Tuesday, December 1, 2009

There is no place like Nebraska

The boys are definitely the squarest.

Nelson said he and other senators, "perhaps" including Democrats, plan to introduce an amendment "something like Stupak" on the Senate floor. The prospects of such an amendment passing, however, are slim. Republican abortion-rights opponents include Nelson's home-state colleague, Sen. Mike Johanns, have conceded they cannot muster the 60 votes they would need to attach the Stupak language to the Senate bill.

"The only thing I'm talking about is the Stupak plan, which is referred to as an abortion issue but I think the president was right when he said this bill's not about abortion. It's about how you account for federal dollars to stay consistent with Hyde and the long-term federal policy of not using tax dollars or federal monies to fund abortions," Nelson said.

Go Huskers!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Time I went to Church...

I felt as if I'd landed on an Alien planet, had established rapport with the local indigenous fauna, and then, having been invited to their weekly gathering, had been completely shocked from the ridiculousness and utter lack of reason inherent in their kooky, and otherwise meaningless rituals and sermons:

from Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot:

Consider again that pale blue dot. Take a good long look at it. ["That's us. That's Earth."] Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesn't strike you as unlikely, pick another dot. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?

Do some "Big Think", and doesn't every resulting religion or ideology resemble or become a self parody of this?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Okay, we poppin champagne like we won tha championship game*

Wayback Machine set to Feb 19th, 2009:

Under Mr. Steele's helm, the “old” may seem inappropriate in the Grand Old Party's affectionate nickname. He said he is putting a new public relations team into place to update the party's image.

“It will be avant garde, technically,” he said. “It will come to table with things that will surprise everyone - off the hook.”

Does that mean cutting-edge?

“I don't do 'cutting-edge,' “ he said. “That's what Democrats are doing. We're going beyond cutting-edge.”

Okay, all together now, let's go Back to the Future:

I love the 80's.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

United States of Jesustan

Now, with no Executive Branch!

Will update with more details later, but for now, read the descriptions of the people depicted and an interview with the artist here.

So far, my favorite mouseover descriptions:

Reagan as “a true patriot of freedom”. WTF does that even mean?

Thomas “Payne” appearing in this painting, even though he wrote a whole book ridiculing organized religion.

The Schoolteacher looks like Sarah Palin.

The “College Student” is holding a copy of “The Five Thousand Year Leap.” A book by a notorious Mormon Crank about how America is awesome because God is an American. (Seriously)

No executive branch depicted, because Jesus IS the Executive Branch.

Dolly Madison looks like Ally Sheedy.

the Fifty Stars and that they stand for the fifty states? Some stars burn more brightly than others. “Real American” states like Texas and Georgia as opposed to elitist, faggy states like California and New York.

And the only two people without description are “Satan” and the “Business Woman”. I guess the nature of those two abominations to American Culture speak for themselves.

UPDATE: Presented without Comment.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Talking Points Memo

When the International Olympic Committee voted against Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics this morning -- after the President and First Lady flew to Copenhagen to push for it in person -- the Weekly Standard newsroom burst into applause.

"Cheers erupt at Weekly Standard world headquarters," wrote editor John McCormack in a post titled "Chicago Loses! Chicago Loses!"

The line was quickly removed, but ThinkProgress caught it in time and posted a screenshot of the post.

But even with the edits, McCormack is still obviously reveling in America's defeat.

"As a citizen of the world who believes that No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation, I'm glad that the Obama White House's jingoist rhetoric and attempt to pay back Chicago cronies at the expense of undermining our relationships with our allies failed," he wrote.

McCormack's fellow conservatives joined in the celebration.

"Chicago and Tokyo eliminated. No Obamalypics," Michelle Malkin tweeted, following up with, "Game over on Obamalympics. Next up, Obamacare."

"Please, please let me break this news to you. It's so sweet," said Glenn Beck on his radio show.

"Hahahahaha," wrote Red State's Erick Erickson. "So Obama's pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him. So much for improving America's standing in the world, Barry O."

The Drudge Report announced the news like so: "WORLD REJECTS OBAMA: CHICAGO OUT IN FIRST ROUND. THE EGO HAS LANDED."

