Sunday, September 30, 2007

Just when you think they can't sink any lower into the ooze ...


... they manage to surprise you. Let's face it, kids ... your humble scribe is one hot property, isn't he? Autograph line forms on the left -- one at a time, no pushing.

Calgary Ward 4: Vote early, vote often.


Gosh, just look at the calendar ... only a couple more weeks until the Calgary municipal election, where all the evidence suggests that white supremacist and NAMBLA advocate Richard Evans is going to get flattened like a toad under a steamroller.

Apparently, though, there's been some recent excitement, during which someone has been wandering around Richard's ward, explaining him to his neighbours, to which commenter "lenny" suggests:

I wouldn’t have failed to mention Ricky’s promotion of pedophilia.

Not surprisingly, Richard uses a novel form of reasoning to dispute lenny's contention:

Now, lenny, you know better ... I merely pointed out the fact that CC passively enables pedophiles and redirected his pseudonym to a pedophile website. It wasn’t a promotion of pedophilia at all but rather the exposing of a disgusting individual for what he really is.

So let's analyze this logically, shall we?

  • Who purchased the domain name canadiancynic.net? Richard Evans.

  • Who currently still owns the domain name? Richard Evans.

  • Who redirected that domain to the home page of NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association? Richard Evans.

So, apparently, even though I had absolutely nothing to do with any of the above, the logical conclusion on Richard's planet is that this proves how I am somehow taken with the practices of NAMBLA.

You know, I almost wish Richard would win the contest for his Calgary ward. We would have absolutely guaranteed political entertainment for the next couple of years.

I normally don't take delight in the suffering of others but, in this case, I'd make an exception.

MUST ... RESIST ... WHOOPS, TOO LATE. While I really do have better things to be doing today, I can't help pointing out yet another puddle of hypocrisy that the NAMBLA- and white hood-obsessed Richard Evans is standing in.

As my regular readers are well aware, Dick registered the domain "canadiancynic.net" back in July and, in a move he must have thought was hysterically witty, clever and all-around knee-slappingly hilarious, promptly redirected it to the home page of NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Of such infantile sleaze is the wankersphere comprised.

But, lo and behold, if you click on http://canadiancynic.net today, well, you end up here -- at Dick's right-wing blog home page. Why is that?

Is it because, while Dick is busy fuming and frothing about libel and slander and defamation, he suspects that maybe he crossed the line with that little stunt so he's quietly changed the redirection, hoping no one notices?

Come on, Dick, be a man -- if you're going to do something as childish and classless as that NAMBLA redirect, at least stick with it. Don't be embarrassed; rather, take pride in the depths of the gutter to which you can sink. What the heck -- if I were you, I'd promote that little escapade on your campaign blog. After all, if the residents of Calgary's Ward 4 are going to vote for you, they should at least understand the sort of howling, drooling, bloodthirsty vengeance they might be in for if they ever crossed you.

So let's go, Dick, don't be ashamed of your past. Revel in it. Be proud of it. Fix that redirect, and let the citizens of Calgary know how you deal with critics. Heck, I'll bet that would even raise your standing among Calgary's shrieking wingnut demographic. You might not be a popular man at PTA meetings anymore but, hey, who the fuck cares what those people think? They're probably all commie symps, anyway.

Time to put up or shut up, Dick. Let's see you walk that walk.

Sometimes, the situation just screams for a United Way agenda item.


At first, the Dilbert cartoon just seems funny:

Pointy-haired boss addressing meeting: "We're poised for success -- we expect huge earnings and increased market share. Next on the agenda: There will be no raises because it will be a difficult year." (Awkward pause.) "Carol, I thought I told you to put the United Way update between those two agenda items."

Carol: "Oopsie."

Sadly:

Canada posts whopping surplus
September 27, 2007

Ottawa - Canada on Thursday announced a budgetary surplus of 13.8 billion dollars for 2006-2007, or one percent of Canada's gross domestic product, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said.

Total debt, meanwhile, fell to 467.3 billion at the end of 2006-2007, and the federal debt-to-GDP ratio is now "at its lowest level in a quarter century," at 32.3 percent, he said.

Combined with income from government-owned corporations, Ottawa thus made its "the largest debt payment in Canadian history," or 14.2 billion dollars, Flaherty said at the unveiling of his 2006-2007 financial annual report.

The government of Canada spent 700 million less than projected in Flaherty's March 2006 budget, and revenues spiked unexpectedly, he explained.

You know what's coming in the very next sentences, don't you?

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned that "recent volatility in financial markets needs careful management," Canada's forestry and manufacturing sectors are facing "tough times," and there is "weakness" in some export markets.

"At the same time, strong growth in other areas is driving up the cost of living," such as housing prices, beyond what many can afford, he said.

So, "we have to keep our spending prudent, keep reducing the debt, and keep lowering taxes for individuals, businesses and families," Harper concluded.

Don't miss next week's episode when Prime Minister Pointy-Haired Boss gives bumbling intern Peter "Asok" MacKay another harmless job just to keep him out of trouble. As always, hilarity ensues.

Right-wing logic, as it were.


It is, as we all know, absolutely outrageous that "Taliban Jack" Layton would suggest that we negotiate with the murderous Taliban, when we should instead be sacrificing the lives of Canadian soldiers by nobly and courageously defending the freedom-loving Afghani government of Hamid Karzai, who recently announced that he would like to negotiate with the murderous Taliban.

Feel free to draw whatever meaningless, illogical and semantically-tortured conclusion that you consider to be ideologically convenient.

Please give generously to the intellectually handicapped.


Johnny, over at "The Right Is Where It Sat," is absolutely livid over ... well, let's let Johnny explain it between flecks of spittle and drool slowly coursing down his chin:

... Tracey Glynn is a member of the Fredericton Peace Coalition and says that wearing a "Support Our Troops" yellow ribbon trumpets positive support for the war.

"I think by putting the yellow ribbon on or wearing the red shirt, you're being a cheerleader for the war," Glynn said...

Now how can anyone who says things like this can say that they support the troops ? Its just crazy and idiotic !!! They have no idea what supporting the troops really mean !!!

Damn straight! I mean, we've had this discussion before and where the hell do you get the nerve to suggest that just wearing a yellow ribbon necessarily means you support the mission in Afghanistan? Who the fuck is so dishonest and deluded as to draw that logical conclusion? Oh, wait ...

Although billed as a non-partisan rally, Mr. Harper used the occasion to slip in a not-so-subtle jab at NDP Leader Jack Layton, who has called for the withdrawal Canadian troops from the combat portion of the mission.

"Friends, I believe you cannot say you are for our military and then not stand behind them in the great things they do."

Tune in tomorrow when Johnny rips Stephen Harper a new asshole for being "crazy and idiotic." Or maybe not. It all depends on whether stupidity wins out over hypocrisy. Or vice versa.

Oh, THIS looks like a good investment.


Via Dana at TGB, we learn that:

The Canadian Forces are using a controversial private security firm to train some of its troops sent to Afghanistan.

Select Canadian soldiers have been sent to Blackwater U.S.A. in North Carolina for specialized training in bodyguard and shooting skills...

... 18 members of the Strategic Advisory Team sent to Kabul went to Blackwater in June for a two-day course called hostile-environment defensive driver training. The cost was $29,000 which included accommodation and meals, as well as extra course time for two of the team members.

Excellent -- top-notch, mercenary training for some of our folks. What can possibly go wrong? Oh, wait:

The second reaction I hear from active-duty soldiers is that they see what they refer to as these rock star private contractors, and they want to be like them. So we have a phenomenon of soldiers leaving the active-duty military to jump over to the private sector. There’s now slang on the ground in Iraq for this jump; it's called “going Blackwater.”

