Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's cat blog time!


Friday isn't for another 45 minutes, but so what? Another kitty, another blog!

On the OTHER hand...

...there are just some celebrity photos that you. can't. look. away. from. because. they're. so. ridiculous. See, because I am a shallow person concerned with frivolous gossip to the exclusion of all else*, one of my favorite online hangouts is the this message board. I mean, I learn something new every day there, about people I never knew existed.

Take Katie Price, aka Jordan, who's supposed to be a professional model but at this point is more of a professional celebrity. Nobody in the USA knows who she is, but in the UK she's a stah in the Pamela Anderson mold. (Confession: I kinda like the fact that Pamela has a sense of humor about herself. Even if her taste in men sucks.)

I Am Screaming and Punching Myself has compiled factoids and photos about the "the greatest celebrity ever"! I think this one has to be my favorite:



Yes, it's the latest in maternity wear for the MILF-to-be. Dig those stylish straps!

*No, I'm not really shallow. I just need a break from blogging about the ghastly doings in DC, and what better way than to blog about famous people's ghastly fashion choices? I mean, WTF is that thing she's wearing? A black bandage?

A thought on Lindsay Lohan

It's really sad that the girl's got such obvious substance abuse problems. But that scary picture of a zonked out LiLo really isn't newsworthy enough to make the front page of the New York Daily News or the New York Post. Drugged-out celebrities are not front page news. They're just not.

This is a Bionic Woman preview

Please God, if You exist, please let this series kick all kinds of ass.

"Daddy's friends can't tell ME what to do!"

Looks like that effort to recreate the Bush 41 presidency didn't go so great. Daddy's friend James Baker went through all that trouble to join a bunch of scary Democrats (as well as some Repubs) in an Iraq Study Group to help Junior. And what does Junior do? He pooh-poohs Uncle James's study group and calls their report "a flaming turd." Note to George Senior: if you'd just let Junior make mistakes and deal with them instead of bailing him out or sending your friends in to help him, this country would not have so many problems. Junior has never had to live with the consequences of his actions, which most people need to do in order mature. If he acts like a spoiled, clueless fratboy, that's your fault. Dig?

P.S. You should've let him be shipped off to 'Nam instead of getting him a National Guard spot. Maybe he would've developed a real understanding of the horrors of war.

(Via Morning Martini.)

Can we now say Bush is totally clueless?

One of the Preznit's tactics for justifying Situation FUBAR has been to compare it to invoke World War II and compare Iraq to the Axis nations. Why shouldn't 'Merica stay to help rebuild Iraq? We helped rebuild Germany and Japan after World War II, right? Okay, George, this one's a no-brainer: Germany and Japan were ethnically homogenous nations whose people hadn't been at each other's throats for centuries. They'd had at least a passing acquaintaince with democracy (Meiji Constitution anyone? Weimar Republic?), unlike Iraq, which has gone from colony to monarchy to crumbling wreck of a dictatorship.

And finally, George, we didn't launch a pre-emptive war against those countries. In fact, I believe Japan attacked us first. Well, those are just some reasons, but here's a final reason: Saddam Hussein, crazy evil dictator though he was, wasn't Hitler. Maybe Daddy should've spent some money on an American history tutor for you.

Well, it looks like the Preznit has tired of invoking World War II and has moved on to the the Korean War. Gee, wait 'til he gets to Vietnam.

President Bush envisions a long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq similar to the one in South Korea where American forces have helped keep an uneasy peace for more than 50 years, the White House said Wednesday.

Ahem. Allow me to refer to an interview from three years ago. (Yeah, I'm linking to Faux, but for once it's worth it.)

President Bush says he doesn't envision a longtime presence of U.S. troops in Iraq similar to post-World War II deployments in Europe and South Korea that continue today.

"I think the Iraqi people want us to leave once we've helped them get on the path of stability and democracy and once we have trained their troops to do their own hard work," Bush said Monday in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press.

So, does he envision a long-term presence or not? Maybe it depends on what history book he's been reading.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Time for a prog blog!

I love Amon Duul II and can't for the life of me figure out why they aren't more famous. Actually, I can: They're German. Anglo-American audiences are usually wary of Continental acts. Sure, you'll get the occasional one- or two-hit wonder (Golden Earring, Nena, Focus), who remain big stahs in their homelands and answers to trivia questions in America. Imagine a German answer to King Crimson or Hawkwind, and you've got Amon Duul II. This is one of their better-known songs, "Surrounded by the Stars."

See? He IS gonna have a legacy!

So says the Web site for the the George W. Bush Presidential Library!

Welcome to the future home of the officious George W. Bush Presidential Library. This patriotic website will serve as an authoritative digital archive, dedicated to preserving and celebrating the godly legacy of the most honest, peaceful, and intelligent leader in the 6,000 year history of the planet Earth.

It's even got him in his kewl flight suit!

(Via Texas Oasis.)

Cats rule (but you already knew that)

Someone should offer Fred the Cat a job as a network pundit. In suggesting what to look for in a future president, he makes a lot more sense than most of the bloviators on the air.

This is what a REAL journalist sounds like

Georgie Anne Geyer has written some excellent columns about Situation FUBAR. It helps that, as a foreign correspondent, she actually visited the Middle East and interviewed many of its leaders. It also helps that she is a real journalist and not a trained monkey of movement conservatism. For this week's column, she notes how fragmented, destabilized countries become ideal breeding grounds for terrorism.

And so, on the one hand, you have weakened societies -- "only spaces" -- that have become vulnerable to the "new answers" of "new insurgencies," and on the other hand, you have Iraq set up as a school for terrorists with American troops and policy providing the constant inspiration for their fight.

This, of course, is not the way the Bush administration -- despite everything that has gone so terribly wrong -- sees it.

They see terrorists as born, not created by history, bearing the mark of Cain, not the mark of circumstance. There is a scarlet "T" written on their foreheads at birth and the only answer is to destroy them. This kind of thinking, of course, relieves the thinker of any responsibility for the presence of the insurgent-terrorist-whatever in our innocent midst.

I'm eager to read Glenn Greenwald's forthcoming book A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency. Perhaps it'll touch on this aspect of the Iraq misadventure

One word: WHY?

From Oh No They Didn't:

HOLLYWOOD - Britney Spears' ex-husband Kevin Federline is embarking on a movie career after landing a part in Keanu Reeves' new film.

The dancer/rapper will play a "small but notable" role in the thriller Night Watch, opposite Reeves and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, according to In Touch Weekly magazine.

It won't be the 29-year-old's first acting job--he appeared in an episode of TV drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which aired last year.

I love me some Forest Whitaker, but putting him in a movie with K-Fed is like serving Big Macs at the Russian Tea Room. Unliess this "small but notable" role involves being punched out on screen, I'm going to pass.

To New Jersey: My condolences

Le Sweetie reverse-commutes to Edison, NJ for work. Today, George W. Bush paid the state a visit--some GOP shebang or other. Le Sweetie says today was a bad day for the Preznit. New Jersey's governor, senators, and the majority of the state legislators are Democrats. GWB was not exactly greeted with open arms. It took Mayan priests to purify an ancient sacred ground after one of the Preznit's visits. After today's visit, I bet Corzine will designate Edison a Superfund site.

