Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Please, vacation, hurry up and come

I'm going to be in the Poconos with Le Sweetie and friends for a rather long weekend, so blogging will be light and/or nonexistent over the next few days. Needless to say, I am looking forward to this break. Yay, Poconos!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The neocons aren't going to like this

Even the former head of Mossad says an attack on Iran would be a bad idea.

Former Mossad Chief Ephraim Halevy told Time magazine in an interview published Thursday that an Israeli attack on Iran "could have an impact on us for the next 100 years" and should only be considered as a last resort.

Halevy, who currently heads the Center for Strategic and Policy Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, added that an Iranian attack on Israel would probably have little impact, because Iranian missiles would largely be intercepted by Israel's advanced anti-missile defense system.

Another former senior Mossad official, who reportedly served during Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's administration, told the American magazine that "Iran's achievement is creating an image of itself as a scary superpower when it's really a paper tiger."

So much for the axis of evil.

Via Firedoglake.

Speaking of Bill Kristol

David Sirota notes that the World According to Kristol doesn't extend beyond the DC suburbs:

I know it's hard for sons of Washington privilege like Kristol to fathom, but there is a whole world outside the Maryland/Virginia I-495 Beltway. Living out here and having just completed the majority of a nationwide book tour, I can report that this world outside of D.C. is actually a pretty interesting place. Maybe people like Kristol should visit more often before putting pen to paper and opining on the mindset of the nation.

Attn: Monica Goodling

Welcome to the town of Disbarred. Population: you. Really, the ABA should step in and take away Goodling's law license. That way, she can't do any more damage and can simply join Wolfowitz et al. on the Island of Misfit Movement Conservative Nutcases. On second that, screw that. She could be guilty of perjury, in which case, she could find herself in an orange jumpsuit very soon. Of course, if it would happens, it would happen after Bush and Mukasey are gone. It can't happen soon enough.

Of course, schadenfreude lover that I am, I'd be happy to see Ms. Goodling rendered unemployable and rejected by anyone who even thinks of hiring her. Even if it is a wingnut-welfare think tank. She could join Alberto Gonzales in a pity party.

Bill Kristol, professional buffoon

Note to Andrew Rosenthal: It's nice that your daddy was friends with Bill Kristol's daddy. But dude? You may want to rethink this little op-ed gig you gave him. Especially after his latest embarrassment:

Early Friday, I went to the Real Clear Politics Web site, as I do every morning, for my fix of political news and commentary. I perked up when I saw the third entry on the list of that day’s notable articles — “No. 44 Has Spoken.”

“Hank Aaron has spoken? Wow,” I thought as I clicked through.

Yes, it's Bill Kristol, professional papa's boy and perennial Mr. Wrong, pretending he's a Troo AMERIKAN!11!!1! He likes baseball! He likes Hank Aaron! He's trying for the same right-wing populist shtick that Rush Limbaugh works when he isn't spending his millions on Oxycontin and admitting he's a right-wing water carrier.

Said shtick involves Kristol being really disappointed that Der Spiegel was writing about Barack Obama and not Hank Aaron. Actually, I think Kristol made up the part about Hank Aaron, as Real Clear Politics and Der Spiegel aren't really known for extensive sports coverage, and Aaron retired, oh, about 30 years ago.

The column degenerates into a sigh-fest over press coverage of Barack Obama, and Kristol comes perilously close to Crybaby Conservative Territory.

Don’t the American people get a chance to weigh in on this in November? Maybe they’ll decide it’s more important to have John McCain as commander in chief than Barack Obama as orator in chief. Maybe they’ll further suspect that 200,000 Germans can’t be right.

I was cheered up by this notion.

But the next morning, as I drove around the Washington suburbs, I saw not one but two cars — rather nice cars, as it happens — festooned with the Obama campaign bumper sticker “got hope?” And I relapsed into moroseness.

All together now: Awwwwwwww. Poor widdle Billy Kwistol...

But never fear. Billy has been trying to think happy thoughts:

Later that day, I read a report of a fund-raising letter from Obama on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, arguing that “We must have a deadlock-proof Democratic majority.”


But then it occurred to me that one man’s “deadlock-proof” Democratic majority is another’s unchecked Democratic majority.

