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A snarky fly in
the right wing ointment

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Saturday, May 08, 2004

It's Even Worse Than You Dared To Imagine
A commenter at Blah 3's temporary HQ says this:

I've been getting reports for several days about the content of some of those videos, and it is revolting: Soldiers gang raping a woman - to death. Decapitation, and then soldiers having sex with the severed body parts. Gang raping a young iraqi boy, executing him during, then continuing to rape the corpse. This is going to be much worse than people think.

Beyond revolting, if true. Horrific. War crimes.

I'm going to follow up on this to check on the sources for this info.

I wonder how the wingnuts are going to spin this.

I think I'm going to make a Hall of Shame for all those pundits like Katherine O'Beirne, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Cal Thomas, and Kathleen Parker who have found ways to excuse this Saddam-esque horror.


Friday, May 07, 2004

Bush/Cheney '04 Terror Alert
Bush-Cheney ´04 Terror Alert

The Liberal Media Conspiracy™ is enacting this new Bush/Cheney '04 Terror Alert system to keep you informed of the desperation of the Bush/Cheney '04 campaign crusade as 2 November approaches.

Go here to get the Bush/Cheney '04 Terror Alert System badges.


Bush Photo Caption Contest Ends Monday
Bush at desk

Just a reminder before the weekend: The Bush Photo Caption Contest ends Monday. I'll judge the entries at 9am PDT/12 noon EDT and post the winner shortly thereafter. Enter your, uh, entry, here or in the comments thread for this here post.

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.

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.


Thursday, May 06, 2004

Read The Fine Print
I stayed up late surfing. Air America has added a new contact page (new to me at least) with some interesting fine print:

By posting or submitting any materials, including but not limited to (any jokes, creative material, remarks, program (or any other) ideas, graphics, photos, comments, product concepts, advertising concepts or ideas, and suggestions for improving or changing existing content) to this website, (or by mail, fax, telephone, or any other means of communication) you automatically grant (or warrant that the owner of such rights has expressly granted) to Air America Radio and its parent company, Progress Media, a royalty-free, nonexclusive, perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, edit, translate, perform, display and distribute such materials alone or as part of other works in any form or technology now known or later developed, (you waive any moral rights you may have in having the material altered or changed in a manner not agreeable to you) and to sublicense such rights through multiple tiers of sub-licensees.

I understand the concept of legal CYA, but basically what this says to me is, if you submit any cute or clever jokes/cartoons/graphics/songs/whatever, they are perfectly free to cop it and use it as their own.

So, I would suggest that if you have anything REALLY cool (like a bumper sticker idea, a T-shirt design, a logo design, a cartoon or Flash movie, a slogan, a song - I can't get that "Mission Accomplished!" out of my head! - or if you just want to pimp for a job there by submitting portfolio work) that you think might be suitable for AA, post it to your own site and notify them of the URL. Or just circulate the URL among the boards and blogs and hope word filters to AA. Also post a copyright notice on your page. I think that would cover you but maybe an attorney out there can tell me different.

Unless you don't mind if they cop it and give you, at most, an on-air mention.

I sure hope they are not going to use this legal mumbo-jumbo to abuse the goodwill of their creative and well-meaning fans.


Buck This
Truman: The buck stops here.

Bush: The buck stops anywhere but here.

Rumsfeld: The buck never made it to my desk.

Rice: The buck had no silver bullet.

Perle: The buck is the closest thing American politics has to a terrorist.

Ashcroft: The buck is under surveillance and may be seized at any time, without right to an attorney nor the right to hear the evidence against it.

Cheney: The buck is in a secure, undisclosed location.

Hughes: The buck, like the terrorists, does not value human life.

Powell: Where would you like me to put this buck, massuh?

Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox News, et al: The buck stops with Clinton.

Little Green Fascists: Why does the buck hate America?

Ann Coulter: The buck is a traitor.

Michael Kelly: The buck is objectively pro-terrorist.

Ahmad Chalabi: The buck? So what? We are in Baghdad now.

Adam Yoshida: The buck should be nuked. Many may die but it will be worth it in the end.


Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Shitstorm Is Coming
The Abu Ghraib prison scandal keeps getting worse.

I'm angry. And I'm sad too. Because we're all Americans and failure in Iraq is going to do lasting damage to American prestige, for the next 10 to 20 years. Think about how long of a shadow Vietnam cast over the US and use of its military. That's an issue that the next administration, whether GOP or Dem, is going to have to deal with and it will affect all of us.