Glenn Beck: Ratings flop

Beck owns incriminating pictures of CNN executives. That's the only logical explanation for a. his show and b. the continuation of his show despite lousy ratings.

Since Li'l Tucker Carlson also tends to flounder whatever network or show he's on, let me suggest the following: CNN and MSNBC should cancel Carlson and Beck's shows. Then maybe they could have their own news show on that last refuge of GOP shills. I'm talking, of course, about Faux News, current home of other right-wing also-rans like Dennis Miller, Robert Novak, and Tom DeLay. The wingnut suckitude would be concentrated in one place so that the news networks could replace them with real TV journalists and news analysts.

Anyone else think this would be a great idea?

I should feel guilty for this, but...

...it's always nice to see a reality-based community member rub it in the faces of clueless shills on the right. Take Larry Johnson in a recent blog post, appropriately titled How About Them Apples, Vicky Toensing? Li'l Tucker Carlson's dad, Richard Carlson, without whom Li'l Tucker wouldn't have a TV career, is still snipping about Patrick Fitzgerald, but one of the major wingnut lies about Valerie Plame has been blown out of the water. Once. And. For. All.

Valerie Plame was a covert undercover CIA officer who traveled overseas under cover. Patrick Fitzgerald's filings state this very, very, very clearly. Go ahead and click the link and see for yourself.

But wait! There's more! On page 5 of Fitzgerald's sentencing guidlines, you'll find the following:

At the time of the leaks, Mrs. Wilson in fact qualified as a covert agent within the meaning of the IIPA [Intelligence Identities Protection Act]. See, e.g., the "Unclassified Summary of Valerie Wilson's CIA Employment and Cover History"...which makes plain, among other things, that "Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States."

Johnson adds the coup de grace:

Suck on that you rightwing hypocrites.

(Via Bark Bark Woof Woof.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Quran--the key to fight FGM?

Contrary to what the Islam-bashers like to believe, a lot of the misogyny in Islamic societies has no basis in the Quran. It's either a. made-up crap that illiterates use to keep women down or b. local customs that are confused with Islamic doctrine.

Mind you, I'm sure the Islamophobes are sincere in their commitment to women's rights. So they'd support reproductive rights for American women...right? RIGHT?

Ahem. Back to the subject...Pseudo-Adrienne reports that Kenyan health activists are fighting female genital mutilation by citing from the Quran. Specifically, that the Quran says nothing about FGM and does not, repeat NOT require women and girls to go through with it.

So many anti-woman or just plain anti-human policies have been enacted in the name of Islam when in fact they have nothing to do with Islam. Perhaps the way to fight these "Islamic" traditions is to point out that they are not Islamic at all.

When disgraced GOPers won't go away

Okay, what the fuck is Tom DeLay doing still hanging around Washington, DC? He left Congress in disgrace. He embarassed his party. He all but guaranteed that a Democrat would take his seat because he resigned after winning the primary, and the GOP couldn't get him off the ballot. You'd think that he would be scared to show his face among his former partners in crime (pun intended). But no. As The New Yorker checks in on Washington's own Dark Lords of the Sith, it seems Tom DeLay still has friends on Capitol Hill.

The Schiavo case was one of my proudest moments in Congress,” Tom DeLay told me not long ago in the basement grill room of the Capitol Hill Club, a Republican retreat, where congressmen and senators can mix with lobbyists, a number of whom are former congressmen. DeLay was tan and smiling and tranquil, which was striking, considering that he is currently under indictment in Texas on money-laundering charges, and that many Republicans blame him for allowing a culture of corruption to thrive when he led the Republican caucus.

Not that those Republicans were terribly vocal about said culture of corruption when Tommy Boy was majority leader.

Oooooooh, but here it gets good! What are Tommy Boy's plans now? Besides pretending that reality is something other than what it really is? Well, let's listen...

DeLay says that when, in the coming years, he is not fighting the indictment in Texas (he insists that he is not guilty) he will be building a conservative grass-roots equivalent of MoveOn.org. “God has spoken to me,” he said. “I listen to God, and what I’ve heard is that I’m supposed to devote myself to rebuilding the conservative base of the Republican Party, and I think we shouldn’t be underestimated.”

See? I told you he's living in his own universe! Tommy, if God ever spoke to you, I'm sure the first thing he'd say would be, "Do America a favor. Get out of politics and stay out."

However, I'm eager to see this right-wing version of MoveOn.org that he's so eager about. Will he be running this little grassroots operation from his prison cell when he isn't busy scrubbing the floors of prison bathrooms?

Occasionally, I'll hop over to Amazon to read the reviews of that book of his--what's it called again? I Retreated and Surrendered? Yeah, that's it. The reviews are divided between the one-star pans ("Tom DeLay is a disgrace and he probably didn't really write this book, anyway.") to the gushing five-star raves ("Tom DeLay 4 PREZIDENT!!1!1!"). But the saddest cases are the people who sign their real, given names to their five-star reviews. Seriously, what kind of sad individual would publicly reveal him/herself to be a DeLay cheerleader? Isn't that kind of like picking your nose at a black tie dinner or farting in a crowded elevator? Are these people really so clueless and/or ignorant? Who knows? It's funny to read, that's all I'll say.

Punk blogging time!

Man, I loved L7. I saw them some time circa 1993/1994, and, needless to say, they rawked. Donita Sparks is working on a solo project, but she's been talking about it for a while now, and I so can't wait to hear it.

In the meantime, one of my favorite L7 tunes, "Monster."

Yet another crybaby conservative alert!

When in doubt, blame the (allegedly liberal) media.

Departing World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, in a radio interview broadcast Monday, blamed an overheated atmosphere at the bank and in the media for forcing him to resign....

"I think it tells us more about the media than about the bank and I'll leave it at that," he told the British Broadcasting Corp. "People were reacting to a whole string of inaccurate statements and by the time we got to anything approximating accuracy the passions were around the bend."

Uh, dude? I think that passions had turned around the bend long before that--like when you began canoodling with Shaha Riza.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thoughts on Memorial Day

In years past, I wonder how many people saw Memorial Day as an opportunity for:

1. A three-day weekend
2. A chance to check out some holiday sales on washers, dryers, stereo equipment, and mattresses
3. An opportunity to go flying frisbees and eating sandwiches in the park

Memorial Day is one of those holidays where you can't help feeling a twinge of guilt. Weirdly enough, it's one of the few holidays--apart from Easter--meant to celebrate the deaths of people who made great sacrifices. Nobody feels guilty about celebrating Easter. Of course, that particular holiday is full of pagan symbols to make it more appealing to little kids. But Memorial Day is meant as a day to honor our country's fallen.

Like so many other people, I've been sleeping in late, biking, and going to the park as the days finally, at long last, feel like summer. But in the back of my head are these words: Iraq. Situation FUBAR. Walter Reed. Troops without body armor. Clueless chickenhawks. A war based on lies and nonsense. No end in sight. This Memorial Day is more somber than Memorial Days past--as it should be.

