign should pick up on this. Ditto Clinton, Dodd, and Richardson. (As for Joe Biden...well, he should just SHUT UP!) You know Coulter's going to make some comment on Richardson being a Latino. Richardson should recognize the "Coulter Cash" potential every time the woman opens her mouth.

And why limit themselves to Coulter? We could have Limbaugh Loot, Malkin Money, and Boortz Bucks. I seem to remember when Claire McCaskill thanked Limbaugh for her election victory, which helped tilt the Senate into the Democratic column. The Sierra Club, People for the American Way, the ACLU, the NAACP, and NARAL could come up with similar fundraising schemes. Coulter and her ilk could become the biggest asset the liberal movement has ever had.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Wish Bush and Cheney were this diplomatic

Switzerland invaded Lichtenstein by mistake. Don't worry; the Lichtensteiners aren't mad about it. The Swiss authorities apologized and everything is okay.

Interior ministry spokesman Markus Amman said nobody in Liechtenstein had even noticed the soldiers, who were carrying assault rifles but no ammunition. ''It's not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something,'' he said.

Santorum pretends people take him seriously

Last month, I mentioned Li'l Ricky is now heading a program at a right-wing think tank. The program is called "America's Enemies." I wonder if his new side job at Faux News is some sort of on-site research.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Okay, I'm going to hell now

I actually bought an issue of US Weekly. The cover story is on Britney and K-Fed and how he's suddenly a really cool guy and a good dad. And how he and Britters are going to get back together. No, it wasn't written by a squeeing fan. Yes, someone was paid to write it. Paid by whom, perhaps--Federline's lawyers?

Faux fury, indeed

Here's what happens: Some anonymous Huffington Post commentators post that they wish Darth Cheney had been offed in that nasty little bombing the other day. HuffPo deletes the comments. The wingnutosphere still flies into a frenzy of rage, trotting out those old "left-is-unhinged" talking points--even HuffPo's actions seem to suggst that the left really ain't that unhinged. (When LGF or Freeperland starts deleting similar crap, then I'll take their hissy fit seriously.) Until then, Arianna herself puts the wingnutosphere squarely in its place. Responses like this make me forget any mixed feelings I have about the woman. THIS is how you talk to a wingnut (if you must):

Before I get into how ludicrous this claim is, let me be absolutely clear: No one at HuffPost is defending these comments -- they are unacceptable and were treated as such by being removed. They were not made by me, by our editors, or by our bloggers. They were made by anonymous visitors to the site -- visitors that make up a very, very small unrepresentative portion of our readers.

Trying to balance the freedom and openness of the Internet with the desire to be responsible and avoid these kinds of outrageous comments can sometimes be challenging. But the fact remains: only a fraction of Huffington Post readers comment on news stories, and only a tiny fraction of those responded to the Cheney story in such an offensive manner.

***

This tactic of digging through open comment threads to find outrageous comments that can then be cited as evidence of "the angry left" has become a favorite of the swiftboat set. So much so that Kevin Drum has created Kevin's Law in reaction to it: "If you're forced to rely on random blog commenters to make a point about the prevalence of some form or another of disagreeable behavior, you've pretty much made exactly the opposite point... If the best evidence of wackjobism you can find is a few anonymous nutballs commenting on a blog, then the particular brand of wackjobism you're complaining about must not be very widespread after all." [via Greenwald]

***

So, please, spare us the bogus indignation. And stop trying to build an illogical but politically-convenient thesis on the backs of a few unhinged and clearly fringe commenters.

The faux fury routine is getting very, very old.

Awwwww. This is too sad.

Olbermann Watch is no more.

Read their "goodbye, cruel world" letter and try not to laugh.