Saturday, July 31, 2004
It's amusing to watch CNN's Crossfire co-host Tucker Carlson, unabashed right-wing hack, toady, lackey and simpering whore, cover the Democratic convention as if he actually had anything worthwhile and objective to say, rather than regurgitating the standard Repub talking points.
Case in point: his inane commentary here:
My overall feeling is that [John Edwards'] basic premise that America is more unfair than it used to be just isn't true.
Now, take note, you pundit wannabes -- Carlson doesn't actually present any evidence to back up his "overall feeling", 'cuz that would take, like, you know, work. Instead, we have this nebulous vibe on Carlson's part which, in mainstream media circles, sadly passes for commentary for these days. Ignore, of course, the overwhelming unfairness of the economy towards the have-nots or have-littles. Ignore, of course, the outrageously out-of-control increases in CEO pay, while those at the bottom are watching their jobs vanish in a blizzard of overseas outsourcing. And ignore George Dubya's own admission of the circles he swims in, when he described his loyal supporters as the "haves and have-mores". Luckily for Carlson, he can ignore all of this actual evidence since he has this, well, you know, "feeling."
Society is more fluid and more meritocratic than it's ever been.
Which no doubt explains why qualified but needy college applicants can't get financial help to go to school, but how a lazy, semi-illiterate, party-animal, service-avoiding, AWOL frat boy can become president of the United States. Naturally, it was all based solely on merit.
There are more sons of mill workers going to college now in America than have ever gone. It's not a perfect country but to say that it's gotten less fair or that there's less opportunity is just factually untrue.
And, once again, you budding pundits, note how Carlson can dismiss Edwards' position as "factually untrue" without providing any, you know, actual facts. Right-wing, conservative punditry. Is that a great gig or what?
Friday, July 30, 2004
From this article at CNN, we have the heartwarming, uplifting story of government employee Stephanie Willett who was "arrested, handcuffed and detained for three hours by transit police" for apparently eating a candy bar in a subway station where eating is prohibited. But here's the best part -- after being told by a transit officer to finish the bar before entering the station:
Both Willett and police agree that she nodded and put the last bit into her mouth before throwing the wrapper into a trash can.
That's right, you read that correctly -- Willett accommodated the request by quickly eating the remainder of the bar ... and was still arrested.
Your law enforcement and homeland security tax dollars at work. Don't you feel safer already?
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
From the local Toronto star, this piece on the Clintons. Doesn't matter what you think of them, there's no doubt that, in terms of star power, no other couple is even in the room.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Man, how reprehensible and pathetic a human being do you have to be to get a smackdown from Jimmy Carter?
From the blog of Tucker Carlson, right-wing co-host of CNN's Crossfire, and all-round cheap-shot artist, hack, toady, Republican sycophant and flat-out slimeball, writing about the current Democratic convention in Boston:
You can learn a lot about a party from wandering among its faithful, as I did this afternoon for a few hours at the FleetCenter in Boston. Here's what I learned:
Democrats don't like Bush.
And now you know why he's a famous, talking head on CNN, making gajillions of dollars, and you're not.
Monday, July 26, 2004
In a stunning display of journalistic objectivity, the New York Times criticizes the whitewash of the Abu Ghraib "investigation". Don't get too excited, it won't last. I'm sure they'll be back to bitching about John Kerry's hair before long.
From this article in the New York Times (linked to at truthout to avoid the annoying registration), we have that:
"Eight Afghan soldiers have been wounded in an erroneous aerial bombardment by U.S. forces in central Afghanistan, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Sunday."
And, as a Canadian, I'm sure I speak for many of us that we're still a bit miffed about the U.S. propensity for dropping bombs on the wrong folks.
You know, I hear there's some serious evildoers holed up on a ranch somewhere around Crawford, Texas. Why don't you go drop a few bombs on them?
Saturday, July 24, 2004
From CNN, we have the amusing flip flop of "We'll turn over all of the president's military records ... whoops, sorry, they were accidentally destroyed ... whoa, hang on, we found them after all."
In explaining the difficulty in tracking down the documents in question,
Defense Finance and Accounting Service spokesman Bryan Hubbard said the microfilm payroll records were found in a Denver facility.
"We're talking about a manual process for records that are over 30 years old," Hubbard said.
OK, you have to admit, Hubbard has a point. After all, who the heck would be interested in mucking around, digging through someone's past 30 years ago?