Every Memorial Day, until this Middle Eastern misadventure finally comes to an end, people should be required to read this sad, eloquent editorial which originally appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2005.

Nothing young Americans can do in life is more honorable than offering themselves for the defense of their nation. It requires great selflessness and sacrifice, and quite possibly the forfeiture of life itself. On Memorial Day 2005, we gather to remember all those who gave us that ultimate gift. Because they are so fresh in our minds, those who have died in Iraq make a special claim on our thoughts and our prayers.

In exchange for our uniformed young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives, civilian Americans owe them something important: It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country. In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse....

As this bloody month of car bombs and American deaths -- the most since January -- comes to a close, as we gather in groups small and large to honor our war dead, let us all sing of their bravery and sacrifice. But let us also ask their forgiveness for sending them to a war that should never have happened. In the 1960s it was Vietnam. Today it is Iraq. Let us resolve to never, ever make this mistake again. Our young people are simply too precious.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday cat blogging!


Yes, it IS deja vu all over again

Badtux the Ever-Insightful Penguin has done it again. The Vietnamization of Iraq is the name of the essay, and it's all about the dangers of learned helplessness, whether in people, governments, or nations. Best quote of them all:

South Vietnam's government fell because, unlike Israelis, the South Vietnamese had become accustomed to being bailed out by the Americans and literally didn't know what to do when the Americans were gone. Iraq's government will fall for the same reason -- but much faster. Vietnam on crack. No kiddin'. When will we ever learn that giving too much help can be worse than giving no help at all?

Which is another reason we need an exit plan. It's the Iraqis' job to run the country, not ours.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Oh, goody

There are Pokemon reruns on Boomerang. I can't believe anyone would still be interested in watching past or current episodes of the series. At least Yu-Gi-Oh and the execrable Dragonball shows have vanished from the air.

There are lots of good anime series. Why do American TV networks usually pick the crappy ones?

Decisions, decisions...

Should I buy Gore's new book, just to put it on the best-seller list and hopefully contribute to pissing off wingnuts? Or hold off for the paperback edition?

Speaking of decisions...Al, SHUT UP AND RUN.

It's been asked before...

...but why is pink lemonade pink? You never see any pink lemons, do you?

It's something I've always wondered about.

Okay, maybe voting Dem was a good idea after all.

From Daily Kos:

Do you want to know why you elected new blood to the Congress? Because the freshmen understand why they are there and how to address the issues.

Democrat Chris Murphy, CT-05 (via press release):

"This bill is two inches away from giving a blank check to the President for this war, and I will not support it because it continues our commitment with no plan to redeploy our troops out of the civil war in Iraq.

"People in Connecticut and across the country overwhelmingly support redeploying our troops out of Iraq, yet this message falls on deaf ears in the Bush Administration. This bill may pass today, and the President may sign it, but I cannot support it. I was sent here to bring this war to a close, and this bill doesn't do that."

That's not so hard, is it?

See? The newbies know why they won: because voters wanted a change. It's the old-guard Dems who don't seem to have a clue.

Something we don't need...

A live-action "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe." Yes, I've heard that Joel Silver will produce this movie based on the 30-minute 1980s action-figure infomercial. (Oh, you mean it was really a cartoon show? You serious?) This sounds dumber than the live-action Underdog.

Speaking of which...the cartoon Underdog would whoop He-Man's ass.

And no, I don't want to see a live-action Hong Kong Phooey either.

Still not a happy camper

Okay, I do have one reason to be happy. I called my congresswoman--Carolyn Maloney--and was told that she plans to vote NO on the new Iraq bill. Senators Schumer and Clinton, meanwhile, are still undecided. I called their offices to urge a big, fat NO vote on the bill.

No timetable, no funding. Period.

Still...I wonder if there's a method to all this madness. The war is, as we all know, poorly funded as it is. If funds were cut off, Bush could try to pin future failures and deaths on the Democrats. I wonder if the Dems are somehow trying to cover their own asses here. Not justifying, just speculating.

Of course, the bill would only cover funding until September. Now, Dubya is saying that this summer will be critical regarding Situation FUBAR. (And other seasons or months weren't?) I've got an online compadre who's defended the Democrats, saying that we need a smart plan for getting out of Iraq, and continuing to lock horns with Bush when there just are not enough votes isn't a smart plan. I don't agree with this, though I can see her point.

I suspect that the only Dems who would possibly vote would be Blue Dogs, and I hope their constituents are giving them an earful. The bill deserves to go down in flames.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More Bionic Woman!

I've been reading about this proposed re-imagining of The Bionic Woman. Well, they've dropped the "The," so it's now just Bionic Woman. Katee Sackoff (Battlestar Galactica's Starbuck) is on board as the villain in the pilot episode. And this new Bionic Woman will be played by a British soap star named Michelle Ryan, who's done a Hugh Laurie and adopted an American accent for the role. The show even has a BSG producer, David Eick, on board. You know, I am becoming more and more intrigued by this new series. Get Lindsay Wagner to do a guest spot, write some great episodes, and you could have a hit!

More on the show here.

Bring. Back. The Deadline. For Withdrawal.

I am, to say the least, very, very, VERY disappointed that the Congressional Democrats dropped their demands for a pullout date in the Iraq war funding bill. Guys? You do NOT blink like this. There is way, WAY too much at stake. You hold the Preznit's feet to the fire and insist that if he wants his funding, he'll have to agree that we need to wind down the war. You do NOT give any appearance whatsoever of backing down or losing to anyone. No. I don't care if this funding only extends until September. I don't care if that's when the real showdown's going to start in Congress. We need a withdrawal date. Period!

The majority of Americans wants to leave Iraq. It's only a handful of neocons, chickenhawks, Kool-Aid drinkers, and paid shills who want it to continue. Olbermann's going to have one of those Special Comments about all this. I want him to be ripping the Republicans, not the Democrats. Dig?

La Hill has called on the Pentagon to come up with a withdrawal plan. Maybe she should take a stronger stand and promise to withdraw troops if elected. Pshyeah. That's gonna happen.

Pelosi has stated that she might vote against the new funding bill. I just called my own congresswoman, Carolyn Maloney, and was happy to hear that she plans to vote against it. Meteor Blades, meanwhile, claims that at least 100 Democratic Representatives plan to vote against the bill. It deserves to die a well-deserved death. Shame on anyone who thinks this bill with its "benchmarks" is a good idea.

Vote it down. Now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

All together now: Awwww!

What's more adorable than a Slate article about cute kitty cats? How about cherubic dolls?



(Yes, I took this photo with my cellphone. Yes, I need to get a real camera.)

Anyway, I collect Madame Alexander dolls--mostly the international dolls. The little sweeties in the above photo are Egypt and Israel. Egypt arrived Saturday, in fact. (I won her on eBay.) Yes, I'm harboring an undocumented Middle Eastern immigrant in my apartment! Anyway, as you can see, she and the Israel doll are sitting pretty on my dresser. Madame Alexander dolls--paving the way for peace between nations!

She's baaaaaaaaack!

