Monday, January 31, 2005

A good day in Iraq.



Oh, how hard it is to be against the War on Election Day in Iraq.

Even if the polls numbers are wrong and it wasn't a 72% turnout- if it was a 50% or less, the fact that Iraqis risked their lives to go out and vote is a wonderful display of bravery and freedom.

I am happy for them.

But I still wonder if the ends justified the means. I was always an advocate of Preemptive Democracy as way to minimize or hopefully avoid casualties in an Iraq conflict...


Are the neocons right?


What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?
February 1, 2005
BY MARK BROWN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Random thoughts: Bush legacy... poor planning... gambling with other people's lives.... little Osamas... Democracy at the point of a gun- is that freedom? How many Iraqi civilian casualties matter to you? How many American lives? All? Some? None?

Did the people oppressed by Saddam deserve to be killed for their freedom by our military?

It's not like we came in and joined someone's rebellion. We invaded an organized Stalinist state, but it doesn't seem that we had a clear plan for the occupation. The contractors were very organized and ready to go. The Humvees still aren't all armored. The Defense Secretary is glib, flip, and cock-sure. Iraqi's power and water is still intermittent... $9 billion dollars are missing...

Baghdad Burning

Operation Truth


What does the Project for the New American Century have to say? Nothing so far, it seems... Shouldn't they be bloviating wildly now?

My great hope is that Bush knows the War wasn't the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am his advisers told him it would be- it's ending up somewhat more like the VietNam War he avoided as a wealthy young man. So my hope is that Bush the masterful politician is looking to "fix" this nagging war and his legacy by beginning to pull out our troops. Even a "cosmetic" pull out- a few thousand at first- would be wonderful. I hope that his ego will motivate him to begin the pull out...


Even if, as a liberal, I am left in the uncomfortable position of wanting our troops to not leave the place in sheer chaos... I want NATO or the Arab League or somebody in there to help...

I don't care about being right about this... I want to be wrong, actually...

But I'm afraid this will embolden them. The neocons. The Bushes. The right wing.


He might be a lame duck on social security- but he sure is a wartimepresident



Friday, January 28, 2005

Cold Dick


U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, center, is flanked by his wife Lynne, right, and Israel's President Moshe Katsav, left, as leaders from 30 countries gather to remember the victims of the Holocaust on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp by Soviet troops in Oswiecim, southern Poland on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2005. (AP Photo/Herbert Knosowski)


Dick Cheney is an asshole and he has no class.

Dick Cheney, Dressing Down
Parka, Ski Cap at Odds With Solemnity of Auschwitz Ceremony
By Robin GivhanWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, January 28, 2005; Page C01


Why should he care about looking like the elementary school janitor cleaning the driveway at a Holocaust memorial ceremony? He's running his very own concentration camp in Guantanamo right now.

It looks to me like he's wearing some kind of military parka. Combined with the "Staff 2001" knit cap on his head, it is apparent Cheney went to Aushwitz wearing swag. Free stuff. Junk.

But wait- there's more! More offensive than the shlubby get-up, were the words that came out of his crooked mouth. From Alternet.org:

Posted by Evan on January 28, 2005 @ 8:58AM
Dick Cheney didn't miss an opportunity for opportunism at yesterday's Auschwitz memorial conflating the Nazis with the war on terror in a speech to survivors: "You survived terror," he told them. It's not that the word doesn't adequately describe the horrors they endured -- few would argue that. But the word contains far too much political baggage that simply didn't need to be toted over to Poland on this occasion. Too bad Cheney couldn't just back off for just one day.


I'll have to find the transcript and see if he mentioned 9/11.

Can't wait for the spin.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bold Move By President Gump

Bush Orders An End To Hiring Columnists

Oh boy. My fucking hero.

I like this part:

"All our Cabinet secretaries must realize that we will not be paying commentators to advance our agenda any more,' Bush said at a news conference. 'Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet from now on.' The president said he expects his agency heads will 'make sure that that practice doesn't go forward much longer.'"

Ok, the bold parts are mine, of course.

Government propaganda is usually a bad thing. Last year, according to the aforeposted link, the Bush Administration spent... well, just read it:

"On Wednesday, the House Committee on Government Reform released a report on the use of taxpayer dollars for public relations campaigns. It found the administration spent a record $88 million on government-funded public relations contracts in 2004 - more than double the amount spent in 2000, according to the report prepared for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democrats. "

Bold not mine, sadly.

Public relations. Propaganda.

And propaganda is one of the Riders of the Apocalypse, my friend.

Well, she ought to be.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Monday Night: '84

This is where I'll be performing Monday night, in San Francisco. Come see it and try to figure out which one is me.

