It's Recess-time Somewhere

Proud Member of the Reality-Based Sandbox

January 28, 2005

Bart's first Gasparilla

January 27, 2005

Yea!! Porn on School Buses!!

I'm going to ask my mommy if I can take the bus to school. I only live a few blocks away from school, but it sounds like fun.

A bus driver shuttling pupils to school in northern Greece shocked their parents when he put on a porn tape, officials said on Thursday.


"The driver said 'kids we've got porn, do you want to watch it'," one of the pupils told reporters. "Everyone started shouting yes, yes and he just put in a tape and we watched it on the small TV screens on the bus."

I figure since they only teach abstinence in my school and not real facts about the birds and bees, I'm gonna have to learn about this stuff somewhere.

You Can't Just Pray Away the Gay

There are some kookie people out there that claim you can counsel gay people into straight people. There's a man named Richard Cohen, who is president of a company called P-Fox that does lots of mean anti-gay advertising and stuff and tries to talk gay people into being straight.

Mr. Cohen has been a very naughty boy, and has been expelled from the American Counseling Association for breaking a whole bunch of rules.

According to the ACA's letter: "Mr. Cohen was found in violation of the
following code sections A.1.a; A.1.b; A.5.a; A.6.a; C.3.b, C.3.f, and has
not elected to appeal the decision taken by the ACA Ethics Committee
within allotted timelines."

The letter referred to Cohen's violations which included inappropriate
behavior such as fostering dependent counseling relationships, not
promoting the welfare of clients, engaging in actions that sought to
meet his personal needs at the expense of clients, exploiting the trust
and dependency of clients, unethically soliciting testimonials from clients
and promoting products to clients in a manner that is deceptive.

A nice man, Wayne Besen has this to say:
"The Right wing should be ashamed for promoting the work of a
therapist who has been officially rebuked for egregious ethical lapses,"
said Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the
Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth. "That Cohen is the best the
far right can find in support of their position that gay people can
change underscores the quack-like pseudo-science that they rely on. It
is time they end the charade that reparative therapy works."

I don't think it's very nice to act unethically especially if you are counseling someone who is hurting inside and is wanting help. People that are struggling with problems need nice people to help them, not quacks with their own agenda.

January 26, 2005

More Fuzzy Math From the White House

Now I'm not very good at math, but I'm pretty sure that $427 million is more than $412 million.

According to the New York Times...

White house officials predict this:
the budget deficit will hit a new record of $427 billion this year.

Then the White House officials claim this:
...they were still on track to fulfill President Bush's campaign promise of reducing the budget deficit in half by 2009.

But Kevin Drum says this:
So last year's deficit was $412 billion, and this year's deficit will be $427 billion, but they're still "on track" to cut the deficit in half. Clap your hands!

I think the White House officials need to go take some math classes.

The 50 Most Loathsome People

The Beast, by way of Norbizness by way of Demagogue has made a nice list of the 50 most loathesome people in 2004. He's even nice enough for to tell us what punishment they deserve for their committing their special crimes. I'm not for sure if they are in order, but if they are, I think Ann Coulter should be placed slightly higher on the list.

Here's some of my favorites:
50. Ann Coulter

Crimes: Coulter plummets down the list as she slips into irrelevance.
As her columns degenerate further into absurd, incoherent attacks against
her own personal paranoid fantasy of fanged, drooling, Saddam-loving
liberals who hate America and childish France-bashing, we find our
outrage slowly giving way to a baffled “I can’t believe I used to go out
with you” feeling. Her arguments are ridiculous, her vitriol forced, her
hatchet face even harder to look at. Still, she insulted a one-armed war
veteran, called reports of the hundreds of tons of missing munitions in
Iraq false, claimed Wesley Clark was pro-infanticide, and blamed Abu
Ghraib on the presence of women in the armed forces—they’re not all
like you, Ann—and on and on. It’s just not worth debunking someone who
has no credibility in the first place.

Smoking Gun: Has credibility in the minds of more people than we can
stomach acknowledging.

Punishment: Skull crushed with rock.

8. John Ashcroft
Crimes: Promoting sexual shame, writing and singing alarmingly jingoistic
and terrible songs, flattening constitutional protections, detaining brown
people at will without charges or counsel, pretending to be a patriot, and intentionally ignoring terrorism in his pre-9/11 tenure.

Smoking Gun: Put a fucking curtain up to cover a naked breast on a
statue. A statue.

Punishment: Only heterosexual judge on the supreme court in 2035.

4. Dick Cheney
Crimes: So loathsome his own party is frightened of him. Manages to
deliver stunning lies with an air of sneering authority. Shamelessly
employs scare tactics in order to strip the federal government of any
resemblance to the one described in the constitution. So visibly evil
that all of the documented evidence against him is superfluous. The kind
of guy who starts talking cannibalism the minute he steps on the lifeboat.

Smoking Gun: Managed to make his own shame at producing gay offspring
into a negative for Kerry.

Punishment: Hacked to death by Mexican migrant workers.

3. You
Crimes: You gaze idly at the carnage around you, sigh, and go calmly back
to your coffee and your People magazine. You can’t stop buying useless
crap, though you’re drowning in a deepening pool of debt. You think you’re
an activist because you bitch all day on the internet, but you reelect the
same gangsters at a 99% rate. You consider yourself informed because
you waste a significant portion of your life watching the same three news
stories cycle over and over again on your gargantuan, aerodynamic
television set while you eat processed food. You really thought everything
would be okay if Kerry won. Not only do you believe in an invisible man
who magically farted out the universe, you also excoriate and marginalize
those who disagree. You have a poorer understanding of your country’s
foreign policy history than a third world peasant, but you can’t wait to
see what Julia Roberts will be wearing at the Oscars. You cheer as
Ukrainians challenge an election based on exit poll data, but keep
waiting around for someone else to fix your problems. You can’t think,
you can’t organize and you won’t act. This is all your fault.

Smoking Gun: You’re fat.

Punishment: You’re soaking in it.

January 25, 2005

The Hypocrisy of Evangelicals

Fubar from Needlenose has a nice post which links to a nice article from Christianity Today about how some people who say they are Christians don't practice what they preach.

Divorce is more common among "born-again" Christians than in the
general American population. Only 6 percent of evangelicals tithe. White evangelicals are the most likely people to object to neighbors of another
race. Josh McDowell has pointed out that the sexual promiscuity of
evangelical youth is only a little less outrageous than that of their
nonevangelical peers.

As fubar states:
Acting human, like the rest of society isn't a sin. Claiming moral
superiority while acting otherwise, however, is another thing altogether.
Add politics and you get a toxic sludge of hypocrisy and power.

I agreee with fubar. He's smart.

The Prince of Darkness for Secretary of Defense

I've been hearing rumors that Rumsfeld might resign soon after the elections in Iraq on January 30th. At first I was thinking that's a good thing. He won't have to help clean up the mess in Iraq and it would also free up his schedule so he could be tried for war crimes.

But then I got a little scared thinking about all the other people that Bush has nominated for his cabinet for his new term as president. I thought Attorney General John Ashcroft was the purest form of evil as well as a horrible singer, but then I found out about Alberto Gonzales and how he lied about Bush's DUI and stuff and how he thinks torturing our detainees is OK.

And Colin Powell but didn't stand up enough for what he believed in, and then Bush goes and nominated Condeleeza Rice for Secretary of State. She likes to lie and stuff, and doesn't really believe in anything except that she's pretty sure she's just supposed to do what Bush tells her to do.

And then there's the Homeland Security post, which Bush tried to nominate Bernard Kerik for, and we all know just how naughty he was.

But I'm thinking that there may not be anyone out there that can match or exceed the vileness that Rumsfeld is. He has really outdone himself in the war-crimes and trying-to-go-around-the-law-to-be-mean departments.

So, for the new Secretary of Defense, my money is on Satan. I think Bush is going to break with precedent and nominate a non-human, Satan, for Secretary of Defense. I can just hear him "Secretary Beelzebub has always been a loyal ally and a great partner of mine in the struggle to spread freedom and liberty around the world, and I urge each and everyone of you Senators and Congressmen to vote to comfirm him."

Overheard in the Office

This is a funny website that I go to a lot. When I start to get mad because of all the mean things that Mr. Bush and his friends are doing, I go look at this website and it makes me giggle.

It's a bunch of quotes that are overheard in the office. You can send in yours too, if you want.

Here's one that I really thought was funny:

Session Leader: I'll leave this badge on the desk. If you need to use the facilities, just take it with you and swipe the reader on the bathroom door.

Participant #1: You need to swipe from the bottom up, right?

Participant #2: Not if you're a girl!