Yes, I have managed to finish that ginormous but fun freelance project. I just sent it in; now I just sit back and wait for that nice check to come in.

Now that I'm back to the normal swing of things, it turns out that there is in fact a good side to Paul Wolfowitz's World Bank stint. Just ask AlterNet. My favorite reason: "He personally helped address the nagging problem of unequal pay for women by giving his 'female companion' a $47,000 raise." BWAH!

The ever-diligent Elayne Riggs has discovered a way to discern your very own superhero identity. Mine is the Golden Dancer, and my secret power is twisting enigma.

I've been peeking at Ilyka Damen's blog in recent months; she and her co-horts have interesting and thoughtful things to say. Via Ilyka et al., I've discovered Love Songs (Are for Losers), who has some sincere advice for immigrant bashers.

And finally, Adorable Girlfriend is throwing those corn kernels in the ol' poper. Yes, Newt "It's all the mean librulz fault!" Gingrich is getting closer and closer to announcing a run. The GOP primary can't come soon enough. This is going to be hilarious.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Blue Gal strikes again!

Blue Gal's idea for a George W. Bush memorial. I really, however, think it denegrates commodes of all makes and models to be connected in any way to the Worst Preznit of All Time. Maybe a sewage pipe would do?

File this under "WHY?!?"

Posh Spice is set to be a presenter at the MTV Movie Awards. Excuse me, but aside from Spice World, what has she done, acting-wise? Moreover, does she do anything besides appear in sleb magazines alongside Mr. Beckham? What's she doing on MTV?

When the going gets really bad, the really bad...

...well, you know the rest. Anyway, Senator Specter predicts that Gonzo isn't going to stick around for a no-confidence vote. He predicts that rather than go through that humiliation, Gonzo will simply step down. Of course, Senator Feinstein was the one who spearheaded the no-confidence vote. Specter's just saying, "Uh...Me too!"

Prog blog time!

Yes, it's the inimitable Bill Bruford, handling the skins for this very early Yes tune called "Astral Traveller." Steve Howe had just joined, and bassist Chris Squire is as sartorially challenged as ever. (What do you call that purple thing with wings anyway?)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday cat blogging!



All together now: "Awwwwww...!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Busy, busy me

Well, I have this major freelance project that's been keeping what should've been my free time filled up. But I don't complain; I just think of the big, big check coming as a result. In the meantime, a personality quiz:





Take the Villain quiz.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Because it can't be said often enough

To my mom, who will hopefully be reading this...HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

From around the internets

Via Kalilily Time, a must-see ad:



The Impolitic has discovered an illustrated guide to GOP scandals. So when's the pop-up book coming out?

Guess who wouldn't join his ex-bandmates at a Syd Barrett tribute? Roger, get over it already.

Avedon remembers when Bill Clinton as an actual outsider candidate who somehow made it when other presidential outsider candidates didn't. She also makes great points about how being antiwar isn't political poison like the right likes to pretend it is.

Quote of the day from Iddybud: "Patriotism is more than a tool for Bush to use to prolong his disaster in Iraq."

Happy third blogiversary to Mimus Pauly!

Via Blue Gal, I've discovered Daily Darfur, which follows yet another one of those forgotten genocides that the mainstream media is too busy or concerned with profits to cover.

Scott EVill reports on two big developments. One, the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica, which starts in 2008, will be its last. Sigh. I was so hoping that show would go for five. Please, let that final season kick serious ass. I would be a happy SF fan if it did. But wait! Guess which other '70s series is getting the revamp? Bionic Woman. Yes, you read that right. Bionic Woman. And Katee Sackoff (BSG's Starbuck) has a role as a villain in the pilot.

Should I or should I not look forward to a new Bionic Woman? I am still trying to decide on that one.

Muahahahaha!

I truly miss Dysfunctional Family Circus, a site that would come up with new, funnier punchlines for the comic. Alas, there are things like copyright laws and when TPTB found out, DFC realized the party was over. Here's hoping The Nietzsche Family Circus sticks around. (Via Elayne Riggs.

Sick of misogynist pigs

Well, at least one woman-hater is temporarily out of the picture. Joe Francis--he of the oily grin, the "Rapey Joe" nickname, and the Girls Gone Wild franchise--is now behind bars. And he's on his way to Nevada to face charges of income tax evasion. But never fear! There are still plenty of misogynist scumbags out there. Like Opie and Anthony, whose radio show featured some cretin raving about how he'd wants to rape Laura Bush and Condoleeza Rice. Complete with Opie and Anthony laughing and egging the guy on.

These two douchebags got in trouble a few years back with their "Sex for Sam" contest, where contestants have sex in public places. One couple decided to top 'em all by getting it on in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Opie and Anthony's show was canceled, but never fear! They were promptly rehired.

Someone explain the appeal of this kind of "humor" to me. I mean, my own sense of humor tends toward the strange, warped, and weird. But this. Isn't. Funny. I find Condiliar and Laura to be repugnant human beings, but there's no way I'd ever wish rape on anyone. For the same reason, I just can't laugh at jokes about assorted disgraced GOPers being raped in prison.

Haven't we reached a saturation point with these "shock jocks" yet? Why do these two particular schmucks still have a show? I wonder if, like Li'l Tucker Carlson, they have family connections and can keep getting rehired again and again.

Honestly, "shock jock" humor has gotten to be as old and trite as Henny Youngman on a bad day. In the words of Res Publica at the linky above, "I mean, really, is anyone really still shocked by middle-aged white guys who feel entitled to say — and be paid for saying — whatever murderous, woman-hating, racist, gay-bashing bullshit burbles up into their little minds?"

Rudy can't keep his stories straight

How does a socially liberal blue-state centrist Republican try to win over the fundies? Is it even possible? Rudy Giuliani doesn't know, but he's sure going to try. Doesn't he get dizzy from all that flip flopping?

From the LA Times:

On Friday, the former New York mayor tried to put the issue behind him with a speech to hundreds of Christian conservatives at Houston Baptist University. He called abortion "morally wrong" but stood by his position that women should have "the right to make that choice."

Addressing voters in general, he said, "You have a right to evaluate this in figuring out if you can support me, and at what level you can support me."

***

As Giuliani prepared to speak in Houston, fallout from his efforts to blunt resistance to his abortion rights stand continued.

His biggest problem remained his equivocation at a debate of the GOP presidential candidates last week in Southern California, where he said it would be "OK" if Roe vs. Wade — the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide — were overturned, and "OK" if it were upheld.

Rudy, knock it off. You're pro-choice, okay? Quit trying to please the Christian "right." You were never going to be their ideal candidate, and besides, most Americans aren't fundies. If you do what Clinton did and say that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare," you could win more mainstream votes. What's that? You need to win over the base to secure the nomination? Forget I said anything.

Thus far, none of the GOP wannabes show any interest in talking about how to reduce abortions via birth control or responsible sex ed. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise, however.

Can we PLEASE set a deadline to leave? Please?

If we don't, we're going to hear more and more stories like this, and it's just not going to improve. Dig?

Thousands of U.S. soldiers searched Sunday for three Americans who were missing after their patrol came under attack in an explosion that killed four other American soldiers and an Iraqi army translator.

