Saturday, December 17, 2005

Right-Wing Christmas Cards

So Mary and Joseph slept in the stable. Well, they were poor..and Jewish, you know. This is really working out quite well for them.

Later on, we'll conspire..
There's a cross, it's on fire
We've got no more crime
All the blacks doin' time
Walkin' in a white man's wonderland!

Love, Bill Bennett

It's hard work! We're makin' progress! Remember, Christmas is barely past September 11!

So it's Christmas---go f%#k yourself!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Insert your own caption

Uh, yeah, guilty as charged

So, from Crooks and Liars, we get this quote from Rush Limbaugh.

And you know something - it's what Liberals always do. Liberals look at the imperfections everywhere and seek to rectify them.
Hmm. Looking at imperfections and trying to rectify them. Oh, the horror. As RFK said, paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw, "There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?". Apparently, since Conservatives do the opposite of what Liberals do, they must go around trying to create imperfections where previously there were none.

But Rush wasn't done.
These imperfections lead to what they consider to be inequality and they get on to this manic, this radical madcap egalitarian kick, which suggests that everybody must be totally equal, which is in utter denial of uh of human nature.
Wow. Where have I seen someone suggest that everyone's equal? It had to be some nutjob lefty extremist, right? Was it in Marx? Mao? Wait, something's coming to me...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...

Oh, yeah. Notorious communist Thomas Jefferson. I should have known.

Dr. Magoo's prize

I'm getting his "Katherine Harris Swimsuit Calendar" in the mail!!

From the tinfoil hat files

I have long been puzzled with the right's passion for these "elections" that Bush never wanted in the first place, and have been trying to figure out exactly what they are up to. With the gushing over-the-top coverage by Bush's press lapdogs, I began to think...hmm..they are stressing 1) turnout, 2) Sunni participation levels and 3) how well Iyad Allawi's slate is doing in early polling.

So put on your hats as shown above. Sunni votes and a stronger-than-expected showing by the secular Shi'a slate, as opposed to Sistani's religious candidates, means that no clear bloc can establish a government. Coalition-building is the order of the day, and of course who will have to be there to preserve this fragile "democracy?" Why, the U.S. military, of course.

The Purple Finger

I was amazed to see grinning thief Bill Frist and a group of neocon senators holding up that damned purple finger on TV. I wanted to scream at him, "Bill, don't you know these people are electing radical fundamentalist theocrats who hate America??" And then it hit me....never mind. Here is an interesting discussion from Univerity of Michigan history professor Juan Cole, more at

The LA Times
probably reflects the thinking of a lot of Americans in hoping that these elections are a milestone on the way to withdrawing US troops from Iraq. I cannot imagine why anyone thinks that. The Iraqi "government" is a failed state. Virtually no order it gives has any likelihood of being implemented. It has no army to speak of and cannot control the country. Its parliamentarians are attacked and sometimes killed with impunity. Its oil pipelines are routinely bombed, depriving it of desperately needed income. It faces a powerful guerrilla movement that is wholly uninterested in the results of elections and just wants to overthrow the new order. Elections are unlikely to change any of this.

The only way in which these elections may lead to a US withdrawal is that they will ensconce parliamentarians who want the US out on a short timetable. Virtually all the Sunnis who come in will push for that result (which is why the US Right is silly to be all agog about Fallujans voting), and so with the members of the Sadr Movement, now a key component of the Shiite religious United Iraqi Alliance. That is, these elections lead to a US withdrawal on terms unfavorable to the Bush administration. Nor is there much hope that a parliament that kicked the US out could turn around and restore order in the country.

Some early morning thoughts, Pt II - Dancing on the slippery slope

NEW YORK (AP) -- President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop
on Americans and others inside the United States -- without getting search warrants -- following the Sept. 11 attacks, The New York Times reports.

The presidential order, which Bush signed in 2002, has allowed the agency to monitor the international phone calls and international e-mails of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States, according to a story posted Thursday on the Times' Web site.

Schmidlap wrote recently about the importance of habeus corpus, and why things like this should scare the crap out of us.

Before the new program began, the NSA typically limited its domestic surveillance to foreign embassies and missions and obtained court orders to do so. Under the post-Sept. 11 program, the NSA has eavesdropped, without warrants, on as many 500 people inside the United States at any given time. Overseas, 5,000 to 7,000 people suspected of terrorist ties are monitored at one time.

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Some early morning thoughts, Pt I - The "lighter" side

Daniel Kurtzman, who focuses on political humor for, gives us the 25 dumbest quotes of 2005. You can go there to read the whole list, but here's a couple to start your morning off:

22) "I was trying to escape. Obviously, it didn't work." --President Bush, after being thwarted by locked doors when he tried to exit a news conference in Beijing in the face of hostile questioning from reporters, Nov. 20, 2005

15) "I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office. She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli." --Sen. Bill Frist, diagnosing Terri Schiavo's condition during a speech on the Senate floor, March 17, 2005

6) "You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." --President Bush, to a divorced mother of three in Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A special prize

The next post here is Number 500. Congrats to a hearty little band of crackpots! I should give out a prize to #500--the collected essays of Jeb Bush, perhaps, or Katherine Harris--The Swimsuit Edition!

All right, you Godless liberals, here we come!

All right, you Godless liberals! You are used to this namby-pamby Jesus, right???

Well, we're done with that! We are taking Christmas back and we're packin' heat!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

From today's speech--or 2002?