Mr. Dayton Rips Condi a New One

Nice Mr. Mark Dayton from Minnesota made a nice speech about how he doesn't like being lied to by the Bush Administration. I wish all the Senators would feel the same way Mr. Dayton feels, because I don't want a Secretary of State that lies to the Senators or to me or to anyone. Especially about important things like whether Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and whether we should go to war.

I think we should only go to war if we have to, and if Condi or anyone else tries to withhold information or lie to the Senators who are voting on that stuff, then we might accidentally go to war when we don't need to. And if we go to war when we don't need to, then a lot of people can get hurt and killed for no good reason and our allies think we are foolish and don't like us anymore.

You can read the last part of his speech here, but I really like his last paragraph a lot.

I don't like to impugn anyone's integrity, but I really don't like being lied to - repeatedly, flagrantly, intentionally. It's wrong, it's unDemocratic, it's unAmerican, and it's dangerous. It is very, very dangerous. And it is occuring far too frequently in this administration. And this Congress, this Senate, must demand that it stop now. My vote against this nomination is my statement that this administration's lying must stop now. I urge my colleagues to join me in this demand. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, we are all, all of us, first and foremost, Americans. We must be told the truth if we're to govern our contry and to preserve our world, and this is why we must vote against this nomination.

Impugning the Integrity of Fox News

Now this is just silly. Two of the men that helped Bush write his Inaugural speech went on TV and talked about what a great speech it was, without ever mentioning that they helped write it.

Weekly Standard editor William Kristol lauded President George W. Bush's inauguration speech as "powerful," "impressive," and "historic," both in an article for the January 31 print edition of The Weekly Standard and as a FOX News political contributor during FOX's live coverage of Inauguration Day. Washington Post columnist and FOX News contributor Charles Krauthammer, also during FOX News' live Inauguration Day coverage, called Bush's speech "revolutionary" and compared it to fomer President John F. Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address. But Kristol and Krauthammer were consultants for Bush's speech -- a fact that neither disclosed.

I mean what do you expect them to say? Of course they want people to believe that "experts" think the speech they wrote was great. Is that why Fox News claims to be fair and balanced?

It's a good thing we have Media Matters to help us know this stuff. Otherwise, people actually might think that Bush's speech was "powerful," "impressive," and "historic," or even "revolutionary."

Compasionate Convervatives

Rich Little said some not very nice things at the Constitution Ball last week. He was making fun of poor people and then everyone laughed.

Though there was no official poem for the occasion, impressionist Rich
Little, emceeing the Constitution Ball at the Hilton Washington, did
provide a bit of inaugural doggerel.

The gist of it was: "Let's get together, let bitterness pass, I'll hug your elephant, you kiss my ass!" And the crowd went crazy.

Little said he missed and adored the late President Ronald Reagan and
"I wish he was here tonight, but as a matter of fact he is," and he
proceeded to impersonate Reagan, saying, "You know, somebody asked
me, 'Do you think the war on poverty is over?' I said, 'Yes, the poor
lost.' " The crowd went wild.

I don't think it's very nice to make fun of poor people.

Also David Corn talks about how mean Newt Gingrich is for leaving wife #1
when she had cancer and wife #2 when she was diagnosed with a
neurological disorder that could lead to multiple sclerosis. He was having
an affair with a congressional aide before breakup #2 too.

All this from a man who writes this kind of stuff in his new book:
...he takes the reader on a walking tour of God in Washington,
DC--noting all the public spaces in the capital where the Almighty
is acknowledged. For instance, there are images of the Ten
Commandments in the National Archives, the Supreme Court and the
Library of Congress. Gingrich would like to see more of this, and he
believes that God in public life will be an issue in the next
presidential election.

He has really done some really mean hurtful things to people, and I don't think anyone would want to vote for him for president, especially those people that vote for who they think Jesus would vote for, because I'm pretty sure that Jesus wouldn't vote for Newt.

The Bush Administration, The Reality Show

Timothey McSweeney makes us a nice list of things that he would say if the Bush Administraion was at weekly TV show and he were a viewer.

"Now, see, you can't just go and do something like that. That would be illegal."

"Boy, someone's gonna get fired for that."

"Wasn't that the one who made all the mistakes? Why is she getting promoted?"

"Why is this still on?"

January 24, 2005

The Bigot of the Day, January 24th, 2004

And today's winner is Wayne Allard of Colorado!!! Congratulations Wayne!

Here we go again, re-introducing the silly marriage amendment that makes it so that boys can't marry boys and girls can't marry girls.

Last year, the "Marriage Protection Amendment" failed in both the Senate and House. It got only 48 of the 60 Senate votes needed to overcome procedural hurdles. It failed in the House 227-186, well short of the two-thirds majority needed.

I guess Mr. Allard thinks that maybe this year, since there are a few more Republicans in the House and Senate that it might pass, but I don't think it will. Mr. Allard needs to get a calculator and do a little bit better figuring because the Republicans didn't pick up than many seats.

I don't think that's very fair. People should be able to marry anyone that want to marry. And adding in discrimination into the Constitution is just plain un-constitutional as far as you know.

The AMERICABlog points out that Ken Mehlman, the head of the Republican party, might just be gay himself. What a bunch of hippo-crits.

Barbara Boxer Continues to Impugn Condi's Integrity

Nice Ms. Boxer from California appeared on CNN yesterday and was talking to Wolf Blitzer about all the lies and stuff that Condeleeza Rice told.

BOXER: I gave Dr. Rice many opportunities to address specific issues. I had the quotes on the boards there, and I showed her what she said.

For example, she said the aluminum tubes that were being sought by Saddam Hussein could only be used -- could only be used -- for nuclear weapons. And it is very clear that that wasn't so, and she should have known that at the time.

And she refused to answer it. Instead, she said I was impugning her integrity.

You know, it's a very good debating technique. I mean, I've been in this debating business for a while now. And when you really don't know what to say about a specific, you just attack the person who is asking the questions.

You know, I also asked her questions about her statements that Saddam Hussein trained al Qaeda operatives. And I showed her that the State Department had a little map out there about a month after 9/11 that said there was absolutely not a trace of al Qaeda in Saddam Hussein-controlled Iraq.

Now, we're all glad Saddam is gone. You know, he's a dictator, and as far as I'm concerned he can rot. That's not the point. The point is we went into a war based on these statements that she made, and she could have addressed that.

She didn't address it. She turned and attacked me. It's fine; I don't care. But she has not corrected the record, and I worry about somebody who had a chance to correct the record who didn't do so.

I like this lady. She's spunky. We need more nice people like her who will stand up against all the mean, nasty things that Mr. Bush and his friends are doing.

Indonesia is "Ripe for Jesus" After Tsuanmi

AMERICABlog links to this from the NY Times about some mean people from Waco, Texas who are trying to convert Muslims to Christianity in tsunami-stricken Indonesia instead of helping the sick and homeless.

A Jan. 18 posting from the team in Indonesia says the country's devastated Aceh Province is "ripe for Jesus!!"

One poor man with a paralyzed leg has this to report:
"They told me to always think about God and about Jesus and you will be healed," he said. "Whenever I ask for help they always mention God, but they do not give any money for treatment."

And even the Reverend Jerry Falwell is getting in on the action:
More evangelical groups are apparently on their way. A message posted on the Web site of the Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell says the school he founded, Liberty University, is preparing to send a team to Sri Lanka, India and other countries battered by the tsunami.

"Distribution of food and medical supplies along with the dissemination of thousands of Gospel tracts in the language of the people will keep the L.U. team very busy," the Web site says. "Mission trips to the Asian region by many L.U. students will follow in the months, and perhaps years, to come."

However, not all the Christian aid people are this rude.
Older Christian aid groups like Catholic Relief Services, Lutheran World Relief and others with religious affiliations say they do not proselytize, abiding by Red Cross guidelines that humanitarian aid not be used to further political or religious purposes.

I don't think it's very nice that these people are trying to force Jesus down these people's throats when they just want food and to not be sick anymore. These bad people from Waco should give out t-shirts that say "I survived the tsunami and all I got was this stupid Jesus t-shirt from the aid workers."

Desperate Times Require Desperate Lies

In another attempt to deceive the public, Mr. Bush and his friends are using out of context quotes from Bill Clinton and Daniel Patrick Moynihan to push their Social-Security-Privitization-thingy.

The quote they are using from Mr. Clinton is:
"This fiscal crisis in Social Security affects every generation"

But the rest of his speech went something like this:
"Before we spend a penny on new programs or tax cuts, we should save Social Security first. I think it should be the driving principle . . . Do not have a tax cut. Do not have a spending program that deals with that surplus. Save Social Security first."