Yes, from Blackwater's perspective, it doesn't get much better than this, does it: Have someone pay you to train their people, at which point you can leisurely peruse the attendees and offer the cream of the crop an offer they can't refuse to entice them out of the military as soon as they can bail on their commitment.

Yeah, that deal is certainly working out well for someone.

P.S. If I'm a Canadian official and I need a driver fully trained in dealing with hostile environments, can I specifically request not to get one of the two who needed "extra course time"? Just curious.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dear wankers: Wrong about everything again, I see.


Not surprisingly, all of the residents of Lower Idiotville who have been yapping on about how Stephen Harper is "required by law" to apply the current surplus of almost $14 billion to paying down the national debt appear to have got it wrong again. There is, as far as I can tell, absolutely nothing in law that "requires" the above. But hang on ... that's not the whole story.

In the comments section back here, Robert McClelland explains:

The fiscal year ends on March 31st. If there's any revenues that the government hasn't spent by that date, it's required by law that it be used for debt repayment. I don't know exactly where this is in the legislation but it is law.

Ah, now we might be getting somewhere. If Robert is correct, then any surplus that is still hanging around at the end of the fiscal year would have to go to debt reduction. But if that doesn't happen until March 31, then there's nothing whatsoever that stops Harper from spending any or all of that money elsewhere before then. To claim that that entire surplus must go to debt reduction now is sheer dishonesty. But, like many things, it's all in the wording.

So how might Harper go about making that claim so that it's technically correct? Simple. He can merely arrange that that surplus is untouched and untouchable until March 31. If he explicitly sets aside that surplus in a secure place and prevents anything from being done with it until March 31, then, by law, it would have to go to debt reduction. And notice how that isn't just a default outcome -- it requires a conscious effort on Harper's part to not do anything else with that surplus. There's nothing "required by law" about this -- what it does require is deliberate effort on the part of the Conservatives to not spend that money anywhere else, quite a different thing. And that begins to explain the odd wording in this article (emphasis added):

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the massive surplus and added that it would be funnelled into debt reduction during an event in Toronto that had all the earmarks of a mid-campaign event.

His announcement means the end-of-year fiscal windfall is no longer available for program spending. The money must, by law, go into national debt-reduction and the interest savings - about $725 million - will go to tax cuts.

Note the curious wording at the beginning of that second paragraph: "His announcement means the end-of-year fiscal windfall is no longer available for program spending." That would seem to fit nicely with what I just proposed -- that it is Harper's conscious decision and announcement that the surplus would go untouched until the end of the fiscal year that makes it required to pay down national debt. But this opens up a whole can of ugly, conservative worms.

Does this mean that that entire current surplus is now locked into debt reduction? That it is entirely unavailable for anything else and that Harper can't change his mind before March 31? Because, if that's the case (which I doubt), that would make a federal election before March 31 extremely interesting, since Harper wouldn't have any of that surplus to throw around as campaign presents to try to buy votes, would he?

I think this is the perfect time to call Harper on his bluff and bring down the government, then watch as he suddenly redefines "surplus" and "requires" to give him the freedom to star flinging surplus-provided bags of cash at Canadians in order to buy their votes. I suspect the English language would suddenly get an entertaining overhaul, and we'd see the hypocrisy start to ooze out of every pore of Harper's body. Not that that would surprise me, either.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Paying down the national debt: "As required by law?"


Since this is rapidly becoming a right-wing talking point, can someone please point me to the Canadian legislation that requires that any surplus be used to pay down the national debt?

Really, if such a law exists, surely someone can provide a pointer. It's not a tough question.

SURVEY SAAAAAAAYS ... that this "required by law" talking point is pure bullshit. No one has been able to point to a single piece of legislation that "requires" any surplus to be directed in its entirety to the reduction of the national debt.

On the other hand, there's this, which might be what the residents of Lower Wankerville are getting so thoroughly confused by (emphasis added):

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced one of the largest reductions in the federal debt in Canadian history and said the resulting effective interest savings will be used to reduce personal income taxes as required by law under the Government’s Tax Back Guarantee.

Well, now, that's enlightening ... the "Tax Back Guarantee" has nothing to do with where a surplus must be applied, only with what must be done with the interest savings, which is (as I'm sure anyone who is not a moron can see) a completely different thing. In short, all this "required by law" nonsense is exactly that -- nonsense, a classic bait and switch. And once again, the Canadian MSM got suckered by it.

I am so not surprised by this anymore.

BY THE WAY, I'm not even going to go looking for which Blogging Tories have been pushing this myth. There's only so much depressing wingnutiness one can handle.

THE READERS WRITE: E-mailer HCT weighs in:

There is no legislation on how any surplus is handled. NO government in it's right mind would enact it because it would tie their hands and the hands of subsequent governments forever ad infinitum ("forever, without limit, to infinity") or until the legislation was either repealed or overridden. Politicians are not fools.

The "Tax Back Guarantee" was contained in the 2007 Budget. Per the Canadian government website, Budget Plan, Chapter 4 (Budget 2007):

A New Approach to Allocating Surpluses

Budget 2006 acknowledged concerns over the transparency of federal budget planning. In Advantage Canada, the Government introduced a Tax Back Guarantee to ensure that all Canadians benefit directly from federal debt reduction through lower taxes. Budget 2007 goes further by proposing to legislate the Tax Back Guarantee. This ensures that as the Government reduces its debt, it will be required to use the interest savings from this debt reduction to lower personal income taxes. Any unplanned surpluses will be applied to reduce federal debt, and all associated interest savings will be used to further reduce personal income taxes. The Tax Back Guarantee makes more transparent for Canadians how the Government intends to use federal surpluses and ensures that such surpluses directly benefit Canadians.

This is only good for the 2007 fiscal year budget and will be overridden, unless repeated by the 2008 budget.

I don't understand all this foofarah. Martin was doing this for years, as finance minister and PM with one exception. He put a whack of money from the surplus against the debt, then took the balance of the surplus and instead of tax breaks, put the money into other government programs (health, equalization etc.)

So, once again, absolutely nothing about paying down the debt with surplus as required by law. Note, though, how Robert McClelland points out that any surplus must go to paying down the debt if that surplus is still sitting around at the end of the fiscal year, March 31. But that in no way constrains anyone from using any part of that surplus between now and then for whatever they want. In short, Stephen Harper is simply lying here.

Don't look so shocked -- you'd think you'd be used to that by now.

Patton Oswalt: Snack time, any time.


Not workplace safe. As if I care.


When life imitates Dilbert.


I've mentioned before how one of my favourite Dilbert cartoons involves the annoying friend or co-worker who insists on restating whatever you say in terms of "bizarre absolutes" just for the sake of being able to refute a nonsensical and irrelevant position that you never took, as in:

Dilbert: We should add this feature to our product to make it more useful.

"Bizarre Absolute" Guy: "Are you telling me that not one person on earth will use our product without that feature?!!"

Dilbert: "You just changed what I said into a bizarre absolute."

"BA" Guy
: "Oh, I change everything you say?!"

So when you read about NDP leader Jack Layton doing this:

NDP warns government of election after 'undemocratic' surplus announcement

Alexander Panetta
Published Thursday September 27th, 2007

OTTAWA - Pumping almost all of the $14-billion surplus into debt-reduction rather than investing in Canadians is the kind of rigid conservatism that makes it likely the NDP will vote to topple the government next month, Jack Layton said Thursday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the massive surplus and added that it would be funnelled into debt reduction during an event in Toronto that had all the earmarks of a mid-campaign event.

