Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hypocrisy On Parade

Over at The Left Coaster there's a good piece about how the administration is screwing the troops both coming and going -- in other words, setting them up for failure by not giving them the supplies and training that they need to keep from getting killed in Iraq, and then neglecting them medically and psychologically when they come home wounded and traumatized. It points out the irony of the pro-war Republicans and all those who back the bloody Iraq debacle (hello, Joe Lieberman!) claiming that they "support the troops" when the reality is that all they support is carnage at someone else's expense.

To my mind, this is almost exactly the same mindset as those folks who are against abortion have. (Indeed, many of these people share both views, which should come as no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention for the past 25 years or so.) The so-called pro-life crowd will protest and bomb and assassinate in an attempt to prevent women from having control of their bodies, justifying it all by saying that they are only concerned for the rights of the fetus, but once those babies are born, most of those same pro-lifers couldn't give a skinny rat's ass about any select dozen of them. And in the same way, those people who are the loudest about their supposed support for the troops in reality only support them as long as they are able to kill Iraqi (and soon, in all likelihood, Iranian) citizens. Once they've served their purpose and come home as damaged goods or in a coffin, they're very conveniently forgotten. It's just despicable, is what it is. And these shameless bastards have the nerve to call people like us -- people who support the troops by wanting to bring them home safe -- traitors. Unbelievable. We are so through the looking glass in this country any more it's ridiculous. Or "rediculous," as Dick Cheney might put it.

(Full disclosure: This post is an expansion of a comment I left at The Left Coaster.)

RIP Molly

One of my journalistic heroes and a real national treasure, Molly Ivins, has died at the far-too-young age of 62, succumbing to the breast cancer that had laid her low recently. It's a damn shame that someone as vital and witty and talented as she was is gone so soon, while so many more deserving people *coughCheneycough* just seem to go on forever. In one of her last columns, published January 11, she wrote:

"We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!'"

Molly always spoke the truth, and wasn't afraid to call the powerful on their subterfuges and shenanigans. She was a force in the media the likes of which won't soon be matched, and we are all poorer for her passing.

Tonight I think I will raise a glass in her honor, and then bang some pots and pans for a while. Goodbye, Molly, we'll miss you terribly.

A Fish Rots From The Head Down has just put up a post claiming that Vice-President Vader's Cheney's notes introduced into the Scooter Libby trial implicate W the Decider in the affair to out Valerie Plame. It even has a scanned-in copy of the notes in question, where the words "this Pres." are scratched out and replaced by the words "that was." (It also shows that the Veep spells the word "ridiculous" with an "e." And I thought Bush was the dumb fuck in that administration.) The article essentially makes the case that not only did Bush lie and give up Scooter to protect Karl Rove, but that he was involved in the whole affair from the beginning.

Can we impeach the motherfucker already?

Hmm, apparently not, at least not according to Senator Useless (h/t to mrgumby2u for that moniker):

Dear Mr. (Generik):

Thank you for your letter concerning impeachment proceedings against President Bush. I appreciate the time you took to write and welcome the opportunity to respond.

In our recent elections, the American people expressed clear disapproval with the path this country was on. They are tired of partisan politics and of an Administration that pays little heed to the wishes of the American people. They want-and deserve-a Congress that holds the Administration accountable and fulfills its Constitutional responsibility to check and balance the Executive. I share this sentiment and am determined to work hard and across party lines in the United States Senate to promote issues that are of real concern to most Americans, including the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, homeland security, global warming, and lobbying and election reform.

At this time, however, I believe that impeachment proceedings against President Bush will only divide the country even further, frustrating our hopes for a meaningful change in direction, while having little chance of success.

I have been deeply disappointed by many of this Administration's actions and have been outspoken in those instances. Nevertheless, given the challenges our country faces I believe that we need to focus on constructive and cooperative steps that would lead us in the right direction.

Again, thank you for your continued correspondence. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Yeee-eah. Give me a fucking break. This whole administration needs to go, out the door and into the courtroom, now.

Five Minutes to Armageddon

Two questions: Is the Decider finally getting a bit of come-uppance, and is it coming too late to do us any good?