The Little Green Fascists are doing their best to create a distraction - "Hey, look over there, it's Michael Moore! Over there, Ted Rall! Saddam! Pinochet! Israel!"

Apologists for the credibility-challenged Bush regime can make all the excuses they want, and they will. But they should think about this:

  • Imagine if Iraq had captured American soldiers and done these things to them. Would rightards be calling it, 'severe hazing'? Hell no. They'd be demanding carpet bombing of the ragheads. Would Rush Limbaugh be calling it, 'blowing off steam"? Hell no. He'd be bellowing some crap about it being proof of the inhumanity of Arabs.

    (AAMOF Iraq DID capture American soldiers during the war and they were treated HUMANELY. I would not count on such treatment should, Deity forbid, more coalition soldiers be captured in the future.)

  • Is it torture? Depends what the meaning of 'torture' is. It's certainly a notch or two below amputations and the iron maiden and feeding prisoners to lions, I suppose. Is it degrading and humiliating treatment? Hell yes. Technically, a war crime though I doubt anyone has to worry about being dragged to The Hague.

  • Has it irretrievably damaged the image of the US in the Middle East? Yes. These morons have just given credence to every single wacked-out conspiracy theory on the Arab street. It's one thing to say, 'well they hated us already'. But you know, at least before this all happened, the average Arab on the street could say something positive about America without getting beaten up or ostracized. Any Arab who would voice pro-US sentiments now, would be about as popular as Hanoi Jane on an Army base in 1971.

This is bad, bad, bad. Saying, "well, Saddam was worse" doesn't cut it here and it certainly doesn't cut it on the Arab street, which is really the only public opinion Bush apologists should be worrying about.

I say that because, instead of worrying about a Kerry administration - which, despite the hysteria some folks on the right display, is not going to just pull all US troops out on 21 January 2005 - rightards should be worrying about a popular Iraqi uprising against the American occupation. If such a thing should happen, the Abu Ghraib incident will be seen as the gasoline thrown on the smoldering embers.

Failure in Iraq would do untold damage to American prestige, and I don't want to see that happen, no matter who wins in November. But I sure don't have much confidence that the current gang of idiots has the wisdom or vision to turn things around. It is clearly on a downward trajectory and we have a long, hot summer ahead of us.


George W. Bush Takes It In The Ass
At least, according to Rush Limbaugh (talking about prisoner torture by US troops at Abu Ghraib prison):

Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the skull and bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?

I never knew that Bush took a broomstick in the ass! I never knew that he was forced to perform oral sex on another man! I never knew that he was urinated upon!

Pardon me while I go soak my brain in Clorox.

(tip via Wonkette)


Attacking the President for Fun and Profit
It's a shameful and disgusting thing to attack a sitting President - especially when he has his hands full dealing with fighting terrorists and our nation's enemies - purely for a selfish profit motive.

I am, of course, speaking of Paula Jones, the trailer trash whose lawsuit against President Clinton was filed 10 years ago today.

Let us count the ways in which Jones cashed in:

  • her story morphed from 'a hand on the leg' to 'two hands running up my clothes'

  • she somehow came to acquire a beach-front condo in Long Beach, a Mercedes, a nose-job, a health-club membership, a payoff to appear in an anti-Clinton video

  • she appropriated many tens of thousands of dollars from her "legal defense fund"

  • after being held up as an example of the 'hypocrisy' of the feminist left which refused to defend her, she later posed for Penthouse magazine

I won't even get into Linda Tripp.

Yet when a few folks write books about their experiences with the credibility-challenged Bush regime, we are treated to a chorus of right-wing bleating about, 'they're just trying to make a buck!'

Paula Jones, who was never about anything other than cashing in on her 15 minutes of fame, and her handlers who were never about anything other than cynically using her to attack Bill Clinton, the last duly-elected President we've had, are conveniently deposited in the memory hole.

A million Paula Jones' could not begin to match the credibility and honor of Richard Clarke, who spent years defending this country against terrorists; Paul O'Neill, who was a talented and ethical CEO and later served as TreaSec; or Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who heroically saved literally thousands of Americans in Iraq just before Gulf War I and served his country honorably during his years of service to administrations of both parties.

Yet that won't stop the rightards from smearing anyone who dares to criticize Glorious Leader.

By their fruits, ye shall know them.


Tuesday, May 04, 2004

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

Isn't the web a wonderful thing? You can discover all sorts of wingnuttery that you otherwise never could have imagined might exist.

Check out the "Veterans Day = Devil's Day" article too.


Ted Rall: Major League Asshole
I usually enjoy Ted Rall's cartoons, but this one is fucking disgusting.