And poor Mr. Moynihan, who isn't alive anymore so he can't defend himself in reality wanted to add personal savings accounts on top of social security rather taking money out of the system.

I don't think it's very nice of Mr. Bush and his friends to lie to us like this. I think they all need to be spanked.

January 23, 2005

Black and White Rainbows

General J.C. Christian, patriot, found a nice website where we can buy rainbow hats and t-shirts and stuff where the rainbow is black and white.

The Fundamentalist Rainbow [TM] comes in two colors ONLY: black and white! Just like the Word of God there is no grey area, no color, no shading - just black and white. Make this rainbow YOURS today!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm willing to give up the pretty colors in the rainbow, even though they make me feel warm and sunny and even a little gay inside sometimes. I want to be a good little girl, and if Jesus tells me that multi-colored rainbows are the devils work, then I'll like the black and white ones instead.

Big, Big Troubles With the Iraqi Elections

Boy, am I glad I'm not in Iraq. All these bombings and stuff, and blowing up polling places and election officials. And candidates being scared to even say they are candidates and not being able to even talk about what they are for or against.

And then there's the fiasco with the Omar Party, the Omar Iraqi Democratic Party, and the Omar Promise Party that BBC reports on as being like the Monty Python skit about the People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front.

And then al-Zarqawi declares all out war on democracy in Iraq and elections.
It's funny that Bush keeps jibber-jabbering about how the best security is going to be there and silly things like that. The five step plan that he came up with in September is failing miserably. He should have gone all the way to nine steps because isn't the ninth step where you apologize for being such a jerk? I wonder how much money is going to be spent on security in Iraq on election day compared to how much money was spent on security in Washington on Inauguration Day. Maybe he should just ask the taxpayers of D.C. to pay for the added security in Iraq since they were nice enough to pay for security for the Inauguration.

The one lonely realist still in the Administration for a teeny tiny bit longer says this about how the election process is affecting Iraq:

"The insurgency is not going to go away as a result of this election," the outgoing US secretary of state, Colin Powell, said this week. "In fact, perhaps the insurgents might become emboldened."

And the little graphic that Yahoo! has on it's website to group together articles about the Iraqi election is this:

Shouldn't it say "Iraq Just Before All Out Civil War" and show some blowed up dead people or something.

Rumsfeld's War

Donald Rumsfeld's lawyers are telling him that he can wage any kind of war anywhere he wants and he doesn't have to tell Congress about it and he's not bound to the same rules and stuff as the CIA.

Under Title 10. . . the Defense Department must report to Congress all "deployment orders," or formal instructions from the Joint Chiefs of
Staff to position U.S. forces for combat. But guidelines issued this
month by Undersecretary for Intelligence Stephen A. Cambone state that
special operations forces may "conduct clandestine HUMINT
operations . . . before publication" of a deployment order, rendering
notification unnecessary. Pentagon lawyers also define the "war on
terror" as ongoing, indefinite and global in scope. That analysis
effectively discards the limitation of the defense secretary's war powers
to times and places of imminent combat.

"Operations the CIA runs have one set of restrictions and oversight,
and the military has another," said a Republican member of Congress with
a substantial role in national security oversight, declining to speak
publicly against political allies. "It sounds like there's an angle here
of, 'Let's get around having any oversight by having the military do
something that normally the [CIA] does, and not tell anybody.' That
immediately raises all kinds of red flags for me. Why aren't they telling

This sounds kind of scary. I hope he doesn't declare war on me.

Rumsfeld Afraid to Go to Germany

Because of the investigation into his war crimes, Rumsfeld canceled a trip to Germany because he doesn't want to be arrested.

As I told you guys about before, Germany has this neat law where mean people can be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity regardless of where they live or where the crime took place. And they are investigating Rumsfeld, George Tenet and others related to the prisoner abuse debacle.

Obviously, the White House is taking it seriously, since the
Pentagon is sending Douglas Feith on behalf of Rummy because
Feith wasn’t named in the complaint. Rummy couldn’t send
Steven Cambone because of his role in overseeing the military
intelligence service accused of committing war crimes, and also
because Cambone like Rummy is named in the complaint.

As the Left Coaster so eloquently puts it:

You know we have sunk a long way when we have to get
lessons on war crimes, international law, and
accountability from the Germans.

George Bush Not Playing Nice with Canada

Here in the US, the White House is portraying Bush's visit to Canada as a "fence-mending" visit, but what he's been spewing doesn't sound very fence-mendish.

They were stunned when Bush leaned across a table in a private
meeting and lectured Prime Minister Paul Martin about opposing the
U.S. missile defense system. And they were later taken aback by a
speech filled with what they considered the same "old Bush" foreign
policy pronouncements that opened the divide with the allies in the
first place.

"If he's going to take that speech to Europe," said a top Canadian
official who attended the meeting between Bush and Martin, "he's not
going to get a good reception."

First of all the missile defense system doesn't
work and hasn't ever worked, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that other
more-sane world leaders oppose it.

Canadian officials said their U.S. counterparts assured them that
Bush would not put Martin on the spot on his refusal to join the U.S.
missile defense system.

But Bush did confront Martin and used the sort of language that sets
Canadians on edge. "He leaned across the table and said, 'I'm not
taking this position, but some future president is going to say, 'Why
are we paying to defend Canada?' " said the senior Canadian official
who was in the room and noted that he had been assured by Rice and
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell personally that Bush would avoid
the subject.

If Bush is claiming to a be a "uniter not a divider", I think he needs to start playing a little nicer with the other world leaders.

Cheney's Limo Hit by as Snowball

By way of AmericaBlog. he-he.

January 21, 2005

Fun With the Inaugural Speech

The Rude Pundit replaced the word 'freedom' with 'cock' in the Inaugural Speech, and here's what he got:

"The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of cock in all
the world . . . Cock, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by
citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of
minorities . . . Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of
liberty though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest
advance of cock ever seen, is an odd time for doubt. Americans, of all
people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually,
the call of cock comes to every mind and every soul."

Wheee, what fun. Look how au courant this line becomes: "The rulers of
outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: Those
who deny cock to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule
of a just God, cannot long retain it."

Or see how really tangible this goal becomes: "[O]ur country must abandon
all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of cock and
the baggage of bigotry at the same time."

And then the end becomes a real rouser: "We go forward with complete
confidence in the eventual triumph of cock . . .We have confidence because
cock is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing
of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages, when soldiers
died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty, when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner Cock. . . we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of cock."

Male chickens everywhere should be proud.

January 18, 2005

Fun Times in the Peanut Gallery

One time, my mommy made be go to the birthday party for this stinky boy that I didn't like very much. I made sure to buy him a present that wasn't very fun. And then at the party, I sat in the back with my one friend that was there, and we made a lot of jokes and pigged out on cake on ice cream and had a lot of fun.

I bet that's what it's going to be like for the diplomats going to Mr. Bush's coronation inauguration. They don't like him or his policies, and they didn't want him to be president in the first place. But they have to go because it's part of their jobs. So, they will sit in the back with other like-minded diplomats, eat the yummy food, drink the tasty drinks, and make a lot of jokes.

They may not want to go at first, but then it turns out to be a pretty good time.

Yet Another Reason Boys are Icky

When I read this, by way of Gen JC Christian, patriot, I asked my teacher if I could move to the other side of the room away from all the icky boys. I'm in third grade, and I'm pretty sure that's about the time that boys start, well, you know, shall we say, "figuring out how their penises work."

Now if people that work at video rental places and stuff can catch HIV and Hepatitis B from icky boys touching videos and video cases, then I don't want to be anywhere near any icky boys. And I'm sure as heck going to stay away from the Mary Kate and Ashley section of the video store too.

And since a lot of boys and even grown men "figure out how their penises work" a lot, and those nasty diseases can last up to seven days, I don't want to ever touch a boy again. Gross!

More Lies and Scare Tactics

Ricky over at BottleOfBlog draws some interesting conclusions on how Mr. Bush and his mean friends just wanted to scare us with all those spooky terrorist warnings and that weirdo-color-terrorist-alert-chart-thingy. Ricky does kind of have a potty mouth, but he seems pretty smart.

I was just thinking about this the other day. You know, last year, Homeland Security was so busy!

Last Christmas, we were all told that probably every shopping mall in America would be exploded. New Year's would probably not happen. We went to about Orange Plus during the revelations about torture in Iraq, and, funny enough, right about every time some embarrassing revelation about Bush's military service, Bush's incredibly incompetent handling of the executive branch, just about every time some crazy government report came out detailing how fucking stupid Bush and his insane clown posse were.