I take this to mean Kristol really had qualms about the GOP's hammerlock on Congress and Capitol Hill from 2002 to 2006. Right? Now here's Kristol trying to do his best imitation of a concern troll:

Given the unpopularity of the current Democratic Congress, given Americans’ tendency to prefer divided government, given the voters’ repudiations of the Republicans in 2006 and of the Democrats in 1994 — isn’t the prospect of across-the-board, one-party Democratic governance more likely to move votes to McCain than to Obama?

Now the dude's confused. Has he forgotten his party's recent history? Yes, the current Congress, which maintains a slender Dem majority, remains unpopular. But this has been no benefit whatsoever to the Republicans running for office. The current, wildly unpopular Republican president probably has something to do with it. And like the current slate of GOP senators and congresscritters running for office, Kristol avoids mentioning the big "B" in his current screed.

Now for some more wishful thinking on Kristol's part:
We’ll soon start hearing more from McCain about the deficiencies of today’s surge-opposing, drilling-blocking, earmark-loving Congress.

As soon as McCain completes his recent tour of supermarkets and sausage restaurants, that is.

And McCain will then assert that if you don’t like the Congress in which Senator Obama serves in the majority right now, you really should be alarmed about a President Obama rubber-stamping the deeds of a Democratic Congress next year.

Billy, Billy, Billy. Are you trying to set up McCain to fail? Because these nefarious Democratic ideas include things like health care for soldiers and reasonable time between deployments. McCain voted against them all. McCain didn't even show up to vote for most Iraq war resolutions. If you have your way, his Senate record will come back to bite him on the ass.

Someone give this guy a think-tank job where he can talk out his nether regions to his heart's content. Please.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The GOP convention is going to be depressing

From TPM comes another story of GOP disunity: Republican Senate candidates who are skipping the GOP convention.

So who said Republicans put party before country?

CongressDaily has more.

Among those who will not attend are Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, who is not close to presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is a McCain loyalist. Stevens and Collins will use the convention week to focus on their campaigns.

Since being in the same room with President Bush is going to hurt their campaigns, I don't really blame them. Against my better judgment, I have a soft spot for Susan Collins and her fellow Maine old-school moderate, Olympia Snowe. I just wish "moderate Republican" didn't equal "run-of-the-mill Bush rubber stamper" these days.

Also sending regrets is former Rep. Bob Schaffer of Colorado, running for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Wayne Allard.

Six others -- Sens. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Gordon Smith of Oregon and challengers John Kennedy of Louisiana and Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico are still on the fence. Their spokesman offered responses ranging from "there are no plans yet" to "no decisions have been made."

Translation: "If there's a seat somewhere against the wall where no one will notice me, maybe I'll consider going."

But none of the absentees or potential no-shows is publicly citing Bush or McCain as the reason for their decisions.

Instead, they and their campaign aides point to the difficult campaign landscape and limited opportunities to campaign.

"Limited opportunities to campaign"? What's that supposed to mean, anyway? Is it shorthand for "limited opportunities to campaign without reminding anyone of the asinine stuff I voted for under George W. Bush"?

I have a mental image of lots of people showing up in St. Paul wearing false noses, glasses, wigs, and paper bags over their heads.

GOP infighting alert!

From TPM comes the story of Alaska Rep. Don Young, who's trying to pass himself as a taxpayer-friendly Republican.

We reported earlier that Rep. Don Young (R-AK) falsely claimed that he was named "Hero of the Taxpayer" by the non-partisan reform group, Taxpayers for Commonsense.

But Taxpayers for Commonsense denies even having such an award, yet alone awarding it to Young, a long-time target of the political watchdog.

To be fair, Taxpayers for Common Sense did give Rep. Young an award: namely, the Golden Fleece Award for wasting taxpayer money on the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. In fact the silly taxpayer's hero award is given out by Americans for Tax Reform, helmed by the GOP's best-known Snidely Whiplash impersonator, Grover Norquist. And now Norquist is dissing Young for voting for--gasp!--a tax hike:

"Republicans that vote for tax increases are like rat heads in Coke bottles,"Norquist said. "They ruin the Republican brand for all members. It should be readily apparent to a former 'Hero of the Taxpayer Award' recipient that you don't vote for tax hikes."

