Friday, February 17, 2006

Classic Will Ferrel

Friday, February 03, 2006

Pat Robertson, Caught in Headlights

MMFA has a hilarious clip of Colmes asking religious extremist Pat Robertson what, exactly, he's been trying to say about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

First Patty called for his assassination.

Then Patty lied about calling for the assassination, denying he even used the word. Kidnapping and detention, however, were fair game. Nice apology, preacher.

After Colmes played him his own words, Pat looked like a dear caught in the headlights of an approaching truck. "Should I apologize for using tissue-thin logic to call for his assination?" he seemed to be thinking. "No, Republicans hate apologies. But I got in big trouble for that comment. Hmmmm..."

So what did he say? Assination "[n]ot now, but one day." Brilliant. You have to pick your battles when you're in the business of perverting Christianity.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The White House's Useful Idiot, At It Again – or – The Disintegration of a Madman

CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour (bio) was on Larry King this past Monday and offered a refreshing bit of candor.

Speaking to Larry about the injuries sustained by Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt, she mentioned that "[t]he war in Iraq has basically turned out to be a disaster." (Video @ C&L)

Mind you, she's no political operative. Just read her bio; she's been to just about every world conflict in the past couple of decades and seems to have more journalism awards than I would know what to do with. She's speaking from personal experience, because she knows she's taking her life in her hands every time she's in Iraq.

Enter Bill O'Reilly. The falafel fiend was predictably upset that anyone in the media would dare tell the truth without pretending the White House's version of reality is equally as valid. So he goes on his Hour of Hate and pokes this bowel movement out of his lips:

"I mean, she's declared herself to say it's a disaster. So, you can draw by that that she has a rooting interest in it being thus."
(Video @ MMFA)

This might as well be O'Reilly Rule #1: Discredit anyone who doesn't agree with you by lying your ass off.

Here he's saying {reporting what you've seen} = {expressing an opinion} + {having an agenda}. Also war = peace and freedom = slavery. Moreover, it's deliciously predictable. I guess the first step in slaying the beast (metaphorically, in case that coward wants to sue) is understanding it.

Side Note
Speaking of the Bob Woodruff/Doug Vogt tragedy, O'Reilly shamefully uses it to cry like a little bitch because NBC doesn't cower at the Almighty Conservative Power that is Fox News. He can dish it out, but he can't take it; you'd think Olbermann knocked up his daughter and then flew the coop. (Video @ C&L)

Olbermann offers a witty rebuttal, as usual. (Video @ C&L)

Image Note: I stole it from somewhere in the aether of the interweb. Hat tip to whoever photoshopped it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

NY Subways Hit More People When Economy is Bad

An interesting bit of Live Science.

State of the Union Preparation

Sunday, January 29, 2006

GOP Abramoff Anxiety

I find myself wondering why there's all this utter bullshit being thrown around to obfuscate the Abramoff scandal – specifically that he was an "equal money dispenser," in the words if G.W. Bush. There's absolutely no evidence to support this.

The obvious initial rebuttal many progressives have given is Abramoff didn't give a penny in contributions or gifts etc. to Democratic legislators. This is public record.

That didn't stop Deborah Howell of the Pentagon Post from buying into the charade of equal opportunity corruption. She posted false or, at best, ill-informed and terribly misleading statements such as "he [Abramoff] had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties."

Nor did it stop Katie Couric from challenging Howard Dean's assertion that no Democratic lawmakers had gotten Abramoff money. In an uncharacteristic attempt to show her mettle, Couric shouted "Hey, wait a second. Democrats took - Democrats took money from Abramoff too, Mr. Dean."

Shortly thereafter, Bill O'Reilly inflated this line to an asinine degree to fulfill his role in the Conservative Talking Point Echo Chamber. According to the fat schmuck, Abramoff was "charged with giving [Democrats] other people's money." That's just a total lie.

In a totally spineless and reluctant half-realization of the truth, Matt Lauer followed up on Couric's embarassing segment by admitting that "technically speaking, Howard Dean may be correct." No shit.

But the new party line is that, while never actually giving money to Democrats himself, Abramoff "directed" his tribal clients to give money to Democrats. That this is being used to argue that the Abramoff scandall is a bi-partisan scandal is stunningly ridiculous. I'd call it morbidly retarded, but that's too much of an insult to the mentally retarded.

1. A lobbyist arranging for his clients to contribute to members of congress is legal. It's called lobbying.

2. There's absolutely no evidence to indicate that these contributions to Democrats went beyond lobbying to illegal bribery etc. However, the same cannot be said for Republican members of congress.

3. Perhaps most important, a new and extensive analysis of campaign donations from all of Jack Abramoff’s tribal clients, done by a nonpartisan research firm, shows the following:
• in total, the donations of Abramoff’s tribal clients to Democrats dropped by nine percent after they hired him, while their donations to Republicans more than doubled, increasing by 135 percent after they signed him up;

• five out of seven of Abramoff’s tribal clients vastly favored Republican candidates over Democratic ones;

• four of the seven began giving substantially more to Republicans than Democrats after he took them on;

• Abramoff’s clients gave well over twice as much to Republicans than Democrats, while tribes not affiliated with Abramoff gave well over twice as much to Democrats than the GOP -- exactly the reverse pattern.