Congress has begun hearings to explore how the imbecilic, power-crazed Lying Sack of Shit in Chief and his crime family manipulated scientific reports over the past few years in an effort to minimize the known effects and public awareness of global warming (quelle surprise!). For those of you with short memories, this is called "oversight," and it's what the legislative branch is supposed to do -- as opposed to the blithe rubber-stamping and enthusiastic administration ass-kissing in which the previous Republican-dominated Congresses were cheerfully engaged these past six years.

And last night on MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann took the Preznit to the woodshed over his fabricated claims in the most recent State of the Union speech of his administration having foiled numerous terror plots over the last year. Olbermann has already cemented his reputation as one of the few members of the media out there willing to question this president and speak truth to power, but signs are somewhat encouraging (as evidenced by, for instance, this article from Carolyn Lochhead in Sunday's SF Chronicle) that a few other journalists are finally starting to get it, to wake up and remember what their jobs are supposed to entail. (Hint: It isn't copying and pasting White House press clips and calling it "reporting.")

However, all may be for naught if the chickenhawks running this country have their way, and the media goes along with their increasingly-noisy sabre-rattling in Iran's direction. There are just too many stories like this one going up out there, designed, no doubt, to soften up the populace and convince us that we need to attack the Iranians before they kill us all. The Unknown Candidate has a good post up illustrating what's happening on that front, and what the difference between the rhetoric versus the reality is. From this quarter, though -- and despite the official denials from the White House -- it's looking increasingly likely that war with Iran is coming sooner, rather than later. And it won't be a ground-forces slog like the ongoing carnage in Iraq -- an engagement with Iran will most likely involve air strikes and nuclear weapons. Can you feel the excitement?

Meanwhile, in large part because of these recent events, the scientists in charge of the Doomsday Clock have pushed the minute hand two minutes closer to screwed o'clock. Thanks, George. Thanks, Dick. Thanks, Condi and Rummy and Wolfie, and thanks to all the rest of you bloodthirsty, deceitful neo-con bastards and your hordes of craven little toadies doing your bidding and spreading your lies and obfuscations. Hope your fallout shelters are all well-stocked and in order.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Random Flickr Blogging On A Monday Afternoon

March of the Penguin Celebrity Stalkers. "Can I just tell you how much 'Happy Feet' meant to me, personally? I mean, really, it changed my life! Would you mind if I asked you for an autograph, Mister... uhhh..."
Eileen didn't think she would enjoy speed-dating, until she found someone who fulfilled her every need in a partner.
Random Flickr Blogging comes to Taiwan! Millions cheer!
Being properly fitted for nipple clamps is not an activity to be taken lightly.
This portrait of the remainder of the North Pole is brought to you by the good folks at ExxonMobil.
"Dude, I can totally put my whole fist in my mouth! Except last time I did it, I kind of like accidentally swallowed my fingers and thumb. Dude, it was harsh!"

(Original posts, IMG_5019, found here, here, here, here, here and here. Random Flickr Blogging explained here.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

50 Most Loathsome

My pal Weezer sent me a link to a site that made me laugh out loud with its snarkiness, and I figured you readers should get to share in the fun. It's called The BEAST 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2006, and it's hilarious. A majority of the folks on the list are from the right-wing side of American media and politics, but a number of (mostly deserving, IMHO) lefties come under fire as well. My only quibble is that Sean Hannity somehow missed making the list. Maybe he came in at #51.

Habeas Corpse

The craven little toady of the Bush maladministration United States Attorney General, Li'l Abu Gonzales, says that the Constitution does not gurantee the right of habeas corpus to American citizens.

Excerpts from the exchange between Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Jan. 17:

Gonzales: There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There's a prohibition against taking it away. ...

Specter: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. The Constitution says you can't take it away except in cases of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there's an invasion or rebellion?

Gonzales: I meant by that comment, the Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas. Doesn't say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except...

This is not surprising, I suppose, when you look at the record of this gang of criminals who have spent the past six years wiping their collective ass with the Constitution, but it does give one pause to see them make the claim so blatantly. And we've got two more years of these idiots "leading" us? We are so screwed.

It's great that the Democrats have voted to raise the minimum wage and such, but it seems to me that it should be a high priority now to overturn the Military Commissions Act and the Patriot Act, and return some of our inherent Constitutional rights to us before it's too late. Oops. Maybe it already is.