The Islamic State in Iraq, an al-Qaida front group, said it had captured several soldiers in the attack, but offered no proof to back up its claim, posted on an Islamic Web site.

Ah yes. al Qaeda. Bin Laden's cast of idiots. Remember them? Sorry to sound like a broken record, but if it weren't for Situation FUBAR, bin Laden et al. would have no interest in Iraq.

And don't give me that "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here" crap. It just shows that the Iraq war cheerleaders don't care about the misery this occupation has caused for the Iraqi people. And besides, it's bad military policy. "Hey! Let's go start a pre-emptive war in a country that didn't attack us! Maybe it'll attract al Qaeda to the place! And then, when we aren't trying to fix the country's infrastructure, fight off assorted religious factions, and figure out who exactly is on our side, we'll find time to track down al Qaeda! It's a genius idea!"

The Iraqis would beg to differ.

Oh yeah, and today, Situation FUBAR offers more of the same.

Meanwhile, a suicide truck bomber crashed into the offices of a Kurdish political party, killing at least 32 people, including the police chief, and wounding scores, officials said. It was the second suicide attack in Kurdish areas of the north in four days.

In Baghdad, a parked car exploded near the popular Sadriyah market, killing at least 17 people and wounding 46, police said. The area has been hit by several blasts usually blamed on suspected Sunni insurgents, including a car bombing on April 18 that killed 127 people.

But wait! Iraqis are STILL better off now than they were under Saddam, right? Human rights have improved, right? Hate to pop anyone's bubble, but no, they haven't.

Why are we still occupying this place, anyway? As long as the US stays there, the country is not going to get better. There will not be a Westernized, democratic, US-friendly Iraq. In fact, my prediction is that by 2020 or so, there will not even be an Iraq. The Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds are going to decide they're sick of sharing national boundaries. If it weren't for a bunch of Westerners randomly drawing up maps and propping up governments, some of these Middle Eastern countries wouldn't even exist. The only practical solution at this point would be to stop trying to run the country and step out of the way while these differing factions duke it out.

No, it won't make the neocons happy. It won't benefit the US, either. But hey, that's what happens when you go out of your way to make trouble where you shouldn't.

Why do you think I keep calling it Situation FUBAR?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Prog blog time!

It's 1971, with obscure but wildly talented Danish psych-prog band the Savage Rose, singing "Dear Little Mother." Lester Bangs loved them and David Fricke also has a soft spot for them. The lady with the 'fro is singer extraordinaire Annisette. This was done for a ballet titled Dodens Triumf, which is why you see lots of dancers but no one else in the band save Annisette.



And more recent Savage Rose. Annisette's husband and bandmate Thomas Koppel died last year, but Annisette continues on with the band.

You mean they're SUPPOSED to be funny?

Blue Herald's Right Wing Cartoon Watch does for wingnut toonsmiths what assorted media watchdog groups do for Faux News. Here, you'll find Cox and Forkum, Eric Allie, and other far-right editorial cartoonists scrutinized. And once again, it becomes clear why the nutcase right wing can't do funny. As Blue Herald's Batocchio notes:

Comedians, artists and certainly political cartoonists tend to possess an anti-authoritarian, skeptical, irreverent streak. This makes the staunchly conservative cartoonist an especially odd bird. Flipping the traditional journalist ethos of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, rightwing cartoonists tend to ridicule the disenfranchised and excuse the abuses inflicted by the powerful. In some cases, their pieces literally spout the latest GOP talking points, revealing the cartoonists to be not independent voices, but merely members of the vast GOP echo chamber — not wits or critics as much they are hacks and shills.

Alas, there's no Mallard Fillmore. Then again, dissecting that strip's assorted confabulations, straw man arguments, crappy drawings, and disturbing lack of humor is like using a sledgehammer to break apart a pinata. And it would simply use up time better spent taking apart Eric Allie's work.

(Funny) Catblogging!



It wouldn't be Friday without funny pooty tats.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Reason #407 why record executives are clueless

This is the stupidest idea since the live-action remake of Underdog.

New "pawn shop" laws are springing up across the United States that will make selling your used CDs at the local record shop something akin to getting arrested. No, you won't spend any time in jail, but you'll certainly feel like a criminal once the local record shop makes copies of all of your identifying information and even collects your fingerprints. Such is the state of affairs in Florida, which now has the dubious distinction of being so anal about the sale of used music CDs that record shops there are starting to get out of the business of dealing with used content because they don't want to pay a $10,000 bond for the "right" to treat their customers like criminals.

The legislation is supposed to stop the sale of counterfeit and/or stolen music CDs, despite the fact that there has been no proof that this is a particularly pressing problem for record shops in general. Yet John Mitchell, outside counsel for the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, told Billboard that this is part of "some sort of a new trend among states to support second-hand-goods legislation." And he expects it to grow.

In Florida, Utah, and soon in Rhode Island and Wisconsin, selling your used CDs to the local record joint will be more scrutinized than then getting a driver's license in those states. For retailers in Florida, for instance, there's a "waiting period" statue that prohibits them from selling used CDs that they've acquired until 30 days have passed. Furthermore, the Florida law disallows stores from providing anything but store credit for used CDs. It looks like college students will need to stick to blood plasma donations for beer money.

Why this trend, and why now? It's difficult to say, but to be sure, there is no love lost between retailers who sell used CDs and the music industry. The Federal Trade Commission has scrutinized the music industry for putting unfair pressures on retailers who sell used CDs, following a long battle between the music industry and retailers in the mid 90s. The music industry dislikes used CD sales because they don't get a cut of subsequent sales after the first. Now, via the specter of piracy, new legislation is cropping up that will make it even less desirable to sell second-hand goods. Can laws targeting used DVDs be far behind?

More music-industry stupidity. Yo. Record label execs. Once someone's bought the CD the first time around, you've already gotten your money. After it's purchased, it is officially out of your hands. Deal with it.

I've purchased lots of used CDs over the years, and this just makes me want to head to my favorite indie record shop (Rockit Scientist Records in the East Village) and stock up on more. Besides, I'm sure that a. a lot of these used CDs are cutouts and b. it doesn't hurt the industry half as much as the paranoid nitwits at the record labels pretend it does.

Besides, this has to violate some sort of privacy laws. Is there an ACLU lawyer in the house?

"We"? Who the heck is "we"?

Yup. The Yellow Elephants are getting desperate. Now, a handful of rightie bloggers have adopted the new GOP tactic of invoking Saint Ronnie in their drive to prolong Situation FUBAR for as long as possible. Beyond that, there's more of the same in their rage at Nancy Pelosi. Blathering about surrender and jihadists and all that. Blah blah blah. And of course, the usual lip service:

I stand with our troops. I stand for victory. I support the President's veto and will urge my representatives to vote to sustain it.

Signatories to this thing include assorted twenty- and thirty-something Young Republican bloggers like Ben Domenech (RedState) and Patrick Ruffini (GOP strategist). Funny, I'm sure some of them are the right age to enlist. If they truly stand with the troops and victory and Situation FUBAR, what are they doing setting up online petitions and boring people to tears with shopworn rhetoric? Why don't they just go to the recruiting office? I'm sure that if more 35 percenters joined the military, there'd be a greater chance for victory...right? What are Domenech and Ruffini and their fellow young conservatives so afraid of?