Count the words until Chimpy hits 9/11:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Please be seated. Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm delighted to be here with the men and women of the Wilson Center. According to your mission statement, the Center was created to bring together two groups--political leaders and scholars. I see some of the political leaders who are here, and I presume you've invited me to uphold the scholars' end. I've come to discuss an issue of vital importance to the American people, and that is victory in the war on terror. On September the 11th, 2001, our nation awoke to a sudden attack, and we accepted new responsibilities.

And then:

The United States did not choose war -- the choice was Saddam Hussein's.


Thank you, Mr. Onion

In accordance with my activist agenda to secularize the nation, this court finds Christmas to be unlawful.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mercy mercy me...

I'll have some death penalty thoughts soon, but how do you feel if your plea for mercy depends on him????? And where does this clown get off pontificating that "without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption????"

What's the difference?

Here are two pathological liars. What is the difference:

"I lied about my age and joined the army. I was thirteen at the time. Yeah.. I went to Vietnam, and I was injured catching a mortar shell in my teeth. And they made me a three-star general! And then I got a job in journalism, writing for the National Enquire.. er, Geographic! Yeah.. I was making twenty thousand a ye.. month! In fact, I won the Pulitzer Prize that year! Yeah, that's the ticket. "

"In Plano, Texas, just north of Dallas, the school told students they couldn't wear red and green because they were Christmas colors. That's flat-out fascism. If I were a student in Plano, I'd be a walking Christmas tree after that order. Have a little thing on my head."

The difference? Tommy Flanagan, the Jon Lovitz character, is funny.

A short course in media bias

Both sides of the political aisle have accused the media of being biased toward the other side, however, the cries of the right sound hollow to me, when you realize how much of the media they own. However, regardless of which side you're on, we each have to pay attention to what we read and hear, and analyze the information we get in order to form our own opinions.

For example, one might think that the international news dispersion agency the Associated Press would be a good source for news. But check out this lead from a recent article:
Bush's Approval Up, but Disagreement Why
By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer Tue Dec 13, 7:36 AM ET
WASHINGTON - In a round of speeches on Iraq, President Bush is combining fresh expressions of steely resolve with sobering acknowledgments of how unexpectedly hard the task has been.

Let's look at that a little more closely. Notice the language choices that Mr. Raum makes - "steely resolve", "sobering acknowledgements" - these are both clearly chosen to paint the president in a positive light. Steely resolve isn't something that's confused with stubborness or the inability to change, but is considered to be a virtue - check out what you get when you do a search for the term. If one Soberly acknowledges something, he's not admitting a failing, he's modest and thoughtful. And "unexpectedly hard" - that's just misleading - while many supporters of Bush and the war in Iraq thought it would be roses and parties, there were plenty of us who thought things would be much harder. It's only unexpected if you consider the viewpoint of those who planned the way, who have since noted that they didn't think through the post-combat with the Iraqi military phase.

A left-leaning lead could have said: "In a round of speeches on Iraq, President Bush is trying new phrasing designed to convey a sense of resolve with an acknowledgment of how unsuccessful the United States has been in trying to control the Iraqi insurgency."

A more balanced lead might have been: "In a round of speeches on Iraq, President Bush's goal is to try to combine fresh expressions of what he would call steely resolve with an acknowledgment of the difficulty of the task."

I'm not a journalist, nor do I play one on TV, but I do know that it's important to read carefully what is written in news stories - it's very easy to create a particular emotion and bias the reader.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Just a piece of paper....

OK, it's from Capitol Hill Blue, and they can be stylish wearers of tinfoil hats at times, but this rings true:

Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'

Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.

Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”

“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”

Dennis Byrne - Professional Doofus

Reading Dennis Byrne's op pieces in the Tribune, like taking certain medications, is not something that should be done on an emtpy stomach. Still, I read him so you don't have to.....

I won't bore you with a rehash of his tired old reactionary yammering, but he hits a new high on the INCREDULITY METER (tm) by linking the new Chicago anti-smoking law to abortion....

I just have one question for Dennis: If life begins at conception, why do we celebrate birthdays?

Yet another pet peeve.

Jesus doesn't care who wins.

After another weekend of football, I must say that I have grown so weary of athletes thanking God for their victory. The logical corollary must be of course, "Yeah, we were in great shape until Jesus made me fumble."

Sunday, December 11, 2005

So we killed #3 AGAIN, huh?

The #3 al Qaeda operative must be a tough job to fill, since we keep killing them!

Our Middle East bureau has obtained this exclusive photo of the dead terrorist:

and we have this top-secret police sketch of his likely successor:

Blazing Trousers

France had warned CIA on bogus Iraq-nuclear link
Secret advisories preceded speech by Bush, ex-officials say

By Tom Hamburger, Peter Wallsten and Bob Drogin, Tribune Newspapers: Los Angeles Times

PARIS -- More than a year before President Bush declared in his State of the Union speech that Iraq had tried to buy nuclear weapons material in Africa, the French spy service began repeatedly warning the CIA in secret communications that there was no evidence to support the allegation.

The previously undisclosed exchanges between the U.S. and France, described by the retired chief of the French counter-intelligence service and a former CIA official during interviews last week, came on separate occasions in 2001 and 2002.

The French conclusions were reached after extensive on-the-ground investigations in Niger and other former French colonies, where the uranium mines are controlled by French companies, the former official said. He said the French investigated at the CIA's request.

The account of the former intelligence official, Alain Chouet, was "at odds with our understanding of the issue," a U.S. government official said. The U.S. official declined to elaborate and spoke only on condition that neither he nor his agency be named.

However, the essence of Chouet's account--that the French repeatedly investigated the Niger claim, found no evidence to support it, and warned the CIA--was extensively corroborated by a former CIA official and a French government official.

More here.