According to the press release, Young voted for H.R. 2642, the Blue Dog Tax Hike-- a move that makes him ineligible to receive ATR's "Hero of the Taxpayer Award" in 2008.

We called Young's campaign press contact for comment, Mike Anderson, who told us that the bill was a lot more complicated than it looked.

"If you vote for the bill you vote for veterans and Alaska has 75,000 veterans, but you're also colored as pro-increasing taxes, but if he voted against the bill, he's anti-raising taxes but anti-veteran," Anderson told TPMmuckraker. "Young said that he had to take care of the veterans. Veterans have always been very important."

It's not quite as bad as when Michael Medved accused Limbaugh of acting like a liberal, but it's still kinda fun as far as GOP sniping goes.

How to win hearts and minds abroad

Years ago, during the waning days of syndicated TV (sniff sniff), I watched Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda pretty regularly. Show creator Robert Hewitt Wolfe cut his teeth on my very favorite show of all time, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Anyhow, the show had real possibilities, except the idiot production company decided they wanted to attract channel surfers and not build a long-time fan base. I'm not going to vent here, because even after I quit watching regularly, I still took part in Andromeda discussion boards and even wrote a handful of show-related filks. And yup, I met some kewl people online--some of whom were the show's writers and producers.

Among the DROM staff was Ethlie Ann Vare, a versatile writer, journalist, and TV producer. AND she's a fellow redhead to boot.

After the horror of 9/11, Ms. Vare wrote this essay. It's worth reading, if only to remember that the US government had an opportunity for healing and progress, and they utterly squandered it--with the support of too many Americans. Come January 20, 2009, we should seek opportunities for a new way forward.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yo, Borowitz Report!

From my friend Lewis N. Clark...

Senator Obama made a last minute trip to Moscow to
meet the new Russian leadership and then delivered a well-received foreign relations
speech to thousands of people in Red Square. Meanwhile, Senator McCain visited
a Vodka factory to meet with a dozen workers there, vowing "While Obama is placating
the Red Menace, I will never let the Soviet Union invade Czechoslovakia again!"
Unfortunately, the plant had been closed for several hours so McCain had to settle
for lecturing the night watchman, who later said "I think he's been nipping
at our inventory..."

John McCain and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week

Note to Senator McCain: If you want to win an election, don't ever, EVER say "I would rather lose a political campaign." Specifically, don't say this, especially in relation to Situation FUBAR:

This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.

From Joe Klein, who's joined Tweety in The Land of Finally Getting a Clue:

This is the ninth presidential campaign I've covered. I can't remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right temperament for the presidency. How sad....

Smart politicians leave the scurrilous stuff to their aides; in fact, a McCain spokesman expressed these words almost exactly on July 14. There is a reason why politicians who want to be President don't say these sort of things: It isn't presidential. A President exists in the straitjacket of literality. His words mean something. So John McCain has to literally believe that Barack Obama would "rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign." I can't imagine that he does. He popped off, out of frustration.

Okay, so Klein isn't totally un-clueless yet. Hey Joe, the really bad part is that McCain is talking about LOSING an election. The word losing is a big ol' colossal no-no on the campaign trail. Why? Because you're campaigning to WIN, okay? That means you don't go up on a podium and say, "You know what? I don't care if I go down in flames come November, because...uh...I've got PRINCIPLES! And having principles means I'm more interested in winning wars than in winning elections. No, I don't know why I'm campaigning for president in the first place if that's what I believe....Say, how come everyone in the crowd looks so depressed?"

(Seriously, check out this video. It's Senator McCain and the glummest-looking campaign crowd you've ever seen since...I dunno...Walter Mondale.)

Per ABC News, while Obama was off in Germany, McCain decide to pay a visit to Columbus, Ohio's German Village neighborhood. Specifically, he had lunch at Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant. Talk about trying to upstage your opponent.

Because the courts clearly aren't busy enough

From the Department of Frivolous but Funny Lawsuits comes proof that litigation-happy buffoons can be found in every country:

A Greek court Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit accusing an LGBT rights group of demeaning the people of the Aegean island of Lesbos by purloining the word Lesbian, a term islanders have used to name themselves for centuries.