His announcement means the end-of-year fiscal windfall is no longer available for program spending. The money must, by law, go into national debt-reduction and the interest savings - about $725 million - will go to tax cuts.

you wonder how many people will deliberately misunderstand that Layton is not criticizing paying down the national debt, he's only upset that virtually all of that surplus is being used to do so, rather than re-investing some of it back into social programs that the Conservatives cut for the alleged sake of fiscal restraint.

So who -- I ask you, who -- will be dishonest enough (or, for that matter, retarded enough) to re-interpret Layton's position into a meaningless bizarre absolute?

Well, there's this doofus:

Paying Down Debt is What? Irresponsible?

By Dave Hodson | September 27, 2007

Jack Layton has made a lot of stupid comments before, but today he has truly outdone himself.

In response to the Conservative plan to use the current budget surplus for debt repayment (which is required by law), Jack Layton made the following comment.

“This is not a reasonable approach - it’s irresponsible”

That’s right, Jack Layton actually thinks that paying down debt is an irresponsible thing to do!

And, to no one's surprise whatsoever, there's this shrieking airhead:

Who cares about the National Debt?

Not Taliban Jack and the loony left.

The Blogging Tories: Making even the parody of Dilbert seem prescient.

"AS REQUIRED BY LAW"? I'm confused by something here -- is it actually "required by law" that any and all surplus be applied to reducing the debt? Because if it is, then Layton's complaint is, of course, idiotic. If the law requires it, then the law requires it, and that's the end of the discussion. But that's not quite what the article above implies based on its wording:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the massive surplus and added that it would be funnelled into debt reduction during an event in Toronto that had all the earmarks of a mid-campaign event.

His announcement means the end-of-year fiscal windfall is no longer available for program spending. The money must, by law, go into national debt-reduction and the interest savings - about $725 million - will go to tax cuts.

The way I read that is that it was Harper's announcement that suddenly required the surplus to go to reducing the debt, as if he had a choice about it. And even then, who's to say what could be done with the interest savings?

Clearly, Harper is choosing to use the interest savings to fund tax cuts. But couldn't he just as easily have chosen to fund social programs with those savings instead? Can someone clarify this "required by law" notion? Is this actually a legal requirement?

Compassionate conservatism, Blogging Tory style.


  • Raphael demonstrates to the world what being a conservative is all about.

  • Raphael's anonymous commenter demonstrates to the world that Raphael is, well, kind of an asshole.

Any questions?

AFTERSNARK: TBogg has a frightening handle on the right-wing psyche. The last line is the money line. You'd almost swear he'd met Raphael in person.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yeah, about those 125,000 child care spaces? Well, heh heh, funny story ...


Whoopsie. Via Buckdog, we learn the thoroughly unsurprising news:

Tories hint that promise of 125,000 new child-care spots may not be realistic

OTTAWA - A much-touted promise by the federal Conservatives to create 125,000 new child-care spaces may not be doable, suggests Social Development Minister Monte Solberg.

The Conservatives have been slammed by critics who say the government's approach won't create nearly that many spaces over five years.

"We have to be realistic," Solberg said Wednesday when asked if an election vow made 18 months ago can be kept.

Hey, I know ... let's hop into the wayback machine and see how many of those smugly sanctimonious Blogging Tories were ever so confident about this former promise, shall we?

Toronto Tory
:

Conservatives Will Create 125,000 New Child Care Spaces

The Conservative party announced today that they will create 125,000 new child care spaces. This, in addition to the $100 per child/per month choice in child care allowance.

For the record, 125,000 child care spaces is higher than the number of spaces that would be created under the "plan" that the Liberals have repeatedly promised since 1993.

The Conservatives party of Canada - standing up for children, standing up for families.

Noise From the Right:

Under the Community Childcare Investment Program, employers who create new childcare spaces for their employees, or for the wider community in collaboration with not-for-profit organizations, will be eligible to receive a credit of $10,000 per space. This program will create 25,000 new spaces per year, or 125,000 over the next five years.

Choice for Child Care:

In addition to the $1,200 allowance, which would be taxable, Harper has said he would provide $250 million in tax credits to help community groups and businesses create 125,000 child-care spaces over five years.

Stephen Taylor:

The question fails to mention that the Conservative plan also includes the following:

* a commitment to provide incentives to create 25,000 flexible child care spaces per year through the Child Care Spaces Initiative, beginning in 2007.


Trinity-Spadina:

The Conservative Party of Canada would create 125,000 new childcare spaces, while also giving direct transfers to all parents of $1,200 per child per year for childcare to use in a way that is best for their family’s childcare needs.

Canadianna's Place:

The best example of this is the Liberals' 'sure thing' -- the universal child care 'plan'. Where Harper recently detailed the Conservative plan to create 125,000 spaces, and the same information can be found on the Conservative web pages, tonight Martin will boast that the Liberals will create 250,000 daycare spaces.

Kerplonka:

In other words, beyond the fact that it's technically premature to criticize Harper, this wasn't a promise, per se. The promise was 125,000 spaces over 5 years, not 25,000 per year. Theoretically, Harper could put it all in by 2011 and still be in the clear.

Responsible Government League:

Under the Community Childcare Investment Program, employers who create new childcare spaces for their employees, or for the wider community in collaboration with not-for-profit organizations, will be eligible to receive a credit of $10,000 per space. This program will create 25,000 new spaces per year, or 125,000 over the next five years.

At which point, I believe I have the right to ask once again: What's it like being wrong about absolutely everything?

I'm just curious.

Yeah, about that "founder of Greenpeace" thing ...


Alison takes the MSM to task for being insufferably lazy with regards to Greenpeace "co-founder" Patrick Moore, suggesting that they ...

... mention that Moore's speaking engagement at that Chamber of Commerce luncheon was hosted by two Canadian uranium mining companies, that Moore's current cross-Canada tour is sponsored by TEAM CANDU, and that Moore is being paid to support nuclear power by the US Nuclear Energy Institute.

There's also the itty bitty issue about how Moore really isn't technically a "founder" or "co-founder" of Greenpeace:

Moore has claimed for years to be a founder of Greenpeace, an exaggeration of his actual role. Moore sailed on the first Greenpeace campaign, but he did not actually found the organization. According to Dorothy Stowe, an American Quaker, who immigrated to Canada in 1966 and founded Greenpeace with her husband Irving Stowe and other Canadian pacifists and ecologists, "Technically, Patrick Moore cannot be described as a founder of Greenpeace. He was there in early stages with a lot of others. But what he is doing now is unconscionable."

Hey, I know ... let's see who else is unspeakably sloppy and/or lazy with their research, shall we?

You must have seen that coming.

Because it's all about the kids, remember?


On the one hand, Admiral Bunnypants wants another $190 billion so he can keep making Blackwater rich continue padding the pockets of his war profiteering friends carry on with his looting of the U.S. Treasury on behalf of American defense contractors continue killing swarthy, brown people with funny accents keep promoting freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

On the other hand, Bush has promised to veto additional health care for children over a difference of six billion dollars a year. This will, of course, absolutely enrage the compassionate conservatives over at the Blogging Tories who are, as we all know, all about the children.

You didn't even click on that last link, did you? Have I become that predictable?

And suddenly, the MoveOn outrage becomes very selective.


You'll never believe what just happened. The same people who were frothing at the mouth over MoveOn's alleged "discount" ad rate with the New York Times have gone weirdly quiet over Rudy Giuliani's similar (if not even better) deal for the same thing.

Media Matters has the details, and those details raise a whole truckload of curious questions. Let's try to follow along:

In a New York Times article, Katharine Q. Seelye reported that MoveOn.org paid the Times $77,508 for its controversial General Betrayus" ad, ...