Better Than Edgar Bergen

I must be a masochist, because I sat through the entire STFU SOTU speech last night without projectile vomiting or throwing something heavy through my TV screen. The one thing I noticed in that time, though, was how you could hardly see Dick Cheney move his lips at all when Bush was speaking. And he sure is quick about getting his hand out of George's ass when he needs to applaud.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Wring Out Your Liver!

Lots of folks have proposed drinking games associated with the State of the Union speech -- I'm not going to link to any of them here, you know where they are and how to find them -- but I find most of them too difficult to follow, especially after you've had a few. So I propose a Generik Brand State of the Union speech drinking game so simple a child could follow the rules.

Uhhh... that would be a child over 21, of course. The Generik Brand does not encourage underage drinking.

Anyway, here is the only rule you'll need to participate in this little exercise: Every time George W. Bush tells a discernible lie, take a drink. If you want to add corollaries like "take two if he mentions 9/11, or mispronounces 'terror' or 'nuclear'," that's fine, but the official TGB rules are just Dubya lies, you drink.

I expect that most people who try to participate in this game will be passed out dead drunk by the third paragraph. Which is ultimately a good thing, because it may prevent you from throwing something through your TV screen after listening to that miserable failure bumble his way through tonight's speech. At least, that's what I'm hoping will be the case here in my own home.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Why Do Mondays Always Seem Like Random Flickr Blogging To Me?

"See, Australia is really a lot like California, just oriented a little differently. You'll get used to the blood rushing to your head after a couple days."
Excuse me, I'm feeling a bit peckish. I think a sandwich would be good right about now.
"Feisty little fella, 'bout so tall, cowboy hat, big red mustache, real tempermental. Answers to the name of 'Yosemite Sam'."
Meanwhile, back in Ann Coulter's uterus...

(Today's image was #3776. Random Flickr Blogging explained here. Original pictures posted here, here, here and here.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Making It Legal - Sort Of. Maybe.

So the Mail-Opener-in-Chief and his craven little toady Attorney General, overgrown midget Abu Gonzales, have announced that they are making a big change to the NSA spying program and will, after all, start going to the FISA court for warrants to wiretap and read the email of Americans they don't like suspect of colluding with terrorists. This turn of events couldn't have anything to do with the fact that the Democrats now control Congress, and are already starting to turn up the heat on the furnace of oversight that had been completely abandoned by their Republican predecessors, could it? D'ya think?

But really, what does this mean? Is it just an attempt at some retroactive CYA? (Maybe.) Have they actually seen the error (and unconstitutionality) of their ways, and now want to play by the rules? (Unlikely.) Or is there more to it than that? (Probably.) Glenn Greenwald discusses the possibilities in today's, in an article worth a read.

I have just a couple of comments on the situation: One, even if they start playing by the book now, there are still years of criminal action behind them for which they need to be investigated and prosecuted. And two, after all the bullshit that they've dispensed since taking power, why should any of us believe them when they suddenly say they're going to now start following the rules? My personal feeling about Preznit Smirk, to quote Mary McCarthy, is that "every word he utters is a lie, including the words 'and' and 'the'."

Impeach 'em all, I say.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday I've Got Random Flickr Blogging On My Mind

"Ricky! Here, take this, I think I hear my mom com- Oh, hi, mom! What? Smoke? No, I don't smell anything... Huh? Who's out there? Out where? Oh, you mean out here? No one. I mean, I don't think anyone's out there... What? You saw Ricky ducking past the bushes on the side of the house? And you think- wait a minute, how do you know what marijuana smells like, anyway? Mom...? Where are you going...? Mom...? ...Ricky! RICKY!! God damn it. RIIICKYYYYY!!!...Oh, uh, hi mom. You sure got outside fast."

(Original image posted here. Random Flickr Blogging explained here.)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fighting Back Against Hate Speech

On a local note, there is a very worrisome incident unfolding right now here in the SF Bay Area that some of you, I know, are already familiar with -- the case of local blogger Spocko, who authors Spocko's Brain, versus local Hate Radio station KSFO. (Full disclosure here -- I have to admit to not having been familiar with the Spocko's Brain blog until just the last few days, but I like what I've seen there so far, and I definitely think he's on the right side of this argument.)