Right down to the wire, Homeland Security was working overtime! They were on high alert for the explosion of North America right around the election! There was even talk about what to do if elections had to be cancelled!

Funny thing, though. Presidential election was three months ago. Violence is escalating in Iraq. Presidential inaugeration is this week. Christmas and New Years were just a couple of weeks ago.

And we haven't heard dick from Homeland Security.

According to an article in the Washington Post,

In April, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced that al Qaeda terrorists might strike during this week's presidential inauguration festivities in Washington...

Nine months later, the threat level has been lowered, and Ridge, speaking at a news conference last week, said there is no evidence of a plot to disrupt President Bush's inauguration. Previous warnings, Ridge explained, stemmed from threat reports tied to the elections -- not to the inauguration more than two months later...

The shift in rhetoric about the dangers posed by terrorists during the inauguration marks the latest retreat from last year's terrorism warnings, which, in retrospect, were based largely on faulty intelligence, dated information or -- as with the inauguration -- an educated guess.

So, it seems that Mr. Bush wanted to get to be President again so badly, that he used the Department of Homeland Security to scare us all, and use educated-guess-information to frighten those us in to voting for him. I don't think that's very nice.

Collatoral Damages of Anti-Gay Legislation

The mean people in Ohio that voted for the amendment to "ban gay marriage" probably didn't realize what was going to happen to domestic violence victims who aren't married to their assailants, whether they are straight or gay.

Ohio’s quarter-century-old domestic-violence law gives special criminal
status to an assault by a family or household member and establishes unique protections for the victim. Courts also have consistently applied it to
homosexual couples.

It is one of only two criminal offenses - along with menacing by stalking -
that automatically gives the victim access to a protective order to keep the defendant away, and police are obligated to enforce it. Further, a violation
of the protective order, or any second offense, "accelerates" misdemeanor
domestic-violence charges to a felony.

The new amendment forbids any state or local law that would "create or
recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that
intends to approximate the design . . . of marriage."

So, I guess in Ohio, if you are gay and beat the snot out of your partner, it is less of an offense, than if you are straight and beat the snot out of your partner. And if you are the beatee and are not married to the beator, you do not get automatic access to a protective order from the beator.

Hopefully the people in Ohio will realize how mean this is, and repeal it soon.

January 17, 2005

Weapons of Mass Weirdness

The Penatagon has been busy explorings some really freaky non-lethal weapons like the "will make you gay" drug, and the "you'll have really bad breath for a really long time weapon" and the "this will make the critters bite you" drug.

I'm pretty sure they rejected all these weapons, so I'm going to suggest a few more that may work even better to spread democracy and capitalism.

Will make you go to church pill
Will make you vote drug Republican capsule (actually, Diebold is already working on that one)
Will make you consume more stuff and buy lots of pillows and collectable figurines and stuff for the house innoculation
Will make you watch Bill O'Reilly serum
will make you buy all of Georgie's rhetoric about how we're winning in Iraq suppository.

This will be my only post today, as non-bloggy life is calling me. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

January 14, 2005

Another Telling Comparison Between Bush and Hitler

Billmon provides a link to this story from the Financial Times.

According to Chas Freeman, former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and
head of the independent Middle East Policy Council, Mr Bush recently
asked Mr Powell for his view on the progress of the war. "We're losing,"
Mr Powell was quoted as saying. Mr Freeman said Mr Bush then asked the
secretary of state to leave.

I feel sorry for Mr. Powell. He's such a nice man, and he's just trying to be a good Secretary of State and tell the President the truth and his honest opinion.

We learned about George Washington today in school. When his dad asked him if he chopped down the cherry tree, he said "Father, I cannot tell a lie. I cut the tree. And they called Abraham Lincoln "Honest Abe," so even if he was gay, at least he wasn't a lying sack of horse sh*t like President Bush is.

I guess Mr. Bush, just like Hitler, doesn't like to hear people who think differently than him, or who have anything other than a rosy view on the chaos that his policies are causing.

Albert Speer, in charge of armament production, drew up a
memorandum to Hitler on January 20 — the twelfth anniversary of
Hitler's coming to power — pointing out the significance of the loss of
Silesia. 'The war is lost,' his report began, and he went on in his
cool and objective manner to explain why . . .

The Fuehrer, Guderian later related, glanced at Speer's report, read the
first sentence and then ordered it filed away in his safe. He refused to
see Speer alone, saying to Guderian: “He always has something unpleasant
to say to me. I can't bear that."

Ocala, FL is Much More Sinister Than Iraq

A dangerous biological agent called ricin was found in a box at Steven Ekberg's residence in Ocala, FL, reports The American Street. Ekberg has a concealed-weapons permit, he takes Xanax and Paxil, and receives psychiatric care and counseling, he usually carries three weapons with him, keeps another gun in his truck, and he has backpack in which authorities found several live rounds for the weapons and a notebook with a recipe to manufacture an explosive.

But Steven's mother isn't worried:

"Do I feel he's a terrorist? No," said Ekberg's mother said as she left the federal courthouse. "There's no sinister motive behind this."

She said her son enjoys collecting "different and strange things. That's all."

Maybe since Charles Duelfer, the chief WMD investigator for Iraq, is done searching in Iraq, he should come down to Florida and continue the hunt. We could use his help.

Alternatives to the Official Inaugural Balls

An astute Wonkette reader sends in some alternative names for the Inaugural Balls that reflect better on what this Administration is really all about.

The Unfunded Mandate Ball
The Hell With International Opinion Ball
The Indefinite Detainees Ball
The Doctrine of Preemption Ball
The Clinton Did It Ball
The Legacy of the Crippling Deficit Ball

She also says of the balls:
You are packed in like sardines, the line for the bar is long, the drinks are short.

Well, I was thinking that instead of these boring, stinky balls and dinners and stuff have some funner activities, like these.

Pin the Tail on the Chimp
Duck, Duck, Suicide bomber
Ring-around-the-White-House (funded by the taxpayers of D.C.)
Capture the Fag (and make sure he doesn't marry anyone)
Executive Branch Charades
Scavenger Hunt for WMD
Scavenger Hunt for Osama bin Laden


Jesus must be listening to me because I've been praying for Mr. Bush to start apologize to the American people for all the horrible things he's done. I was hoping he might bring up the whole Iraq-no-WMD-no-ties-to-Al-Qaeda-thingy. But you've got to start somewhere.

"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."

George, you are on your way to non-poopy-head status. Keep up the good work!

More Inaugural Excess and How the Planners are Trying to Downplay Them

Mean Mr. Bush continues to plan his fancy party, while soldiers keep dying in Iraq and tsunami victims keep suffering.

"You don't want to be seen as fiddling like Nero while Rome or Mosul or Baghdad is burning."

Yeah, that's bad P.R.

Inaugural handlers have been forced to justify the expense of merrymaking while the death toll of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan exceeds 1,300. The money, albeit privately raised, stands in contrast to the shortage of armor for troops and their vehicles that the Pentagon has struggled with for a year.

"Precedent suggests that inaugural festivities should be muted — if not canceled — in wartime," Rep. Anthony D. Weiner (D-N.Y.) recently wrote in a letter to his colleagues, noting that $40 million would buy armor for 690 Humvees or provide a $290 bonus for each service member stationed in Iraq.

George Bush just wants to toot his own horn, even if that toot smells like a stinky fart.

Kansas Dept. of Education Still Having Trouble With That Separation-of-Church-and-State-Thingy

The Kansas Department of Education is once again hearing silly arguments about changing the science curriculum to include a few evolution-questioning, pro-creationist tidbits.

My favorite ons is:
A 12th-grade proposal that offers a more complete description of biological evolution, the evidence that supports it and the scientific controversy that surrounds it.

Scientific controversy about evolution??? I'm pretty sure there's not scientific controversy over evolution. I'm pretty sure it's widely accepted in the scientific community. I'm only in second grade, and even I know that.

Sometimes George Bush Makes Me Sad

When I read stuff about what the Bush Administration and their supporters do, sometimes I get mad, and sometimes I feel outraged, and sometimes what they do is so funny, that I roll on the floor and almost pee my pants.

But when I read this post, The Unfeeling President, by way of my big brother, I just felt sad.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that, rather than controlling terrorism, his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice.

He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

Why come Bush has to be such a meanie? I know Christmas is over, but maybe if the ghost of Christmas Present or Christmas Future would come visit him, he would realize what a Scrooge he is, and then be nicer.

When Tiny Tim said "God Bless Us, Everyone," I'm pretty sure he meant everyone, not just rich Americans.