Michael Sullivan's Eighty-Four.


Unrelated: PatriotActors has got Joe Trippi's number, alright.


Saturday, January 22, 2005

StraightBob JesusPants causing trouble



More on The Dumbest Thing I've Ever Heard (tm)

Woke up yesterday to hear both KFI AM Los Angeles (serving Fake News and Right-Wing Nuttery for far too long) and ABC News (anchored by a CANADIAN!) both report as fact that Nile Rodgers' We Are Family Foundation did create a video that promoted homosexuality.

It's a quirky story with heroes and villains, folks, but here are some links to get to the truth. Since the media is just gonna lie and goof on this creepy right wing stunt, here- just judge for yourself.

First, here's Nile Rodgers' We Are Family Foundation: www.wearefamilyfoundation.org

Here's the pledge that's causing all the trouble:

"Tolerance is a personal decision that comes from a belief that every person is a treasure. I believe that America's diversity is its strength. I also recognize that ignorance, insensitivity and bigotry can turn that diversity into a source of prejudice and discrimination.

To help keep diversity a wellspring of strength and make America a better place for all, I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own.
"

http://www.wearefamilyfoundation.org/tolerance_pledge.asp

Now that pledge comes from www.tolerance.org, an offshoot of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Here's the site for the homosexual support group from South Carolina , WeAreFamily, that's caused some confusion on behalf of a few "Christians": http://www.waf.org/

And here's the sanctimonious Focus on the Family: http://family.org/


My guess is that someone at Focus on the Family understandably confused the two groups both using the name "We Are Family." When they assumed the actual gay activist We Are Family was issuing a a videotape directly to schools featuring SpongeBob SquarePants, that must have jolted them right through their sensible shoes. I mean, BINGO! Smoking Gun! One more off the Rapture Ready checklist (the Left Behind Scorecard?).

But then Nile Rodgers burst their bubble by pointing out that it was his unity-and-diversity-and-stuff group issuing the videotape to 60 million-odd schools. Not the gay group- the anti-racism group.

Looks like the Jesus Squad had blown it, coming off like a bunch of yokels (a-gin! dadnurbit!... oops..forgive me, Lord) - UNTIL they checked into the website of Rodgers' group and found the tolerance pledge, which of course does ask people to pledge to be tolerant of people even if they're swishy, and SHA-ZAAM! They pull out of the nose dive and they're back on the trail of the homosexual agenda! Whew! Even though the tolerance pledge isn't on the tape at all, anywhere.

Of course, it's Tinky-Winky all over again. And at the end of the day Jerry Falwell did succeed in making Twinky-Winky into a gay icon. The same thing may happen with SpongeBob now- the gay community adopts SpongeBob as another icon of protest, and Focus on the Family get to snort, swish their forked tails, and sputter "we told you he was a faggot."


Mission Accomplished.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Years of repose? Years of sabbatical?

As Al Franken just pointed out on Air America, in August, 2001, Bush was busy watching Barney chase "armadillas" when he received that PDB.

He was in repose. He was on sabbatical.

His dig against the Clinton 90's notwithstanding, Clinton did "shake the trees" and prevented the Millenium attack- he saved MY CITY from a terrorist attack.

When I lived in New York City on 9/11/01, Bush did NOTHING to prevent an attack on my city.

Thank you , President Clinton, for protecting me.

devil's daughter, drunk Posted by Hello

buck fush Posted by Hello

snowball Posted by Hello

hail satan Posted by Hello

sad Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Let the Eagle Soar?

8:20 am Inauguration Day.

Is Guy Hovis , crony of Trent Lott and former Lawrence Welk show "star" really singing John Ashcroft's godawful "Let The Eagle Soar" on the steps of the capitol? And did I just see Sen. Hillary Clinton bobbing her head to the "music?"

The next four years might be worse than I thought.

That song is terrible, just terrible. The talent-free end timers are really, really going to fuck this country UP. And they're going to do it with AWFUL music playing in the background.

By the way- in case you haven't noticed, they are using the same techniques of scare-tactics and lies that they used to sell the Iraq war to fool you into gleefully allowing them to decimate social security and government in general.

Lap it up, suckers. It's all one big dumb Texas now.

*Later on Black Thursday, mydd points out this funny CNN headline:

Poll: Nation split on Bush as uniter or divider
"(CNN) -- On the eve of President Bush's inauguration, a poll shows the nation is split over whether he has united or divided the nation, but a majority believe his inauguration festivities should be toned down because of the war.

During the 2000 campaign, Bush promised to be a "uniter, not a divider."

Forty-nine percent of 1,007 adult Americans said in phone interviews they believe Bush is a 'uniter,' according to the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Wednesday. Another 49 percent called him a "divider," and 2 percent had no opinion."