Yes, and this reduced rate was justified by claiming that MoveOn was getting a "standby" rate, meaning that their ad wasn't guaranteed to run on their preferred day of September 10. I had thought that this issue had been thoroughly resolved by now but, apparently, life isn't that simple:

In a September 26 New York Times article, Katharine Q. Seelye reported that MoveOn.org paid the Times $77,508 "after the newspaper revealed that its advertising department had undercharged the organization for" its controversial "General Betrayus" ad. The Times "should have charged $142,083," according to the article, "because MoveOn wanted the advertisement to run on a specific day ...and was therefore not entitled to the 'standby' rate."

Hang on ... was this a standby ad, or wasn't it? It's a fairly simple question, don't you think? Of course MoveOn "wanted" the ad to run on a particular day, but that's not the point; the point is whether they wanted a guarantee. If it ended up running on the day MoveOn preferred, that could just have been luck -- it's what "standby" is all about. But that's not what's so troublesome.

Responding to conservative outcry over the rate charged to MoveOn.org, Hoyt wrote in his September 23 column that MoveOn.org "should have paid $142,083" for its advertisement, and that it paid the lower rate because an advertising sales representative "made a mistake." According to Hoyt, "Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications for The Times, said... the advertising representative failed to make it clear that for that rate The Times could not guarantee the Monday placement but left MoveOn.org with the understanding that the ad would run then. She added, 'That was contrary to our policies.'" In response, according to the Times, MoveOn.org said it would pay the difference in advertising rates "out of an abundance of caution."

MoveOn did what!?!? They paid the retroactive difference?? Why? Why is the NYT's "mistake" their problem? Does that mean that the ad was never "standby" in the first place? That's certainly a bit of news, and fairly important news at that, but it still doesn't implicate MoveOn in anything underhanded. As I read it, MoveOn asked for the cost of an ad, the Times gave them a quote, they paid it, end of discussion. And now the Times wants to go back and change the terms of the deal? You'd think it was a bit late for that but, to my amazement, MoveOn graciously agrees to pay the difference. And you'd think that's where it should end, right? Wrong. Let's read on:

In the fallout from the ad, Rudolph Giuliani, the former New York mayor and a Republican presidential candidate, demanded space in the following Friday's Times to answer MoveOn.org. He got it -- and at the same $64,575 rate that MoveOn.org paid.

Excuse me? Giuliani demanded equivalent space, and he demanded it on a specific day, but he insisted on paying only the significantly smaller "standby" rate, even after MoveOn covered the difference? Now who's getting the sweetheart deal? But is it clear that Giuliani was promised a specific day? If you read that MM piece, you get two different answers: a Giuliani spokesman is adamant that they did not get a date guarantee, while NYT's Public Editor Clark Hoyt is just as adamant that he did. How confusing. And how suspicious.

Of course, this new and disturbing development will mean absolutely nothing to whiny, little shits like, oh, this. And, yes, that was a depressingly easy smackdown but I'm feeling lazy today. So sue me.

AFTERSNARK: There's one claim in the above I have real difficulty swallowing:

... Hoyt wrote in his September 23 column that MoveOn.org "should have paid $142,083" for its advertisement, and that it paid the lower rate because an advertising sales representative "made a mistake." According to Hoyt, "Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications for The Times, said... the advertising representative failed to make it clear that for that rate The Times could not guarantee the Monday placement but left MoveOn.org with the understanding that the ad would run then.

I'm sorry, but how unspeakably incompetent an ad sales rep do you have to be to make that kind of "mistake?" Are we seriously supposed to believe that the Times employs sales reps that can make $77,000 fuck-ups and don't understand the concept of a "standby" rate? That strains credulity just a bit, don't you think?

Surely someone has a copy of the original contract. Don't you think that would clear things up in an instant?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I believe that's what you call "timely."

[Timelier and timelier: Reality marches on, leaving Brian to his comfortable delusions.]

Hey, campers ... remember how Blogging Tory Brian Lemon gave us a rundown on the swell news from Iraq, including this gem?

A government is in place in Iraq which is fighting corruption (not perfectly but progressively) ... While corruption is widespread in Iraq it is declining where as up until the invasion it was rising rapidly.

And then, there's the ugly reality:

Iraq: Third Most Corrupt Country on the Planet
By Spencer Ackerman - September 26, 2007, 11:24AM

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has listed Iraq as the third-most corrupt nation on the planet. Somehow, Haiti, winner of the 2006 Corruption World Cup (Iraq won the bronze that year, too) is no longer as corrupt as Baghdad.

The ranking comes as the State Department has barred its anti-corruption officials from publicly testifying to the House oversight committee about how bad the corruption situation is in Iraq. Maybe that goes a ways toward explaining why Transparency International considers 19 countries less corrupt than the United States.

In unrelated news, Hillary Clinton is actually a carnivorous space alien from Alpha Centauri -- Brian read that on Drudge. No, really.

When you need absolutely half the story, all the time.


Canada's Lowest Common Denominatrix™ goes all full-metal Steve Janke to reveal ... well, let's just go read the pants-wetting excitement:

George Soros is known for funding groups such as MoveOn.org that seek to manipulate public opinion. So why is the billionaire's backing of what he believes in problematic? In a word: transparency.

How many people, for instance, know that James Hansen, a man billed as a lonely "NASA whistleblower" standing up to the mighty U.S. government, was really funded by Soros' Open Society Institute , which gave him "legal and media advice"?

That's right, Hansen was packaged for the media by Soros' flagship "philanthropy," by as much as $720,000, most likely under the OSI's "politicization of science" program.

Join us tomorrow when Kate reveals, for the sake of fairness and balance, that the anti-Kyoto, climate change denial group "Friends of Science" gets loads of money from the petroleum industry.

That will, of course, happen immediately after my hot tub date with Jessica Alba.

Hypocrisy for thee, but not for me.


If we could develop a power source that ran off of right-wing double standards, we wouldn't really need oil anymore. Consider the following recent bit of insipitude from Commander Chimpy McChimpster:

Mandela still alive after embarrassing Bush remark

Fri Sep 21, 8:15 AM ET

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Nelson Mandela is still very much alive despite an embarrassing gaffe by U.S. President George W. Bush, who alluded to the former South African leader's death in an attempt to explain sectarian violence in Iraq.

"It's out there. All we can do is reassure people, especially South Africans, that President Mandela is alive," Achmat Dangor, chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said as Bush's comments received worldwide coverage.

In a speech defending his administration's Iraq policy, Bush said former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's brutality had made it impossible for a unifying leader to emerge and stop the sectarian violence that has engulfed the Middle Eastern nation.

"I heard somebody say, Where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas," Bush, who has a reputation for verbal faux pas, said in a press conference in Washington on Thursday.

Man, that George Bush, what a tool! What a dimbulb! What a freakin' moron, right? Except that, if you put what he said in context, he was actually simply making an analogy -- that Saddam Hussein had gotten rid of Mandela-like democracy advocates in Iraq -- an analogy that, not surprisingly, every loyal wingnut began pushing. Like here:

There Are Morons, But They Don't Include George Bush

It has become apparent that some journalists covering President Bush either have a learning disability or work extra hard to twist his words until the reporters turn into novelists. The latest to prove this theory correct works for Reuters, which sent out a story that claimed George Bush thought that Nelson Mandela had died, when in fact Bush used an analogy that clearly sailed over Reuters' head.

So there you have it -- it's irresponsible to simply look at the words themselves, when the proper thing to do is back up a step and make sure you establish the context. Right? Right?

