Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Beating a dead horse into lutefisk, and other stuff

“Well, hello, America. I know I’m beating a dead horse, but this horse has just got to get up, because our nation is under attack…. We’re being attacked someplace else in the cover of night and if we lose this battle, we lose it all. Here`s "The Point" tonight. G.I. Joe is the latest casualty in the war against the American way….” Glenn Beck freaking out about a forthcoming movie based on the G.I. Joe toy and comicbooks.

[h/t to Mr. N.]

Reagan21 Introduced Today -- Today, a bicameral group of Senators and Congressman presented a positive alternative to the current majority in Congress. Members of Reagan21 are committed to the advancement of a new and invigorated Republican Party fighting for Reagan’s principles of liberty and a 21st Century vision for America, including individual freedom, free enterprise and common-sense values. The Partnership’s goal is to give Americans a positive choice in public policy by advancing the integrity and optimism of the Republican Party.

Fevered imaginings from a wingnut columnist wickedly named Biggerstaff --“It ought to be obvious by now to every American that since the radical homosexual lobby has successfully brainwashed the majority of Americans into believing their mental illness is a "right" and their perverted ideas about sexuality are normal, the logical next step is to encourage children to begin having sex as early as possible….Soon, it will be normal for adults to have sex with children and normal for parents and children to have sex.”

Atheists -- they’re fornicatin’ AND calling you retardo

“If God does not exist, all is permitted.“ -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Townhall’s resident hipster doofus, Doug Giles, can think of only two things that humans, liberated from God and religious restrictions, would do: fuck exuberantly and lord their intellectual superiority over non-atheists.

Well, no one reading Atheism: An Intellectual Revolt or Pelvic Rebellion? would ever confuse Giles with Dostoyevsky.

For some reason Richard Dawkins is ignored completely but such MTV notables as Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley, and Bertrand Russell are quoted -- this in a column in which Giles adopts the persona of Cletus Del Roy Spuckler to explain how atheism is really the opiate of … the atheists.

The only contemporary and sort-of-still-alive atheist Giles quotes is the libido-killing Christopher Hitchens: “The divorce between the sexual life and fear . . . can now at last be attempted on the sole condition that we banish all religions from the discourse.”

Better if we just banished all Hitchens from the discourse.

Okay, so Giles is convinced that the primary motivation for the willfully unchurched and nonbelieving is unhampered humping. More than that: unhampered humping with no hell to pay.

No surprise there. But where Giles really sells it to his followers is the way he imagines atheists, no doubt in mid-fornication, view the faithful, including himself: “Heck…I’m just a hayseed, cross-eyed Christian with an IQ of 50 who believes in Jesus, loves his mama, salutes the flag and collects guns. I’m an idiot.”

Even Richard Dawkins would be moved to say a prayer for the man.

Photo of Christopher Hitchens via Chase Me Ladies, I’m With the Cavalry.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Great Watch Out Continues

The Great Watch Out is my self-imposed avoidance of cable news programming (excluding the first 30 minutes of Countdown). The first 2 weeks have been bloody marvelous. My eyes are clearer. My coat -- I mean my hair -- is shinier. The teeth-gnashing has ceased. My will to live has returned!

Last Friday I sneaked a random peek at MSNBC and this is what I caught.
TUCKER CARLSON: Let‘s be totally honest, I don‘t think the Clintons kill people.
I don‘t think they killed Vince Foster. I was never a conspiracy nut.
ROSA BROOKS (LA Times): That[’s] really big of you Tucker.
CARLSON: Well, I give the benefit of the doubt to people I disagree with, unlike a lot of people these days who think that Bush was behind 9/11. But let me say that Hillary is tough and the people around her are extraordinarily tough and if you live in Washington, you are kind of a freelance intellectual, like you, Rosa, and you say things that publicly doubt Mrs. Clinton, in some sense, you are going to be punished for that and you know it, don‘t you?
BROOKS: I live in fear.
CARLSON: You don‘t care! But a lot of people here do care. They do care.
Because they keep track.
And thus week 3 of The Great Watch Out begins.