Anyway, it seems that some KSFO personalities -- specifically Melanie Morgan and Lee Rogers and a couple others -- are extremely miffed that Spocko had the audacity to post some MP3 files of some of their more vicious right-wing blather, and to also send those files to companies advertising on KSFO, asking if those corporations (such as Netflix, Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, Kaiser, FedEx, AT&T and others) were comfortable with their products and services being advertised on shows that featured such divisive and hate-filled rhetoric. In other words, he let the companies know what these people were saying -- in their own words. This enraged the wannabe-Limbaugh announcers so much that they had their corporate lawyers at ABC/Disney (owners of KSFO) send Spocko a cease and desist letter -- even though he was clearly using the audio files under the fair use portion of copyright law.

To be clear, Spocko is not calling for censorship. He, like I and most bloggers I know, advocate free speech for all. Whatever these idiots on the radio want to say is up to them (and the FCC -- who seem to be quite gung ho about catching stray nipples and silencing any left-wing voices of dissent, but are strangely silent when it comes to right wing eliminationist rhetoric), and no one is trying to claim otherwise. What Spocko is doing -- and I applaud him for it -- is letting the people who pay for these programs know what their advertising dollars are supporting. Whether those corporations want to continue being associated with KSFO or not is then up to them.

Of course, this story is rapidly spreading all over the blogosphere. My esteemed colleagues Kvatch and Mrgumby2u have both posted about it on the Barbarian Blog, and you can find plenty more information on the subject if you just poke around a bit. Surprisingly enough, this story has now even made the mainstream media. But it's a story worth telling, and worth repeating.

Thanks also to an email from Mrgumby2u for this valuable bit of related information:

Tomorrow at noon KSFO is having an on-air forum to address what it describes as "misleading information on the internet and in the mainstream media" about the station. As I did in my blogpost, I encourage you to tune in to KSFO to participate in its forum and let the station know that its brand of hate is not welcome in the bay area.

Personally, I will be working tomorrow at noon, and thus unable to participate. Also, being somewhat too sensitive for this world (and for "Hot Talk Radio"), I have a distinct aversion to listening to the hate-mongers of KSFO and their ilk belch and flatulate forth their murderous rhetoric, so it's unlikely that I'd participate anyway. But for those of you with strong stomachs, I highly recommend you participate, if at all possible. If you can't, maybe you can send a donation to Spocko (who may be facing serious judicial trouble in the coming months), or send a letter to a KSFO sponsor, politely asking if they appreciate having their name associated with the kind of hate-mongering that that radio station engages in on a routine basis. Haven't we had more than enough of the Ann Coulters and Michelle Malkins and Michael Savage-Weiners and Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys of this country calling for the death and torture of liberals and Democrats and pretty much anyone who opposes Dear Leader and the neocon agenda? Isn't it time to fight back?

***UPDATE*** Thanks to Oliver Willis for this link to more on the story from Media Matters. It seems that poor Mel Morgan has her pantyhose all in a twist over this thing, claiming that the words she and her colleagues spoke -- which were duly recorded, with plenty of context -- are "old, lacking in context, and in some cases outright lies." In what context is claiming to put "a bullseye on Nancy Pelosi" or telling a caller to "say Allah is a whore" to prove he is not a Muslim, or saying that journalists should be hanged, thieves should be tortured and killed and people should be stomped to death, burned alive or have their testicles cut off not bigoted, divisive hate speech? Apparently she's mad that anyone would have the temerity to actually play back her comments to people who might disagree with her.

Stayin' and Stayin' and Stayin' the Course

He's got the urge to surge. Again. "More troops, we must have more troops, and then we will be victorious, and history will judge me as the greatest, most visionariest Preznit ever!"

I don't have much to add to the huge chorus of voices crying out in unison against Preznit Obtuse Obsession's insane plan to send more troops to Iraq in an effort to... to... well, I'm not sure what he intends to accomplish there any more, and I don't think he is, either; but I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't say something right about now. I mean, I've been too quiet for too long. (Oh, and I have a bit of a break this afternoon, so I've got some time to post.)