Unless it involves a Democrat, of course, such as when John Kerry made a lame joke about how not-so-bright people end up in Iraq and, my oh my, the deliberate misinterpretation of that remark took on a life of its own, didn't it?

Big Story attack dogs on Kerry, lapdogs for Bush

As expected, the Big Story was all over the remarks that John Kerry made yesterday, misquoting, misinterpreting, and gleefully twisting into an anti-troop attitude shared by all Democrats. Gibson wonders if this is the October surprise?

For the record, the quote is

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Kerry says it was a misdelivered joke, intended to skewer Bush and his less-than-stellar academic record and subsequent misadventures in Iraq. A Kerry aide said (according to CNN) that the comments should have been

"I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq."

FOX News has been misrepresenting the comments all day, adhering to their proven formula that if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it as truth.

So there you have it. When a Republican says it, it behooves everyone to carefully examine the statement and put it in its proper context for the sake of fairness. On the other hand, when a Democrat does the same, it behooves us to deliberately and knowingly distort and misrepresent the words as much as possible, to maximum political effect.

Tune in tomorrow when we explain how politicians who want to bring back the troops to keep them from getting killed secretly hate them and hope that they all get killed.

Science, as it is done.




(Wag of the tail.)

Dear wankers: What's it like to be wrong about everything?


No, seriously ... what is it like to wake up every morning and realize that you have been flat-out wrong about every single opinion you've had for the last several years? Where do we even start?

Well, there was that same-sex marriage thing, and how you all shrieked incessantly about how it was going to be the death of traditional marriage and the downfall of western civilization and a clear portent of the heat death of the universe and similar rubbish. These days, though, the blithering chowderheads who whined interminably about it are now the same people who, without missing a beat, are now poking fun at how it is such a hilariously insignificant issue. Go figure.

Then there's religion and values, where all of you Bible-pounding loons were absolutely adamant that one required a deep, religious foundation (Christian, of course) to be upstanding and moral and so on. Sad to say, that position has taken a bit of a pounding. Yeah, that's not such a popular party line anymore, is it? Doesn't give you quite the opportunity for pompous, sanctimonious moralizing anymore, does it?

And as for the idea that some staunch conservative values are better for the young'uns, well, that didn't work out that well, either, did it? On the other hand, Chelsea Clinton was a National Merit Scholarship finalist, graduated from Stanford and went on to Oxford. Man, that must have grated on you, but I'm guessing you still didn't clue in, did you?

And then there's Iraq. Oh, lord, where to even begin on Iraq? Yes, that was going to be the grand, neo-con experiment in regime change and spreading democracy and making the Middle East safe for inexpensive oil, and on and on and tediously on. And it was going to be cheap, by God, it was going to be cheap:

ANDREW NATSIOS
This is 1.7 billion.

TED KOPPEL
(Off Camera) All right, this is the first. I mean, when you talk about 1.7, you're not suggesting that the rebuilding of Iraq is gonna be done for $1.7 billion?

ANDREW NATSIOS
Well, in terms of the American taxpayers contribution, I do, this is it for the US. The rest of the rebuilding of Iraq will be done by other countries who have already made pledges, Britain, Germany, Norway, Japan, Canada, and Iraqi oil revenues, eventually in several years, when it's up and running and there's a new government that's been democratically elected, will finish the job with their own revenues. They're going to get in $20 billion a year in oil revenues. But the American part of this will be 1.7 billion. We have no plans for any further-on funding for this.

Yes, that worked out just ducky, didn't it?

Iraq war budget jumps for 2008

WASHINGTON -- -- After smothering efforts by war critics in Congress to drastically cut U.S. troop levels in Iraq, President Bush plans to ask lawmakers next week to approve another massive spending measure -- totaling nearly $200 billion -- to fund the war through next year, Pentagon officials said.

If Bush's spending request is approved, 2008 will be the most expensive year of the Iraq war.

I could go on about Iraq but, really, Bill Maher summed it up all so nicely, don't you think?



And closer to home, I can remember when a vote for Stephen Harper's Conservative Party was going to be a vote for integrity, transparency and accountability to the electorate. As I recall, that guarantee lasted for all of several days, and went rapidly downhill from there.

So, really, how exactly do you cope with having to come to grips with being wrong about absolutely everything, absolutely all of the time? Personally, I'd be getting kind of depressed. Then again, I have a sense of pride in what I believe, and I'm a firm believer in logic and evidence and that sort of thing. I imagine it's different for you.

P.S. You'll notice that I didn't even mention the Right's delusional thinking on global warming since, in their minds, the jury is still out on that. One suspects that the polar ice caps would have to melt completely before they finally accepted it.

Their collective dementia truly knows no bounds.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The colour of the sky on Brian's planet.


I have no way to respond sanely to this:

Lemon: The Good that GW Bush Has Wrought

From Golden Lemon Award Winner Snakeoil Baron.

  • A nation that was run by a totalitarian regime, controlled by an ethnic group that was a minority in the nation (no offense to Iraqi Sunnis but no minority can rule a majority without fear and force) is now run by a multi ethnic parliament that was elected by vast participation of popular vote.

  • A government is in place in Iraq which is fighting corruption (not perfectly but progressively) and struggling to secure itself against forces which threaten it and the stability of the region rather than one which struggled to promote these forces.

  • Iraq's freedom of the press and of expression has lead to a boom in the independent media and personal communications in a nation where cell phones and Internet access was controlled (Saddam once said that the Internet was the end of civilization)

  • While corruption is widespread in Iraq it is declining where as up until the invasion it was rising rapidly.

  • Iraq's economy is improving continuously in contrast to the 30 years before the invasion.

  • The education, health, justice and banking systems and civil utilities are improving instead of declining. Children have been vaccinated, farmers are getting access to training and technologies they did not have before and access to veterinary services.

  • Drained marshes are being restored.

  • The more sectarian politicians who were elected in the first round of elections are no longer as popular and the populations in Sunni regions are turning against al Qaida.

  • All told, Iraq is one of the nations that poses the least threat to the region and to America which is a far different case than before. Iraq holds far more potential for creating diversified (not exclusively oil based) prosperity and security than Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Pakistan or even Egypt not that she is devolving into a banana republic. It is not that there is no hope for these other nations but there must be a lot of change and hard work within them and a change of attitude toward them to get them on the most direct path to peace and prosperity.


Posted by Lemon at 11:59 AM

There are no words. What can you possibly say?

AFTERSNARK: It's a shame that Brian didn't have the imagination to continue with that list, since I can think of a number of things for which Iraqis should be grateful these days:

I'm guessing those items just weren't a high priority for Brian to get on his list. Odd how that happens, isn't it?

And when you want your news untainted by facts, there's always Dr. Roy.


Honestly, it's like taking the occasional steel-toed boot to a mentally-retarded cocker spaniel, but there's something childishly satisfying in ripping Blogging Tory Dr. Roy Eappen a new orifice every so often. Like when he writes something as hopelessly dishonest as this:

Another Mea Culpa from NYT

The New York Times admits it gave Moveon.org an undeserved discount and that allowing the despicable moveon.org ad violated their own policy. Unfair and biased, as the NYT usually is,

Really? They "admitted" that, did they? Let's follow the doctor's own hyperlink, where we find this:

The Public Editor
Betraying Its Own Best Interests

By CLARK HOYT
Published: September 23, 2007

FOR nearly two weeks, The New York Times has been defending a political advertisement that critics say was an unfair shot at the American commander in Iraq.

But I think the ad violated The Times’s own written standards, and the paper now says that the advertiser got a price break it was not entitled to.

