Saturday, December 09, 2006

I believe a corner awaits....

This one goes out to Janice Shaw Crouse of the "Concerned Women for America"--you know, one of those winger "think tanks" whose only "concern" for women is that she is "concerned" that they don't dress for dinner with pearls when that man of the house gets home. She has her cast iron panties in a bind over Mary Cheney having a child and raising it with the person she loves. According to this sociopath,
Mary Cheney’s pregnancy poses problems not just for her child, but also for all Americans....Mary’s pregnancy is an “in-your-face” action countering the Bush Administration’s pro-family, pro-marriage and pro-life policies.
First of all, I have a few roblems in my life, and Mary Cheney's family life doesn't make my radar screen. Then, of course, in her view, there are few things worse than a loving couple raising a child in a caring nurturing environment. Oh the humanity!

And in terms of Papa Dick's pro-family, pro-marriage and pro-life policy? How's that workin'?

So Jan, take your "concern" for women back to your permanent residence in the 1950s and

Friday, December 08, 2006

Two for the price of one

We get to combine two of our favorite bits, Mr. Dictionary Man and a certain corner in one post!

Messianic (adj)--of or relating to a messiah promising deliverance; a "messianic cult."

The winger radio station here has a local morning show featuring an ex-country DJ named John Howell. As I've mentioned, I will occasionally stumble onto them because they broadcast the college football and basketball games I listen to in the car. This idiot was criticizing the editor of The Nation magazine, Katrina vanden Heuvel, for saying that the country was ill-served by Bush's "messianic" foreign policy. According to "Big John," she was criticizing Chimpy because he is a "Christian."

Good God. Now we can speculate on "WWJD" with what currently occupies the White House (I'm seeing a celestial shortage of both fire and brimstone), but she was not criticizing him for believing and professing that Jesus of Nazareth is the messiah. She was critical of his conduct based on his quite bizarre belief that God has chosen and is directing HIM, George W. Bush, to do really stupid and horrible things.

So John, wave goodbye to Mr. Dictionary Man and

Ghosts of Endorsements Past

Part II, 2004

I would hope that even the Tribune editorial board would cringe when they look back just two years ago:
Bush has scored a great success in Afghanistan--not only by ousting the Taliban regime and nurturing a new democracy, but also by ignoring the chronic doubters who said a war there would be a quagmire....Bush has kept Americans, and their government, focused--effectively--on this nation's security...he has the steadfastness, and the strength, to execute the one mission no American generation has ever failed.

Misty water-colored memories....

Chicago Tribune
October 2000
Presidential endorsement
[Governor Bush] showed a grasp of detail on both domestic and foreign affairs, and told the public what kind of administration he wanted to run. ..That would be an administration dedicated to Republican principles of limited government, low taxes, free enterprise, personal rights and personal responsibilities. But it would be one shorn of the unfortunate vitriol that accompanied the GOP revolution in 1994. It would be an administration that trusts people to make their own decisions, but would not forget that some people need the government's help.

It would be an administration that recognizes a president doesn't succeed by browbeating, lecturing or intimidating Congress. A president succeeds by setting broad goals, leading by example, and recognizing that the perfect should not be the enemy of the good...Bush has offered solutions to problems. He has, to his credit, not given the impression that he has the last word on every problem to confront government. He would listen....There is, finally, the question of basic honesty…Gore, unlike his boss in the White House, has by all accounts lived a life of probity. There's no doubt that he is a decent man. But his penchant for enhancement has become something of a running joke. Created the Internet? Discovered Love Canal? While he may not have explicitly laid claim to those events, the fact is that Gore has a natural inclination for evasion that is deeply troubling. His explanations of his creative fundraising techniques--'No controlling legal authority'?--suggest that the public will grow disenchanted with yet another White House that can't tell the whole truth…The White House has seen enough of that. The nation has seen enough of that. It's time to move on. This is an election about honesty, about restoring bipartisanship, about fostering government that will nurture a booming economy without getting in the way of American ingenuity. There is one candidate for president who will do all that, and it is George W. Bush.
Comments to come, but chew on that one for a while.

How low can he go?

Dissatisfaction with President Bush's handling of Iraq has climbed to an alltime high of 71 percent (link). The latest AP-Ipsos poll, taken as a bipartisan commission was releasing its recommendations for a new course in Iraq, found that just 27 percent of Americans approved of Bush's handling of Iraq, down from his previous low of 31 percent in November.

Every limbo boy and girl
All around the limbo world
Gonna do limbo Iraq!
All around the limbo clock
George be limbo, George not quick
Polls go unda limbo stick
All around the limbo clock
Hey, let's do limbo Iraq!

Byline: Mark Silva

The Chicago Tribune's resident Bush apologist has been absent from our pages lately, as he has been content to serve only as Chimpy's stenographer. Apparently this morning, though, he assumed his readers don't watch the news and didn't see the actual video of the miserable man that he attempts to defend..

Marky wrote that we saw a "most blunt characterization of the war" when Bush said, "It's bad in Iraq. . . . Does that help?" Mark, Mark, Mark, that was no "blunt characterization," no plain-spoken statesmanship. Watch the tape. That was the reaction of a petulant child, not a president. It was Corky St. Clair from "Waiting for Guffman" wailing that "I just hate you, and I hate your ass face! (To hear Corky, go
here and click on the first one under "Miscellaneous.")