"The worst day of Obama's presidency, folks. The ego has landed. The world has rejected Obama," echoed Rush Limbaugh.

"For those of you ... who are upset that I sound gleeful, I am. I don't deny it. I'm happy," Limbaugh said. "Anything that gets in the way of Barack Obama accomplishing his domestic agenda is fine with me."

"President Obama fails to get the Olympics while unemployment goes to 9.8% Iran continues nuclear program. America needs focused leadership," Newt Gingrich tweeted. Then he added, "Somehow charm and oratory dont seem to work in foreign affirs but historians have warned that foreign policy is different than campaigning." (sic)

"ChicagP\/\/n3D!" tweeted Newsmax, of recent fame for running, then pulling, a column about an impending military coup against Obama.

h/t BJ Commenter SiubhanDuinne

Paul Krugman:

Middle-aged adolescents — dumb middle-aged adolescents — rule one of our nation’s two great political parties.

Where's yer foam finger and flag pin now?! Jackasses.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009


via conservative writer Andrew Sullivan:

Nile Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation wrote in The Daily Telegraph: “[Obama’s] appeasement of Iran, his bullying of Israel, his surrender to Moscow, his call for a nuclear-free world ... have all won him plaudits in the large number of UN member states where US foreign policy has traditionally been viewed with contempt. Simply put, Barack Obama is loved at the UN because he largely fails to advance real American leadership.” Jennifer Rubin at the neoconservative publication Commentary declared Obama’s speech was “one of the more embarrassing and shameful displays by a US president before the UN”. For Gardiner, Ledeen and Rubin the model for foreign policy is that represented by Dick Cheney. He projected strength and decisiveness and America’s enemies allegedly cowered. Obama — or Obambi — is, in their eyes, an arugula-eating surrender monkey.

Let’s review the evidence. In Iraq, Obama postponed any rapid withdrawal, keeping troops there as long as the Bush administration had pledged. While ending torture, Obama has retained key provisions for extraordinary rendition and has recently scored real successes in the terror war. Last week brought the exposure of what looks like the first real Al-Qaeda plot within America, busted by the FBI and unaccompanied by any Obama grandstanding or fear-mongering. Several Al-Qaeda leaders have been taken out by drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Obama has sent more troops to Afghanistan and ordered a full review of strategy from one of Cheney’s favourite generals, Stanley McChrystal. For the first time in two decades Israel does not have carte blanche from the White House to do whatever it wants in the West Bank.

On the critical test of Iran we see the Obama method in clarifying perspective. Look at the moves of the first eight months. First off, Obama makes it clear that America is ready to talk if Iran is ready to deal. The Bush-era polarisation is defused, revealing to global opinion that it is Tehran, not Washington, that is the problem here. The Bush-style warnings are instead given by Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy, further underlining the fact that this is a global problem, not just an American one.

Obama then goes to Cairo to deliver a speech rebranding the United States with the Muslim world. The following month the green revolution breaks out on the streets of Iran and, despite brutal suppression, the spell of theocracy is for ever smashed. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, and Ayatollah Khamenei, its supreme leader, are opposed now not only by the massive majority of Iranians, but by part of their own elite as well. Then Obama scraps the missile defence system in eastern Europe, pleasing Russia, and moves the focus of defence to the Mediterranean, pleasing Israel. Dmitry Medvedev expresses the view — never uttered by a Russian leader before — that sanctions against Iran may be inevitable. Obama follows up by being the first US president to chair a United Nations security council meeting, where he presides over a resolution calling for nuclear disarmament. The vote is unanimous. Again, he wields American power through the prism of international co-operation — and receives a rapturous welcome at the UN from many developing countries that would previously have stayed aloof. Again, he lets Brown and especially Sarkozy make the more focused comments on Iran.

On Friday he reveals the existence of a second uranium enrichment site — near the religious centre of Qom — and proves that Tehran is a dishonest negotiator. And this time the storyline is not America versus Iran, but the world versus a deceptive dictator, clinging to power via a coup.