Spitting on FDR's Grave

First, those mean, rottten people at Progress for America, have the audacity to use FDR's image in an ad promoting Bush's Social InSecurity non-plan, then after FDR's grandson asks them to stop it, they have the nerve to refuse.

To compare the courage needed to create Social Security "to the courage it will take to dismantle the most successful social program in history is simply unconscionable," Roosevelt, 70, wrote.

I wrote this little rhyme to show how mad I am that they are being so disrespectful and nasty.

FDR was a great man
He created our retirement plan

Progress for America is crude
Using his image is plain rude

On Roosevelt's grave they spit
when they suggest getting rid of it

When private accounts are pursued
The American people are screwed.

It makes me really sad because the depths to which the Bush supporters will sink to push their lies and mis-information are preposterous.

Dog Blogging on Friday

Here's Bart with his yummy rawhide bone
that Aunt Linda got him for Christmas. He's
not scared of it anymore, but he doesn't really
chew on it, he just carries it around.

January 13, 2005

George the Goat-F*cker

Now, I don't like using bad words, but the image in my head that I got from this post about how to argue against Bush's Social Security Privitization plan from the Rude Pundit really made me giggle. Read this, and you'll giggle too.

The Goat Fucker Strategem: Let's tell the joke again, for those who have joined the brigade of rudeness only recently: A man is sitting at a bar, drinking, and he says to no one in particular, "A man can spend his life building bridges. Do they call him John the Bridge Builder? No. A man can spend his life raising crops. Do they call him John the Farmer? No. But you fuck one goat . . ." Applied to politics and culture, it means this: someone can do something so fucked up wrong that it taints that person for the rest of his or her life, no matter what else that person may do. Oh, the many goatfuckers in our midst: Woody Allen, Bill Clinton, and, of course, George W. Bush. Once you state clearly and unambiguously that Iraq has WMDs and that we're gonna find them, when we don't, then you, sir, have fucked the goat.

Now, do you see it too?? he-he.

Good News For Evolution!

Jesse from Pandagon reports some good things that happened today in the fight to teach evolution.

A Federal Court ordered stickers stating "evolution is a theory, not a fact" be removed from textbooks in Georgia.


Biology teachers in Dover, Pennsylvania defied the local school board and refused to read a statement suggesting that evolution is just a theory and not a fact.

With all this good stuff, I thought I'd write a little Evolution cheer.

Evolution! Evolution!
Let’s Protect the Constitution
Hooray for separation of Church and State!
Creationism will abate

In Georgia the stickers were ripped off!
In Pennsylvania the teachers scoff
Jesse and Ezra, you guys rock!
'Cuz we all know teaching I.D. is a crock

Go Evolution!!!

There's More Than One Way To Spread the Gospel

There's lots of scary things in the news today, and boy am I glad I have my teddy bear. Not only are Florida Conservatives wanting to re-write the Florida constitution, and a female MP testified that she was ordered to point and laugh at a prisoner's genitals while he took a shower, but now I read this:

A Virginia-based missionary group said this week that it has airlifted 300 "tsunami orphans" from the Muslim province of Banda Aceh to Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, where it plans to raise them in a Christian children's home.

The missionary group, WorldHelp, is one of dozens of Christian, Muslim and Jewish charities providing humanitarian relief to victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami that devastated countries around the Indian Ocean, taking more than 150,000 lives....

"Normally, Banda Aceh is closed to foreigners and closed to the gospel. But, because of this catastrophe, our partners there are earning the right to be heard and providing entrance for the gospel," WorldHelp said in an appeal for funds on its Web site this week.

The appeal said WorldHelp was working with native-born Christians in Indonesia who want to "plant Christian principles as early as possible" in the 300 Muslim children, all younger than 12, who lost their parents in the tsunami.

"These children are homeless, destitute, traumatized, orphaned, with nowhere to go, nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat. If we can place them in a Christian children's home, their faith in Christ could become the foothold to reach the Aceh people," it said.

Why can't people just help other people without trying to make them believe in a foreign religion? I think WorldHelp should change it's name to WorldEnforcingChristianityWhilePretendingToBeHelpful.

The Want to Do WHAT??

When I read this on Florida Politics, I went scurrying into my bedroom to hold my teddy bear. Then I started crying and whimpering for my mommy.

A move is under way by conservative Republicans in the Florida
Legislature to rewrite the Florida Constitution, setting off fears among
skeptics that it will turn into a legislative assault on abortion rights,
church-state separations and other controversial topics that have enjoyed protections from political intrusion.

But GOP Senator Daniel Webster from Orlando claims that the re-write is not intended to do any of those things:

Despite his own strongly conservative views, Webster insisted that he
would be looking for consensus, not controversy. "I will be balanced," he
said. "I may have a philosophical bent, but I want to try to make good

I don't know about you, but I don't trust him. Especially when he says things like this:

"Florida needs a Senator who will stick to principles and stick
with President Bush, even when the going gets tough. I have a strong
and consistent record of promoting conservative values while at the
same time unifying all Republicans for common good and common goals."

Hold me, I'm scared.

If We Lower Our Expectations, We Won't Be Disappointed, Right?

The Bush Administration is preparing us for a big mess with the Iraqi elections.
With just over two weeks until the Iraqi elections, the United States is lowering its expectations for both the turnout and the results of the vote.

This is kind of like when your mommy doesn't tell you that she is going to take you to Disney World because she's afraid it will rain, and you won't be able to go, and you'll be disappointed. Then when you end up staying inside and playing Candyland all day, you don't get mad, because Candyland really is kind of fun. But then you find out that your friends got to go and had a really good time, even though they had to wear those silly Mickey Mouse ponchos.

"I would . . . really encourage people not to focus on numbers, which in themselves don't have any meaning, but to look on the outcome and to look at the government that will be the product of these elections," a senior administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity at a White House briefing yesterday.

Is this guy speaking on the condition of anonymity because he realizes what he said is really stupid, but Karl Rove made him say it anyway? The outcome is most likely going to be something close to civil war, but no need to worry about the numbers.

You go for elections, hope for the best and if it doesn't materialize, you go with whatever emerges -- probably a heavily Shiite government," said Henri J. Barkey, a former State Department Iraq specialist who is now head of Leheigh University's International Relations Department. "Then you hope that this new government will be smart enough and enlightened enough to make an outreach to the Sunnis."

You know, instead of claiming a mandate and then having the nation's most elaborate and expensive Inauguration in history, and sticking it to D.C. taxpayers to the tune of $11 million in security costs.

Mommy, What Does Extortion Mean?

Now, I don't know if this is illegal or just mean, but I don't think it's very nice to Mr. Bush to threaten members of Congress with "facing a price at the ballot box" if they don't vote for his silly Social Security Privitization plan.

As they all should know, the Congressional Budget Office says that Social Security will remain solvent until 2052, and there is no "crisis."

The Daily Howler tells us just what a mean, nasty, lying piece of scum George Bush is, in trying to push this thing through. And now he's threatening our nice Congressmen and women, that should just want to make America a better place and serve their constituents. What a meanie.

How to Campaign Not Get Killed When Running For Office in Iraq

Four nice U.S. Senators came to Iraq to talk to some of the women running for office about how to campaign. They brought bumper stickers, t-shirts and banners and expected to talk about how to get publicity and how to get your message out there and how to get people to get out and vote.

But instead, the discussion turned to how to not get killed.

They quickly realized that much of what they planned to tell the Iraqi women "didn't pertain to them," Granger said. Rep. Judy Biggert), R-Ill., who brought along her favorite campaign giveaway - a sponge bearing her
name - added that after hearing the women's stories, "it seemed kind of frivolous."

And how bad is it?

The teenage sons of two candidates have been killed in retaliation
for the women's political activities. Another candidate was kidnapped
and held until her family paid her ransom.


As Election Day approaches, many female candidates are sending their
families out of the country, said Manal Omar, who directs a program in
Iraq on behalf of Women for Women International, a non-profit organization established to provide financial and other support for women in war zones.
Omar said she spoke to some of the Iraqi women who attended the
meetings with House members and that they were "frustrated" by the
American politicians' apparent naiveté. "They were amazed (the Americans)
didn't know how bad Iraq was," Omar said.

Maybe if the Bush Administration would stop painting such a rosy picture of how ducky everything is over there, and be honest with the American people, or at least with our Senators, these ladies could have at least tried to be prepared to help with the scary things the nice Iraqi ladies are dealing with. Yet George Bush continues to want to go ahead and do the election-thingy at the end of this month.