Welcome back to doing what you do best, Mark--the carnival barker at the never-ending Cirque du Clusterfuque.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dennis Praeger is an idiot

OK, the court has long ago taken judicial notice of the above statement. For those of you unacquainted with Mr. Praeger, he is a right-wing radio host heard on perhaps 3 stations (and lunatic's fillings) and he writes on several wingnut sites. He recently condemned Keith Ellison, a freshman representative from Minnesota (who just happens to be a Muslim) for wanting to place his hand on a Koran in a CEREMONIAL (see below) congressional swearing-in.

The blogosphere has already destroyed his ridiculous statement that "He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization. " The ammo has come from both left and right. Even the often absurdist FAR RIGHT Eugene Volokh (yes, law profs can be, and often are, vainglorious fools) wrote that
This argument both mistakes the purpose of the oath, and misunderstands the Constitution. In fact, it calls for the violation of some of the Constitution’s multiculturalist provisions...the Constitution thus already expressly authorizes people not to swear at all, but to affirm, without reference to God or to a sacred work. Atheists and agnostics are thus protected, as well as members of certain Christian groups. Why would Muslims and others not be equally protected from having to perform a religious ritual that expressly invokes a religion in which they do not believe?
What made this more remarkable was Praeger's "Who, me?" response. He wrote that
My belief that the Bible should be present at any oath (or affirmation) of office has nothing whatsoever to do with the religion of the office holder....Why wouldn't Ellison bring a Bible along with the Koran? That he chose not to is the narcissism of multiculturalism that I referred to: The individual's culture trumps the national culture.
The "national culture" involves subscribing to a particular religion? "Why wouldn't Ellison bring a Bible along with the Koran?" WHY WOULD HE??? Why bring a religious tract that means nothing to you?

Of course, a
leading Jewish source also disagreed with his take on Jewish officials.

Denny adds that
You don't have to be Christian to acknowledge that the Bible is the source of America's values.
Uhhhm, this Sunday School teacher does a HUGE Scooby-Doo moment. How is the "Bible" the source of American values?

Denny idiotically blathers on that
I cannot name any Western European country that does not have a document similar to the American Constitution and something akin to our Bill of Rights.
Ummm, Denny, ever heard of the UNITED KINGDOM? England swing like a pendulum do? You do know that in the English system, there is no equivalent of the 1st Amendment?

Even Denny concedes that the "swearings" with props are photo-ops and are PURELY ceremonial, as the legally effective oath is administered en masse with no "props." Here's the rant:
Obviously, Mr. Ellison will have already been officially sworn in. Therefore, the use of the Koran has absolutely nothing to do with taking an oath on the book he holds sacred. It is used entirely to send a message to the American people.
Yes, Denny, he is sending a message, a message that he cares enough about his congressional duties to affirm that in the presence of the scripture he reveres.

Denny concludes that
It is not I, but Keith Ellison, who has engaged in disuniting the country.
OK Denny. Disuniting the country? How? By not engaging in a sham? By taking the solemn oath on a book that means nothing to you? How?

Mr. Family Values

Ah yes, the Family Values president (here):
In a rare glimpse of his relationship with the former president after recent signs of possible strains between the two men, Bush said he calls his parents every two weeks.
Yup, nothing's more important than family.

Mix one part reality with one part nightmare

From the New York Times, on Rummy's replacement:

Here's the reality:
“Mr. Gates, do you believe that we are currently winning in Iraq?” Mr. Levin asked. “No, sir,” Mr. Gates replied, going on to agree with the senator that a political settlement is needed to end the blood-letting, and that the United States needed to convey “a sense of urgency” to the Iraqis about reaching an accord.
Here's the nightmare:
Mr. Gates said “there clearly were insufficient troops in Iraq after the initial invasion.” While he said that he envisions “a dramatically smaller” number of United States troops there, he said an American presence would be required “for a long time.”

Ho ho ho, a gift list suggestion

For the political junkie in your life, I highly recommend Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South by Thomas F. Schaller (get it here) The author is a frequent Gadflyer contributor, one of our favorite sites. In Whistling Past Dixie, Prof. Schaller (University of Maryland-Baltimore County) urges Democrats to build a non-southern majority rather than engaging in "futile pandering to the nation's most conservative voters."

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

Reuters reports that Iraqi authorities found 52 bodies in the capital on Monday. Seven bodies showed up in the northern city of Mosul, which also witnessed violence between the Iraqi guerrillas and the new Iraqi military.

From Juan Cole.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Meanwhile, back in Frostbite Falls....

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Nine U.S. troops died in Iraq during the weekend, including five killed by roadside bombs, the U.S. military reported Sunday.

I've been one poor correspondent...

We've been digging out from one heck of a winter storm here-(and a $4600 sewer line break in front of yours truly's humble abode)-I'm too old for this!

Just a couple of quick thoughts today.

Farewell, John Bolton. Good riddance. Tony Snow actually said today that Bolton had done a "great job." Exactly how, Tony, unless alienating us from the whole world is "great?"

Congratulations, Lindsay Lohan, for becoming an alcoholic before being old enough to have alcohol.

I will spend more money this year at stores that say "Happy Holidays!"

and my favorite one.
Preeminent historian Eric Foner wrote in the Washington Post that
It is impossible to say with certainty how Bush will be ranked in, say, 2050. But somehow, in his first six years in office he has managed to combine the lapses of leadership, misguided policies and abuse of power of his failed predecessors. I think there is no alternative but to rank him as the worst president in U.S. history.