From over at Wonkette, we have a mind-numbing, alleged online chat session with the Bush bimboes, Barbara (the underage-drinking one) and Jenna (the binge-drinking one), in which the twins do their best to channel Mr. Spock, or perhaps Constable Benton Fraser from the Canadian TV series Due South:
Susan Kildow from Holly Springs NC wrote: As young women who embody the future of our nation, how important do you believe character to be when choosing a candidate and how does your dad stack up?
Barbara and Jenna Bush answered: Well, Susan, to us character is the most vital part of being an excellent leader. While we may be a little biased because he is our dad, we think - well, we KNOW -- that our Dad is a man of strong and principled character. If he says he is going to do something, he will do it. When we were kids, if dad said he was going to come to one of our soccer games, he would be there! And now even his critics can't argue that he is a steadfast leader who means what he says and acts with resolve. At the same time, he always treats everyone he meets with dignity and respect.
Yessir, the women who embody the future of our nation. As you can see here, Jenna already appears ready for the Oval Office, in a Bill Clinton, oral kind of way. You go, girl.
P.S. Oh, and about Daddy treating everyone with dignity and respect ...
Previously, we had Michigan State Rep. John Pappageorge (R-Too Many Black People):
"If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election."
Followed shortly thereafter by Preznit George W. Chimpster:
"I'm going to ask African-American voters to consider some questions. Does the Democrat Party take African-American voters for granted? It's a fair question. I know plenty of politicians assume they have your vote, but do they earn it and do they deserve it?"
Well, gee, that's a toughie. Let's see ... here, we have John Kerry, announcing the creation of 'a nationwide legal SWAT team of election lawyers to combat the kind of voting irregularities that occurred in Florida four years ago ... [that] would take "tough action" to prevent the kind of voter "intimidation and harassment" that kept an estimated 1 million African-American voters from the polls in 2000 and prevented some 57,000 African-American voters from casting votes in Palm Beach County, Fla.'
And here, again (just cuz you can't give this inanity too much press), we have Pappageorge:
"If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election."
Yeah, it's a tough call. Grapple, grapple ... What was the question again, George?
Friday, July 23, 2004
Yes, it's already been linked to from truthout, among others, but this just can't get enough coverage -- a Republican lawmaker quoted as saying, "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election."
You have to admit, he has a point, although he probably could have rephrased it as, "If we can't disenfranchise and discourage those pesky left-leaning darkies, we're in deep shit."
See how much better that reads? Far bolder and punchier.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
From this article, we have the adorable story of "young conservatives gearing up to protest the protestors" at the upcoming GOP convention in NYC.
"We are the right-wing freedom fighters — we are out there and are just as animated as the protesters can be," said member Jason Sager, of Brooklyn.
Hey, Jason, here's a suggestion: why don't you go fight for the freedom of all of those anti-Bush protestors who've been rounded up, herded into "free speech zones" or just plain arrested for simply exercising their First Amendment rights to criticize your chimpy preznit? I think that would be a laudable example of fighting for ... hey, Jason ... where you going? Come back here. Jason!
From this online piece at CNN (new motto: "Hex, Fox! Can't touch this!"):
LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Singer Linda Ronstadt was thrown out of the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas on the weekend after dedicating a song to liberal filmmaker Michael Moore and his movie "Fahrenheit 9/11," a casino spokeswoman said Monday...
"Ms. Ronstadt was hired to entertain the guests of the Aladdin, not to espouse political views," the casino said.
Although I imagine, if Ronstadt had dedicated her encore to, say, the memory of Ronald Reagan and the principles of compassionate conservatism that made the United States great, the Aladdin would probably have looked the other way. Funny how that works.
P.S. I am reminded of how the baseball hall of fame once cancelled an event celebrating the film "Bull Durham" because of the proposed participation of vocal Bush critics Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. So while Robbins' and Sarandon's political views were deemed unacceptable for the HoF, apparently blatant Republican shilling was cool.
Is it great to totally own the media and, well, just about everything else? Or what?
Monday, July 19, 2004
So ... the U.S. has 100,000+ troops mired in Iraq, many being held there against their will by the Pentagon's "stop loss" orders, the punishingly hot summer season bearing down on them, electricity currently a sporadic, hit-or-miss proposition, foreign insurgents flooding into the country, having a field day blowing up ... well, pretty much everything that looks blowable-uppable, the vast majority of the Iraqi population simmering with anger against the invaders for the unspeakable atrocities committed against civilians in various detention centres and prisons, and George Dubya's solution to all this is ... wait for it ... wait for it ... here it comes ...