Alabama Senator Wants to Increase Death Benefits For Soldiers

A nice Senator from Alabama, Jeff Sessions, wants to increase the "death gratuity" paid to dead soldiers' families from $12,400 to $100,000. And he also wants to increase the maximum life insurance benefit to $400,000 from $250,000. I think that's really nice of him because it's really sad when someone in your family dies in a war, especially if it's a stupid war and we don't even know why we are fighting it.

See, not all Republicans are bad.

January 12, 2005

The Bigot of the Day Award, January 12, 2004

The Winner of the Bigot of the Day is Sheriff Mac Holcomb of Marshall County, Alabama.

His official website states:

Men were men and women were women and there was no mistaking which was which. Both were proud of their individual roles. Homosexuality was very queer and a despicable act… an abomination.

The "Ten Commandments" were proudly displayed as a reminder that the real Commander in Chief and Final Judge is God and that this nation was founded on Judeo/Christian principal.

He needs to go back to Government 101 and learn about the seperation-of-church-and-state thingy, and then go back to Sunday School and learn to be nice to all of God's children.

UPDATE: General JC Christian, patriot wrote him a nice letter offering his assistance in the quest to "make homosexuality very queer again."

U.S. Done Looking for WMD in Iraq

US Officials confirm that they are no longer actively searching for WMD.

The Iraq Survey Group, which was responsible for the search, goes on, but its focus now is trying to help counter the Iraqi insurgency.

...which of course wouldn't have been insurgent had we not invaded in the first place.

This is Ten Inches, Right?

In addition to the nine Official Inaugural
Balls, Bush demonstrates what else we are
in store for.

Thanks for the image, Ricky!

He-Coon III is Running for Governor of Florida

Lawton "Bud" Chiles III has announced that he is going to run for Governor of Florida in 2006. His father, Lawton Chiles, Jr., who was Governor for eight years before Jeb! was widely popular.

It looked like Bush was going to defeat him in 1994 until Chiles declared himself a "he-coon" -- the wiliest raccoon in the forest -- during their final debate

"The old 'he-coon' walks just before the light of day," Chiles said.

I don't quite understand this he-coon stuff, but hopefully the rest of the voters in Florida get it.

He says:
"The primary reason I'm running in this campaign is because I feel like people's access to government is limited by money, power and politics," said Chiles. "The average Joe citizen is pretty much disenfranchised from the system."

Chiles III has never held an elected office before, but....

Chiles, 51, lives in Orlando and runs a coastal development company. He returned to Florida almost two years ago after working as a vice president for Hope Worldwide, a charity that provides education and medical services for poor families on six continents. Before that, he owned a Tallahassee communications company.

Others considering a bid for Governor in 2006 are U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa, Florida Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox, state Sen. Rod Smith, state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, Attorney General Charlie Crist and Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings.

It will be interesting to see if he's wiley enough to stand up to the competition.

January 11, 2005

Of Cheerleaders, Pyramids and Torture

An attorney, Guy Womack, for Spc. Charles Graner, who is being court-martialed for abuse in Abu Ghraib prison, had the audacity to compare cheerleading pyramids to the naked man pyramids that Iraqis were forced to make at gunpoint.

In his opening argument Graner's lawyer Guy Womack argued that his client was only following orders and often earning praise from his superiors for his actions. He also said activities such as making human pyramids with naked hooded prisoners were acceptable. "Don't cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year. Is that torture?" he said.

Wonkette has a nice pictorial, so you can tell the difference when you see it.

And other titillating finds that came out of this testimony:

U.S. military prosecutors presented shocking evidence not seen before in public from Abu Ghraib prison, including a video of forced group masturbation and a picture of a woman prisoner ordered to show her breasts.

Matthew Yglesias Turns 3

Matthew Yglesias' weblog turns 3 today. And he enlightens us with the story of how his blog started.

Eventually, the girlfriend dumped me and I broke up. But on the plus side when we were together she used to want to be a political pundit but was pessimistic about a young person's ability to break into the field. So in a sense, the whole enterprise has been driven by loneliness and then, later, the loftier sentiment of spite.

Thank you Matthew for rationalizing lonliness and spite as reasons to accomplish things!

Yea! I'm not the only one!

I've only been reading Matthew's blog for about six months, but I've always been impressed with this insight and perspective. Congratulations on three years!!

A Cheer for Howard Dean

Dean, Dean, he's our star
he'll be going mighty far!
GOP wins will be quite rare
when Howard Dean is in the Chair

2006 is coming soon
Democrats will sing a happy tune
As we rid Congress of wingnut bile
Progressives everywhere will smile!


Dean Announces His Candidacy for DNC Chair

Howard Dean wrote this nice letter announcing his candidacy for DNC chair. Kos has the full text here.

I think Dean is our man. He's excellent at raising money and gaining grassroots suppport. I think he can position the party as the party for the people rather than the corporations, and stress social progressiveness, fiscal responsibility, getting votes in all 50 states, and give us a good alternatives to the Republican status quo.

Republicans Challenge Bush's Social Security Plan for all the Wrong Reasons

Some Republicans are jumping on the bandwagon with most Democrats, resisting George Bush's plan to partially privitize Social Security.

...several influential Republicans are warning that Bush's plan could backfire on the party in next year's elections, especially if the plan includes cuts in benefits.

And if it's not going to affect you personally, why even bother with it.

"Why stir up a political hornet's nest . . . when there is no urgency?" said Rep. Rob Simmons (Conn.), who represents a competitive district. "When does the program go belly up? 2042. I will be dead by then."

And then there's King George himself and Karl Rove. They certainly have their priorites straight.

Bush and top strategist Karl Rove, the political force behind the Social Security plan, are convinced that the politics of Social Security have changed over the past six years -- and in a direction that could help the GOP cement a durable governing majority.

Never mind the issues of controlling the deficit while still helping seniors with living expenses once they can no longer work. It's about Me, Me, Me, winning in 2006 and keeping a GOP majority.

Michael Chertoff Picked for Homeland Security Post

I thought I'd do a little research on Michael Chertoff, Bush's new and improved pick to head the Office of Homeland Security.

What I find most disturbing is his argument about Miranda Rights in 2002. You can read about the case here.

A fellow named Oliver Martinez was riding his bicycle home from his job picking strawberries, and some police officers thought he was selling drugs in the strawberry field.

When Martinez passed, they demanded he stop, get off his bicycle and 'assume the position.' One officer located Martinez' strawberry knife. A struggle of some sort ensued, although police have conceded Martinez never struck or kicked them. One of the cops opened fire on Martinez, pumping him with five bullets, leaving him blind in one eye and paralyzed.

Immediately after the shooting, Martinez was taken to the hospital. The police barged their way into the emergency room where Martinez was being treated. He repeatedly told them he did not want to talk to them. They persisted in trying to question him until he passed out.

Chertoff argued that there is no clearly established constitutional right to be free from police interroogation and that therefore Martinez's suit should be dismissed.

Chertoff was also chief consel to the Senate Whitewater Committee, and we all know how that turned out. He should probably downplay that part of his resume, maybe just put it in the fine print.

And then there's Elaine Cassel who doesn't have too many nice things to say about him and calls him John Ashcroft's Top Gremlin.

However, one good thing I see about him, is his interest in setting standards for dealing with enemy combatants rather that just treating them however the captor's whim may dictate.

Another top former Justice Department official, Michael Chertoff, who headed the department's criminal division, has said he believed the government should reconsider how it designates enemy combatants.

"Two years into the war on terror, it is time to move beyond case-by-case development," Chertoff said, according to an excerpt from a speech he gave last month at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law school.

"We need to debate a long-term and sustainable architecture for the process of determining when, why and for how long someone may be detained as an enemy combatant, and what judicial review should be available," he said.

It will be interesting to see what else we will find out about Chertoff, but I hope that after the Bernard Kerik debacle, the Bush Administration did a thorough background check.

The Stinginess of King George Knows No Bounds

The Bush Administration is breaking with precedent and refusing to pony up for the $11.9 million needed for security during the Coronation Inauguration. They expect the taxpayers of Washington D.C. to foot the bill.

Pretty fucking ironic that 91% of D.C. voters voted against George Bush, and now they have to help pay for his Inauguration.

January 10, 2005

The Return of US-Funded Death Squads

Over the weekend, I was busy consorting with drunken sailors and sipping rum, so I just today came across this little morsel. Our very own Department of Defense is discussing the use of the "El Salvador Option."

...a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, and many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success.

Doesn't this sound a little bit like terrorism? Maybe like some of the stuff that Saddam Hussein did? Only now, our tax dollars are supporting it. Come to think of it, I guess our tax dollars have supported some of Saddam's shenanigans in the past, but now we are eliminating the middle man. Much more efficient!!