Of herpes, Drudge, and the price of essential commodities

Jon Swift is a tad miffed that the coordinator-in-chief of the conservative blogosphere muffed his email update.

It seems that nobody told him that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp is now to be touted as a real hero (and not condemned as a phony soldier) for all but recanting his story about some US soldiers not being nice while on duty in Iraq.

The aforementioned all-but-recantation has been all but rebutted by Beauchamp and his supporters, but the conservative blogosphere is holding firm on its latest judgment, at least until the next selective leak to

Now, I realize that the personal and professional reputations of several people are on the line here. But, quite frankly, these are people whom I do not know and do not care about.

My thoughts are more in line with those of William Yard, a commenter at The New Republic's blog, The Plank. Only, please, replace the price of blow jobs with the price of home heating oil and gasoline.
Scott Beauchamp! The topic that keeps flaring up like herpes, months after the drunken one-night stand. And yet, in those precious moments before last call, she seemed so....pure.

I have a solution: TNR should spin off a website. Let anyone post, sell gear, have links to Ann Coulter's latest book on Amazon. Why, the ensuing sales of baseball caps showing "TNR" with a red Euroslash through it should provide ample profits to allow to reduce renewal rates for all of us loyal Plankton!

The site will attract anti-TNR, anti-STB trolls like decomposing whale carcasses on the ocean floor attract bottom-feeding slugs. That will leave the Plank for more important topics, like Presidential politics, global warming, and the recent, unconscionable price spike in professional fellatio services.

I mean, for Goddess' sake, a few months ago you used to be able to get a "car date" in most American cities for forty bucks. Now it's pushing $75 in some places. Seventy-five dollars! What--did the terrorists win, and I missed it?

Oh wait! We're talking about Scott What's His Name. Right. I got off-topic there. Sorry; won't happen again.
I’m with you, Mr. Yard, except for your preoccupation with "car dates."

Saturday, October 27, 2007


There's lots of healthy snacking over at Professor Smart Ass’s place.

Roger (the Good One) Ailes demonstrates that transcripts never lie.

All Flying Rodent wanted was a bacon roll, but instead he spends an entire morning with the jackboot of fascism on his neck. Check out his shocking encounters with School-Troopers, Pensio-Nazis, Pedestrianazis, Co-Workerfascists, and others, including an Adolf Hitler who bears a striking resemblance to Marty Feldman.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Circle this date (in purple, if you like)

Nothing like the endless inanities of the American presidential election process to obliterate actual news. For example, the government (yes, they have one) of the sovereign (yes, it is) country of Iraq served notice that the sublet of the country that the UN Security Council so nicely co-signed for us effectively expires December 31, 2008.

The country should be left broom-swept clean and should not have sustained more than the customary wear-and-tear during the sublet period. Guess we can kiss that security deposit good-bye.
By December 31, 2008, according to Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, the government of Iraq intends to have replaced the existing mandate for a multinational security force with a conventional bilateral security agreement with the United States, an agreement of the sort that Washington has with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and several other countries in the Middle East.

The Security Council has always paired the annual renewal of its mandate for the multinational force with the renewal of a second mandate for the management of Iraqi oil revenues….

The oil game will be up if and when Iraq announces that this mandate, too, will be terminated at a date certain in favor of resource-development agreements that -- like the envisioned security agreement -- match those of other states in the region.
About those other states in the region -- Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia: they have outlawed foreign control over oil development.

Well now.

On the one hand, Bush and the Neocons could take the expired lease metaphor and run with it. It’s ready-made to be spun into a marketable victory: We liberated the good Iraqi people, brought Saddam to justice, left peacefully when asked, flowers, candies, etc.

What’s more, the Iraq war made the best kind of money there is for Bush/Cheney sponsors -- the kind where the direct physical risks are taken by other people (US troops, Iraqi civilians); the economic costs are subsidized by other people, ie, millions of suckered US taxpayers; yet the enormous profits are taken by, well, them.