This is just insanity. The AWOL-in-Chief has presented the country with a completely half-baked, poorly-thought-out and utterly ridiculous plan that will result only in more bloodshed and tragedy. What's more, he's becoming increasingly isolated in his view that there is a "victory" to be had in Iraq, and that his plan, such as it is -- which flies directly in the face of the expressed will of the voters in November, the findings of the Iraq Study Group and virtually all recent polls -- has any chance of alleviating the violence there. And yet he stubbornly soldiers on, sure of the rightness of his position. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. By golly, he sure likes his jingo,doesn't he?

One thing I am pleased to see out of all of this -- though personally I'm too much of a pessimist and a cynic to believe it will make a whole lot of difference -- is the Democrats (with many Republicans joining them) finally showing some cojones and threatening to cut off funding, or hold hearings, or otherwise opposing this madness. There seems to be a huge and growing groundswell of opposition to Commander Codpiece's plan, and not just from loony lefty bloggers like me. When the Joint Chiefs of Staff, most military personnel, most politicians and some three-quarters of the American public are against a particular military undertaking, perhaps you might want to consider that the undertaking is simply not a very good idea. Whether Democrats in Congress, or members of the military, or the American public will be able to change this megalomaniac's mind, however, is doubtful at best. And whether any or all of them combined can put a stop to it is the 64 billion dollar question. But what other choice do we have?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Get Your Tickets On

David Rees of Get Your War On fame asked me (well, okay, he asked me and everyone else on his mailing list, including Victor Davis Hanson [!]) to post this notice on my blog. So, obliging sort that I am, and since it's a post that I don't have to write (because these days I've got no time for that -- I couldn't even squeeze out a lousy Random Flickr Blogging post yesterday), here it is:

Hello Mailing List,

"Get Your War On" opens off-Broadway this week!

The Rude Mechs Theatre Company is offering a ticket discount
for ANY PERFORMANCE THIS WEEK! If you'd like to see the show,
this might be the best time to do it.

This offer is good for the following performances:

Tuesday 1/9: 8:15pm
Wednesday 1/10: 8:15pm (Press night. Please go this night
and laugh heartily.)
Thursday 1/11: 8:15 pm
Friday 1/12: 8:15pm & 10:30pm
Saturday 1/13: 8:15pm & 10:30pm
Sunday 1/14: 3:15pm

Buy tickets here:

When making reservations, enter promotional code "PWRL."


Please forward this information to anyone who might be
interested, including the readers of your high-powered
web log. (Victor Davis Hanson, I am talking to you!!!)

By the way, you can learn more about the show and read
all the nice reviews here:

Thanks for your interest,
David Rees


January 9 - 28, 2007
59E59 Theatres at 59 East 59th Street
New York, NY
For tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200

"[GET YOUR WAR ON] contains some of the funniest ridicule
of a president and his policies I've ever heard on a stage."
--The Washington Post

"GET YOUR WAR ON is in the motherfucking house, and it is
glorious. I laughed my ass off, but maybe only to keep from
crying and tearing chunks of my hair out."
--The Philadelphia Weekly

"The actors who brought Rees's angsty, exultant, despairing,
and cynical office grunts to life...The show was fucking
hilarious, but five years and two days after 9/11 and nearly
four years into Iraq, I kind of cried, too."
--Philadelphia City Paper

"fiercely literate...satirical, ironic, and generally
--The Washington City Paper

", genuinely
pissed-off theater!"

"A performance not to be missed!"
--The Daily Texan

"A 70-minute brilliant and sardonic blitz!"
--The Austin American-Statesman

"A liberation of one's political soul in a cleansing
explosion of laughter!"
--The Austin Chronicle

"A tightly wound, high-precision performance of

"It strikes sparks to ignite the beaten-down, dark
and dormant liberal-radical left that has been licking
its paws too fucking long!"
--The Austin Chronicle

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Grammar Police

Being something of a grammar fascist, my pet peeves include inappropriate apostrophes and quotaion marks -- or maybe I should say inappropriate apostrophe's and "quotation" marks -- and here's a prime example. This was a sign I spotted at a gas station car wash in Santa Barbara over the holidays. The misuse of the word "defected" is also a nice touch.

I am not "responsible".

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Blood of the innocents.

Into the valley of death...

Bring 'em on.

You bloodthirsty, chickenhawk, AWOL bastard.

***UPDATE*** (The "sacrifice" referred to, for those who might have been wondering.)
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