Now, if this was only previously used when we weren't doing so well reaching our goals in El Salvador, and there's no doubt there will no doubt, be a bit of an uproar from us non-death-squad-liking US citizens, ya think the situation is getting a little desperate over there? Yet, Bush continues to paint a rosy picture in Iraq and expect elections at the end of January to be legitimate.

Yea!!! Death Squads!!!

Armstrong Williams Refers to "Others"

Armstrong Williams alludes to there being "others" like himself that were paid off by the Bush Administration to yip-yap about how great his agenda is.

And then Williams violated a PR rule: he got off-point. "This happens all the time," he told me. "There are others." Really? I said. Other conservative commentators accept money from the Bush administration? I asked Williams for names. "I'm not going to defend myself that way," he said. The issue right now, he explained, was his own mistake. Well, I said, what if I call you up in a few weeks, after this blows over, and then ask you? No, he said.

I remember in second grade, I was caught with a boy playing doctor. I didn't want to get in trouble, so I told my mommy that my friend did it too. I thought maybe I'd get in less trouble if she knew that all the kids did it. But instead, my friend got in trouble too, and she was mad at me. Rather than learning not to play doctor (because even now, I still haven't given up that vice), I learned not to rat your friends out. Maybe Mr. Williams skipped second grade and never learned that lesson.

But fortunately, we have the Freedom of Information Act, so maybe we can find out who these "others" are that are/were on the payroll of the Department of Bush Administration Propaganda. It's a good thing they didn't have the Freedom of Information Act in second grade, or I'd still be grounded.

From David Corn by way of Atrios

Children 0, Neocons 1

Gee, am I proud to be from the fine state of Florida. The only one that has a law banning adoption by homosexuals.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the ban that has been around since 1977.

The law's sponsor, Florida Sen. Curtis Peterson, said at the time the purpose of the legislation was to send a message to gays and lesbians that "we're really tired of you. We wish you'd go back into the closet."

Well, I'm really tired of bigots like Curtis Peterson, and I wish he'd go back in the closet.

Attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union... said the law denied many Florida children permanent families. "This law sacrifices the interests of children," they said. "It is no exaggeration to say that lives may be at stake here; childhoods certainly are."

I'm just happy I live in a state where neocon "values" are more important than finding good loving homes for children, and overt discrimination gets written into law.

January 08, 2005

The Misleading Headline of the Day

Massive Tsunami Feeding Program Announced

You know, if you feed the tsunamis, they'll keep coming back, right?

January 07, 2005

Bill Frist, a Compasionate Conservative

During Frist's visit to Sri Lanka, he had the audacity make this request:

Just before his helicopter lifted off, Frist and aides took snapshots of each other near a pile of tsunami debris.

"Get some devastation in the back," Frist told a photographer.

I'm guessing the locals are getting a little tired of their plight being used for political posturing.

"They talk as though they do everything here. Many people come here; they just take photographs, but we don't get anything," said Ramzan Mohideen, a man in a Muslim cap and gown who lost his jewelry business

Our Tax Dollars in Action

The Bush Administration paid Armstrong Williams $240,000 in taxpayers' money to promote his No Child Left Behind proposal on his syndicated television show, and urged him to get other black jounalists to do the same.

Could this be legal, you ask?

The contract may be illegal "because Congress has prohibited propaganda," or any sort of lobbying for programs funded by the government, said Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "And it's propaganda."

It seems that Bush did something similar last year, and got a "scolding" from the GAO.

The Bush administration used similar releases last year to promote its Medicare prescription drug plan, prompting a scolding from the Government Accountability Office, which called them an illegal use of taxpayers' dollars.

Evidently, that "scolding" was not a harsh enough penalty to keep him from doing it again. How bad does he have to get before we can impeach?

Why Medical Malpractice Caps are Worthless

Ricky over at BottleOfBlog does a phenomenal job of explaining why the caps on medical malpractice lawsuits that Our Leader is pushing won't help anyone except the insurance industry.

In short, the results clearly invalidate the expectations of cap proponents. To review the surprising facts:

* Insurers in states with caps raised their premiums at a significantly faster pace than those in states without caps.

* Even with the imposition of caps, insurers in nearly nine out of ten states continued to raise rates, while insurers in states without caps were actually more likely to hold or cut their premium rates.

* In states with caps, insurers are more likely to charge med mal premiums exceeding the national median than those in states without caps.

...caps on pain and suffering will save the insurance industry money.
But none of that money will get passed onto doctors in the form of lower
premiums. None of that money will get passed onto the public in the form
of lower medical insurance premium costs. None of that money will get
passed onto the public in the form of lower health care costs.

But then he also quotes Shakespeare in the kitchen while making toast:

"Out vile jelly!" I like to shout at the jelly. "Where is thy lustre now?"

However that should in no way nullify his findings on medical malpractice lawsuit caps.

January 06, 2005

Social Security Privatization Arouses Fright in Senate Republicans

Josh Marshall links to this inspiring excerpt from the Wall Street Journal:

Senate Republicans signaled their wariness yesterday in a private retreat on the year's legislative agenda with White House adviser Karl Rove. An attendee said the senators gave Mr. Rove "a subtle but clearly identifiable message that the GOP [Grand Old Party] would go along...but they were scared to death." The senators indicated that the president "had to step up his activity" to sell his initiative to Americans, which Mr. Rove said Mr. Bush would do. But the attendee said senators also warned the Social Security proposal "needed to be bipartisan or else no go."

Still, some Republicans are resigned to uniting behind the president, given his determination. "The president is going to go ahead," said Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a Republican leadership lieutenant. "He cannot afford to fail. It would have repercussions for the rest of his program, including foreign policy. We can't hand the president a defeat on his major domestic initiative at a time of war."

It really is quite note-worthy that the Senate Republicans are "scared to death" to go along with the Social Security privitization plan. Well join the club. The rest of America is a little spooked too. Especially AARP. They are launching a massive advertising campaign against it.

And then there's the last sentence of the WSJ excerpt worded so eloquently by Tom Cole or Oklahoma. "We can't hand the president a defeat on his major domestic initiative at a time of war."

Oh yes we can! This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with terrorism, except maybe that the terrorists would love to see us sink closer and closer to bankruptcy. And that is precisely where Bush's social security plan would send us.

Gonzales Pwomises to be a Good Widdle Boy

More from Human Rights First live blogging of Gonzales' confirmation hearings:

Feingold - Does the President have the power to authorize violations of duly enacted criminal law.

Gonzales - It is impossible to answer that question. there is a presumption of
constitutionality for every statute passed by Congress and to the extent the
President could order people not to follow the law I would take that matter
very seriously. Of course the President is not above the law, but the President
may elect to not enforce the law.

Feingold - That is different from affirmatively authorizing a person to violate the law. Will you commit to informing Congress of such a similar decision instead of waiting two years until a memo is leaked.

Gonzales - I would do so as soon as I can, yes.

This Whole World Domination Thingy is Getting Expensive

The Carpetbagger points out that Congress is expected to ask for another $100 billion for the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how hypocritical it is for them to do just that.

Remember during the campaign when the Bush campaign was livid about John Kerry's $200 billion estimate for the cost of the war? And remember when the White House fired economic adviser Larry Lindsey for suggesting before the invasion that the war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion?

But then if they don't ask for more money, they get accused of not supporting the troops. Damned if they do. Damned if they don't. They just never should have started the silly war in Iraq in the first place.

Gonzales' Confirmation Hearing

Human Rights First is live blogging Gonzales' confirmation hearing and Patrick Leahy is nailing him to the wall.

Laehy: Do you think the President can suspend the law on torture and immunize tortures. I think the law is clear. No. But your answer shows you disagree. You say only that the President has not done so. I think this is something we need to understand, this is so fundmanetal, and would set in motion a lot of other things.

This goes back to Nuremberg, allowing people to say simply "We were just following orderes?"

I'll ask you again: Can the President immunize those who comitt torture from prosecution by ordering it?

Gonzales: i will take an oath of office to defend the laws of this ocuntry and that means the laws passed by the Congress. I was answering a hypothetical.

Leahy - I am not asking a hypothetocal. I am asking about the torture sttaute.

Gonzales - That is a hypothetical question. The President is not going to order torture. We don't condone it. That Augsut opinion has nbeen rekected. It has been reoplaced with an opinion that does not have that discussion. I am not prepared to give you an answer -

Leahy - That opinion stood for two years; there was a leak; and a new opinion only emerged a week ago

101 Uses For Ann Coulter

I apologize for linking to Wonkette so much recently, but it's just so nice to see Ann Coulter finally getting the respect she deserves.