Wow, that's not the Times "admitting" anything whatsoever; instead, that's an opinion piece by its public editor. (A disclaimer at the bottom of that posted piece even makes that abundantly clear: "The public editor serves as the readers' representative. His opinions and conclusions are his own." One wonders what part of that so confused the good doctor.)

And as for Hoyt corroborating the accusations of left-wing, preferential treatment, well, Greg Sargent over at TPM's "The Horse's Mouth" deals with that:

New York Times Public Editor Dodges Central Question At Heart Of GOP Attack On His Own Paper
September 24, 2007 -- 1:54 PM EST // //

Clark Hoyt, the public editor of The New York Times, has now weighed in with a long piece on the whole controversy involving the MoveOn ad in his own paper attacking Mighty Scholar-Warrior Petraeus. It's a deeply disappointing article. He takes a very high-horse tone in the piece, rapping The Times for violating the paper's "own written standards," which say that generally the paper doesn't publish ads containing personal attacks.

Unfortunately, Hoyt doesn't weigh in on the question that's at the center of this whole controversy: Whether or not The Times gave a discount to MoveOn because the paper's editorial stance is antiwar...

Hoyt gives a great deal of ink to the Republicans making this charge. But what does Hoyt himself think of these charges, now that he's investigated the situation? Here's the sum total of his judgment on the matter, buried at the end of the piece:

The Times bends over backward to accommodate advocacy ads, including ads from groups with which the newspaper disagrees editorially.

...and that's it. Hoyt almost certainly knows how ridiculous the charge of ideological collusion is. Why didn't he say so, then?

By failing to reach for a conclusion about the question at the center of this whole controversy, Hoyt succeeded only in giving more ammo to right-wing critics -- and let down the paper's readers, who deserve to hear a journalism expert like him pronounce judgment on the assumptions and questions at the core of this whole assault on the paper. Hoyt squandered a chance to use his platform to say something meaningful about the whole affair, instead focusing solely on a bunch of peripheral details about ad rates and guidelines.

Blogging Tory Dr. Roy: When you have an attention span of about three sentences, but that's all you really need to corroborate your neo-con world view. It's just easier that way.

There are no words for this.


No, apparently, they don't have anything more important to be dealing with at the moment:

It had to happen -- a GOP Congressman is calling for hearings into The New York Times's decision to publish MoveOn's anti-Petraeus ad at a cheaper-than-usual rate.

GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia has sent a letter to Oversight Committee chair Henry Waxman demanding a probe into the "scandal."

"It is time for The New York Times to answer publicly, on the record, and under oath for its conduct," Davis writes. "You have repeatedly challenged the public statements of administration and private industry officials and sought testimony under oath. It is time for you to give equal treatment to The New York Times."

And when we get through with those leftist, terrorist-loving, traitorous Timesmen and their discount standby ad rates, I'm sure we'll get right on Fox News and their giveaway of an hour of primetime TV to the Bush administration at no charge.

After all, that would only be fair and balanced, right?

And if you don't like those facts, Raphael has others.


Blogging Tory Raphael Alexander goes for snark and misses the target badly:

We ask that members of Progressive Bloggers conduct themselves in a respectful manner.

Hear, hear! I commend this decree. Let's start with bloggers who tell the mothers of dead soldiers to fornicate with their grief.

Wow, Raph, that's really clever ... except I'm not a member of PB, and haven't been one for at least a couple of years.

Reality: 1; Raphael: 0.

AFTERSNARK
: It's thoroughly entertaining to watch Canada's whingers and their delightfully malleable principles:

Whingers: "Those leftards are a bunch of uncivil, shrieking, deranged, vulgar, out-of-control moonbats!"

Progressives: "We'd like to have some rules to guarantee civil and polite discussion."

Whingers: "Those leftards are a bunch of censoring, anti-free-speech, hypocritical control freaks!"

It seems like there's just no pleasing some people. Stupid people least of all.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Oh, man, you talkin' crazy!


Having already caused normal folks' eyeballs to roll back in their heads in disbelief when he claimed that the Holocaust was a "myth," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued to embarrass his species when he proclaimed adamantly that there were no gays in Iran.

In response, Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback and Tom Tancredo vowed to introduce a Congressional resolution censuring Ahmadinejad for his appalling and breathtaking ignorance, just as soon as they finished telling everyone that they don't believe in biological evolution.

Some days, the straight lines really just write themselves, don't they?

Dear CTV: Regarding journalistic standards ...


Apparently, doing actual journalism is, you know, hard work (emphasis added):

Ahmadinejad, who has in the past referred to the Holocaust as "a myth" and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," ...

Wow! He said that? Well, actually, no, he didn't. But it makes a great story, doesn't it?

THE CC READER CHALLENGE
: Here's something to wile away the hours. Let's all keep track of the number of Canadian media outlets that repeat that hoary myth, as well as those who take the time to do some research and debunk it. I'm thinking the only meaningful wager here would be under-over of some kind.

SOMETIMES, THIS IS TOO EASY
. Now, what group in Canada do you think would be so hopelessly, so inanely, so hysterically gullible that they would continue to propagate that Israel "wiped off the map" hoax? Go on, guess. Really, guess. Oh, crap ... you guessed.

Context: that's the important thing.


Given the right provocation, Blogging Tory "Backseat Blogger" is clearly capable of some justified outrage:

Disgraceful conduct indeed. This shmuck of an officer punches out a citizen in diabetic shock(and not exactly in any condition to be resisting arrest) in full view of witnesses without asking any questions first or advising said citizen that was under arrest.

Why am I not surprised? Punching, bullying, and strong arming first seem to the RCMP modus vivendi these days.

Of course, there's a limit to everyone's outrage:

After first deny its involvement(bad PR move right there) the surete de quebec has come clean and said that the three protesters in question were actually undercover agents.

On balance I’m going to come down on the side of the police in this one.

Their actions were justified to maintain public order and security while the behaviour and language of Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union was insulting at best and provocative and rabble rousing at worst.

And what a shame that was. If only Dave Coles had suddenly gone into diabetic shock and that undercover cop had beat the living shit out of him, well, then, by God, we would have had him.

Facts can be such inconvenient things.


Over at "Dust My Broom," Darcey is getting into some serious dick-swinging as he gleefully quotes Rudy Giuliani:

“We will not allow a nuclear Iran. Period. We will work with our allies and use every tool at our disposal to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. That is not a threat. It’s a promise. Iran is the leading state-sponsor of terrorism, ...

And now, for a pop quiz: From which country did 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers originate? Take your time, we wouldn't want to rush you or anything.

Let me explain this to you slooooooowly ...


Yes, Barney Frank is a bit over the top here but, for the love of God, how stupid are these Republicans?



(Tail wag to "TeddySanFran" at FDL.)

Sometimes, the analogy should be self-evident, don't you think?


Lowest Common Denominatrix™ Kate McMillan gleefully reproduces the propaganda that all the cool neo-con kids are pumping out these days:

"It is na├»ve to ignore the uses to which Ahmadinejad will put his invitation. Over the past years, Ahmadinejad’s confrontational rhetoric and policies have resulted in diplomatic isolation and economic hardship for Iran. These developments are unpopular among Iranians. It is beneficial to Ahmadinejad and his regime, then, if he can claim to the Iranian people that his leadership is not hurting their country. If he can demonstrate that he is treated abroad as a respected leader, he will be better able to counter his critics at home. Columbia’s invitation thus gives political assistance to Ahmadinejad.

OK, let's see here ... "Confrontational rhetoric and policies?" Check. "Diplomatic isolation?" Check. Causing domestic economic hardship? Check. Being unpopular at home? Big-time check there. And being treated abroad with respect by butt-kissing suck-ups and toadying sycophants to better counter his critics at home? Super-duper checkaroonie.