The lawsuit was brought by three islanders from Lesbos, home of the ancient poet Sappho, who praised love between women. The island is a popular holiday destination for gay women.

The suit said hat the name of the LGBT group - Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece - “insults the identity” of the people of Lesbos.

In dismissing the case, the court said that islanders did not have sole claim to the name.

Question: did these guys really never figure out until now where the term "lesbian" comes from? And do they want to risk losing all that tourist money (thus hurting the island's economy) with this dopey lawsuit?

This story comes via Furibundum who quotes one of the plaintiffs saying, “My sister can’t say she is a Lesbian." He knows this...how, exactly?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How to make Tricky Dick look good

Swiped this from Dusty, because it's scarily true:

Another day, another crybaby conservative alert

And it's the Prince of Darkness himself, whining about how Team McCain "used" him.

How do I put this nicely? No duh, Bob. Strangely, it's never bothered you before.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Read my lips: It's NOT S&M gear...

The often-dormant comic-book geek chick in me is somewhat amused and alarmed over the controversial new "Black Canary" Barbie doll. It's controversial because there are a lot of parents who don't realize that this is a doll modeled after a comic book character. Specifically, a comic book character who wears fishnets and leather.

Here is Black Canary in the Birds of Prey comic book:

Canary has since left that comic and now stars in her own comic book with Green Arrow. Anyhow, here is the Black Canary Barbie doll:

Too many people are jumping to conclusions over this new doll, which won't even be in stores until September. And it won't be marketed to little girls either, so parents can relax. This is a collector's Barbie, and it is not--repeat, NOT--being marketed to little kids. Mattel's official Barbie Collector site specifically says, "For the adult collector, age 14 and over." My guess is it'll probably be sold at comic book stores and related geek emporiums. Maybe some toy stores (such as Toys R Us) will stock Black Canary Barbie alongside assorted pricey collector dolls dressed up to look like Irish princesses and Cher. If it is, then wise parents will surely steer their kids over to the other Barbies.

So repeat after me: This Barbie is based on a comic book character. Her outfit is modeled on that character's costume. (The only difference is that the DC Comics Canary wears flats, whereas the Barbie is in heels.) Black Canary Barbie is not wearing bondage gear. She is not for kids to play with. She is for collectors. Everyone needs to calm down.


Is it just me, or is the Obama/Osama meme getting really boring and overused? I can't even get offended over some mouthbreathing state senator. I just wonder if this is really the best he can do.

Via Kiss My Big Blue Butt.

This band is hella cool!

They're Von Iva, an electro-soul band from San Francisco, and I so want to see them live. May they find their way to the East Coast some time soon!

Von Iva's homepage is here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I know; I'm shocked, too

From USA Today:

As Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama prepares for a major trip to Europe and the Middle East, a poll released Friday shows his supporters are much more fired up about the election than those of his Republican opponent John McCain.

The poll by The Associated Press and Yahoo News showed that 38% of Obama's supporters say the election is exciting compared with 9% of McCain's. The passion and interest shown by blocs of voters are important because they affect who will be motivated to vote.

Someone in John McCain's cheerleading squad the allegedly "liberal" media has to figure out a way to spin this ASAP.

Crybaby conservative alert! Again!

Speaking of whiners...

"It is clear to me that Democrats want to attack me rather than debate Senator McCain on important economic issues facing the country."

That's Phil Gramm, explaining why he resigned from the McCain campaign. A more eloquent way of saying "WAAAAAAAH! I'm sick of them meanies!"

Botanical blogging time!

Some photos from my recent visit to Brooklyn Botanic Garden with Le Sweetie:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A modern-day Snidely Whiplash speaks!

Where else but on Faux News can you hear a sociopathic winger condemn the idea of public service--and misquote Jefferson in the process?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Jonathan Hoenig, 1980s yuppie holdover, author of (no joke) Greed Is Good, and believer in the I've-got-mine-so-hit-the-road-you-rube approach to life.

"It was Thomas Jefferson who once said that public service and private misery are inseparably linked," Hoenig told the hosts of Fox & Friends, referring to a letter in which Jefferson expressed a concern near the end of the Revolutionary War that 13 years of public service had left his private affairs in "great disorder."