So if the nation is split, that pretty much makes him a divider, doesn't it? Or does division mean union in bushdoublespeak?

*At 11:08 am PST CBS News is reporting protesters armed with rocks and golf balls ready to pelt the motorcade. The rocks could be a problem, but I think the golf balls are meant as gifts.

I wish I had thought to play the Bush Inaugural Address drinking game this morning- take a shot everytime he blubbers on about "freedom".

But then I'd be drunk at work.

(Blooger ate my update-let’s see if I can recreate the humor and the outrage:)

WTF?
* 12:49 pm PST. He just got out of the car to walk about 10 steps or so. ABC News just interviewed lickspittle Andrew Card. And I just read this on the internets:

Conservatives Pick Soft Target: A Cartoon Sponge

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, The New York Times / AP
WASHINGTON (Jan. 20) - On the heels of electoral victories barring same-sex marriage, some influential conservative Christian groups are turning their attention to a new target: the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.


"Does anybody here know SpongeBob?" Dr. James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, asked the guests Tuesday night at a black-tie dinner for members of Congress and political allies to celebrate the election results.

Ah yes- four more retarded years... they're trying to say SpongeBob is gay. The kids of America aren't thinking that now... but I guess they will soon, thanks to the moral fervor of Dr. James C. Dobson, sponge-hater.

By God Almighty that’s got to be The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Heard ™

Would you like some more dumpidity? Read on , fellow heathen:

Now, Dr. Dobson said, SpongeBob's creators had enlisted him in a "pro-homosexual video," in which he appeared alongside children's television colleagues like Barney and Jimmy Neutron, among many others. The makers of the video, he said, planned to mail it to thousands of elementary schools to promote a "tolerance pledge" that includes tolerance for differences of "sexual identity."

The video's creator, Nile Rodgers, who wrote the disco hit "We Are Family," said Mr. Dobson's objection stemmed from a misunderstanding. Mr. Rodgers said he founded the We Are Family Foundation after the Sept. 11 attacks to create a music video to teach children about multiculturalism. The video has appeared on television networks, and nothing in it or its accompanying materials refers to sexual identity. The pledge, borrowed from the Southern Poverty Law Center, is not mentioned on the video and is available only on the group's Web site.


Mr. Rodgers suggested that Dr. Dobson and the American Family Association, the conservative Christian group that first sounded the alarm, might have been confused because of an unrelated Web site belonging to another group called "We Are Family," which supports gay youth.

"The fact that some people may be upset with each other peoples' lifestyles, that is O.K.," Mr. Rodgers said. "We are just talking about respect."


Mark Barondess, the foundation's lawyer, said the critics "need medication."

On Wednesday however, Paul Batura, assistant to Mr. Dobson at Focus on the Family, said the group stood by its accusation.

They are standing by their accusation, even though they are targeting the wrong group! I guess you're always right when you've declared God is on your side.

"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organization is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," he said. "It is a classic bait and switch."

Sounds more like a classic switch and bait to me, but what do I know? I always call him Squarebob Spongepants. Nice of these moralists to even bring up the spectre of a beloved cartoon character’s sexuality. Maybe they’re jealous that more children know SquareBob than know Baby Jesus ™. Sounds like it's time to change the name to Spongebob Straightpants, or Straightbob Jesusboots, or just plain Jesus Jesuston, or ... or... James Dobson kisses boys... or... I'm losing it here... back to work. America sucks today.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

First Words Out of Her Mouth


Baring her gapped teeth...

Ms. Rice on the hill today.

The first words out of her mouth were "September 11th, 2001..." (ok- after the kissy-kissy thank yous...)

9/11. The best thing that ever happened to her.

You know what, I'll question your integrity forever, you liar. You toady. You hack.

The time for diplomacy is NOW? No, now it's time for the quagmire. All that study of the Soviet Union she did at the Hoover Institute- did she skip the section on the Soviets in Afghanistan? Or did she just watch Rambo 3 and call it a night?

What do you say, Joe?

"Despite our great military might we are in my view more alone in the world than we've been in any time in recent memory. The time for diplomacy, in my view, is long overdue," Biden said.

Happy belated Delaware Day, Joe.

Monday, January 17, 2005

OY.


Seymour M. Hersh
Oy- Seymour Hersh usually knows what he's talking about.

Here comes War on Iran.....

“This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign. We’ve declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah—we’ve got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism.”

Bad guys. Hurrah. We've got four years... oy.

Sunday, January 16, 2005


ferocious Posted by Hello

"Winston Smith- I should have recognized your foul stench when I was brought onboard."