Is this weakness or is it a different avenue to strength? Politics is always about timing and context. Seeing Obama’s moves without taking into account the Bush-Cheney inheritance is to wear ideological blinkers. Obama’s promise was and is a rebranding of America (which was the primary reason I supported him). If you are an unchastened neocon you see no need to rebrand after Guantanamo, Iraq, Bagram and Abu Ghraib. But if you are capable of absorbing complicated reality, you realise that such a rebranding is essential if America is to dig itself out of the Bush-Cheney ditch and advance its interests by defter means than raw violence and occupation.

Arugala-Eating, yes. Surrender Monkey, never.

"There is also a difference between strength and brittleness. Cheney and Bush, for all their swagger, failed to prevent North Korea or Iran from progressing with nuclear weaponry. Bush retreated somewhat in his second term, under the influence of Condoleezza Rice and Bob Gates. Obama’s alternative strategy — which is a logical evolution of the second Bush term — seems to me the most productive avenue the West now has. And the West now has a leader who doesn’t need the headlines or the braggadocio of the Cheney method.

Sometimes a little give can mean a much bigger take. Sometimes a little restraint and cunning are more effective than constant tub-thumping and ideology. Who do you think had a more successful foreign policy: George H W Bush at the end of the cold war or George W Bush at the start of the war on terror? Obama is following the first Bush, not the second."

Aunt Kim, keep listening to your intellectual betters like Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh. In the meantime, GO. FUCK. YOUR. SELF.

Keep freaking out about socialism, or trrsts, and respect for "the Constitution", and please, oh please, get back to me when you read about those three things.

Define socialism, terrorism, and I want a book report on the United States' Constitution.

Seriously, until you have something more substantive to contribute to the national discourse than this,

then please,

via Media Matters:

There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the "Obama problem." Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.

Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible

WTF?! Jesus Christ, You people need a fucking Valium.

And he told your Republican ass to go fuck itself, huh? Well, let me double down on that.
--Aidan Gillen as Councilman Thomas Carcetti

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cool as Ice

It's not just blind stupdity, it's hip!

We need tanks and hummers, not hybrid cars!
We need honest politicians, not communist czars!
USA, not the USSR.
We need more Ann Coulter and less Bill Maher.
I don’t need another lecture from the Socialistic hypocrite.
Tuesday was your birthday, but where’s your birth certificate?

I can't figure out which is worse, that or this:


When conservatives try to replicate "cool", they end up with laughable shit like this:

or in short, WWJDIHWOICD?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

As if the entire Anti-war protest movement was shouting 'Free Mumia!' instead.

These low-info crazy paranoid racist are only worthy of our laughter. Try not to gag on the puke-funnel, mmKay?

Friday, September 11, 2009

History's a fragile thing it seems.

"I got a solution, You're a dick! South Carolina What Up?!"

Special Comment, idiocracy-watch edition.

Town Halls, Death Panels, Oligarhys, a multi-racial president who is accused of hating half his own ancestry, neuroses about communist artwork, the idea that fascism and socialism aren't mutually exclusive, grass-roots protests bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporations, scared seniors terrified enough to turn to insurance companies for protection against reformers who want to increase their coverage and cut their rates, birchers, birthers, deathers, the voices in Michele Bachmann's head, the Republican rebuttal to the President of the United States given by a guy who thought he could become "Lord Boustany" by paying a couple of English con men…

And now to top off this pile of stupidity: Congressman Wrong-Way Wilson, who -- when a President publicly, and ostentatiously, gave credit for part of his health care reform proposal to the very Republican he swamped in the election last year -- Wrong-Way Wilson... followed that bi-partisan gesture, by shouting "you lie" as soon as he heard the truth.

It is... this week, evident... that the greatest threat to the nation... is not terrorism... nor the economy... nor H1/N1... nor even bad health care.

It is rank, willful stupidity.

When did we come to extol stupidity ahead of information, and rely on voo-doo, superstition, and prejudice ahead of education?

How many Republicans believe in Death Panels... and Brownies and Elves?