Ted Rall didn't know jackshit about Pat Tillman, or else he wouldn't be able to accuse him of being a bloodthirsty Arab-killer.

This is the kind of shit (as well as Micah Wright and his "Ranger" lies) that allows rightards to feel righteously justified in calling us the "hate America" crowd.

Fuck you, Ted Rall. We need more Pat Tillman's and a lot less Ted Rall's.


Someone Doesn't Like Me
The last few days, I've been getting emails from various universities/coupon offers/whatever. Clearly someone is signing me up for all kinds of stuff in an EXTREMELY lame attempt to 'get' me.

Of course, none of these sites put you on their mail lists unless you acknowledge the sign-up email.

I'm glad to know that this blog is pissing off some rightards out there. I guess I am doing something 'right'.

Bring it on, lamer.


Pat Tillman - Athiest?
Atrios calls attention to an SFGate column on Pat Tillman's funeral.

I had kind of imagined that as honorable as Pat Tillman was, he was probably a right-wing Christian who, if he had survived the war, might have come back here and run for office as a fundamentalist Republican.

Imagine my shock, when reading the SFGate column, to find that he was an athiest and tolerant of gays. He had read not just the Bible but also the Koran, the Book of Mormon, Thoreau.

I wonder if this will stop the right-wing Fox News crowd from shoving him into their mold of a typical God-fearing Republican-loving patriot.

Probably not.


I'm Almost Famous!
At 38 minutes into the 2nd hour of Al Franken's show today, he mentioned the Doug MacHack-ern column in the Arizona Republic which I blogged the other day.

Didn't get my name mentioned, but it's nice to know the AA producers pay attention to the comments at O'Franken Factor blog, where I posted a note about my blog post.

Hi Al!


Monday, May 03, 2004

Micah Wright: Absolutely Disgraceful
Micah Wright is the genius behind the Propaganda Remix Project, a brilliant series of anti-war, anti-Bush posters created by skillfully Photoshopping war propaganda posters from the first two world wars. Apparently Mr. Wright is also an accomplished and successful writer.

He's also been claiming to be a former Army Ranger. Until very recently, that is. He was exposed as a liar about his military career.

I can imagine few things more disgraceful than dishonoring the Army Rangers by falsely claiming to be one of them. I don't care which side of the political aisle one finds one's self; it's shameful and disgusting.

I know some military folk; I know one who's a Ranger. I haven't spoken to him but I'm sure he and his buddies would like to get some private time with Mr. Wright in a dark alley. It wouldn't be legal of course, but I can't blame them.

To become an Army Ranger is a notoriously difficult task. It takes a man of exceptional dedication, skill, strength, and toughness. All military personnel who go into combat, put their lives on the line to defend our freedom and our country. Rangers, however, routinely take on the most difficult assignments. It is a very high honor to be a Ranger.

To falsely claim to be one of them is perhaps not quite as bad as being a child molester. But it's close.

Mr. Wright continues the deception by disgracefully using the death of Pat Tillman to explain his decision to out himself, when in reality he outed himself only because he knew he was about to be outed by a reporter and a team of determined Rangers who knew he was not one of them.

So Wright has disgraced himself, and abused the legacy of the Rangers, yet again.

He's also cast a pall over the anti-war crowd. No, of course none of us (who are in our right minds) approve of what Wright has done. But it's inevitable that some will choose to tar all of us with the same brush, just as those of us on the left tar righties when one of them posts a blog entry consisting of a mass murder fantasy where Washington's leading Democrats and liberals are gunned down.

So not only has Wright done a disservice to the brave Rangers who defend our country, he has done a disservice to patriotic anti-war protesters who love their country and its troops, but are unhappy with our government's policies.

He hasn't merely told a stupid lie; this is not merely puffing one's resume. He has appropriated the name and legacy of the most honorable traditions of our military. He has shown incredible disrespect to, and tried to steal the honor of, all the Rangers who have fought to defend liberty, who have died to defend the liberty we have. Including the liberty to criticize our government even in time of war.

Imagine if a family member had been attacked by a burglar, you had risked your life to fight off the attack and save your family member, and then someone else tried to claim credit for your heroic act. That begins to approach the outrage those who 'get it', feel about Micah Wright's deception.

Shame on you, Mr. Wright. You are lower than a worm. You are going to be spending the rest of your life living down the disgrace of what you have done.


