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A snarky fly in
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Saturday, May 01, 2004

The Day After
One day after "Nightline" broadcast the names and pictures of the fallen in Iraq, and there have been no mass demonstrations against the Iraq war.

No torch-bearing mobs demanding the US pull out of Iraq immediately.

No troops spit upon by war protesters.

No flags burned.

Somehow, the Republic has survived this treasonous attack upon our courage, moral fiber, and precious bodily fluids.

We at the Liberal Media Conspiracy™ really must try harder next time. Destroying America is going to require tactics a bit less subtle than this.


Letter to "Alex"
I waited until after "Nightline" to compose my response to Alex's letter about the Sinclair Broadcast Group controversy.

Having now seen the Nightline show, I have to say that it was tasteful, respectful, and thoughtful.

The notion that there was something "shameful and disgusting" about it, that simply reading the names and showing the faces, strikes me as bizarre.

I would think that anytime - not just Memorial Day - should be a good time to remember our fallen - not just Pat Tillman, but also the Matthew Boule's and Nino Livaudais' who few hear of or remember after their deaths are reported.


I watched it. Every minute of it.

I thought it was simple, tasteful, respectful and dignified.

It was moving. Our local affiliate used one of the commercial breaks to show the Arizona war dead - with a rather somber music bed, which I think should have sent the hyper-sensitive super-patriots into far more conniptions than the "Nightline" show itself - the music, for those of that mindset, could be interpreted as an editorial comment by those who are fundamentally certain they can read the minds and motivations of media types like Ted Koppel. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting, why do you hate America?

For the entire show and the rest of the evening until I went to bed, I forgot all about my distaste for the credibility-challenged Bush regime, their lies, soldiers dying for oil and Halliburton, and Bush's warmongering in Iraq. All I thought about was the supreme sacrifice of these young (and not-so-young) men and women, ages ranging from 18 to 54. A good number of the names were clearly belonging to soldiers not born and raised in this country.

We all know who Pat Tillman was, but until Friday night, soldiers like Matthew Boule and Nino Livaudais were virtually unknown except to their brothers-in-arms, family, and friends.

They deserved this recognition, and doing it outside of Memorial Day weekend (when most folks are too busy relaxing, recreating or barbequing to give much thought to those who died for their country) was appropriate, I thought.

To cynically question "Nightline"'s motives for doing this at a time other than Memorial Day, seems cruel and strange to me, especially coming from the 'more patriotic than thou' set.

Why should the war dead be only remembered one day out of the year? Shouldn't they be thought of more often than that? Wouldn't it be patriotic to remember their sacrifices for freedom every single day we draw breath?

To criticize Friday's show as Sinclair (and my friend "Alex") has, is, frankly, bizarre. "Tin-foil hat" bizarre. "Black helicopter" bizarre.

And to think these criticisms are coming from the crowd that loves to shriek, "Politically Correct! Politically Correct!" like a parrot with a bad case of Tourette's Syndrome.


Friday, April 30, 2004

Pat Tillman Is Burning In Hell
It appears Ted Rall has something in common with Rev. Fred Phelps, the notorious proprietor of "GodHatesFags.com" and "GodHatesAmerica.com": they both loathe Pat Tillman:

Former Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman is a shining example of the impact all famous people could have, if they were interested in the cause of God and Truth. Tillman could have used his fame and fortune to further the Gospel, and instead, he chose to go worship the filthy fag flag and serve in the fag military cramming America's filth down the world's throat.


Pat Tillman Is Burning In Hell
It appears Ted Rall has something in common with Rev. Fred Phelps - they both loathe Pat Tillman:

Former Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman is a shining example of the impact all famous people could have, if they were interested in the cause of God and Truth. Tillman could have used his fame and fortune to further the Gospel, and instead, he chose to go worship the filthy fag flag and serve in the fag military cramming America's filth down the world's throat.


Pat Tillman Is In Hell
So says Rev. Fred Phelps, of the infamous "GodHatesFags.com" and "GodHatesAmerica.com".