On the other hand, to leave Iraq without having denationalized, privatized, and signed away the country’s vast oil resources -- why that would be like driving a stake through Cheney’s half-dead heart. Bush would have no problem leaving his grand vision for the broader Middle East in shambles. He’ll be very happy with a no-decision stat for the war and whatever cushy sinecures his cronies can line up. But an unsatisfied, disgruntled Cheney will always be a danger.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Recommended soul-redeeming career change

For Glenn Beck, from spouter of "I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today" to urinal cake replenisher at Qualcomm Stadium.

People who were recently evacuated from their homes during the San Diego wildfires try to get some sleep while others arrive and set up camp at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Monday, Oct. 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Chris Park)

And starring Glenn Beck as Mr. Mxyzptlk

Think about it: Glenn Beck gets 60 minutes of airtime five nights a week on one of the major cable news channels. Worse yet, you’re paying for the privilege.

Just what is the point of Glenn Beck? The only way I can watch his show is to pretend it‘s a parody, like The Colbert Report. Viewed from that perspective, Beck and his show are absolutely brilliant.

There he is, sitting on the corner of his faux news anchor’s desk. He cocks his little chipmunk head to the camera, raises his little chipmunk eyebrows quizzically, and says in his little chipmunk voice: “What would be the drug that would be just powerful enough to make you not really realize that you're making out with Dennis Kucinich?”

Of course, Beck is not a brilliant satirist. He’s an idiot and, as it turns out, not even a useful one.

Amazing. CNN brass looked around the vast pool of untapped English-speaking pundit talent in the world and declared: Here’s a winner! And that’s how we got this annoying little jester from the fifth dimension.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tango lessons

Jakarta is coming.Does anyone know where Milton Friedman is buried? I’m about half-way through Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine and I want to go dance on his grave.

Balloon Juice is penciling in suggested questions for the GOP candidates’ debate. My contribution: Betty or Veronica?

Vaginal-Americans. Hey, Cliff May wasn’t just queefing when he was talking about vaginal-Americans. He’s actually ahead of the curve. Revised census questions will now allow citizens not only to indicate their gender but also to specify their favorite bits too.
Pour les dames: Vaginal-Americans, Clitoral-Americans, Pudendal-Americans, Uterine-Americans, Fallopian-Americans
Pour les messieurs: Penile-Americans, Testicular-Americans, Scrotal-Americans, Foreskin-Americans, Smegma-Americans
Mad Men. Here’s a perceptive take on the perfectly scheduled delivery (over the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend!) of Peggy’s baby. So it was a baby and not just the combination of junk food and really bad clothing choices after all. Have to admit, I actually dropped my bowl of Orville Redenbackers when Peggy doubled over as the first really bad contraction hit in the emergency room.

An invitation to the dance. Thank you very much to Jon Swift Esq for suggesting Scriptoids to the 2007 Weblog Awards committee. It’s greatly appreciated. Also: Do you know how to tango? And do you know where Milton Friedman currently resides?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And the faith-based winners are…

Selected from among the recipients of 2007 Compassion Capital Fund Grants, which are issued as part of the White House ACF Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Grant recipient: PrimnProper Inc/Choosing to Excel
Location: Conway, Arkansas
Amount: $250,000

Category: Fuck-and-die abstinence-only education

From the testimonial of Chanley Painter, Miss Teen Arkansas-America 2001:

I have always believed one should remain abstinent until marriage. Not only are you protecting your heart, mind, and body, but also your future family from the life-changing and deadly affects of premarital sex. My Christian faith, the teaching of my family, and my positive role models are also main factors in my pledge of abstinence.

Being a part of the "Choosing to Excel" program has allowed me countless opportunities to reach out to youth in my community. Also, with the title of Miss Teen Arkansas-America 2001, I travel Arkansas and surrounding states encouraging youth to wear their crown of character and to remain or to become abstinent from all unhealthy choices.

Grant recipients: JVA Consulting, LLC
Location: Denver, Colorado
Amount: $499,994

Category: Not-for-profit profiteering through bullshittery

In 2001, the Colorado Compassion Initiative positioned JVA Consulting in the national arena to lead a comprehensive capacity building initiative that successfully demonstrated increases in organizational capacity and an average revenue increase of 25 percent in participating organizations.