When did we start to listen to -- to elect -- the impregnably dense?
I was almost too fearful of using the word "impregnably" because of the prospect that Governor Palin would go after me the way she went after Letterman.


The time has come to rise up and take this country back, to again make it safe... for people who actually completed the seventh grade.
The crime of Wrong-Way Wilson was not reflected in his emotions, nor his disagreement, nor his inappropriate conduct, nor in his incivility. It was in his prideful wrong-ness.

There are many vague portions of this bill, but section 246 says it plain: "NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS."

I defend Congressman Wilson's right to incivility. A little incivility six years ago might have stopped the Iraq war. He can shout anything he wants, at anybody he wants, in any circumstances he wants.

Providing that he is willing to suffer the consequences of his actions, I am willing to suffer him.

This nation can survive a president being disrespected by some nickel-dime congressman from Beaufort; the shame falls onto the shouter and not the one shouted at.

But this nation cannot survive the continued acceptance, the continued endorsement, the continued encouragement, the continued institutionalization… of stupidity.

That, is why you fail.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Two quotes.

Balloon Juice reader Steve S, from yesterday:

I tutor in the Deep South. Today, one of my tutorees said he had a sweet afternoon playing video games. His momma had taken him out of school so he wouldn’t see Obama. Politics around here is a mine field, so I said something like “I don’t know anything about that.” He, a sixth grader, said, “You don’t wanta know! He changed the speech after everybody found out what he was up to.”

An excerpt from Obama's speech to school children yesterday:

I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Van Jones resigns.

And apparently the 9/11 truther petition thing was bullshit.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Where's the guy who hates everything I believe in?

This, also.

and 16 years later, Redemption.

Keith channels his inner Steve Martin...

...and tries to out-batshit Glenn Beck...

...and inevitably fails. Gloriously. You can't out crazy Glenn Beck. So Awesome.

Bring on the Apocalypse. We are all Mayans now.

Also, in a totally unrelated thing, I came across this quote from one of the classics of American Literature.

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

My first YouTube upload

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Abandoning Journalism is an anagram for OLIGARH

Technically, today is Sunday. Praise be to Allah.

What you are about to watch occurred on Thursday:

As of 72 hours later, this individual is neither in a straight-jacket or a padded cell, nor is he unemployed.

Self-described conservative Andrew Sullivan's terse comment:

This Is On National Television:

What else is there to say?

80% Glibertarian, Reason.com editor, and Randian prick in general, Radley Balko, reacts to this vid thusly:

Is that Darrell Hammond?

I haven’t watched Saturday Night Live in a long time, but this parody of Glenn Beck was perfectly executed.

Now I know why Bill Hicks prayed for Nuclear Holocaust within 5 minutes even if out of spite.

Anniversaries. Things you promise to commit to for more than 3 years. The proper way to display a flag. Lapel pins, also.

It was a year ago yesterday that John McCain announced his running mate and candidate for Vice President of these United States. And while driving to work, listening to her speech in my car, I actually said, aloud: "Who the FUCK is Sarah Palin?!"

That phrase was a very popular Google Search in the days that followed. She has since quit being Governor of Alaska after 2.5 years of service, and now still makes the news because of updates on her facebook page in an apparent effort to win the Presidency in 2012. Seriously. In '06, I signed a 50-month car loan. If only I could fail upwards like good ole Sarah and just up and quit paying my bills; and instead of having them repossess my car, I could look forward to the bank mailing me a check free and clear for the amount of debt I currently possessed on the loan.

Mostly via Sullivan, the internet's reaction 365 days ago:

Dan Gersten, NY Daily News:

In picking an unknown, untested, half-a-term woman governor from Alaska to be his running mate, John McCain is following in a long line of reckless men who have rolled the dice for a beauty queen. Except in this case, McCain is taking one of the biggest, boldest gambles in modern American political history.

He's betting his presidency on a naked political play for holdout Hillary supporters and other female swing voters - and hoping that a large share of these predominantly pro-choice women will ignore or overlook Palin's staunch pro-life, anti-stem cell views.