I'll be going up to San Francisco next week to participate in a reading of '84 , an adaptation of 1984.

It will be nice to get out of LA. It will be nice to act and see people in the Bay Area.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Aw, shucks, I didn't mean "bring 'em on" like that.

Isn't it fun to witness President Gump's on-the-job training?

From CNN.com:
"Sometimes, words have consequences you don't intend them to mean," Bush said Thursday. "'Bring 'em on' is the classic example, when I was really trying to rally the troops and make it clear to them that I fully understood, you know, what a great job they were doing. And those words had an unintended consequence. It kind of, some interpreted it to be defiance in the face of danger. That certainly wasn't the case."

On July 2, 2003, two months after he had declared an end to major combat in Iraq, Bush promised U.S. forces would stay until the creation of a free government there. To those who would attack U.S. forces in an attempt to deter that mission, Bush said, "My answer is, Bring 'em on."
In the week after the September 11 attacks, Bush was asked if he wanted bin Laden, the terrorist leader blamed for the attacks, dead. "I want justice," Bush said. "And there's an old poster out West, that I recall, that said, 'Wanted, Dead or Alive."'Recalling that remark, Bush told the reporters: "I can remember getting back to the White House, and Laura said, 'Why did you do that for?' I said, 'Well, it was just an expression that came out. I didn't rehearse it.'
I find it hard to believe that the book-lurnin' Laura Bush actually asked him "WHY did you to do that for?" "WHAT" did you do that for?" maybe... (sigh...)
Sometimes words have unintended consequences? You get that now? Aw, good for you, Georgie. Here's a cookie. Now it's nap time, you miserable fuck.
What other words have "unintended consequences?" Words like "we know Iraq has WMDs?" "Mission Accomplished?" How about "smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud?"
No, I think those last words had very intended consequences.

Monday, January 10, 2005


A boulder some 25 feet high blocks both lanes of the Topanga Caynon Road, Monday, Jan. 10, 2005, as electrical contractors fix broken power and communication lines in Malibu, Calif. No injures where reported, but the road remains closed. The storm system was blamed for at least nine deaths during the weekend in Southern California, including a man killed when his vehicle plunged into the surf off Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, and a homeless man killed when the hillside where his tent was pitched gave way. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
At first I wanted to post this to show what's going on where I live, but then I noticed that the photograher was Damian Dovarganes- he shot the pictures at our wedding. He also took my favorite Freeway Blogger photo:



photo by Damian Dovarganes, AP Posted by Hello

Last saw Damian unexpectedly at a Kerry-aoke party... he's great.


Sunday, January 09, 2005

Bill O'Reilly's Dream Vacation

As some of you in the reality-based community might already know, The Al Franken Show on our beloved Air America Radio is soliciting impersonations of Bill O'Reilly reading from the deposition in his settled-out-of-court, He Said-She Recorded sexual harrassment case.

I don't do a Bill O'Reilly impersonation (at least I haven't tried to). But Z thought I should do some of her faves reading about the shower and the falafel and all that...

DISCLAIMER:

Audio not safe for work or children- thanks to the filthy, filthy , filthy mind of one of America's leading Conservative personalities.

You can listen to our submission here. Z did a great job producing and directing and editing and mixing and all that. And the talent isn't half bad.

Read along with W., Rush , and William Jefferson here on The Smoking Gun.



(falafel... what a jack ass...)

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Smart Bombs Aren't

That's what my sign said at the pre-Iraq War protests. Someone didn't get it. What's not to get? All those bombs we are told are "smart" are not smart- they are not smarter than the planners that pick the wrong house. They'll hit the wrong house with as much deadly force as they will hit the right house. The other meaning of the sign, of course, is that the use of smart bombs isn't smart policy.

Because they are designed to look good for us on television. This was how they wanted to fix the image problem they had during Viet Nam. They showed us videos of smart bombs walking right in the door, shaking hands, and exploding. Of course, years later we found out they didn't always go to the right house, or office , or factory.

Smart bombs might be smart for neocons who are so cynical that they believe Americans will accept a gizmo war that delivers for us an acceptable level of civilian casualties. We do accept this, of course. Some people think it's neat.

Read A History of Bombing and that whole "it's just a little precision high-tech bombing" security blanket that lets you continue to believe that our leaders are always thinking everything through, that they're always thinking of the big picture, and that they've got a plan, and that those smart bombs make the people we bomb in order to liberate somehow hate us less- that security of conscience evaporates.


Americans Acknowledge Hitting Wrong Target in Iraqi Airstrike, Killing at Least Five; Iraqi Says 14 Killed Oh well, you gotta break a few eggs, right?



Thank you, Micah Ian Wright