Grant recipient: U.S.-Liberia Charity Organization
Location: Woodbridge, Virginia
Amount: $50,000

Category: Man-Woman No Get Along

From the mission statement: Too often man-woman relationship irreparably breaks down. Too often the woman gets stuck with a kid that takes two to make and needs two to raise. The whole spectrum of the society is affected. The Haves and the Have-nots. The Haves can manage to get by. The Have-nots cannot even scrape by. Poorly paid, they live from check to check. Needs pile up unmet. The kid suffers. Another life wreck and jail candidate is in the making.

The single working mother is unfortunately a growing class. This program seeks to offer help wherever possible in the form of supply of basic needs to alleviate the hardship of the single working mother. This is a tall order. Not all would be touched. But some will be and for the better too.

Well, at least the U.S.-Liberia man-woman got to have sex -- something that can’t be said about too many of the other 2007 grant recipients, excluding the pregnant teenage girls, of course.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The perils of being a post-born American

It seems straightforward enough: Don’t look for logic where you’ll never find it. For example, don’t look for the logic in any of the policy positions held by Republican Values Voters regarding, well, life.

Every blastocyst is sacred and has a cosmic right to be born. After that, in America at least, you’re on your own kid.

Once the cord has been cut and the afterbirth has been expelled, the post-born American loses that cosmic right to a life. That’s strictly reserved for one’s pre-born siblings. The post-born American has no right to a life, no right to a life as free of illness and disease as modern medicine can provide, no right to a life that’s even worth living.

Does this seem logically or internally consistent? Doesn’t matter.

Republican Values Voters are in thrall to two irreconcilable obsessions: one focuses on the sanctity and glorious untaintedness of pre-born life, which must be allowed to proceed to post-born status at all costs, even the cost of the mother‘s life; the other obsession focuses on the sickening horror and evil of government “hand-outs” to tainted post-born Americans in need, even Americans who are just seconds old.

Why do Republican Values Voters believe it is evil and wicked for a government of the people to actually use the people’s money to help its own people, including people who are neighbors, friends, and family members?

I don’ know, it’s their obsession not mine.

Fundamentally, the post-born American has only the following rights, assuming the requisite secondary sex characteristics have been acquired: the right to bear arms; the right to challenge inaccuracies in his/her credit score; and, if so motivated, the right to vote.

Almost forgot. The post-born American has one more right: the right to a pro-rated reduction on his/her cable bill for a non–power outage-related loss of cable service that exceeds three hours.

That’s it, folks. Don’t expect anything else while Republican Values Voters still work ritual incantations over Congress.

UPDATE For lots more fun, check out Sad Freaks of the Nation (2X) at WhiskeyFire.

Malkin-stalkin Ahaip’s colon

[Editor’s note: Following her unprecedented attempts to have the state of Maryland medically re-induce 12-year-old Graeme Frost’s coma, Michelle Malkin has now turned her attention to the inordinate amount of time, money, and medical resources devoted by US troops to arrange for a young Iraqi boy, Ahaip, to have his colon surgically reintroduced into his body. Once again, Malkin, along with like-minded conservatives and some unemployed freepers, casts a wary eye on a seemingly prosperous family crying poverty to defraud US taxpayers.]

Ahaip and the Perils of Iraqi Poster Child Abuse
By Michelle Malkin

I just returned from a visit to Ahaip’s father’s commercial property near Hollendia in Iraq. It’s a modest place. Talked to one of the tenants, Mohammed Abu Reilly, a hard-working welder who produces an astonishing variety of disk-shaped objects he says are used as septic tank caps.

Abu Reilly says he has known Ahaip’s family for 10 years. Business is brisk. Ahaip’s father creates simple, what I would call Shaker-style, handmade coffins. But Abu Reilly characterized Ahaip’s dad as “struggling” since the end of Hussein-era subsidies of pine lumber.