Former Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman is a shining example of the impact all famous people could have, if they were interested in the cause of God and Truth. Tillman could have used his fame and fortune to further the Gospel, and instead, he chose to go worship the filthy fag flag and serve in the fag military cramming America's filth down the world's throat.



These Are Times That Try Mens' Souls
I have a friend, someone I've known for most of my life. He chose a military career and through lots of hard work, talent and good fortune, has risen to an unbelievably high position at the Pentagon. He's been to Iraq more than once (not in combat, but higher up), Afghanistan, pretty much the tour of the world's trouble spots. I have a photo of him in Saddam's throne at his favorite palace. You haven't seen my friend on the nightly news programs, but he definitely has spent time with many of the characters you've heard of. I'll call him Alex.

I have tremendous respect for him, particularly since I've perceived he's still a somewhat fair-minded individual, and I had thought (hoped) that he had not been thoroughly brain-washed into shrill wingnuttery by a military career. He's always done nuance very well and I respect him for that.

Nevertheless I think we've had an unspoken agreement not to discuss very much, politics or the war. I think he knows I'm somewhat more liberal than he is and probably not a Bush supporter. Likewise, I've suspected that having worked in the military has made him a right-winger and Bush-supporter. Probably unavoidable.

Because he knows something first-hand about Sinclair Broadcast Group, I took a chance of broaching a difficult subject and sent him the following message:

[SBG sure is] catching a lot of shit over their "nightline" pre-emption...

That's all I wrote about it. His response (condensed):


I think that Nightline's producers and Ted Koppel are doing this for the "splash" of it and probably because they don't agree with the President's position on Iraq. I don’t believe their motives are pure that they’re doing this, in part, to honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  If so, why doesn't Nightline wait and do this on Memorial Day weekend, which is coming up and where it might actually be fitting tribute?  I'll tell you why. They're greedy bastards and May sweeps ends just before Memorial Day weekend.  They need the controversy this will generate to scoop up a ratings win for their show, which doesn't do so well against its competition anymore.

They're doing this on the backs of all of those magnificent young Americans who have given their lives trying to stand for something bigger than themselves. I think that’s shameful and disgusting.  I also feel that Nightline's producers are using the power of their media "pulpit" to spread their particular form of "gospel," because I don't see how this has any sort of journalistic value.  Nightline's producers say it's also to remind us of the cost of war.  Didn't America just get a sobering reminder of how tragically high it is with the death of Pat Tillman?

Nightline's producers don't need to rub our noses in the cost of war to remind us how tragic it is.  It's terribly high, but freedom isn't free, and radical Islam and its terrorist scum, are running rampant and unchecked throughout that region of the world.  If we don't do something to change the political landscape over there, the US will eventually end up just like Israel.  These terrorist assholes will export even more horrific tactics to America and I'll have to worry about things like my child being blown apart by a misguided teenage suicide bomber at the bus stop one morning before school.      

So, while I can fully understand and appreciate Sinclair's position, I don't agree with it one bit.

All of us who volunteered to serve in our armed forces took an oath.  The oath is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, part of which guarantees our right to free speech -- no matter how tasteless or offensive it may be.   

While I think Nightline and ABC News are pathetic for doing this, I think the greater sin goes to Sinclair for its censorship.  It's their prerogative to tell their stations what to do, but I think silencing unpopular speech is a very dangerous thing.  It didn't work out too well in Germany in the 1930s and 40s.  It also didn't work too well for the Afghanis under the Taliban or for the Iraqis repressed by Saddam Hussein.   

I do appreciate Sinclair's wanting to support the troops who are laying their lives on the line over there.  I've been to Iraq, and Afghanistan too.  Tough places let me tell you.  My heart aches for the troops who are there facing a daunting challenge.  This Nightline distraction doesn't help them one bit.  It might even hurt them.  I also appreciate Sinclair's wanting to support our Commander-in-Chief, whose decision to go into Iraq and Afghanistan I fully supported.  They're doing this because like me, they're repulsed by what ABC is allowing Nightline to do.