Rules For Patriotically Remembering The War Dead
In the wake of the "controversy" over "Nightline" 's airing of the names and photos of the war dead in Iraq, I'm trying to figure out how to appropriately remember them in a "politically correct" way, so as not to incur the wrath of Fox News rightards and Sinclair Broadcast Group pigfuckers screaming, "TRAITOR! TREASON!"

Here's what I've been able to suss out so far:
  • You may not speak the names of the war dead during ratings sweeps month.

  • You may not speak the names of the war dead outside of Memorial Day weekend. I presume Veterans' Day is OK too. But maybe I shouldn't presume too much, these right-wingers are awfully sensitive and politically correct.

  • Members of the Liberal Media Conspiracy™, liberals, and anyone else who criticizes Glorious Leader should probably not speak the names of the war dead at any time, just to be safe.

  • If you should go to a war memorial in Washington DC, don't speak the names of the war dead unless it's around Memorial Day. Just stare at the names and think pure, patriotic thoughts, and about the glory of combat. Think about how our nation's enemies died a violent, painful death and how they are burning in Hell at this very moment.

  • Conservatives, right-wing broadcasters, and others who slavishly worship Glorious Leader, may utter the names of the dead at any time without fear of having their patriotism questioned.

I think that covers it. But if I (or you) think of anything I might have missed, please let me know. It's vitally important we learn how to mimic politically correct patriotic behavior in the event of George W. Bush's re-selection re-anointment by God.

You don't want to end up in Guantanamo, do ya punk? HUH? DO YA?


Bush Photo Caption Contest Continues
I adore alliteration.

The Bush Photo Caption contest continues.

Winner gets an autographed copy of my uncle's Italian cookbook, "Mamma Si Mangia?". It's really cute, entertaining, and the recipes are very practical - quick and delicious.

2nd prize is a set of steak knives. /glengarryglenross

Deadline for entries is next Monday, 10 May. I would prefer that your entries be entered in the comments thread for the blog post in the link above, but I'll be sure to look for them here as well. PLEASE BE SURE TO INCLUDE AN EMAIL or I won't know whom to notify if your entry is chosen as the winner.


This Is Not Your Father's GOP
So says Joe Wilson:

If you're fiscally responsible, this is not your party. If you believe in a moderate foreign policy characterized by alliances, free trade and the ability to operate in an international environment, this is not your party. If you believe in limited federal government, this is not your party. If you believe that the government should stay out of your bedroom, this is very definitely not your party. In fact, I would argue that unless you believe in the American imperium, imposed on the world by force, or unless you believe in the literal interpretation of the Book of Revelations, this is not your party.

I have a hold on this book at our public library - first in line. Can't wait to get my hands on it.


Sunday, May 02, 2004

Quagmire Accomplished!
11 troops died Sunday in Iraq.

Is it a quagmire yet?


Another "Pro-Life" Hero
How much you wanna bet this guy gets aid and legal assistance from the anti-choice movement, and is held up as a hero?

A 17-year-old boy angered by his girlfriend's decision to have an abortion shot her in the neck in the waiting room of a Palm Desert clinic Thursday and was arrested about six hours later when deputies broke into his parents' home, authorities said.

The girl was in critical condition, they said.

Witnesses said that about 11 a.m., the youth argued with the girl at the Women's Health Center about her claim that it was not he who had made her pregnant and about her decision to have an abortion. He then is alleged to have pulled out a handgun and shot her.

I've been pretty riled up today haven't I? I haven't even had the chance to watch Joe Wilson on "Meet The Press".


MacHack-ern Post-script
In the below blog entry on Doug MacEachern's ridiculous anti-Air America column, he criticizes 527 organizations - such as, oh, MoveOn.org. Which raises its funds almost exclusively through small donations.

So, in MacHack-ern Land, it is evil for liberals to raise money through small donations.

He similarly vilifies George Soros - a BUSH-LOATHER!!! - for his large donations to political campaigns.

So it's also evil for liberals to raise money through large, wealthy donors (something Republicans NEVER do, of course, because they are pure as the driven snow when it comes to campaign funding).

How exactly should liberals fundraise, Mr. MacHack-ern, in a way that would satisfy your oh-so-high moral standards? No small grassroots donations, no large donors. Maybe we should hold bake sales? Oh, MoveOn.org did that, too, so it must be EEEEEVIL.

Or should we all just shut the fuck up and join you in unquestioning Bush-worship? Is that not, after all, the point of your asinine hackery?

What a fucking tool.


Simply Craptacular: MacEachern Commits 1st Degree Hackery
Arizona Republic columnist Doug MacEachern has wet his knickers over Air America:

...what they do understand - far better than conservatives, obviously - is how to aggressively manipulate the gaping holes that the regulators of campaign-finance reform laws have opened for them.