Let's see the so-called liberal media report this. I won't hold my breath.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

"From the British Press" Department

How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power
Ben Aris in Berlin and Duncan Campbell in Washington
Saturday September 25, 2004
The Guardian

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Rising Hegemon

Great post by Rising Hegemon.
This issue [strip-searching children], like warrantless wiretaps, is one that cannot be let go. If this is ground zero on the clash between Democratic and Republican values then I say let the battle begin. But let's stop talking about warrantless wiretaps and start talking about illegal searches. Let's stop talking about "conservative" values and start talking about big government values. Let's start talking about a police state and curfews. Let's make sure people understand that when they can strip search your child, when they can wiretap your phone without a warrant, they can just walk right into your home in the middle of the night just to scare the shit out of you and see what they can find. We may as well be living in Baghdad.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Gay Marriage Ban Advances in Va.

Virginia is for lovers – but not newlyweds.

From the WaPo article:
The House of Delegates gave preliminary approval Friday to legislation that will place a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage before Virginia voters in November.

What I love about this is that the only opposition cited (and probably the only opposition voiced, given the Va. House's cripplingly conservative leanings) is that the amendment might have unintended consequences. The intended consequences – to continue the Va. House's history of consistently denying equal rights to homosexuals – are somewhat of a foregone conclusion. It doesn't matter that gay couples can adopt children and establish loving families (though they tried to outlaw that, too); if the parents have the same genitals, they must be soldiers of satan.

Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty

I recommend anyone take a look at Emma Goldman's Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty (1908). I wouldn't call myself an anarchist, but it really makes you stop and think. These days "patriotism" is bandied about by the Right so much that it loses all meaning, so it was refreshing to hear the word in a context not exclusively reductionist and anti-intellectual.

(I heard Goldman's piece on Democracy Now! when they aired dramatic readings of excerpts of Howard Zinn's new book, Voices of a People's History of the United States.)


Man I love this song: Maria from The Battle of Los Angeles, by Rage Against the Machine.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Meet the New Law, Same as the Old Law

I heard on Harry Shearer's le Show podcast the other day that Bush issued a Presidential signing statement in regard to the McCain torture amendment. What did it say? Basically, the Preznit says the law doesn't apply to him.

A quick Google News search found this illuminating article by John W. Dean. Some quotes:
Rather than veto laws passed by Congress, Bush is using his signing statements to effectively nullify them as they relate to the executive branch.

It is a calculated, systematic scheme that has gone largely unnoticed ... until recently, when President Bush used a signing statement to attempt to nullify the recent, controversial McCain amendment regarding torture...

Deliciously diabolical.

Update: Check out this Sydney Morning Herald opinion piece: "If the law doesn't suit, just ignore it."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Republican sermons about civility

Glenn Greenwald takes on those hypocritical Republican sermons about civility at Crooks & Liars.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Herr Alito's Confirmation Hearing Happenings

I've been watching the Alito hearings today, as have many of you politics nerds, I'm sure. It's C-Span's Super Bowl.

Adam Nagourney has an interesting column. Something that stuck out:

"There was far more talk by Democrats about presidential overreach than about abortion rights."

Yet on Fox News at around 6:38 pm they play one of their favorite liberal New York Jew nemeses, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) questioning Alito about his position on abortion (such as his opinion that there is not a Constitutional right to abortion, expressed in his application to the Justice Department in 1985). This is typical of the mainstream characterization of the Left – that abortion is their sacred cow, that they want unrestricted abortion on demand for pregnant teens in their third trimester, that they pray to the altar of dead unborn babies. I've seen the Usual Gang of Idiots – O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc. – say so countless times.

To be totally clear, I myself value the unimpeded right of a woman and her doctor to choose to have an abortion. That anyone would have the hubris to legislatively limit a woman's self-determination regarding her reproduction and family is ludicrous to me, and the deification of globules of presentient cells simply because they are genetically different from the would-be mother's is misguided at best. But I digress.

The point is that this supposed liberal fixation is patently false. Alito is on record as opposing the Constitutional right to abortion, yet I saw with my own eyes how Alito was strongly questioned by Democrats about Presidential powers, discrimination legislation, and other important issues.

But remember Harriet Miers? The Conservatives killed her nomination because they weren't sure enough that she would fight to outlaw abortion. From the Nagourney article:

"I remind my colleagues, many of whom were on this committee, they sure wanted to know what Harriet Miers thought," said Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware. "They were ready to administer a blood test."

The Mainstream Conservative Media wants to pigeonhole Alito opposition as simply the work of their invented Abortion Zealots. No dice.

"DeLay tried, failed to aid Abramoff client"

Apparently "DeLay tried, failed to aid Abramoff client." That's ok Hammer, it's the thought that counts.