Unlike Sinclair's leadership, however, I am an officer in the United States Army. Their jobs didn't come with an oath and in the final analysis I simply cannot bring myself to support the kind of blatant censorship they're propagating. The oath I took was to defend, not a President, not a political party, not a flag, but a document -- the Constitution of the United States.  If one is looking to test the fidelity of that oath -- try defending free speech -- even when that speech makes you sick to your stomach.

I've been silently wrestling with my feelings about Alex for several days now. I have tremendous respect for him, and through him I have come to understand what a high caliber of individual is in our military. They have a high sense of duty, honor and integrity, particularly the higher up you go in the command. Something you don't find in the average civilian, for sure. This is why I am loathe to be too quick to criticize our soldiers and officers. I know they are doing a very difficult job, and I understand full well (as much as a civilian can) that freedom isn't free, and that we will probably always require a strong military to preserve our country's freedoms. "Freedom isn't free" is no jingoistic statement - it's the honest truth. I have no problem with people criticizing the policies of our leaders and the military leadership, but I cringe and am sometimes angered when some on the left condemn individual members of the military. One really shouldn't say such things without having first-hand knowledge of the kind of folks who serve our country, how hard they work and how difficult their jobs can be. You may not agree with their politics, but by and large they have the kinds of personal values that we really need more of, especially in the corrupted corporate and political world.

Reading Alex's response leads me no closer to resolution of my feelings - I'm just as conflicted. I am 180 degrees apart from him on Iraq - it was a war we did not need to fight, and even if we did, it's difficult to argue that it's been executed competently apart from the swift victory over Saddam's regime. I also am puzzled by the vitriolic reaction to "Nightline" - how is simply reading the names of the deceased, with no editorial comment, such a despicable act??? People are going to take out of it what they want to take out of it. If you are for the war, you'll likely come out of it determined to persevere to the end, to ensure that the sacrifices were not made in vain. If you are against the war, you'll likely come out of it feeling even more justified that the cost of the war has been too high.

To some extent, I believe Alex has drunk the Kool-Aid.

Yet he also criticizes Sinclair and clearly he recognizes the nuance of the situation as far as freedom of speech. This is the other side of the coin, this is why I regard Alex as someone I can still remain friends with, although it's a bit strained at times like these and it's probably good that we live far apart and that I cannot make it to his wedding. There would be a LOT of military personnel there, and I likely would either have to keep my damn mouth shut the whole weekend or else inevitably get in a screaming-in-each-others-face argument with some fanatical jarhead.

I'm still torn about Alex. But now I have some idea of how Al Franken feels about his friend Mark Luther, the dittohead. In the past I've posted to the O'Franken Factor blog, "Al, how can you be friends with an idiot like that?"

I'm sorry I said that, Al, and I will never say it again. I wouldn't want anyone to say that about my friend Alex, who has more honor, decency, integrity and sense of duty than just about anyone I know, even though we probably disagree passionately about many of the important issues of our times.

I guess I should write some kind of response to him. I could avoid commenting but that would seem kind of cowardly to me. It's going to take me a bit of time to compose an appropriate reply.


Pat Tillman Is Burning In Hell
It appears Ted Rall has something in common with Rev. Fred Phelps, the notorious proprietor of "GodHatesFags.com" and "GodHatesAmerica.com": they both loathe Pat Tillman:

Former Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman is a shining example of the impact all famous people could have, if they were interested in the cause of God and Truth. Tillman could have used his fame and fortune to further the Gospel, and instead, he chose to go worship the filthy fag flag and serve in the fag military cramming America's filth down the world's throat.


Pat Tillman Is Burning In Hell
It appears Ted Rall has something in common with Rev. Fred Phelps, the notorious proprietor of "GodHatesFags.com" and "GodHatesAmerica.com": they both loathe Pat Tillman:

Former Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman is a shining example of the impact all famous people could have, if they were interested in the cause of God and Truth. Tillman could have used his fame and fortune to further the Gospel, and instead, he chose to go worship the filthy fag flag and serve in the fag military cramming America's filth down the world's throat.