No, I am not making this up. I could not possibly make up something this inconceivably bone-headed, but here you go, online at CNN: "Bush: U.S. probes possible Iran links to 9/11." An excerpt from that article, which should fill you with a powerful sense of deja vu (from the Latin, "stupid, arrogant imbecile"):
"On Monday, Bush accused Iran of harboring suspected al Qaeda members and developing nuclear weapons."
Yeah, and I think we all remember what happens to mideast countries that harbor terrorists and evildoers, and might be working on weapons of mass destruction. Think hard, it'll come to you. As kos pointed out, this idea is so bizarre, the only proper response is to make fun of it, as in this Tom Toles cartoon.
But perhaps the unintentionally funniest part is George's sudden appreciation for human rights:
"I have long expressed my concerns about Iran. After all, it is a totalitarian society where free people are not allowed to exercise their rights as human beings."
Yeah, the idea that some totalitarian regimes might squelch dissent, and trample on the rights of free speech of their citizens. That really has to suck.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
For almost a day now, the blogosphere has been pretty much frantic with the news that the U.S. appointed and approved new Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi personally executed several handcuffed and blindfolded prisoners by shooting them through the head from close range with a pistol. (Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, apparently.)
Holden over at Eschaton has posted a timeline of the developments. A few of the initial URLs:
The original article in the Sydney Morning Herald.
General article on Allawi, also from SMH.
An interview with the author Paul McGeough.
Holden also mentions (no surprise here) the absolutely deafening silence from the mainstream US media (go ahead, check out CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS or Faux News -- wall-to-wall Martha, with a smattering of Bush twins, but nary a reference to the new butcher of Baghdad, at least right now at 6:29 am Saturday morning.)
But here's where it gets interesting (yes, I really do have something original to contribute).
Holden does give credit to The Washington Times for this breaking story. What's odd is that, while you can read the story given the exact URL, that page is apparently unavailable from either the front page of the Washington Times, or even from the UPI breaking news page (again, as of 6:30 am this morning). In other words, it's as if the Times posted the story, then thought better of it and dropped all of the links to it, but left the actual page in place. Down the memory hole. It remains to be seen how long the exact link will last, or whether it too will mysteriously vanish.
UPDATE: More down the memory hole? Kevin Drum also has a posting on the Allawi controversy, and buried in the midst of comments to it is a reference that Matt Drudge linked to the story. In itself, not a big deal, but a quick trip over to http://www.drudgereport.com shows absolutely no mention of the story. Am I missing something? Or did another link just disappear?
UPDATE 2: For more breaking developments on this story, apparently, you still have to go overseas here.
UPDATE 3: Based on a private e-mail I just got, apparently, Matt Drudge really did have a news piece up at his web site, but it was taken down sometime late last night. My, but these news pieces have a short shelf life, don't they?
Friday, July 16, 2004
From this article in the July 16 Globe and Mail, we have U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Francis Ricciardone chiding the Filipinos for deciding to withdraw from Iraq their overwhelming military force of 51 troops, warning them that:
"... in a time of testing, when enemies demand that you kneel, please don't confuse your enemies or your friends."
That's right. It's, like, totally different when your friends demand that you kneel.
P.S. To be honest, if you read Ricciardone carefully, it's not clear what the hell point he was trying to make. But I figured I'd slap him down, anyway.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
An online CNN article, reporting on the resounding and humiliating blockage in the Senate of the anti-same-sex marriage amendment, describes how, since the measure was clearly headed to overwhelming defeat:
Both Kerry and Edwards were on record opposing the measure but decided not to return for the procedural vote since their votes weren't needed to defeat it. They were the only senators not voting.
Not surprisingly, this didn't stop a Republican aide from acting like a total dipstick:
A Bush campaign aide responded, "It takes a special kind of senator to attack others over a vote that they don't show up for."
Riiiiight. And this from an aide whose president has yet to show up for any memorial of any kind for any of the U.S. service personnel killed in Iraq. It really is true that some peoples' mouths work way faster than their brains.