But that's just the better half of it. McCain will now have to pull off a grand slam of cognitive dissonance - trying to discredit Barack Obama as unready to be Commander in Chief while trying to pawn off the least qualified candidate put on a national ticket in our lifetime as the second best choice to lead the most powerful nation in the world.

The longer I think about it, the less well this selection sits with me. And I increasingly doubt that it will prove good politics. The Palin choice looks cynical. The wires are showing.

John McCain wanted a woman: good.

He wanted to keep conservatives and pro-lifers happy: naturally.

He wanted someone who looked young and dynamic: smart.

And he discovered that he could not reconcile all these imperatives with the stated goal of finding a running mate qualified to assume the duties of the presidency "on day one."

Sarah Palin may well have concealed inner reservoirs of greatness. I hope so! But I'd guess that John McCain does not have a much better sense of who she is, what she believes, and the extent of her abilities than my enthusiastic friends over at the Corner. It's a wild gamble, undertaken by our oldest ever first-time candidate for president in hopes of changing the board of this election campaign. Maybe it will work. But maybe (and at least as likely) it will reinforce a theme that I'd be pounding home if I were the Obama campaign: that it's John McCain for all his white hair who represents the risky choice, while it is Barack Obama who offers cautious, steady, predictable governance.

Here's I fear the worst harm that may be done by this selection. The McCain campaign's slogan is "country first." It's a good slogan, and it aptly describes John McCain, one of the most self-sacrificing, gallant, and honorable men ever to seek the presidency.

But question: If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?

And then there is Andrew's initial attraction followed quickly by his deconversion to Palin-based conservatism:

08/29/2008, 10:53 EST:

If McCain's entire argument so far has been that Obama is too untested to be president, then how can he pick a 44-year-old first-term governor of a state with 600,000 people with no foreign policy experience whatsoever?

What this means, it seems to me, is that McCain has decided he cannot win without Clinton Democrats, and this is his attempt to win them over. He has decided that he cannot win on the experience card, so he is trying to pick the change card. Palin's record on climate change is certainly impressive - and she seems a charming, capable person. She is certainly a different kind of pick for a Southern-based GOP. But McCain will be the oldest first term president in history with a history of health concerns. If America is concerned that Obama isn't ready, how could anyone say Palin is?

08/29/2008, 13:40 EST:

Not Your Traditional Republican

She named two daughters after television witches, and smoked pot when it was legal in Alaska, and inhaled. She's also very gay-friendly. It makes me like her. I'm not so sure how the most devout in the base will respond. Her Down Syndrome baby will help, I'm sure - and her decision to bring him into the world is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

08/29/2008, 22:05 EST:

A Dish reader throws some cold water on Sully's idealism:

A reader writes:
It is SO over for McCain.

He just jumped the shark so badly I'm surprised he didn't choose Tom Cruise instead.

Once the Republican talk-radio/chattering classes are finished acting happy, reality will sink in.

The Republicans that will be happy about this are the ones that have now become as disconnected from the average America as the Elite East Coast Democrats they despise (Hewitt, Limbaugh, Dobson, Hannity). They are reading America wrong and McCain is following them into the abyss.

The average Hillary voter would never support a woman like Palin. They are anathema to each other. And the average middle-class Mom is going to say, "What's a woman with children that young (and one with Down-syndrome) doing thinking that she can leave them everyday to be a Vice-President or possibly President?" Yes, she's a governor of sparsely populated Alaska now, but to be the 2nd most important person in the United States in our post-911 world is not the place for a very nice, young mother.

McCain was suffering an enthusiasm deficit before, and once the initial hype passes, the silence will be deafening. I predict a blow-out now. Gravitas was McCain's strongest asset and by choosing Harriet Myers Jr., he took the Rovian gambit too far. This will only mobilize and excite conservatives who already loathed Obama from the beginning. And even then, they will just be hiding their disappointment.

Who knows? History is rarely this smooth.

08/29/08, 22:43 EST:

His inbox must be hitting home, because he has composed and is posting a devastating react to the latest news. Only 40 minutes after Palin almost wins Gay British Conservative Intellectual Andrew Sullivan, she loses him completely, and thus, from this point forward, she is done:

Think about what the Palin pick really says about how McCain views this campaign and how he views his potential responsibilities in national security.