Pat Tillman Is Burning In Hell
It appears Ted Rall has something in common with Rev. Fred Phelps, the notorious proprietor of "GodHatesFags.com" and "GodHatesAmerica.com": they both loathe Pat Tillman:

Former Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman is a shining example of the impact all famous people could have, if they were interested in the cause of God and Truth. Tillman could have used his fame and fortune to further the Gospel, and instead, he chose to go worship the filthy fag flag and serve in the fag military cramming America's filth down the world's throat.


Google-bomb Sinclair Broadcast Group with the word, pigfucker.

Pass it on.


Stop These Perverts Before They Strike Again
Can't keep your GOP sex perverts straight without a scorecard.

One more to add to the list...

Atrios has the scoop on SBG CEO and President David Smith, who was arrested in Baltimore in 1996 for soliciting prostitution.

On Thursday night, Sinclair issued a statement that Smith's arrest was unrelated to company business...

The Baltimore Sun later reported:

The president of Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., which owns the local Fox television affiliate, was arrested Tuesday night and charged with committing a perverted sex act in a company-owned Mercedes, city police said.

David Deniston Smith, 45, of the 800 block of Hillstead Drive in Timonium...

So, the arrest "is unrelated to company business" even though he used a company car to commit the crime. Got it.

(If I recall correctly, in 1996 there was another big shot in the DC area who got into a whole lot of trouble over oral sex...)

I wonder if David Smith still lives in the 800 block of Hillstead Drive in Timonium. Hmmm, I wonder... any of my readers live in the Baltimore area? A protest outside his home might be a good idea...


Sinclair Responds To Sen. McCain
Read it here.

I firmly believe that responsible journalism requires that a discussion of these costs must necessarily be accompanied by a description of the benefits of military action and the events that precipitated that action.

Yes, I think it would be a good idea for Sinclair's stations to describe the events that precipitated our military action in Iraq.

Like the non-existent WMD.

And those "16 words" about yellowcake uranium in Nigeria, in Bush's 2003 SOTU address.

And the way Gen. Shinseki was drummed out of the military for predicting that a war in Iraq would require far more troops and money than the Bush regime was willing to commit to it.

And the wildly optimistic predictions in the run-up to war, from Iraqi oil revenues paying for reconstruction to our troops being hailed as liberators and everything in between.

Yes, I am certain Sinclair's stations will mention all of these in their "balanced report addressing both sides of this controversy." I am certain that their coverage of the war and their refusal to air "Nightline" is in no way related to the fact that SBG donated over $60,000 this year alone (so far) to the GOP.

In fact, lest there be any doubt about "Nightline's" motivation, both Mr. Koppel and "Nightline's" executive producer have acknowledged that tonight's episode was influenced by the Life Magazine article listing the names of dead soldiers in Vietnam, which article was widely credited with furthering the opposition to the Vietnam war and with creating a backlash of public opinion against the members of the U.S. military who had proudly served in that conflict.

LIIIIIIES! LIIIIIARS! The backlash was AGAINST THE WAR, not the soldiers.

...do you remember how "Nightline" got its start? It began as a late-night update on the US Embassy hostages in Iran in 1979-1980.

Clearly, Ted Koppel's coverage of the hostage crisis was based on a desire to misuse the hostages' ordeal to support an anti-hostage position with which most, if not all, of these hostages would not have agreed.


"Matrix" co-creator Larry Wachowski is about to undergo a sex-change operation.


Dennis Miller Interviewed
(or a reasonable facsimile of him)

at WhiteHouse.org


Why Does John McCain Hate Our Troops?
Sen. John McCain delivers the smackdown on Sinclair Broadcasting Group:

...every American has a responsibility to understand fully the terrible costs of war and the extraordinary sacrifices it requires of those brave men and women who volunteer to defend the rest of us; lest we ever forget or grow insensitive to how grave a decision it is for our government to order Americans into combat....

Your decision to deny your viewers an opportunity to be reminded of war’s terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail, is a gross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. It is, in short, sir, unpatriotic.

McCain must be objectively pro-terrorist. He is only trying to sap the will of the American people. He is clearly trying to influence public opinion against the military action in Iraq.



Only Republicans May Utter The Names Of Dead Soldiers
I was at Sinclair Broadcast Group's site on Thursday and this statement was not there though I had heard parts of it quoted elsewhere on Thursday. I don't know if it's a new posting or I just hadn't seen it while out and about Thursday evening.