And besides, don't they know that the government has been treating the troops like crap? Why don't they send Bush a petition about that? Answer: it's easier and safer to cling to an illusion of Bush as Dear Leader and war critics as teh Ev1L Dummocraps than to face the truth. Like the Bush reign of error itself, it's all about fantasies and illusions, not reality.

They should drop the whole "we" part of "We win." They're not part of any global war on terror. They're bystanders. They shout "rah rah rah!" and pretend they're doing something special for their country. They have no idea what they're talking about.

One good thing about this petition. At least Domenech and Ruffini haven't dubbed themselves "Aragorn voters."

Monday, May 07, 2007

This is so wrong, but I love it

This link isn't work safe, but it's definitely funny. Does the doll come with an orange prison jumpsuit?

(Via Elayne Riggs.)

You call this spring?

Okay, it had to be about 55 degrees outside today. It was chilly. Too chilly for early May. And I'm still getting over this stupid cold I picked up last week. Thankfully, I have almost eradicated said cold, thanks to a combination of Tylenol and assorted hot fluids. But I HATE being sick. And I hate it when spring doesn't feel like spring! Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70s. Please, let it be true...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Just give it up, George

George Tenet keeps trying to make himself look good set the record straight, and it's just not convincing. He was on Wolf Blitzer responding to Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson, and the other CIA agents who'd dubbed him CIA's answer to Alberto Gonzales. They said he had blood on his hands. He was really offended by that. They said he should donate royalties from his book to charity. He says he's already the head of a foundation that aids CIA agents and their families. I guess he's not going to give back that medal of his, either.

Talk about trying to have it both ways and failing.

Blogthing break!

Your Inner European is Italian!

Passionate and colorful.
You show the world what culture really is.


Never been to Italy, but I can go for this quiz result.

You Are 76% Happy

You are a very happy person. Generally, you feel content and that all is right with the world.
Occasionally, you have a down day - but you have the ability to pick yourself right back up.


Can't complain here, either.

Your 1996 Theme Song Is: 1979 by The Smashing Pumpkins

Shakedown 1979
Cool kids never have the time
On a live wire right up off the street
You and I should meet


Or here. I always had a soft spot for the Pumpkins. Billy Corgan's a humorless dweeb, but a talented songwriter.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Friday cat blogging!



Aren't these little guys cute?

Someone has to say it

Drifting Through the Grift reflects on the Iraq war, four years later:

Four years ago, there were plenty of good people who stood up and said, "this is stupid and will result in tragedy". We were called un-American. We were called un-patriotic. We were called traitors. We were right. You were wrong. Get used to hearing it.

Periodically, I stick my head into rightie blogs. They all look and sound alike. They're PRO-VICTORY! They hate the U.N.! They support the troops! They denounce Defeatocrats! They have pictures of the burning World Trade Center on their blogs. They post the names of 9/11 victims. They're the blogospheric answer to those gas-guzzling SUVs with the yellow ribbon magnets.

Occasionally, they ramp up the righteousness. Take one blogger who identifies herself as an Eowyn voter. Eowyn is the brave warrior princess from Lord of the Rings who disguises herself as a man to fight. So how is this person like Eowyn?

I choose to fight the war that is upon us. I choose to fight by blogging, I choose to fight by voting, and if I ever find myself in a situation where I have to physically fight for my life or for those around me, I will choose that as well. Terrorists would do well to remember the old adage, "If captured, don't let them give you to the women." Because we will protect ourselves and our families, and it won't be pretty.

It's telling these "Eowyn voters" don't choose fight by, y'know, enlisting in the military and going to fight on the battlefields, as Eowyn did. In fact, if Eowyn really existed, she'd probably tell them to quit using her name. (Besides, what's wrong with just calling yourself one of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists, anyway?)

You've heard all this before, right? Chickenhawk cheerleaders who spout the same crap over and over again, giving lip service to supporting the troops. They are strangely silent about overextended soldiers, lack of body armor, or the shambles that Walter Reed Medical Center has become. But boy oh boy, someone writes a book against Bushco, and they throw a fit. The Dhimmicrats/Dummocrats/Demoncrats/Dumbassocrats propose a withdrawal date, and they stomp and snarl. Earth to righties. The date is 2008. That's next year.

And besides, 65 percent of Americans don't agree with what you think. Yours is a minority opinion. As DriftGrift would say, get used to hearing it.

One last thing, before anyone wanders in and accuses me of being a Defeatocrat who hates the troops and wants al Qaeda to bomb the United States. I live in New York City. I was here on 9/11. I saw the towers fall. I remember the rising smoke where the towers had been. I remember going to hospitals, offering to give blood, and I remember being told that they had more than enough donors.

And I remember that smell that lingered in the air for days afterward. I remember how dead and dazed the city was. I remember waking up one morning to a BOOM in the sky and a moment of fear before I realized it was just thunder.

And then, when I heard Bush mention Saddam and Iraq, I remember I thought, "HUH?"

I wanted Bush to find the man behind these murders. He didn't do it.

I wanted Bush to track down al Qaeda. He didn't do that either.

Bush's presidency is one of things not done and directions not taken. He could've enlisted the rest of the world in this war against terrorists. America's not the only country where there was a terrorist attack, you know. He could've concentrated on Afghanistan, where the man who killed nearly 3,000 people was known to be hiding. He could've unified this country.

Instead, he took a detour into a war based on nothing of substance. He and his administration saw 9/11 as a golden opportunity to score partisan points. For them, it was the chance to fulfill all their fondest neocon dreams, and establish a one-party state while they were at it. Instead of tapping into the best America has to offer, they chose to pervert everything this country should stand for.

Long story short: Bush and his administration blew it. They failed. They didn't do what they were supposed to do. They lied. They made things worse, not better. The evidence is there, and it is overwhelming. Instead of clinging to their Dear Leader and their outdated talking points, these righties perhaps should ask whether the Iraq occupation--it's not a war anymore, it's an occupation--was a good idea in the long run, given the utterly disastrous results. They could also ask why New York City had its homeland security funds cut. Or why the Bush administration lied about the air quality at Ground Zero. Or a whole bunch of other stuff that they don't like to think about.

One last thing: if Tolkein were alive today, I suspect he'd be one of Bush's most scathing critics. And he'd consider the activists, the war critics, and the whistleblowers to be the real Eowyn voters.

More waffling on the GOP front

Looks like Tommy Thompson has changed his mind about employers firing gays.


LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Republican presidential candidate Tommy Thompson apologized Friday morning for saying in last evening's debate that private employers should be allowed to fire gay employees because of their sexual preference.

Thompson was asked by the moderator: "If a private employer finds homosexuality immoral, should he be allowed to fire a gay worker?"

The former Wisconsin governor answered: "I think that is left up to the individual business. I really sincerely believe that that is an issue that business people have got to make their own determination as to whether or not they should be." The moderator appeared a bit startled: "OK, so the answer is yes?" Thompson replied, "Yes."