I never mentioned it, but yesterday's edition of the Globe and Mail had a large, color photo of the Bush twins, Barbara (the brunette one) and Jenna (the alcoholic one), front page, above the fold. Apparently, the Globe's powers-that-be figured that stuck-up, obscenely rich, binge-drinking American debutantes were just what Canadians wanted to know about.
Letters to the editor in today's Globe:
Burnaby, B.C. -- Thanks for featuring the lovely pictures of George Bush's two military-aged daughters on the front page. It's heartwarming to know that they, too, are ready to sacrifice themselves for the war on terrorism, enduring the discomforts and dangers of nail polish and strapless evening gowns.
Toronto -- A slow news day? An intellectual vacuum in your boardroom? What on earth could cause The Globe to publish a full colour photo of U.S. President George W. Bush's daughters on the front page, as if it were newsworthy?
Halifax -- Linking a huge cover photograph of pretty twins with a lightweight article buried in the middle pages, you flatter Playboy magazine by imitation. Fine. But where's the foldout?
Canadians, God bless 'em, every one. There may be hope for us yet.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
No, not this one, but there's a terrifically uplifting story over at dailykos, specifically a posting entitled Corrections.
kos links to an original article which discusses an online CBS news story about a couple who are just adorably enthused about George Bush's tax cuts. Turns out that the gentleman is, unbeknownst to the reading audience, the president of the New York Young Republicans Club. Oops. That's generally the kind of thing that readers have a real right to know. kos supplied a link to CBS' online complaint form and I, like I imagine many others, gave CBS a stern talking-to.
The upshot: a revised version of that story online which now clearly points out the political affiliation of Mr. Adorable. The moral: sometimes, I guess the squeaky wheel really does get the grease. Better moral: Do not fuck with the blogosphere. They have many eyes, and have run out of patience with this kind of crap.
Kerry-Edwards campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill slaps Ken Mehlman upside the head. You go, girl!
You bet, at least according to this GOP web site, which describes Edwards as "unaccomplished and inexperienced."
You have to admit, they have a point. I mean, it's not an easy thing to measure up to the achievements of George W. Bush.
Or just a lying sack of crap? We report; you decide.
From an article in the LA Times (also available here with no need for registration), we have Rice:
"Let me just be very clear: I don't know where the idea that there might be some postponement of elections comes from," she said on CNN.
Golly gee, I just have no idea where folks could be getting these absurd notions from. I don't know, could it be here?
Federal election officials will meet next week with officials of the Department of Homeland Security to discuss whether and how they would delay the November presidential election in the event of a catastrophic terrorist attack, a top elections official told MSNBC on Monday.
The official, DeForest B. Soaries Jr., chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, denied in an interview on MSNBC’s “Countdown” that federal officials had any plans to postpone the election, but he confirmed a report in the new edition of Newsweek magazine that the panel was seeking to establish a process to do so should it become necessary...
Why does this woman still have a job?
Top headlines from today's cnn.com:
MORE TOP STORIES
• Saudis: Bin Laden associate surrenders
• Gay marriage ban expected to die in Senate
• Political fund-raiser faces prostitution charge
• Bush twins describe Camp David karaoke...
American Morning (7 a.m. ET)
Join us for a rare look at President Bush's daughters.
I'm assuming that what they really meant was a rare look at President Bush's daughters sober.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Only the strong can stomach reading Sully's bizarre, paralogical rants, but I figure I have to do it so you don't. And it doesn't get more idiotic than a recent post of his, "The Case for War", which doesn't seem directly linkable at Sully's site. Let's follow the bouncing Sully, shall we?
To my mind, the war to depose Saddam is still justifiable, morally important, and will, if we stay the course, eventually be regarded as an important milestone in the war against terror.
OK, so the war was a good thing. Faithfully toeing the party line, that's our Sully.
But at the same time, it seems to me that there's no denying that the actual case made by the Bush administration for war was built on false information.
Whoa, so maybe the war wasn't really justifiable given that it was based on (how to put this delicately) a pack of lies.
Quoting Senator Pat Roberts (R-Lying Toady), Sully continues:
So if we had had accurate intelligence, the war would not have taken place.
I reiterate: I'm still glad we fought it.
Whoops. Back to flip.
But this remains one of the biggest government screw-ups in recent history. It has made future pre-emption based on intelligence close to impossible. And President Bush is ultimately responsible for this. Tenet has taken the fall, but it will take years and years before the U.S. regains the reputation for credibility that this president has destroyed. Even if you believe that Bush is still the best man to fight this war, you also have to concede that his record includes at least one massive error, and one that will cripple our ability to fight the war in the future.