Before you judge our decision, however, we would ask that you first question Mr. Koppel as to why he chose to read the names of 523 troops killed in combat in Iraq, rather than the names of the thousands of private citizens killed in terrorist attacks since and including the events of September 11, 2001.

This has been roundly debunked, thanks to the blogosphere: "Nightline" broadcast the names of 9/11 victims on 11 September 2002.

And Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

Why is this disinformation still on the SBG website?

Based on published reports, we are aware of the spouse of one soldier who died in Iraq who opposes the reading of her husband's name to oppose our military action.

I'd like to know to what report they are referring. They're basing their decision on the objection of one woman, in turn based on a false premise? How is simply reading the names of the fallen, an act "to oppose our military action"?

Are only Republicans allowed to read the names of the dead, without having their motivations questioned?

What about Mark Hyman, the host of "The Point", a Rush-wing editorial presentation regularly shown on all Sinclair stations? I understand that Sinclair has made political donations of over $65,000 so far in 2004, 98% of it going to the GOP. Hyman is VP of Corporate Communications.

If Ted Koppel is ideologically suspect, then certainly Mark Hyman must be a good enough Republican to read the names of the war dead in a way that does not "oppose our military action", but is instead patriotic and fully supportive of the Bush administration's policies in every way.

This is not rhetorical: if SBG wants to prove, "...there is no organization that holds the members of our military and those soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in service of our country in higher regard than Sinclair Broadcast Group", then they (and you) should ask Mark Hyman to read the names of the fallen in Iraq, on every SBG station that is pre-empting "Nightline".

Because despite the denials by a spokesman for Sinclair Broadcast Group, the pre-emption of "Nightline", with no other effort to remember the Iraq war dead. appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to support the campaign of George W. Bush.


Thursday, April 29, 2004

Idea for Iraq War Memorial
Statues of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Perle, and Rice.

Brooms in their hands.

Sweeping sculptures of dead American soldiers underneath a giant rug.


Letter To Sinclair Broadcast Group
Dear Mr. Hyman:

As a patriotic, God-fearing American, I would like to thank you for Sinclair Broadcast Group's refusal to air Nightline's Friday, 30 April show - the one where notorious America-hating Communist Ted Koppel will read the names of our fallen soldiers in Iraq.

This is clearly an America-hating, treasonous act designed to sap the will of our countrymen and I commend you for seeing through it.

In the spirit of further promoting patriotic support towards war and our military, I would like to call your attention to other America-hating activities in Washington, DC, promoted by liberals, communists, and other terrorist-loving evil-doers who hate peace and freedom.

You see, there is a rather large Vietnam War "Memorial" near the Lincoln Memorial. It is actually a HOLE IN THE GROUND!!! Clearly, liberals are suggesting that we should throw our war dead in a hole. There is also a Korean War "Memorial" with statues of US soldiers colored in an unmanly blue hue. And this Memorial Day, there is going to be a World War II "Memorial" opened.

I really don't understand the need for the latter - we've gone 60 years without such an obscenity, and the US has done just fine without it.

I encourage you to stand up for American patriotism and strength by using the awesome power of your television stations, to push for the demolishing of these war "memorials", which only serve to remind Americans of soldiers who disgracefully failed their country by dying, rather than by killing the enemy.

If it proves impossible to abolish these unpatriotic displays of sympathy for dead soldiers, then perhaps you can work for replacing the reminders of dead American soldiers on these 'memorials', with the names of all of America's enemies who were killed by the patriotic, successful American soldiers who did not fail their country by dying for it, but who instead killed as many of the enemy as possible.

Yours In Christ...


Sinclair Broadcast Group Thwarts LMC
The wily Sinclair Broadcast Group is on to the Liberal Media Conspiracy™.

Our useful idiots at ABC's "Nightline" are going to spend Friday's program reading the names of the fallen in Iraq, in a blatant attempt to show solidarity with the terrorists by remembering the war dead.

Unfortunately, Nightline's motives were transparently obvious to the patriots at Sinclair:

...the action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq.