In a telephone interview from O'Hare Airport, Thompson told "American Morning" that he "misinterpreted" the question and should have asked to have it repeated.

"That's never been my position," Thompson said, said adding that discrimination isn't acceptable.


Maybe the candidates should just move their campaign headquarters to the local Waffle House.

(Via Republic of Dogs.)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This has nothing to do with the GOP debate

This is the late, great Dusty Springfield.

Liveblogging the GOP presidential debate: Part V

McCain would appoint a Dem to a cabinet post. Someone other than Joe Lieberman. Then again, Lieberman isn't a Democrat.

Hunter offers more "secure the border" rhetoric. He's competing with Tancredo for the Minutemen vote.

McCain believes in evolution but also thinks the hand of God is in the Grand Canyon.

Giuliani has some idea of the difference between Sunnis and Shias.

Gilmore explains why he's a "consistent conservative." And mentions Reagan.

Does Ron Paul trust the mainstream media? "Some of them. But I trust the internet a lot more." He opposes regulating the internet. No argument there.

Brownback gives a stock answer to whether his religious beliefs affect his foreign policy decisions. "Everyone's beliefs affects their decisions!"

What's Giuliani's greatest weakness? He doesn't answer. No matter; a lot of former New Yorkers could answer that question for him. Brownback blathers about "big ideas." After all this talk about Reagan this, Reagan that, they're talking about "big ideas." Uh-huh. You know, Gilmore actually seems to have a brain and sense--which is why he won't get the nomination. I don't agree with this guy on a lot of things, but he, like Paul, sounds genuine.

Rudy supports an ID card for immigrants, as does Mitt. Brownback's against it. He's going with the "secure the border" idea.

Whooooo! Ron Paul is out of the gates, slamming the idea of a national ID card! You tell 'em, Ron!

It's the Scooter question. Romney thinks it's shameful that Scooter was prosecuted. Brownback's not answering the question. Except he says Scooter didn't break any laws. Gee, I didn't realize perjury was legal. Tancredo uses the question as an excuse to talk about immigration and borders and the like. See? I told you he was a one-issue candidate.

Paul says he shouldn't be pardoned. Man, is this guy on fire!

Brownback says Congress was right to intervene in the Schiavo case. Romney says no, but does say the governer was right to step in. Giuliani says the court was the best place to decide.

They're asked about whether it would be good to have Clinton back in the White House. Mitt and Brownback and the rest start spouting the usual talking points about Hillary, socialized medicine, Reid, Pelosi, legislating from the benches, activist judges, Democrats allegedly being soft on terror--the usual tired sloppola. You know, these guys don't really have anything new or worthwhile to say, do they? Maybe they should stick to talking about Ronald Reagan.

Liveblogging the GOP presidential debate: Part IV

To coin an antiquated term, the GOP hopefuls sound like a broken record. "Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan." "Reagan" is to the GOP candidates what "I don't remember" is to Alberto Gonzales.

Ha! Huckabee thinks it's "too early" to grade Bushco on Situation FUBAR. It's been four years, dude. Get with the program.

Ron Paul has to be twiddling his thumbs right now, wondering when anyone will ask him anything.

Giuliani is trying to position himself as a not-so-pro-choice candidate. Now, he says "you have to respect the woman's right to make that choice."

Tancredo keeps beating the "illegal immigration" drum.

Duncan Hunter gives lip service to alternative energy but doesn't really answer a question on "An Inconvenient Truth."

Ron Paul is asked about critical decisions he's made. As a doctor, "I made a lot of critical decisions." He once again speaks out on Situation FUBAR. He must be so frustrated.

Here comes the stem cell question! Romney favors it. Brownback is against embryonic stem cell research, saying adult stem cells work. Bushite response. Well, everyone's against cloning and embryo farming. Thompson says he can't really answer the question. McCain supports it. Paul says it's not covered under the Constitution. Giuliani supports it as long as no cloning is involved. Tancredo is against federal funding.

Romney loves Massachusett's healthcare plan, even though conservatives hate it. He utters more blah blah blah on the market. The market can't handle healthcare, dude.

McCain believes in making Bush's tax cuts permanent. He says the government should cut spending, even if we are in Iraq. Senator, what color is the sky in your world?

GOP and taxes are like oil and water, so you can bet most of these guys have no clue on how to fix the tax code in the US. Okay, let's just ask Ron Paul so we can hear him say that the IRS needs to be dumped. Then we can go on to the next subject.

Liveblogging the GOP presidential debate: Part III

Here comes the fun part: the values segment! Wheeee!

All the GOPers say that it would great if Roe vs. Wade was overturned. Including Mitt the faux moderate. Even Rudy would be okay with it. They really want those fundie votes, don't they? Now, Mitt is saying he "changed his mind" about abortion. Did he change his mind last year, perchance?

Conservative white dudes talking about abortion. Warms your heart, doesn't it? Doesn't Brownback sound soooooo sincere talking about how much he values life?

And meanwhile, Rudy is tripping over his own abortion position.

Is it just me, or is McCain really twitchy tonight?

No wonder they're trying to steer the debate back to international affairs and political vision. This social values stuff is really, really tricky for them.

Good ole Ron Paul. He's the only sincere candidate up there. Can't say I totally agree with this dude, but he's for real.

Thompson thinks employers should have the right to fire gay people. How nice. Fuckwad.

More empty-suit posturing from Mitt Romney. If this weren't a live event, I'd fast-forward through his segments. My brother, the Brookline, MA resident, said this guy was a total opportunist. My brother tends to be right about things.

Huckabee has a problem with anyone who says faith doesn't influence his point of view. And now it's his turn to get tangled in his opinions.

Earth to Brownback! Nobody's trying to drive faith out of the public square. You and the fundies already know this.

Why is Duncan Hunter running, anyway? This guy has the charisma of a yam. Why does Tweety keep asking Gilmore questions?

One good thing about Tancredo: at least he wouldn't hire Karl Rove.

BWAH! Rudy says that the increase of fundies in the GOP is a good thing and then he changes the subject.

Reagan this, Reagan that. You know guys, this isn't the 1980s anymore. Get with it.

Note to Brownback: It's not "Democrat" members. It's "Democratic" members. And when you're asked about GOP scandals, "Democrats do it tooooooo!" isn't a good response.

When will Tweety let Ron Paul speak, anyway?

Liveblogging the GOP presidential debate: Part II

McCain, thankfully, is not singing "Bomb bomb bomb Iran" tonight. And Rudy acknowledges that bombing Iran would be a bad idea.

Gilmore's being asked about Osama bin Laden. Unlike Mitt Romney, Gilmore believes we need to catch the guy. Once again, Mitt has flip-flopped. He thinks it's important to catch bin Laden after all! And now there's the straw man: he accuses Dems of believing the war on terror is all about one person. No one said that, Mitt.

McCain says he'll "follow [bin Laden] to the gates of Hell."

Romney is such a vapid individual. Yup, he's a shoo-in for the nomination.