Flop. I mean, really, flop. And he thinks John Kerry has a problem with waffling?
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Given Ehrenreich's wicked take on the Bush administration and their abject horror of the possibility of gay marriage, one wonders how long Barbara will last at the New York Times (new motto: "OK, we really suck.").
Perhaps it's time to start a pool to predict her last installment before she steps down for ... for ... health reasons. Yeah, that's it, health reasons. Or maybe to spend more time with her family.
From this CNN web page, "A flyboy's story: George Bush in World War II", you can get the scoop on the upcoming "CNN Presents" special on George Bush I's military history.
Read the thrilling story. Check out the interactive section. View the gallery. Take the quiz. And see just what kind of pathetic, right-wing, Republican-worshipping suck-ups CNN have become. Watch out, Fox News -- there's a new kid in town.
Thursday, July 08, 2004
The terrorists are coming! The terrorists are coming! From this article, we have:
Al Qaeda plans a large-scale attack on the United States "in an effort to disrupt the democratic process" before November's elections, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Thursday.
Holy elective disruption, Batman! That's pretty specific stuff, and Ridge lets you know it in no uncertain terms:
Ridge cited "recent interdictions" for the new warning.
Wow! Apparently, the anti-terrorist intelligence network is finally doing its job, and getting the real goods on those nefarious evildoers. Details, dammit! We need details!
[Ridge] said U.S. officials have no precise knowledge of the time, place or method of attack, but said they are "actively working to gain that knowledge."
Um ... what? But ... but ... OK, but you're going to beef up the security protocols, anyway, right? Right?
Ridge did not raise the national color-coded threat level beyond its current yellow, or elevated, level.
Ooooooookay. And just in case you thought that, maybe, there might have been cause for alarm, we have:
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Cat Killer, speaking before the briefing, said the intelligence was "very non-specific" and there was "no reason for panic, no reason for paralysis."
And, apparently, no reason for alarm. Or concern. Or, for that matter, much interest. Actually, just forget we brought it up, OK?
Journalist: "Scott, just the other day, the president was asked how he'd compare VP candidates Dick Cheney and John Edwards. His response: 'Dick Cheney could be president.'"
Scott McClellan: "And your question is?"
Journalist: "Well, there was a pretty clear implication that John Edwards just didn't have the experience, or perhaps maturity, call it what you will, to take on the position of president if circumstances called for it."
Journalist: "Well, given that George Bush is, by all accounts, a pampered, former secretary chasing, party animal, frat boy, service-dodging, cocaine using, former alcoholic, inarticulate, mediocre Yale C student and single-term governor, isn't it fair to say that he's already lowered the bar considerably for being president?"
Ah, well, I can dream, can't I?
Friday, July 02, 2004
From a Ken Fireman Newsday piece, discussing various Bush administration screwups:
One error that stands out as especially costly is the decision last year to blame the CIA for the president's inaccurate claim that Iraq sought to buy uranium in Africa. Picking a fight with the agency is never a good idea given its capacity for self-protective retaliation, and the administration has paid a stiff price. The latest installment came last month when the CIA cleared a new book by a senior official calling the Iraq war a blunder.
Yessir, you just don't fuck with the CIA. You do and ... and ... darn it, they'll get their director to resign. And if they get really pissed, they'll ... they'll ... well, they'll just clear a book.
And God help you if you expose one of their covert operatives. Holy shit, they'll just ... uh ... they'll ... beats me, what the hell did they do about that?
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Just another crooked Republican caught breaking the law:
The former head of a Republican consulting group has pleaded guilty to jamming Democratic telephone lines in several New Hampshire cities on Election Day two years ago... Allen Raymond, former president of the Virginia-based GOP Marketplace, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiring to make harassing phone calls. The charge carries up to five years in prison. He will be sentenced in November.
The funniest part of this article is right down at the bottom, where Repub chairwoman Jayne Millerick says, "These allegations have been extremely troubling and we are happy that it appears they are coming to a just conclusion."
Not so fast. I don't think we can say this is a "just conclusion" until we see Raymond's sorry ass in prison for a year or two. Any bets that he gets slapped with some sort of community service? Go ahead. Take the bet. Make my day.