We at the Liberal Media Conspiracy™ understand all too well that the strength of the United States lies in its ability to forget uncomfortable facts, in this specific case, to forget about the sacrifices of fallen US soldiers. That's why we and our fellow travellers in government, have worked hard to establish memorials to the war dead of Vietnam and Korea, and we're especially proud of the soon-to-be-opened World War II Memorial. We're confident that these permanent reminders of the sacrifices of war, will sap the will of patriotic Americans to fight and die for corporate interests freedom, thereby permitting North America to be turned into a radical Muslim theocracy.

Despite the counter-conspiratorial efforts of Sinclair Broadcast Group, support for the Iraq war and the credibility-challenged Bush regime is dropping faster than Ahmad Chalabi booted from a C-130 without a parachute.

We at LMC™ promise to continue to work tirelessly to undermine American resolve and confidence by reminding patriotic Americans that US soldiers have died and will continue to die in the Middle East.


Wednesday, April 28, 2004

War Is A Racket
In case you haven't read it before (or not read it recently), it's a good time to remember the words of Major General Smedley Butler:

Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had "kept us out of war" and on the implied promise that he would "keep us out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.

In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or sailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die.

Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?


An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group:

"There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars.

If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money...and Germany won't.


Like Wilson, Bush made certain promises before moving into the White House.

He said America should have a humble foreign policy. He said we should not engage in nation-building.

Like Wilson, Bush has done exactly the opposite since grabbing the brass ring having the brass ring handed to him by the Supreme Court.

War is a racket. The Bush family knows this well, and has profited handsomely from this racket.

To Hell with war.

To Hell with the Bush family.


Don't Count Your Chickenhawks Before They Squawk
Can't keep your chickenhawks straight without a scorecard (or database...).

Condensed version (unless noted, all avoided Vietnam service):

George W. Bush: used family connections to get into TX Air Nat'l Guard. Same connections jumped him ahead of many others for a slot as a pilot flying an obsolete jet (guaranteeing he would not be called up for service in 'Nam). Did not report for his final year of NG duty.

Dick Cheney: had "other priorities".

Scooter Libby (Cheney's Chief of Staff): student deferment.

Karl Rove: received student deferment, later revoked. Placed on 'extended priority' status. Could have been called in 1972 but was not (by then US was beginning to wind down Vietnam conflict).

Donald Rumsfeld (Korea): Was in ROTC during the conflict. Flew Navy jets after the war ended.

Paul Wolfowitz: Student deferment.

John Ashcroft: Deferment to teach business education.

Richard Perle: Student deferment.

Tom DeLay: "So many minority youths had volunteered that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like myself."


Lautenberg Blasts "Chickenhawks"
If George W. Bush wants to send his surrogates out to attack Kerry's war record, well, fair is fair:

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg on Wednesday called Vice President Dick Cheney "the lead chickenhawk" against Sen. John Kerry and criticized other Republicans for questioning the Democratic presidential contender's military credentials...

In a scathing speech on the Senate floor, Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, said that he did not think politicians should be judged by whether they had military service but added that "when those who didn't serve attack the heroism of those who did, I find it particularly offensive."

"We know who the chicken hawks are. They talk tough on national defense and military issues and cast aspersions on others," he said. "When it was their turn to serve where were they? AWOL, that's where they were."

Lautenberg pointed to a poster with a drawing of a chicken in a military uniform defining a chickenhawk as "a person enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it."

"They shriek like a hawk, but they have the backbone of the chicken," he said.

"The lead chickenhawk against Sen. Kerry [is] the vice president of the United States, Vice President Cheney," Lautenberg said. "He was in Missouri this week claiming that Sen. Kerry was not up to the job of protecting this nation. What nerve. Where was Dick Cheney when that war was going on?"

The spine implant has taken hold!


Rejected Iraqi Flag Designs
For some reason, these didn't make the cut:


Parsing William Safire
Excerpts from Safire's latest, an attempt to rehabilitate Colin Powell's reputation:

...a voice of tactical caution [to whom no one pays attention] in a National Security Council of bold strategists is a necessary thing.