Oh boy. Someone from NYC asked Giuliani whether he regretted his dealings with African-Americans when he was mayor. He says he tries to treat everyone the same. Psssh. Right.

It's a global warming question! Huckabee doesn't even say if he believes it exists. But he does say he believes in leaving the world in better shape than we found it.

Duncan says he considers himself a "compassionate conservative like President Bush." I suspect this is a joke question. Anyway, now Duncan's changed the subject to Iran.

Ron Paul says he'd work to phase out the IRS. Yes, he sounds like a true hardcore libertarian.

Liveblogging the GOP presidential debate: Part I

Nice. Chris Matthews is singing the praises of the Reagan Library. And Nancy Reagan is hosting. I suspect she'll be interested in what these guys have to say about stem cell research.

Gah. The library is one ugly building. Bleh. And of course, judging from the background music, you'd think it was the Oscars.

Okay, Tweety. Try to avoid fawning over these guys, willya?

8 PM. Rudy says we should "get back to optimism." Of course, Rudy is the epitome of optimistic spirit. Except not. Rudy, you didn't govern via optimism. You governed the city by being a hardass.

Oh goody. McCain on Situation FUBAR. He needs the support of the American people, or so he says. That's a tall order, dude. And he's pretending to speak for the troops. And he's spouting the same lame talking points Bush is. Gee, dude, maybe you can explain what you'd do different. *chirping crickets*

Well, Thompson has suggested that Iraqis be allowed to vote on whether American troops should stay. Uh, Tom? I don't think we need a vote to determine their opinion.

This is sad. We're on Duncan Hunter, and he's isn't saying anything new, either. Romney, meanwhile, has revealed himself to be just an empty suit. Which, I'm sure, endears him to GOP power brokers. And Brownback talks about "moderate Muslim regimes" who work with the US. These regimes include dictatorships like Egypt and Pakistan, dude.

With any of these guys in the Oval Office, you could probably expect to see the US in Iraq until 2020.

Huckabee, at least, says he would've sacked Rummy before the election. Does he mean September 2006 or, uh, some time in 2004? At least he recognizes that Situation FUBAR is, well, FUBAR. Jim Gilmore at least has sense. Too bad he'll never get the nomination.

Well, here comes Ron Paul, the libertarian, talking about a noninterventionist foreign policy. He's the only one among the 10 hopefuls to be against the Iraq war.

Liveblogging the GOP presidential debate: Prelude

At a time when the pundit class saying that the GOP's fate hangs in the balance, there's something ironic about having the party's great debate in the REAGAN library. Seriously, will this debate be as polite and orderly as the Dem debate? Remains to be seen. I think I'd prefer to catch up on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends instead of sitting through the MSNBC countdown to the debate. Chris Matthews will moderate so there'll be ample opportunities for him to suck up to the presidential hopefuls.

The ten presidential hopefuls are: John "Like GWB Only Louder" McCain; Rudy "Never Mind My Private Life" Giuliani; Mitt "Yosemite Sam" Romney; Mike "I Heart" Huckabee; Sam "Token Nutcase" Brownback; Ron "Token Libertarian Conservative" Paul; Tommy "Not the Actor, That's Fred" Thompson; Tom "Single-Issue Candidate" Tandredo; Jim "Whathisname" Gilmore"; and Duncan "Why Is This Guy Running, Anyway?" Hunter.

Newt Gingrich is not participating, so we will all be spared listening to him blame the liberals if the debate goes badly.

Fred Thompson is not participating, so Matthews will be spared having to keep the Thompsons straight.

Chuck Hagel is also sitting it out. He hasn't even made up his mind whether he's running. If he does, he'll be the only candidate who a. is an actual conservative, b. won't have socially liberal views to downplay, c. isn't a complete wingnut, d. isn't a fringe or dark-horse candidate, and e. isn't an actor. Compared to the rest of them, Hagel is plain boring.

In other news, this alien invasion promo on Cartoon Network is annoying. Make those spaceships vanish from the screen, please!

Teen pop is dead, y'all.

Looks like Britney Spears' return to the stage was not the triumphant comeback her fans prayed it would be. After she kept fans waiting for about three hours, she came onstage for a a 15-minute set. She lip-synced five songs, did a few rudimentary, graceless dance moves, and (apparently) chomped gum. Britney can chew gum and lip sync at the same time? Wow, I guess she really does have talent.

File under "not even trying" is the title of one blog post. And Michael Ventre is rolling his eyes as he ponders Britney's remaining fans.

The bar for pop fans seems to get lower and lower. But now it may have hit the ground altogether. When a form of entertainment segues into abuse, it’s time to seek other forms of entertainment.

I don’t want to call anyone who spent that kind of money so that Britney could keep hundreds waiting for three hours and then play for about 15 minutes a complete simpleton. That would be unfair to complete simpletons.

At what point is it finally acceptable to call the girl a has-been and suggest she has a better future performing at county fairs and karaoke nights?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Something I just realized

I actually like Family Guy. At first, I thought it was tired and lame, but it's grown on me. I want to check out American Dad as well. Any show that features cartoon teenagers stealing the Preznit's underwear is okay with me.

P.S. Ed, Edd, and Eddy is still on the air. Crap.

Gee, Mr. Tenet, thanks for telling us now

As it turns out, the people who were absolutely, totally, completely right about the Iraq debacle at the very beginning are interested to read George Tenet's "shocking" revelation. Against my better judgment, I tuned in to watch Larry King and hear Tenet try to justify torture enhanced interrogation techniques. He pretty much said the same things he said on 60 Minutes, except he was less combative.

I have yet to read Tenet's book (I'll probably check it out at the library), but none of it is news to Georgie Anne Geyer.

Look, look! The very man who oversaw American intelligence during this entire disastrous period of planning, plotting and going to a hypothetical war in that remote country worlds away has now come out to "reveal" how much of everything was false.

But in truth, the Tenet book, "At the Center of the Storm," is old stuff. It only confirms what culture-savvy journalists like Arnaud de Borchgrave of United Press International, Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune, Trudy Rubin of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker and, modestly, yours truly, were writing even a year before the war started.

The media as a whole has gotten a well-deserved thrashing because so many journalists fancied themselves as press officers for Bushco. However, let's not forget the handful of principled reporters who were unafraid to tell the truth.

Meanwhile, Pentagon whistleblower Karen Kwiatkowski has just one question for the guy.

But never fear. Tenet has one, unlikely defender: Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com. Raimondo thinks we should refocus the blame where it belongs: on Bushco and the neocon goons. He sees Tenet as a patriot who did the best he could to resist the administration's push to war. (Of course maybe, just maybe, the article is a spoof. At least I hope it's a spoof.)

And what do Tenet's former co-workers have to say about all this? Larry Johnson and friends have already said their piece. Now, one of the letter's co-signers, Ray McGovern, adds more.

As we had learned early in our careers, if you consistently tell it like it is, you are certain to make enemies. Those enjoying universal popularity are ipso facto suspect of perfecting the political art of compromise-shading this and shaving that. However useful this may be on the Hill, it sounds the death knell for intelligence analysis.

They REALLY don't like this guy, do they?