Abu Reilly clearly was an outspoken advocate for socialized health care without any means-testing whatsoever and an insistent critic of the Iraq war (“the cursed illegal occupation,” he kept calling it). Despite all that, he did agree with me that going without health insurance is often a matter of choice and a matter of priorities. Or maybe we were just speaking two different languages.

I also passed by Ahaip’s family’s house. There was a 12-12-00 bumper sticker plastered on the door, and a newer model GMC Suburban was parked on the street (see photo).

Donkey truck

I’ve seen guesstimates of the house’s worth in the 246,600-plus dinar range.* Neighbors also helpfully pointed out that the house was extensively remodeled last spring when an errant mortar converted a dark second-floor bedroom into a sunny terrace.

On the issue of Ahaip’s attending the 20,000 dinar/year** An Najaf Madrassa, some people think they once heard some relatives of Ahaip claim that the boy has a near-full tuition discount. Still, it’s not clear why the family doesn’t send Ahaip to the free public school, which, locals proudly pointed out, has been repainted 10 times in the last 4 years.

For the record, Abu Reilly told me it was his neighbor’s wife’s brother-in-law’s understanding that Ahaip’s grandparents paid the tuition bill each year by slaughtering and selling one or two goats.

Don Surber says: “Interesting that a public school isn’t good enough for this kid -- I don’t care if he does trip on his colon when he walks.”

Glenn Reynolds says:: “If coffin makers with palm tree-landscaped homes with rustic second-floor terraces and kids in private madrassas now count as ‘working families,’ does this mean they’ll get tax cuts?”

Rick Moran says: “I have received several anonymous emails from independent Iraqi coffin makers currently living in Jordan who say they used to have excellent health insurance coverage for their entire family by purchasing it through group plans available from the Iraqi Association of Independent and Tribal Casketeers (IAITC)."

*Roughly $200.
**Roughly $16.25/yr.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shoot straight you bastards -- don’t make a mess of it

And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. -- Matthew 10:36
Rumsfeld, Bremer, and Sanchez meet with reporters at Camp Victory, Fall 2003

Rumsfeld: There’s so much reporting about Baghdad and so little about what’s taking place in the rest of the country…. I feel that the progress in four or five months is breathtaking.

Bremer: Mr. Secretary, I would just add a little more on the point you made about the good news. Every day in this country there are dozens of success stories.

Democracy is on the march in this country.

Rumsfeld: And if you think about it, it happened in four or five months. Four or five months. Not four or five years. Four or five months. If one looks back at Germany, at Japan, at Bosnia or Kosovo, and measures the progress that’s taken place in this country in four or five months, it dwarfs any other experience that I’m aware of.

Sanchez: Mr. Secretary, ladies and gentlemen. It is very disturbing for me when I sit here every day and watch the news back home that focuses on the bad things that are occurring in Iraq, and I see my soldiers that have suffered either wounds or have gotten killed, and we’re not paying the right credit to their sacrifices….

We need to capture the great news out there and make sure that America knows what her sons and daughters are doing and what the rest of the international community is doing here.

From Thomas Ricks‘s Fiasco, pages 243-244.

Matthew 10:36 epitaph and shoot-straight quote from the heart-breaking “This is what comes of Empire building” sequence of Breaker Morant (view video clip here).

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Matt Taibbi: It seems amazing to say, but in the Bush era, distancing oneself from the Spanish Inquisition actually qualifies as political courage.

Jon Swift: What makes conservatives like Malkin and Macsmind different from liberals like Klein is that conservatives would rather struggle and be faced with terrible health care choices than to have no choice at all, which is what would happen under socialized medicine. Living in a free society means having the freedom to go into debt trying to pay for the cost of health care and having the choice to quit your job and take a job you hate because it offers health insurance or to sell your house and move into a homeless shelter to pay for medical costs. People who live in societies that have socialized medicine don’t have these kinds of choices; they have to take the health care the government gives them.