Are we done here? Yeah, I think we're done here.

OH, MY ... The hyper-ventilating, shrieking, pants-wetting terror mixed with fake bravado over in the comments section at that article at Kate's place is something to behold, if you can stomach the infantile whining.

Your Canadian mainstream media in action.


Shorter Stephen Harper: "It's important that we stay in Afghanistan because, as long as we're fighting the terrorists over there, it is, as anyone can see, logically impossible for any of them to attack us over here."

Shorter Canadian MSM: "Yeah, sure, I'll buy that. Hey, is the bar still open?"

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blackwater cluefulness: Better late than never.


In the wake of the current outrage over the Blackwater mercenary killing spree in Iraq, it behooves us to ask who the fuck first came up with the word "behooves." No, wait ... wrong column.

Actually, it behooves us to ask how someone can be this obscenely unaware of some fairly important information:

I didn't realize until recently that the contractors hung on the bridge in Baghdad sometime back were not engineers or technical folks, but Blackwater contractors. My outrage over that incident has had to admit to a lesser role.

I'm sorry ... you "didn't realize" something that significant? Here, let me introduce you to someone who was aware of that useful tidbit of information as far back as 2005.

Thank ya, thank ya very much. I'm here until Friday, don't forget to tip your waitress.

WTF ... ?


Seriously, where are the re-education camps for these people?

You keep using that word "civility" ...


Over at the Blogging Tories, one Mathew Siscoe is some kind of irked over Macleans' equivalence between George W. Chimpster and Saddam Hussein, and he's not afraid to say so.

In other totally unrelated news, well ...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

If we're lucky, they'll beat each other senseless.


There's nothing more entertaining than watching neo-con lunatics turn on each other, is there?

GOP Infighting! Frustrated Boehner Battles For Control Of NRCC
By Greg Sargent - September 21, 2007, 6:23PM

GOP House leader John Boehner -- last seen saying that the loss of American lives in Iraq is a "small price" to pay for realizing Bush's vision in Iraq -- is upset with the "mismanagement" of the NRCC and is locked in a struggle for control over it with NRCC chief Tom Cole, according to a new report.

The Politico's John Bresnahan and Patrick O'Connor have the story. It's a good yarn, complete with shouting matches and hissy fits. The story is a reminder of just how bleak the 2008 electoral landscape looks for the GOP -- and the depth of denial about this that's reigning at the NRCC right now:

And, as the saying goes, I don't really care who wins, I'm just praying for injuries.

Sure, it's paperwork, but it's worth it.


Blogging Tory "Christian Conservative" is not happy about these new-fangled morals and ethics:

German politician Gabriele Pauli has come up with a suggestion for marriage... they should expire after seven years, at which time, couples can either let them expire, or renew them.

As one Scottish friend of mine would say, "Emmm... NO."

My wife and I said "Until death do us part", and we meant every word of it. If you don't mean it, don't get married.

Marriage is a sacred covanent between one man, one woman, and Almighty God... with no "best before" date, thank you very much, Ms. Pauli.

Precisely. On the other hand:

1 If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, 2 and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, 3 and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house ...

So, forever and ever Almighty God versus a writing pad and a good Sharpie ... decisions, decisions.

Deep thoughts from the Canadian Right, and turnabout being fair play.


Canada's newest Blogging Tory and self-proclaimed "one of the top five political minds in the country" Gerry Nicholls taxes himself intellectually to bring us some very deep stuff:

You know what has to be the easiest task ever?

Coming up with a list of people who would make a better leader than Stephane Dion.

In fact, I came up with such a list in about five seconds.

Here it is:

People Who Would Make a Better Liberal Leader Than Stephane Dion


* Britney Speers
* A cardboard cutout of Stephane Dion
* Anybody randomly picked out of the phonebook
* Stephane Dion's dog, Kyoto
* A carrot
* Urkel
* The Scottish guy on Canadian Tire money
* Mr. Clean
* Me
* You

So, here at CC HQ, we've decided to return the favour and start a list of objects that would make a more profound and illuminating commenter on today's political issues than Gerry Nicholls. I give you:

  • Britney Spears (sp)

  • A cardboard cut-out of Gerry Nicholls

  • A urinal deodorizer disc

  • Ear wax

  • My laundry hamper

  • That funny internal organ that is the only thing my cat won't eat when she munches down a mouse

  • Dr. Roy

Feel free to add to the list. And remember, the above insightful commentary from Nicholls is why he's one of the Macleans 50, and you're not.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday, end-of-week retro.


This one's for Chet, just because it probably annoys the crap out of him. At least, we can always hope.


Right-wing armchair warriors: Whiny-ass titty baby edition.



[UPDATE: That's it, show's over. There's only so much hare-brained, right-wing idiocy I can handle, when people like Nonny can't seem to comprehend simple English. I'm sure he'll consider this a rousing moral victory for wingnuts everywhere. So let him wander back to the children's table and high-five the other nutbars, and we'll move on.]


If you only half-listened to the He-Man studs over there on the Right, you'd swear that they were the kind of dudes you just plumb didn't want to mess with 'cuz they would kick your ass from here to Iraq and back again.

Yes, there was superstud, jet fighter fly-boy George W. Bush with his steely-eyed "Osama, dead or alive" and "Fuck Saddam, we're takin' him out!" and "Bring 'em on!" and his latest testosterone-drenched "We're kicking ass [in Iraq]!". And right-wing web sites with macho-infused names like "Blackfive" and "Ace of Spades" and so on, replete with courageous graphics like "I support the troops!" and an endless line of patriotic patter about how those on the Right are the true heroes, while those on the Left are "cut and run defeatists" and the like. Which is all fairly hilarious because, quite simply, today's conservatives are the biggest bunch of whiny, snivelling cowards and pussies imaginable. And I say that with no disrespect to pussies anywhere.

You want proof? No problem.

As a quick refresher, feel free to reread Russell Jacoby's seminal piece, "The New PC: Crybaby Conservatives," in which one learns that today's conservatives really don't have much stomach for any kind of intellectual challenge. These are not people who have any interest in a free and fair exchange of ideas or philosophies. Rather, these are people who prefer to have their ideologies completely unchallenged, and have an annoying habit of running to Mama whenever anyone calls them on their bullshit. It's really quite unseemly, this childishness, but this doesn't even begin to plumb their depths of their whiny snivelitude, as two recent examples will demonstrate.

Consider, if you will, the latest brouhaha involving MoveOn's TV ad taking a swipe at General David Petraeus and questioning his credibility ("General Betray Us?"). Regardless of how you feel about that ad, one would think that this is the obvious consequence of supporting free speech: If people have the money, and they want to make an ad, hey, that's their right. And if you don't like it, then you can suck it up, and put together an ad as a rebuttal. In short, don't fucking whine -- if you disagree, then respond in kind.

Which is, of course, precisely what the Right did not do, as U.S. Senate Republicans actually put forth a motion in the Senate to condemn the ad. In other words, with buckets of more pressing issues, the GOP couldn't resist indulging in one monstrous, pathetic whine about how mean those MoveOn folks were. Pay no attention to those troops currently getting mowed down in Iraq like mice under a rotary mower. No, that's not as important as pointing at how those liberals are just mean bullies. And, of course, it doesn't end there.