Alberto Gonzales' Big Day

Mr. Gonzales has a Big Day today. The Senate is going to ask him all kinds of "sharp and embarrassing questions" about his previous experience in the Office of the Legal Council and as an attorney in Texas when George Bush was Governor.

His record proves to me that his loyalty to George Bush is way more important than upholding the law, given the fact that he went looking for a way to rationalize torture and get around the Geneva Conventions. You can read the memo here.

And in Texas, he knowingly gave then Gov. George Bush half-assed information about a man on death row when he was requested to recommend whether clemency or reprieve would be granted.

Left out of Gonzales's summary was any mention of a 1986 investigation by the Texas attorney general's office that concluded that Lucas had not killed the woman, and that he had falsely confessed to numerous killings in an effort to undermine the veracity of his confessions to the crimes he did commit.

The LA Times writes a nice article summing up just how incompetent this man is, and what we can expect from the hearings today.

Unfortunately, they conclude that Gonzales probably will be confirmed, but that Democrats hope to do enough damage during the hearings that he can kiss goodbye any dream of being on the Supreme Court.

Our justice system relies on an attorney general willing to defend civil liberties as ardently as he pursues criminals and terrorists. That person must be someone who respects both the power and the limits of law.

Last night, Gonzales did say that he would abide by the Geneva Conventions, but how can you trust a man like that, after all he's done. If Georgie tells him to, he will. If Georgie tells him not to, he won't. If Georgie tells him to jump off a cliff, he will.

January 05, 2005

Social Insecurity Part II

For those of you having trouble understanding the impending doom and gloom on it's way courtesy of Bush's Social Security Pritization Plan (assuming it is the same as Plan 2 of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, otherwise known as CSSS Plan 2), Kevin Drum offers us some nice pretty charts that explain it quite well. These charts come from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

Chart one shows us that Social Security, as it is now, even with the trust find becoming insolvent in 2053 and benfits being suddenly cut by 20% is a better option than CSSS Plan2.

Chart number two shows us that even when you add in the private account money, assuming stock market returns of 6.8% and total portfolio returns of 5.2%, the current situation is STILL better.

You would think this would be no-brainer. Either leave it as it is, or come up with a plan that actually works.

Preznit Bush, a Satanist?

I previously posed the question of whether Laura Bush was allied with Lucifer or the University of Texas, as she was photographed doing that hand signal sign-of-the-devil-thingy or that Longhorn-thingy.

Today, Wonkette points out that Our Leader may have the same allegiance to Satan.

We'll let our readers decide for themselves on this one.

Now You Can Use the S-Word in Congress

In a startling move by legislators in the House and a victory to S-Word utterers everywhere, members of the House of Representatives are now allowed to say "Senate" on the floor rather than "the other body". And they can even mention Senators by name now. How's that for progress?

This was an rule in the House dating back to the days of Thomas Jefferson to protect House members from personally attacking members of the Senate, as they are not allowed on the House floor and thus cannot defend themselves.

If they find that refering to Senators by their names is a problem, they could always resort to Pig Latin.

ob-Bay ham-Gray is so much ooler-Cay and arter-Smay than el-May artinez-May.

Q. How Many "Researchers" Does it Take to Warp a Child's Mind?

A. Just One. Ed Vitagliano is doing a great job all by his lonesome.

A pro-family group is accusing homosexual activists of using popular children's TV characters to indoctrinate young children into their lifestyle. Specifically, the group is questioning the intention of a new children's video featuring those characters.

I find the fact that this group, the American Family Association, is being called "pro-family" to be, well, just WRONG.

I'm pro-family, even if that family has homosexual memebers. So I think that makes me more pro-family than Mr. Ed and his organization. Now, I'm not very good at math, but lets say about 10% of people are homosexual. And let's say there is an average of 2 children per family. Assuming that there is only one gay child per family and both parents are straight. That makes one if five families (or 20% for you percentage junkies) that have a gay member. So, that makes those of us that are tolerant of homosexuals 20% more pro-family than these bigots in the American Family Association.

So, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's look at some of the cartoon characters that Ed feels are spreading the gay-gospel.

SpongeBob SquarePants, Barney the Dinosaur, Arthur, Dora the Explorer, JoJo, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Big Bird, Bob the Builder -- those and many others are among the characters starring in a music video remake of the 1970s song "We Are Family" that is designed to promote diversity and tolerance in the classroom.

Bob the Builder??? Come on, he's about the manliest cartoon character I've seen in a long time.

Gen. JC Christian, patriot, has been corresponding with Mr. Ed regarding his fear of homo-leaning cartoon characters with some interesting results.

We've all heard the rumors about Spongebob Squarepants, and I'm told that Dora the Explorer is bilingual. Of course Arthur likes to read, Barney would rather hug a Muslim than kill him, and Clifford the Big Red Dog prances around his neighborhood naked.

In previous correspondences, Mr. Ed was generous enough to send Mr. JC a vinyl shark and a vinyl Santa. I'm not quite sure what Mr. Ed's intentions were, but it seems that Mr. JC might have done some un-godly things with said vinyl shark and vinyl Santa.

Social Insecurity

So, Mr. Bush is proposing changing the formula that sets initial Social Security benefits be changed to reflect the inflation rate rather than the wage rate.

And since inflation generally increases more slowly than wages, that can only mean one thing: We're Screwed.

"It's like saying elderly people today should live at a 1940 standard of living," said Robert Greenstein, executive director of the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. "Part of our social contract has been to allow seniors to participate in rising standards of living rather than consigning them to some second-class status in retirement."

The Washington Post has a nice little diagram about half-way down displaying just how screwed you are, given your projected retire date.

And then there's this juicy morsel I've seen oft-quoted in the blogosphere:

"This is going to be very much like sticking your hand in a wasp nest," said David C. John, a Social Security analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation and an ally of the president. "And the reaction will be similar."

First Day Follies

Two of the three new Florida members of the House and Senate have some fascinating plans:

Senator Mel Martinez:
As a new member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he will travel to Israel this week to look for ways to jump-start the Middle East peace process.

I find myself doubting that a freshman Senator from Florida, who has never had an original political thought, and simply does whatever Bush and Rove tell him to do, can fix thousands of years of strife in the Middle East.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston:
Already she is girding for the battle to come over the president's proposed changes to Social Security, which would allow younger workers to invest some of their taxes in the stock market.

A battle to do WHAT to the president's plan? That just sounds messy. Somebody get Debbie some tissue.

January 04, 2005

Animals' Sixth Sense Breaking Down

Early today at the airport in Aceh, Indonesia, an cargo plane hit a water buffalo that had strayed onto the runway.

Evidently, the water buffalo's sixth sense foreshadowing impending doom did not apply to oncoming aircraft, just earthquakes and tsunamis.

I looked tirelessly for a photo of the water buffalo in question, but all I could find was this photo of a similar beast who met his maker in the isolated village of Lhoknga in northwest Indonesia.

How Not to Win Friends and Influence People

U.S. Coast Guard crews have been busy beavers off the coast of Ecuador detaining suspected illegal migrants, firing on ships and sinking the ones they deem unseaworthy.

U.S. gunners "sink boats to show the power they have to stop migrants, to show the other fishermen not to (get involved) ... They board with machine guns, put everyone on the floor, tie hands," Segundo Moreiro-Vegos said.

And the U.S. Department of Homeland Security defends this practice as:

"pushing our borders out." Enforcing U.S. laws abroad is crucial, they contend, to control record illegal immigration, estimated at 500,000 a year, and close security gaps terrorists could exploit.

Now, I agree that we have an immigration problem, but sinking Ecuadorian ships? And if we are enforcing U.S. laws, shouldn't the suspects have the same rights as U.S. citizens. Like that innocent-until-proven guilty-thing? And that cruel-and-unusual-punishment-thing.

Here in the U.S, if you get nailed for a DUI, your car doesn't get blown up. They impound it and you can get it later. Then when you have gone through the trial process and if you are proven guilty, then there may be more reprecussions.

But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Some analysts see this as contemporary gunboat diplomacy. If foreign armed forces stopped U.S. boats in this way, "we'd call it an act of war," said John Pike, director of the Washington think tank Global Security. "There is no world government to enforce international law. It's always been the case that the strong do what they can, and the weak do what they must."

"To have U.S. ships off the coast of Ecuador sinking boats is not the best public relations for the United States," said Robert Leiken, director of immigration and security studies at the Nixon Center think tank in Washington.

If stopping illegal immigration is the goal, cracking down on U.S. employers who hire illegal workers would be far more effective, Leiken said.

You'd think in this most desperate of times that we would be trying desperately to get our allies behind us instead of just pissing them off.