Fine-tuning risk assessment

From here via Hairy Fish Nuts.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Randall Terry -- speaking for today’s pro-life, sort-of-pro-slavery Republican Party

From a press release/talking points memo for Randall Terry, Founder, Operation Rescue.
Could we vote for a man who was right on every single issue, except that he was a racist? Or was a candidate who supported slavery? (Of course, he would never own his own slave, but he would defend any other white persons right to own his own Negro.) How then can we in good conscience vote for a man who supports the destruction of innocent human life, which is far worse than slavery or racism? [emph added]
I’m curious why Terry felt compelled to insert that disclaimer: Of course, he would never own his own slave….

Why is it just a given that this pro-slavery candidate would never own his own slaves?

And why is it also just a given that this same righteous dude would be happy to saddle up and defend every other white person’s God-given (apparently) right to own “Negroes”?

And why doesn't Terry answer the question? With these people, I'm not going to automatically assume that I'll be hearing a roaring "No."

And why are these slavery issues flying so low under the media radar this election season?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dear Lynndie: Counting the days!

Lynndie EnglandDear Lynndie--

Two down and only one to go Lynndie! -- fast, fast, fast. Good news…ChickCo wants you back for yanking guts out chicken asses when your ready!!! Bosses scarred to bring in Mexs now so open spots on the line. Most left any way. Bucks still sucks tho.

Don’t get the downs about that school money. Fcukin rip off. Get this!!--Govt claims some guys just back from there don’t get there college money cause they were 1 day early!

May be when Bush leaves hell pardon you and you get to go to school any way. Still want to run after twisters??? Brittainey’s brother says Bush has a really long list for his last day. Rolls out the toilet paper and puts down a bunch of names every time hes thinking hard. He laughs but it would be nice tho.

Im just happy your safe and not smashed to bits or missing peaces. May be that prick Graner saved your life.

Any way, counting days now!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

$2 trillion's worth of obliviousness

Edited to fix link.

In “Liberals, Neocons, Zionists, Fascists, Anti-Fascists and the Rest,” Roger Cohen constructs a ridiculously self-serving list of arguments you are forbidden to use when debating the Iraq War with him.

You are not allowed to mention the bogus casus belli, the stunning lack of international support for the invasion, the incompetent pre-war and post-war military planning and execution, or any and all NeoCons and Likudniks.

If you try to mention civilian deaths and collateral damage -- and Cohen is not willing to argue just what those figures might be -- he parries with this: the deaths of those who die during this period of “flux” are noble deaths, whereas the deaths of those who died during Saddam’s regime were merely a horrific waste.

Which leaves Cohen with only two things to talk about: Uday and Qusay, and boy were they some mean motherfuckers.

Worth about $1 trillion a piece, I’d say.

Update See also Scott Lemieux’s “Bully” and Josh Marshall’s “My Own Private Mid-20th Century Totalitarianism.”

Monday, October 08, 2007

First official skirmish in this year’s War on Xmas!

There are so few things you can truly count on in life: death, taxes, cellulite, scrotal sag, termites, obnoxious in-laws, dreckky Super Bowl Half-Time shows, and the unrelenting carping about the loss of “American” holidays like the virgin birth in the Middle East of the amazingly Aryan-looking male Semite named Jesus.

Yes, it’s the first installment in this year’s War on Xmas, courtesy of the Chicago-area Daily Southtown.

Says CNN‘s rabid chipmunk Glenn Beck: "For years now, it seems like the war on Christmas is only getting worse. First it was mangers, then it was trees. And then it was the word itself."

Blogger Dan Riehl wails that it‘s yet another liberal attack on tradition. "You can kiss traditional American customs goodbye, supplanted by the new multiculturalism that gets more multi- and less American every day.”

The homonym-challenged and anatomy-obsessed Steve from Norfolk left this gem on "This is the enemy you are talking about….Are you going to keep kissing they're [sic] asses until they roll you over and cut your throat? Get a spine!"

Pussy JoeSnuffy bewails his fate at, sobbing: "We invite them over here and give them sanctuary and they repay us by trying to destroy our culture and take over our lands…. It is an invasion of a hostile people who have no interest in assimilating but in conquering and dominating.”

And now for some input from the academics. Michael Niederman, the chair of television department at Columbia College Chicago, points out the bleeding obvious about why so many media personalities use such bogus issues as a battle cry.