Yeah, a WAR will do that. I'm sure George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ulysses S. Grant felt the same way at some point in their lives, but they didn't use it as an excuse to behave like assholes. And they never pooh-poohed the idea of public service.

"There is a belief now," Hoenig went on, "that individuals, especially young people, should essentially ... 'devote themselves' to something greater than themselves -- sacrifice their own wants, their own interests, to serve the common good, whatever they happen to believe it is at the time. To me, that's very un-American."

Say, dude, what if their wants and interests involve teaching, nursing, or the Peace Corps? Not everyone wants to be a hedge fund manager like you.

Hoenig denied that there is any such thing as the "common good" beyond what a politician might say it is. "I just don't think it's the role of the government," he complained, "to have me tutoring young kids if I don't want to or digging latrines if I don't want to or cleaning up trash at housing projects."

Oh dear heavens! Imagine asking Mr. Hedge Fund Capitalist here to exchange his Italian suits for old jeans so he can trudge around Hunts Point picking up trash. The very thought makes one wish some smelling salts were nearby.

Even when asked about the value of military service, Hoenig insisted that "people who serve in the military do so voluntarily, and I think they do so out of their own self-interest. They do so because they want to attack and kill a militant Islam. They do it very selfishly."

Note he doesn't mention college tuition benefits. But I'm confused. Is he suggesting there's something wrong (i.e., "selfish") with wanting to kill, what's the word? Militant Islams? Doesn't he support the War on Terror? If not, what's he doing on Faux News, since he's obviously not there as a token liberal?

Via The Defeatists.

Monday, July 14, 2008

ANOTHER crybaby conservative alert!

Just a few days after Brent Bozell scoldfest, Amanda Carpenter is complaining about young voters, with their newfangled Facebook groups. It would be hard for anyone her age (she is 25) to sound like a supercilious old biddy, but Ms. Carpenter pulls it off with aplomb.

I thought at the age of 18 you became an adult, with the right to vote and sign up for the military, not be pandered to by desperate political candidates. I guess most people in that age bracket are pretty childish, though. Most of them are college students living off of mommy and daddy's dime, who are hand-fed their meals from a dining hall. Which is why most of them lean Democratic--they're dependent and haven't been made to earn their own way yet. Of course, there are lots of other 18-25 year olds outside this category, like single moms and men and women oveseas [sic] in the war, but you never see those people interviewed in those stories about the youth vote. The only youth who typically are engaged in politics are the ones in a more leisurely class, with time enough to paint protest signs and make Obama mashups online.


Allow me to give my example, Ms. Carpenter. I skipped my senior year of high school and worked a variety of jobs in college, both on and off campus. I was a library assistant, a coffee shop worker, and a tour guide. I did a newspaper internship and wrote for my campus paper to boot. I spent the summer between my junior and senior years in England. I was handed my college diploma three months before I turned 21. Weeks later, I was living in New York City and starting my career.

I knew lots of other students like me. Students who worked to save money for college tuition. Students who attended college on full scholarships. Students who, like me, held campus jobs. Given that I went to an arty liberal arts college, we didn't have an ROTC branch. But there was a fellow student who had joined the military to earn money for college tuition.

I suspect there are a lot more students like that than Ms. Carpenter cares to admit. According to her bio, she graduated from Ball State University, where she ran a right-wing Web site. Wonder what other Ball State students, past and present, would say to being classified as a bunch of loafers slumming their way through four years of higher education?

Then again, perhaps Ms. Carpenter confuses her own movement-conservative milieu--crammed as it is with Yellow Elephants, wingnut welfare recipients, and assorted buffoons who owe their livelihoods to their family connections--with the world at large.

Or maybe she's just annoyed that so many people in her age group don't think like she does. She's hardly the first conservative to dismiss the youth vote. Kay Steiger notes the real reason for the wingers' annoyance:

Of course a conservative woman like Carpenter finds young people who trend heavily progressive actually showing up to vote annoying. Then the policies she supports are less popular.

Note: Ms. Carpenter's blog post got a lot of responses from young women who basically have pointed out she doesn't know what she's talking about.