Think about what it says about the sincerity of McCain's own central criticism of Obama these past two months in foreign affairs.

Think about how he picked a woman to be a heartbeat away from a war presidency who hadn't even thought much, by her own admission, about the Iraq war as late as 2007.

Think about how he made this decision barely knowing the woman.

Think about the fact that the most McCain could say about his potential war-time vice-president in foreign affairs and national security when selecting her is that she commanded Alaska's National Guard as governor and has a son in the military.

Think about the men and women serving this country who have every right to trust that their potential commander-in-chief, whatever their party, would have some record of even interest in foreign policy before assuming office.

Think about how the key factor in this decision was not who could defend this country were something dreadful happen to McCain in office but how to tread as much on Obama's convention bounce and use women's equality as a wedge issue among Democrats because it might secure a few points here or there. Oh, and everyone would be surprised. And even Rove would be annoyed.

This is his sense of honor and judgment. This is his sense of responsibility and service.

Here's the real slogan the McCain campaign should now adopt:

Putting. Country. Last.

08/30/08, 12:10 EST:

A Dish Reader does a postmortem, less than 24 hours after McCain has announced his VP:
I had been reluctant to acknowledge how flawed and dead the conservative movement has become; that's over now. No more excuses, no more clinging to old visions of rational discourse and principled debate. I really have witnessed the death of conservatism and its replacement by a kind of toxic babbitry which would be merely laughable or cringeworthy if it were not also so extraordinarily dangerous.

This election year has been a series of revelations and disillusionments--the crudely ugly tactics of Limbaugh and Hannity (and--worse--their embrace by Buckley's heirs at National Review), the thinly-veiled racism and nativism of the campaign against Obama, the transparently cruel and God-hating ideology of movement Christians; but--even though dismayed by McCain's bizarre campaign--I had retained some illusions as recently as this morning. I believed McCain to be at least a patriot, sincerely concerned with issues of national security.

His nomination of Sarah Palin ended that illusion, too.

No remotely serious politician--no honest patriot--would think of placing this individual a heartbeat away from the Oval Office, however admirable she may be, however lively her biography.

Moreover, the elation on the right regarding Palin's nomination made clear to me that none of them has ever been remotely serious about national security, either. On the contrary, as the left has insisted for years, for them it really has all been about political advantage, noise and bluster and ugliness with no core of principle, no genuine strategic commitment.

The very same people who, only yesterday, insisted that Obama's resume was too dangerously thin to entrust him with the oversight of our national security, today are celebrating Palin's accession as a triumph for conservatism (evidently this is because she is hostile to both abortion and polar bears). Their hypocrisy is staggering--they truly do believe in nothing but their own entitlement to power by any means.

And I'm very much afraid I must conclude this is as true of McCain as it is of his ghastly cheerleaders, the Limbaughs and the Hannitys. Nothing else could explain the elevation of a woman so singularly unqualified in every aspect save gender.

In September 2008, Sullivan appears on Real Time with Bill Maher, and causes a stink.

07/07/09: A compilation is put together of over 30 instances of Palin lying out of her ass, most of them anecdotes which create a psych profile of an unstable personality with a disposition favorable to compulsive lying. Posted here in full, but the proof is in the links (aka even the McCain campaign knew she was full of shit):

A couple of months ago, I asked an intern to re-fact-check all of them to make sure new details hadn't emerged that might debunk some. And I also asked to get any subsequent statements by Palin that acknowledged that she had erred in any of these statements that are easily rebuttable by facts in the public record and apologized and corrected. She has not. Since this was a vast project over the last ten months, it's possible there are some nuances or errors that need fixing. Please tell us if you find one and we'll acknowledge and fix. But it has been put through the ringer a few times.

After you have read these, ask yourself: what wouldn't Sarah Palin lie about if she felt she had to?

Palin lied when she said the dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, had nothing to do with his refusal to fire state trooper Mike Wooten; in fact, the Branchflower Report concluded that she repeatedly abused her power when dealing with both men.

Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed to have said, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere; in fact, she openly campaigned for the federal project when running for governor.

Palin lied when she denied that Wasilla's police chief and librarian had been fired; in fact, both were given letters of termination the previous day.

Palin lied when she wrote in the NYT that a comprehensive review by Alaska wildlife officials showed that polar bears were not endangered; in fact, email correspondence between those scientists showed the opposite.

Palin lied when she claimed in her convention speech that an oil gas pipeline "began" under her guidance; in fact, the pipeline was years from breaking ground, if at all.

Palin lied when she told Charlie Gibson that she does not pass judgment on gay people; in fact, she opposes all rights between gay spouses and belongs to a church that promotes conversion therapy.

Palin lied when she denied having said that humans do not contribute to climate change; in fact, she had previously proclaimed that human activity was not to blame.

Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska produces 20 percent of the country's domestic energy supply; in fact, the actual figures, based on any interpretation of her words, are much, much lower.

Palin lied when she told voters she improvised her convention speech when her teleprompter stopped working properly; in fact, all reports showed that the machine had functioned perfectly and that her speech had closely followed the script.

Palin lied when she recalled asking her daughters to vote on whether she should accept the VP offer; in fact, her story contradicts details given by her husband, the McCain campaign, and even Palin herself. (She later added another version.)

Palin lied when she claimed to have taken a voluntary pay cut as mayor; in fact, as councilmember she had voted against a raise for the mayor, but subsequent raises had taken effect by the time she was mayor.

Palin lied when she insisted that Wooten's divorce proceedings had caused his confidential records to become public; in fact, court officials confirmed they released no such records.

Palin lied when she suggested to Katie Couric that she was involved in trade missions with Russia; in fact, she has never even met with Russian officials.

Palin lied when she told Shimon Peres that the only flag in her office was the Israeli flag; in fact, she has several flags.

Palin lied when she claimed to have tried to divest government funds from Sudan; in fact, her administration openly opposed a bill that would have done just that.

Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed that troop levels in Iraq were back to pre-surge levels; in fact, even she acknowledged her "misstatements," though she refused to retract or apologize.

Palin lied when she insisted that the Branchflower Report "showed there was no unlawful or unethical activity on my part"; in fact, that report prominently stated, "Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."

Palin lied when she claimed to have voiced concerns over Wooten fearing he would harm her family; in fact, she actually decreased her security detail during that period.

Palin lied when asked about the $150,000 worth of clothes provided by the RNC; in fact, solid reporting contradicted several parts of her statement.

Palin lied when she suggested that she had offered the media proof of her pregnancy with Trig to "correct the record"; in fact, no reports of her medical records were ever published; and the letter from her doctor testifying to her good health only emerged hours before polling ended on election day, even though there was nothing in it that couldn't have been released two months earlier.

Palin lied when she said that "reported" allegations of her banning Harry Potter as mayor was easily refutable because it had not even been written yet; in fact, the first book in that series was published in 1998 - two years into her first term - and such rumors were never reported by the media, only circulated as emails.

Palin lied when she denied having participated in a clothes audit with campaign laywers; in fact, the Washington Times later confirmed those details.

Palin lied when asked about Couric's question regarding her reading habits; in fact, Couric's words were not, "What do you read up there in Alaska?" or anything close to condescension.

Palin lied when she mischaracterized the "$1200 check" given to Alaskans as the permanent fund dividend check; in fact, that fund had yielded $2,069 per person, and she claimed otherwise to obscure the fact that Alaskans also received a $1200 rebate check from a windfall profits tax on oil companies - a tax widely criticized by Republicans.

Palin lied when she claimed to be unaware of a turkey being slaughtered behind her during a filmed interview; in fact, the cameraman said she had picked the spot herself, while the slaughter was underway.

Palin lied when she denied having rejected federal stimulus money; in fact, she continued to accept and reject the funds several times.

Palin lied when she claimed that legislative leaders had canceled a meeting with her to hold their own press conference; in fact, they only canceled it after being told she would not participate, and the purpose of the press conference was very different from the meeting's.