"It's a call and response," he said. "They'll find one that gets a response, and they'll ride it until it's dead."

And death never comes soon enough.
"To a point, these topics are even made up or manufactured,"[Niederman] said, pointing to Bill O'Reilly's series of commentaries dubbed "Christmas Under Siege" as an example.

"It's pandering to your audience."
Are you shocked?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Saturday swing-bys

Harry Hutton mythologizes vegetable siege weaponry: When a man fires a pumpkin 300 yards, he becomes as a wrathful god….

Doghouse Reilly counts down some problems he has with Keith Olbermann.

Bartleby considers our quaint political fundraising obsessions in The Land of the Fleeced and the Home of the Tased.

The Wisdom Weasel highlights some recent good press for the North American Goober Stereotype Perpetuation Society of North Carolina.

Old Knudsen finds an old book of Green Shield Stamps behind his sofa and then fields a surprising job offer from the Burmese foreign ministry.

As always, Old Knudsen is not workplace safe.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Censored or not?

Now I’m just confused. Several news reports about the Rush Limbaugh phony soldiers controversy stated that that particular Limbaugh program had been broadcast (or rebroadcast) by American Forces Radio and Television Services (AFRTS) with the phony soldiers discussion deleted.

Who was responsible for that: Limbaugh and Clear Channel or AFRTS?

If it was the decision of AFRTS, then it’s safe to assume they knew soldier bashing when they heard it. But this also would have forced them to violate their own mission statement. If you read the FAQ section about the political talk radio programs featured on AFRTS, it states explicitly: “We do not censor programs.”

Well now, only one thing left to do: email AFRTS and ask them. Except that the contact link is currently unavailable, presumably because thousands of people are emailing expressions of their undying support for or undying hatred of Rush Limbaugh.

Has anybody heard or seen an official statement from AFRTS?

UPDATE Here’s part of the transcript from Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show.
OLBERMANN: We might add the armed forces version of the Limbaugh show regarding the phony soldiers had only the edited clip on it, not the original one. They never heard the original one.
Now, who was responsible for the editing? Did Limbaugh/Clear Channel edit that discussion because they were afraid it might offend troops listening over armed forces radio? Or did AFRTS edit that segment, breaking its promise not to censor programs? Either way, somebody somewhere suspected there was a problem with the "phony soldiers" discussion being broadcast to the troops.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

If you’re only going to not see one movie this year, make it this one!!!

The ever-astute Roy Edroso and his ever-astute commenters at Alicublog have fun dismantling Jules Crittenden’s incredibly inastute post about why Hollywood just doesn’t get war.

And, yes indeed, embedded in the middle of Crittenden’s critique is the inevitable wingnut disclaimer.
Now, Hollywood swan dives into the moralism tank with “In the Valley of Elah,” a movie that reportedly condemns the Iraq war by cherrypicking and embellishing a tragic tale without addressing any of the war’s fundamental issues, to convey the age-old message, “war is bad,” with its modern addendum, “and never worth it.” Disclosure: I haven’t seen this movie, and don’t intend to spend my money on it. The rave reviews told me all I needed to know. [emph added]
Stupid, stupid, stupid. And very disrespectful of one’s readers, too.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Pick the head and the screw of your choice

Edited to fix links.

A good many people are starting to wobble, as my beloved James Wolcott observes.
I've noticed a distinct note of despondency in many of the blogs I devotedly follow, a deep indentation of the blues…. [M]uch of it transcends a single or multiple cause, expressing a dark mingling of the personal, the political, and the cosmic: a prison sky of futility pressing downward to the point where depression and oppression meet.
At this rate, we’ll make it through neither the psychic nor the literal winter that is coming.

There’s only one way to survive this, people, and that is to screw with their heads.

Pick the head and the screw of your choice, and do it.

Pick the degree of rebellion -- cackling laughter, sarcasm, passive-aggression, punk, resistance, rebellion -- and do it.

But for fuck sake, do something.

Bush shrugs: History? Pffft. We’ll be dead.

Oh, but not all of us. Some of us will be dancers on graves.