I'm feeling 1990s nostalgia

Man, I loved L7. I loved all those 90s alternative grunge acts. Okay, most of them. I never like Bush or Stone Temple Pilots. But L7 will always hold a special place in my heart.

Remember the Presidents of the United States of America? The band that did "Lump"? This is not the video for "Lump." This is the video for "Peaches."

Belly were another awesome band. They came and went too fast. What's Tanya Donnelly doing these days?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dispatches from Planet IOKIYAR

Guess whose pastor is a raving bigot? Hint: It's the GOP presidential candidate.

Aren't you relieved that this isn't another post on Jeremiah Wright?

Aren't you wondering why the MSM didn't pick up on this story?

(Via Politopics.)

This is NOT an Onion headline

And it's not from the Borowitz report, either. WHAT are these people thinking?

Church Cancels Teen Gun Giveaway

An Oklahoma church canceled a controversial gun giveaway for teenagers at a weekend youth conference.

Windsor Hills Baptist had planned to give away a semiautomatic assault rifle until one of the event's organizers was unable to attend.

The church’s youth pastor, Bob Ross, said it’s a way of trying to encourage young people to attend the event. The church expected hundreds of teenagers from as far away as Canada.

"Say, kids are into that hippity-hop rap stuff, right? The rappers all sing about guns. Like that Will Smith guy. He was real great when he played Ray Charles. I bet we'll even get some kids from the 'hood, hee hee hee!"

A video on the church Web site shows the shooting competition from last year’s conference. A gun giveaway was part of the event last year. This year, organizers included it in their marketing.

“I don’t want people thinking ‘My goodness, we’re putting a weapon in the hand of somebody that doesn’t respect it who are then going to go out and kill,'” said Ross. “That’s not at all what we’re trying to do.”

Gee dude, I hope not. You guys are in OKLAHOMA CITY, remember? Didn't you grow sick of whacked-out, militia-loving, violent psychos after that McVeigh guy caused all that trouble in your city?

Couldn't Pastor Ross hold a picnic like they do at all the other churches? Gawd.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Crybaby conservative alert!

Brent Bozell III wags his finger at liberals who are writing and saying mean things about Jesse Helms, "a man credited with impeccable conservative credentials in the U.S. Senate." No, Bozell didn't mention in too much detail the exact reasons people hated Helms. According to him, the nasty liberals just want to go poopy on the grave of a dead conservative. Mean liberals that include...um, er, um...Andrew Sullivan.

Gee, one of us liberal has got to say something nice to show that we're not all a bunch of intolerant meanies. So let me say something in Helms' defense. During his political career, you couldn't find a more ardent supporter of America's white, heterosexual Christian population. See, he wasn't a total hater.

P.S. Hoooooooo boy.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Recommended reading

Sara Robinson at Orcinus has written hands-down one of the best blog posts on race, gender, and the 2008 election to date.

Especially this passage:

Let's be clear on this: the whole blacks-versus-women frame was a false one from the get go. You could hardly design something more exquisitely calculated to split the party along its most crucial faultline than that breathless "Blacks or Women? Who Gets To Make History?" narrative that dominated the political season for six straight months. It was set up to absolutely guarantee that one of the party's two most important constituencies would inevitably end up with hurt feelings, and might even withhold support as a result.

And damned if it didn't work. Ugly things got said all around that left everybody with bad blood --- let's please be grownups and admit that it wasn't just one side, and nobody gets to be the Bigger Victim here -- and played hell with party unity. I'm sure Karl Rove is happier than Chris Matthews sucking down ribs at a John McCain barbecue about all this; but we need to take note of what happened here and make sure we don't let ourselves be played this way again.

We would have done well to understand that frame earlier, question it harder, and search out its proponents more carefully. Patching things up is going to take a long time. Worse: it's going to slow us down at a time when we need to moving faster and more cohesively than we ever have.

Le Pantload makes a fool of himself. Again.

This time, he compares Obama's national service plan to slavery, twisting himself into a pretzel as he whines about government and sings the praises of volunteerism. Volunteerism, by the way, is exactly what Obama is proposing. Check out Obama's Web site and you'll see that he calls for...get ready for this...universal voluntary public service. That's what it's called right there on the Web site.

In other words, something other than slavery.