Excuse me Doug, but these alleged "gaping holes" are there for ALL to use, not just liberals. Whose fault is it that conservatives haven't managed to do as well as MoveOn.org, which is a GENUINE grass-roots movement, not some 'astroturf' created by Richard Mellon Scaife???

Or are campaign funding "loopholes" only good when used successfully by conservatives?

And while Air America may not technically fall into the category of those organizations that are being created, essentially, to skirt the intent of campaign finance reform...

...it won't stop Doug from smearing AA anyway.

...it has become the loudest, most obnoxious symbol of those groups.

Doug, I'd like to introduce you to some loud, obnoxious broadcasters / broadcasting organizations, which relentlessly shill for right-wing politicians and causes, that are clearly skirting the intent of the law and have been doing so for years. Perhaps you've heard of them.

  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Fox News Channel
  • Ann Coulter
  • Sean Hannity
  • Michael Savage

Shall I go on?

No, Air America isn't one of those new, money-laundering "527" committees that have sprung up since the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. It just acts like one.

And even though it's not a 527, that won't stop ol' Doug from lumping them together anyway.

Air America... demonstrates that establishing a long-term competition with conservative talk radio was never its real intent. It was created by people who hate George W. Bush, and whose sole purpose is getting Bush out of office.

Horror of horrors!!! Some people are actually opposed to Glorious Leader's Reign of Error, and therefore they must hate him! Therefore, they are evil and MUST BE STOPPED! before they hate again! TRAITORS! TREASON!

Some would say that its creation constitutes a campaign contribution to Sen. John Kerry. Liberals have poured $10 million into getting Air America off the ground, including $5 million from Bush-loathing billionaire George Soros.

Mr. MacEachern, may I direct your attention to:

  • Fox News Channel, created and run by Roger Ailes, longtime GOP operative who literally tells his newsroom how to cover the events of the day, every day.

  • Rush Limbaugh, virtually a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RNC since day one.

Some would say Fox News Channel and Rush Limbaugh's program constitute a campaign contribution to the Chimperor's re-selection campaign and the Republican National Committee. In fact, a LOT of us would say so.

"Conservative good! Liberal evil!" What a moron. And more of the "Bush-loathing" shtick - prima facie evidence these evildoers MUST BE STOPPED!

And given the rather single-minded programming of Air America - every show ought to be titled, "MY GOD I HATE BUSH SO MUCH I'M GOING TO FAINT!" - it is difficult to imagine what its hosts would have to say if Kerry wins in November.

Here, let me try impersonating MacEachern:

And given the rather single-minded programming of Fox News Channel and Rush Limbaugh - every show ought to be titled, "MY GOD I HATE LIBERALS/CLINTON SO MUCH I'M GOING TO FAINT!" - it is difficult to imagine what its hosts would have to say if a Republican were ever elected President.

How did I do? Am I published yet?

(Limbaugh doesn't seem to have run out of things to say since Bush was installed in the White House...)

The impression that Air America is just a novel campaign tool hasn't occurred to me alone.

This comment requires no snark, its absurdity and hypocrisy stands (and falls on its ass) all by itself.

Does anyone really believe a brilliant comedic talent like Al Franken - a guy who can make liberals roll on the floor, convulsed in laughter, just by repeating over and over again that "Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat liar!" - is going to make an almost unhearable radio gig his long-term occupation?

I don't.

Well, Doug MacHack-earn, maybe Air America wasn't meant to entertain hardcore right-wingers like yourself. Perhaps that's why you don't find Al amusing. Did that notion ever occur in one of the handful of synapses still firing in your Rush-addicted brain?

My guess is that Franken's next move will be into mass media, and it will happen right after the election.

Yeah, you got me there, Doug. If it weren't for Air America, Al could never have made a move into mass media. It's not like Al has ever written and performed for nearly 30 years for the longest-running comedy show on television, or written the script for a hit movie, or authored several books, one of which has been on the New York Times best-seller list for over six months.

Oh, wait...

Condensed MacEachern:

"How dare liberals have their own radio network! How dare they hate Bush! How dare they raise money to defeat Bush! How dare they hate Bush! Only conservatives are allowed to have piles of money to spend on political campaigns! Liberals are EEEEEEEEEVIL! Did I mention they hate Bush?"

Feel free to let Doug MacHack-earn know what you think of his column.


Fancy Pants for Elitist Liberals
Can't be an elitist liberal without your fancy pants!!!


and here

and here

and here

and here