The latest example of right-wing snivelitude involves Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement that he wanted to go to Ground Zero in New York to lay a wreath. Well, God in heaven, you'd think he asked to take a dump on the American flag or something, as the conservative outrage practically blistered the paint off nearby buildings. TPM's Josh Marshall expresses his embarrassment nicely:

Grow Up

Am I the only one embarrassed by the dingbat brouhaha over Iranian President Ahmadinejad's attempt to visit Ground Zero to lay a wreath? Given relations between our countries I could see denying him a visa, but as long as we're hosting the UN that's not an option. Ahmadinejad now says he's "amazed" that such a visit would be insulting to Americans. Sen. McCain said that Ahmadinejad should be "physically restrained if necessary" from visiting the site. The National Review's Kathryn Lopez got worked up in such a lather that she begged Rudy Giuliani to "lead a human blockade keeping Ahmadinejad from getting to Ground Zero" -- thus demonstrating once and for all Rudy's true calling as the surrogate id of right-wing nerds everywhere.

So what's the problem exactly? Presumably we can be frank enough to acknowledge that the real issue here is that while Ahmadinejad is not Arab to most of us he looks pretty Arab. And he is Muslim certainly -- and pretty up in arms about it at that. And we officially don't like him. And we classify the country he runs as a state sponsor of terrorism. So even though he has absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, when you put all these key facts together, he might as well have done it himself. And what business does anyone with the blood of the victims of 9/11 on his hands have going to Ground Zero?

That's basically it and don't tell me it's not.

Alternatively I guess it's that he's a very mean guy, said bad things about Israel or questioned the Holocaust? Is this man any worse than the various Soviet dignitaries who we feted and hosted around our country? Or is it simply that we've grown increasingly infantile as a country since the end of the Cold War, more and more obsessed and histrionic about minor powers like Iran and Iraq?

A president with some dignity and sense of the greatness of his country would say, good he should go there. Maybe he'll learn something about us and our loss.

If we as a country were a person, I'd say grow up. Act like a man*. Have some self-respect.

Exactly. Instead, we have countless whingers practically having kittens, sobbing over this and doing everything they can to make sure it doesn't happen. Jesus, but most six-year-olds are more mature than that.

Not surprisingly, the Ahmadinejad-inspired whininess isn't restricted to the U.S. Blogging Tory "Gay and Right" Fred practically bursts a blood vessel howling about ... well, just go read:

What was Columbia University Thinking????

How on earth could they invite Ahmainejad to speak???

Barred by police from visiting Ground Zero, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may find more of a welcome at Columbia University, where he has been cleared to speak on Monday at the school's annual World Leaders Forum despite outrage expressed by New York area Jewish leaders.


Whine. Whine, whine, whine. And one can't help but be amused by the overwhelming sniveliness of the Blogging Tories in general who, while full of bravado and bluster, have a disturbing number of members whose attitude towards readers' comments is that, well, they don't allow them, or they allow only moderated comments, or allow comments but reserve the right to delete any they don't like for any reason whatsoever or (my favourite) they'll delete any comments that use intemperate language. Poor baby. Here's an idea -- suck it the fuck up, or find a different hobby.

(And let us not forget Canada's own Lowest Common Denominatrix™ Kate McMillan, who lives in such pants-wetting fear of your humble scribe that, to this day, she does not allow redirects to her site from mine. Apparently, I am such a fearsome person that even pointing readers at her mind-numbing swill is enough to drive her and her obedient, leg-humping poodles into spasms of panic.)

Yes, these are a courageous lot, your modern conservatives, supporting every military adventure from the safety of their keyboards, and bursting into childish tears and calling everyone else a bully whenever anyone so much as looks at them the wrong way.

It is embarrassing, isn't it? The world's biggest collection of trash-talking warbloggers who soil themselves at the first sign of any disagreement. And while we on the Left might make fun of how most of them have managed to avoid serving, one can only hope that none of these people actually end up in the military. When you're living in close quarters or hunkered down in your foxhole, that pervasive aroma of terror and urine would get to be annoying after a while, don't you think?

HEE HEE
. There is no limit to the hypocrisy, is there?

THE HILARITY WAS UNINTENTIONAL, I'M SURE
: Commenter "nonny" figures we here at CC HQ are all talk and no action:

I'd like to see you give your thoughts to Blackfive's face, though, CC. You seem to complain about him enough. Why don't you engage him in a little debate? Even a debate on his blog would be worth something; I know you'd never dare do it in person.

For the uninitiated, that would be this "Blackfive":

Matthew Burden, a former Army officer who blogs under the name Blackfive, raved about how Bush slapped his hand and called him "brutha."

"The President was very intelligent, razor sharp, warm, focused, emotional (especially about his dad), and genuine," Blackfive wrote. "Even more so than this cynical Chicago Boy expected. I was overwhelmed by the sincerity -- it wasn't staged."

Yes, nonny, that's just the sort of mewling, sycophantic suck-up I'd invest my wit in dismembering. I'd probably suggest that he remove Bush's dick from his mouth first, otherwise the rest of us would have a hard time hearing him. If you catch my drift.

BONUS SUCKUPITUDE
: If you can possibly stand the schmaltz ...

About that "walking and chewing gum" thing ...


When the hammer drops, it's going to crush the really, really dumb ones first:

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Is the world flat?

SHERRI SHEPHERD: Is the world flat? (laughter)

GOLDBERG: Yes.

SHEPHERD: …I Don’t know.

GOLDBERG: What do you think?

SHEPHERD: I… I never thought about it, Whoopi. Is the world flat? I never thought about it.

BARBARA WALTERS: You’ve never thought about whether the world was round or flat?

SHEPHERD: I tell you what I’ve thought about. How I’m going to feed my child–

WALTERS: Well you can do both.

I'm fairly sure that's not an option there, Babs. Trust me on this one. And Social Services should be thinking seriously about rescuing that child before Shepherd tries to dry it in a microwave or something.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tasers: The last word.


There. End of discussion.

And now, not your Small Dead Brainstem News.


Once upon a time, Canada's Lowest Common Denominatrix™ was ever so moist over the idea that Iraq's provinces were being given back to local control little by little:

"One by one, the 18 provinces of Iraq are being turned over to the Iraqis"

Followed by loyal, subservient lapdog commenter "ron in kelowna":

And again, more 'tell-it-like-it-is' truth at sda than in our beloved media.

Yes, Ron, that's why I go to SDA -- for the unvarnished, unspun truth. Yeah, that must be it. In any event, and Ron's slavering adoration aside, one wonders what those folks are going to do with this ugly new development:

Another delay in returning Iraq to local control
Pentagon report highlights difficulties in developing Iraq police forces

WASHINGTON - In another sign of U.S. struggles in Iraq, the target date for putting Iraqi authorities in charge of security in all 18 provinces has slipped yet again, to at least July.

The delay, noted in a Pentagon report to Congress on progress and problems in Iraq, highlights the difficulties in developing Iraqi police forces and the slow pace of economic and political progress in some areas.

It is the second time this year the target date for completing what is known as “Provincial Iraqi Control” has been pushed back. The Pentagon report submitted to Congress on Monday hinted at the possibility of further delays.

No, I don't think you'll be reading that at SDA any time soon. But I'll bet Kate will have another picture of a temperature station any day now. She's big on pictures of temperature stations, is our Kate. Apparently, around SDA, that's mighty exciting stuff.

P.S. In case you were still suitably impressed by that "7 out of 18" percentage, allow me to disabuse you of that notion here, here and here.

No, no, don't thank me -- slapping the bejeezus out of the Canadian Wingnut-o-sphere is what I live for.

The classics never go out of style.


Go. Read. Be amused.

Blog rankings by incoming links.


A favour if you would. I know that, in my travels, I've seen blog rankings that are based on the number of incoming links. Where would I find that? I'd like to do some calculations for particular blogs based on that, but I don't recall where I once ran across it. Muchos gracias.