Meanwhile, I hope Pantload is simply volunteering as an op-ed writer, because I hate the thought of the LA Times (or any paper) paying him to write this stuff.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Best. Quote. Ever.

As we know, America is divided - that is, anywhere from 68% to 80% of us share one set of views, and the celebrity media and the RNC share another set of views.

From Sideshow.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Someone offers helpful advice

For all of the GOP pundits out there that are continuning to call Obama just another “typical politician”, please continue to do so.

As long as you continue to call him “typical” then he can no longer be an elitist, a Muslim, a radical Islamist, and all of the other ridiculous things that you want him to be on any given day of the week. If he is a “typical politician” than he can’t possibly fall into the other 30 characterizations you have placed on him.

From Politivine.

More on "Wall-E"

I saw "Wall-E" on Saturday with Le Sweetie and some friends. It's a really adorable and emotionally involving film. I swear, Wall-E and EVE now officially replace Rhett and Scarlett as the greatest romantic couple in film history. Okay, I'm kidding. Sort of. I'm kind of tired of seeing humans in romantic leads. Robots are a welcome change.

Frank Rich, meanwhile, titles his latest op-ed "Wall-E for President." I can't wait to read what William Kristol thinks of the movie. On second thought, maybe I can.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Squirm, baby, squirm

The election cycle has entered a transition period, from the silly season to the schadenfreude season. Remember 2004's great GOP smearfest here in NYC? Well, 2008 is looking to be somewhat less upbeat.
“It’s a very delicate situation,” said Brian Jones, a former communications director for Mr. McCain’s campaign who also was a top communications strategist during Mr. Bush’s 2004 run for re-election. “Even though the president is the president, this is going to be John McCain’s convention, and you want it to be about John McCain and what his presidency would be.”

Translation: "We're really, really need to convince American voters that John McCain isn't just Bush 2.0."

In St. Paul, Mr. Bush will speak on the convention’s opening night, said Dana Perino, the White House press secretary — a tiny bit of news from an administration that typically keeps a close hold on the president’s schedule. The White House and the McCain campaign said the details were still being worked out. But one Republican close to Mr. McCain and Mr. Bush, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the president would give “an important speech” but that a joint appearance was “highly unlikely.”

Translation: Team McCain doesn't want the president there because any further Bush/McCain photo ops will find their way into DNC campaign ads.

Most Republicans say Mr. Bush should play whatever role Mr. McCain wants him to. Some, like Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, simply wish Mr. Bush would keep out of it, though few would say so openly.

“I don’t think there are a lot of people who want to see him at the convention,” said Mr. Rohrabacher, who is especially irked with Mr. Bush for his stance on immigration. He said the president “should stay home from the Republican convention, and everybody would be better off.”

Translation: Bush was held up as the avatar of everything that made the party winners winners WINNAHS!!!!! Now, he's political kryptonite. But hey, it's easier for the Republicans to blame Bush than to blame their own stupid policies.

Can't wait to see if they invite Zell Miller back. Say, where is Zell, anyway?

(Via Fact-esque.)

How to make a scumbag look sympathetic

Arrest him for exercising his First Amendment right to say disgusting crap. Via Ang comes this news item:

44-year old Andre Moore is being held at the 18th Police District by the very officers he apparently wanted to kill.

At least that's the message he allegedy sent out to the world in a disturbing, hate filled rant on YouTube.

"When you shoot the cops, you shoot them dead.", Moore is heard saying.

Moore allegedly posted this video on the internet demonstrating how to use a Colt .275 to shoot cops.

What police also find disturbing is that Moore is employed as a security guard at Einstein Medical Center, the hospital where Officer Chuck Cassidy died of gunshot wounds six months ago.

"We lost three police officers to guns on the streets of Philadelphia, and this idiot's out there promoting this message.", said Thomas Burke, of the Pennsylvania Gun Violence Task Force.

Moore's anger is directed mostly at the 18th district where he was cited for minor offenses last month.

"I can't stand the 18th district," the videotaped rant continues. "That's why I rejoice whenever they shoot a cop in Philadelphia. 'Cause I hate them."

And Moore dosen't stop there.

He goes on to promote violence in a city that is struggling to turn the tide.