Powell gets his dissents heard, and wins a few. [very few. And far between, as well.] He persuaded Bush to go to the U.N. for its resolution warning Saddam of "serious consequences," which was wise. [Powell sacrificed his credibility with that PowerPoint presentation, in order to throw down an itty-bitty speed bump in front of Bush's pell-mell drive for war. What a shrewd move that was. I mean, no one regards the Bush regime as warmongers. After all, they went to the UN!]

Though he doesn't zip his lip as well as a team player should when he loses [often...], Powell loyally stays aboard to argue again another day. [In other words, he should be more like Alan Colmes.] That moderately principled stand may get him derided by doves as a "good soldier," but it makes him a good secretary of state. [which is why Bush told the Saudis he was going to war before he mentioned it to Powell...]

Bush comes out well as a leader in Woodward's book because he surrounds himself with strong advisers, gives them a fair hearing [never mind what Paul O'Neill said about Bush being like a blind man in a room full of deaf people], then makes up his mind [God, Cheney and Rove tell him what to think] and takes action. As a result, some of the best of them stick around, gaining humility with age. [for instance, Donald Rumsfeld, now there's a humble guy. Dick Cheney, he's humble too. Same for Condi Rice and Wolfowitz. Yes, the more they stick around and fuck up, the humbler they get. Really. Meanwhile, the ones who display that treasonous and disloyal habit of telling the truth, like O'Neill, Joe Wilson, and Richard Clarke, don't stick around. They get asked to leave.]

Thank you William Safire, for once again faithfully meeting the Times' daily quota of right-wing crap.


"The Politics Of Truth"
I found out I am first in line to have a "hold" on the new Joseph Wilson book at our public library.

So, depending on how quickly they can make it available to me once it comes out at the end of the week, I look forward to blogging it for you. I hope they get these kinds of books right away and not two weeks later or something.

By the way, I've been saving a lot of money and bookshelf space by just placing 'holds' at our public library on new books like this. I've found that you can get your hands on them fairly quickly if you place a 'hold' early enough, usually before the book comes out or shortly thereafter. They actually have 23 copies of Richard Clarke's book in circulation! Love ya, Phoenix Public Library!!!


Bomb bomb bomb, A-Bomb in Iran...
According to CNN,an Iranian opposition group claims Iran is one to two years from having an atomic bomb.

The Iranian opposition group's summary says the view of Iran's government is that "because of its problems in Iraq, the United States has no choice but to go soft on Iran."

Looks like if the Iranian smoking gun comes in the form of a mushroom cloud, we won't be able to do much about it, since we're busy chasing WMD bringing peace and democracy to Iraq Saddam had rape rooms! finding a way to declare victory and bug out in Iraq.

Explain to me again how invading and occupying Iraq made us safer?


What A Dick (Cheney)
Yesterday (27 April) was the 10th anniversary of the new South Africa.

The credibility-challenged Cheney/Bush regime loves to talk about what a wonderful thing it was to bring freedom to the Iraqis.

But when Big Time Dick had the opportunity to support freedom for black South Africans, he voted against a resolution supporting the release of Nelson Mandela and recognition of the ANC. He voted against sanctions on South Africa because "they don't work", though he certainly didn't seem to be opposed to 12 years of sanctions on Iraq.

(do sanctions work? it depends. In the case of South Africa they seem to have contributed to political change; in the cases of Iraq and Cuba, they seem to have been/be miserable failures)

Funny how Rethuglicans are only interested in bestowing 'freedom' on folks who happen to have a lot of oil. I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Here's a good primer on Big Time Dick.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

We Get Letters
sometime back (I think last year), someone put me on the GOP mailing list. I really can't recall where or what I might have posted to incur this kind of wrath.

But whoever did this, I'd like to say "thank you." Because, you see, every single one of these mailings comes with a postage-paid reply envelope. So I mail right back to them all their junk mail (after tearing off anything that might identify me, so they can't remove me from the list), plus I add in any other junk mail until the envelope is bulging and as heavy as possible. I also add in some choice anti-Bush propaganda or just scrawl "Bush Lied" in big magic marker on some of the papers.

Late last week I received two mailings. Sometimes they are quite hilarious to read, because over-the-top, hysterical copy is de rigeur for these kinds of fundraising letters.

I was hoping to have something really juicy to make hay with. Unfortunately, the fundraising copy was rather sedate by such standards but I did turn up a couple of LIIIIIIES! LIIIIARS!

The other side has several attack groups, funded by large illegal "soft money" contributions from wealthy liberals...

They are talking about 527s here, and last I checked, they were still legal despite GOP efforts to have them declared illegal. Failing that, they will certainly smear them as somehow sinister.

San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle continue to push the Democrats' failed big government, freewheeling tax-and-spend policies.

Fact: Government has never been bigger than it is under George W. Bush. I won't even get into the GOP's freewheeling borrow-and-spend policies that have put our nation $1 trillion deeper into the hole in just 3 years.

We must counter the Democrats by getting our message out past the liberal media echo chamber...

"Liberal media echo chamber"? Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Talk about projection.

I look forward to sharing more GOP fundraising letter shenanigans with you in the future. We got months to go... it will only get more shrill as the election nears.


Monday, April 26, 2004

Need A Good Laugh?
Adam Yoshida's going on about China again.


Ask Dennis Miller A Question
Whitehouse.org is inviting you to ask Dennis Miller a question.

Dennis (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) will answer the questions this Wednesday, 28 April.


Bush Photo Caption Contest
Bush at desk

I received not one but two Bush campaign mailings at the end of last week (more on that, later).

Enclosed was the following photo. It seemed to beg - nay, SCREAM! - for a Bush photo caption contest.

So, submit your caption suggestion in the comments thread for this post AND PLEASE ENTER AN EMAIL ADDRESS so I can contact you if yours wins.

Best one according to my highly subjective and twisted judgement, gets an autographed copy of Mamma, Si Mangia?, a very charming little Italian cookbook authored by my uncle and illustrated by my aunt. The recipes are easy and quick and the tales of growing up in Italy are hilarious.

Deadline for entries is Monday, 10 May. I'll mail it to US/Canada/APO addresses only, sorry. If you're abroad and win, we'll have to work out some way to pay for the postage. It just costs too much to send anything other than a letter to non-North American destinations.


Misplaced Photos
Damn. I have a photo album around here with pix from the '92 pro-choice march, which I attended. I really wanted to scan them in and share them.

But I've spent an hour looking and I can't find the album at this time. I am sure it will turn up two months from now when I am not looking for it.

I hate when this kind of thing happens. Arrgh. If you know where I might have put it, please let me know ;-)


Lame GOP Bumpersticker of the Week
Seen on a car in my neighborhood:

"Kerry's Skerry!"

My, did you think of that all on your own, neighbor? You must be very proud of yourself.

It wasn't really a bumper sticker, it was printed out on a computer and taped to the back window. Very proud of themselves, indeed.

I would show you a picture but (speaking of lameness) Nikon is still getting around to sending back the Coolpix camera they didn't fix right the first time.


More Bush Press Conference Videos
Several days back I posted a video showing how articulate our Chimperor was at his 13 April press conference.

Here are some more Bush press conference videos - "Misspeaker", "Mistakes", "Liberation or Occupation?" and, "Freedom and the Patriot Act".

They are the bottom four on that page and shorter than the first one. QuickTime required.


Sunday, April 25, 2004

Musica Tonante
I'm a HUGE fan of Euro-disco, Euro-house, tribal, all that shit.

I get my fix by listening to Italy's Radio Deejay (uses the dreaded RealPlayer) on Fridays and Saturdays in the afternoon, US time (evening over in Europe) when they play the Megamix.

(I guess it would have been helpful to post this before the weekend - I'll do a reminder later this coming week)

Bypass the Flash splashscreen animation (god i hate that concept) and then look for the "ascolta" link, usually in the upper left.

And if you are fortunate enough to be a Mac OS X user, you can use Wiretap to record the stream to an AIFF file. I cut these up into seamless tracks and burn CDs for listening to in my car.

I've got some more nifty edited videos from Bush's 13 April press conference, which I will be posting later today.