"Continue killing the 18th district police. I promote violence in Philly. Promote violence in Philly."

Moore faces a number of charges, including aggravated assault.

Andre Moore is clearly several fries short of a Happy Meal. But folks? Ranting and raving on video is not the same thing as actual assault. Just wait: this case will probably get tossed out of court, this guy will become a First Amendment hero, and the local law enforcement will look stupid.

Oh yeah, and Ann Coulter (among others) has entertained similarly violent fantasies about people she hates. And nobody's arrested her. But then again, she's white and Andre Moore's black. I'm sure that's a factor.

It's Snark Saturday!

From the "be careful what you wish for" department...

The "real 'Merikenz SPEAK TEH ENGLISH!1!!1!" crowd would be in big, BIG trouble if they ever had their way. For one thing, they could find themselves demoted to second-class citizen status.

Don't believe me? Some proof...

Note to wingtards: Why do you guys have so much trouble with this word, anyway? It's A-M-N-E-S-T-Y. Like in that Bush-hating human rights group, Amnesty International. If you're going to harp about the English language, can't you at least buy a dictionary? Or at least consult one at your library? You DO have libraries where you live, don't you?

Not to be outdone, a wingtard mayor has dared to be different:

Okay, let's give Mayor Stranczek the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was talking about excretions instead. Maybe he's convinced illegals are letting their dogs poop on his lawn. Yeah, that's it...

(Via Democratic Underground, where at least they can spell "amnesty.")

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy July 4!

Le Sweetie and I spent the afternoon at Battery Park, where Sonic Youth and the Feelies performed. Gawd, I love my digital camera.

First up, the Feelies, who've reunited after a bunch of years.

Sonic Youth, meanwhile, played lots and lots of Daydream Nation material. Alas, from where I was standing, I was only able to snap Thurston and, occasionally, Kim.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Yet another reason I wanna see "Wall-E"

Right-wingers hate the movie. And, as expected, they invoke the name of the Great Vice-Beelzebub himself, Al Gore, who's become even more beastly than Bill Clinton in the collective subconscious of the wingnutosphere. The National Review even titled one of their blogs "Planet Gore." ("It's his planet. We're just living on it, goddamn it!")

Good gravy, didn't these people learn anything from their little "Happy Feet" hissy fit?

Okay, in the interest of balance, I'll mention that at least one rightie defends the film as an "indictment of liberalism." Uh-huh. Pixar's a regular propaganda arm of the great lumbering movement-conservative juggernaut, all right. "Hey doods! Ann Coulter's getting predictable. Let's make a cartoon robot our newest mascot!"

Michael "Gay Penguins" Medved has yet to register his opinion of the film, but one former colleague predicts he probably won't enjoy it too much.

Attention all mouthbreathers TROO AMERIKANZ!!!1!1!!

Courtesy of Media Girl, it looks like TEH EVIL Muslim threat is more insidious than previously imagined. Paging Jonah Goldberg/Ben Stein/Michelle Malkin/Insert Your Own Favorite Faux Patriot Here! LOL Cats are the real anti-American fifth column, and not just because Muhummad was a cat person.

Sue me. I think this is cool.

And just in time for Fourth of July! Granted, the name "Pure McCain Cola" suggests the contents inside the bottle are rather flat and lacking in fizz...but, well, that's McCain '08 for you.

Via Blue Gal.

Prog blog time!

Okay. This weird. Genesis before they went MOR. Peter Gabriel sans flower outfits and masks. Phil Collins with facial hair. FACIAL HAIR, people. And Tony Banks channeling his inner Keith Emerson.

Truly one of life's little "WTF?" moments.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Wasting brain cells in Margaritaville

One of life's little "DUH" moments. Jimmy Buffett, deity to Parrotheads everywhere, is against the Iraq war, telling an interviewer, "Anybody who makes policy in this country oughta have to walk by the Vietnam memorial on the way to work."

The interviewer asks Buffett, and I quote: "So why not vote for Vietnam vet John McCain?"

Because a. McCain supports the war, moron. And b. you don't need to be a war veteran to walk by the Vietnam memorial.

Stop me before I make a sarcastic comment about the liberal media.

Via Sideshow.