Palin lied when she announced on the news that she never holds closed-door meetings; in fact, she had just attended a closed-door meeting with the legislature earlier that day.

Palin lied when she said that former aide John Bitney's "amicable" departure was for "personal" reasons; in fact, Bitney said he was fired because of his relationship with the wife of Palin's friend, plus a Palin spokesperson later claimed "poor job performance" for his firing - without elaborating.

Palin lied when she said she kept her running injury a secret on the campaign trail; in fact, her bandaged hand was clearly visible in photographs and the story was widely talked about.

Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska has spent "millions of dollars" on litigation related to her ethics complaints; in fact, that figure is much, much lower, and she had initiated the most expensive inquiry.

Palin lied when she denied that the Alaska Independence Party supports secession and denied that her husband had been a member; in fact, even the McCain campaign noted that the party's very existence is based on secession and that Todd was a member for seven years.

Happy Sarah Palin Day!

For no reason whatsoever related to the content posted above, I feel compelled to post a video of Goldfinger's song FTN.

Also, too:

Fur-wearing fucking twat
She likes to eat dead cow
She thinks its cool to wear eyelashes of dead foxes
Cuz she thinks it hides the pounds

Shes a bitch!
Fuck her!
Fuck her!

She's a bitch!
Fuck her!
Fuck her!

Wow do I want to see this movie

It's like a Coen Bros' Project Alpha with Dick Cheney as the dupe:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Meddling with the Primal Forces of Nature

I’m currently listening to a book on tape version of Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. It’s not enjoyable at all, but it is one of the most informative and striking books I’ve ever read. Disaster Capitalists and a certain school of economists envisioned a free-market utopia based on computer models under the belief that a human-created monetary system could be considered a hard science like physics or chemistry, and they were given an opportunity time and time again to test their theory with ruinous results. The only reason it repeats is that when these economies collapse, oligarchs and vulture investors swoop in buying everything up for pennies on the dollar, and then sell to other foreign investors for billions.

Say what you want about the supposed amorality of the free market principles they advocate. This has been used to scavenge billions from Chile and Argentina in the 70s and 80s, Post-cold war Russia in the 90s, and then Iraq. The wisdom of such destructive economic policy must immediately be questioned when in the last decade with Enron, Post-Katrina NOLA, and the Housing Bubble leading to the Wall St. Crisis, these homegrown tactics are now being used on our own soil.

An example of the style of globalization-minded free market corporate cosmology can be demonstrated writ small in Klein's 2004 documentary The Take:

Even with Obama at the helm, I’m beginning to think we’re fucked.

The investor class of this nation has been devouring the seed corn.

Also, Go Huskers!

RIP Don Hewitt

from Bloomberg:

Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Don Hewitt, who created the enduring CBS television newsmagazine “60 Minutes” and was its sole executive producer for 35 years, has died. He was 86.

He died today, CBS News reported on its Web site. A spokesman for “60 Minutes” said he was diagnosed earlier this year with a tumor, according to CBS News.

Although he often said he wanted to die at his desk, Hewitt relinquished his “60 Minutes” post in June 2004 in exchange for a 10-year contract to serve as a producer-at-large for CBS News, giving him a say in the network’s news programming.

“I’m going to be the resident pain in the ass,” he told Broadcasting & Cable magazine when the deal was announced.

Hewitt joined CBS’s fledgling news operation in 1948 before he owned his first television set. He oversaw the 15-minute newscast by Douglas Edwards until it was replaced by Walter Cronkite’s half-hour program in 1963. Hewitt also produced the first television debates between presidential candidates Richard Nixon and John Kennedy in 1960.

Hewitt claimed credit for many innovations -- superimposing names on TV images and coining the term “anchorman,” to name two -- but he was most proud of “60 Minutes.” By his estimate, the program generated at least $2 billion in profits in its long run, which began when Lyndon Johnson was in the White House and has continued through eight other presidencies.

Hewitt’s greatest talent was spotting and shaping a compelling story. At “60 Minutes,” he approved story ideas, oversaw the editing and wrote the on-air promotions and teases at the beginning of the broadcast.

“Basically, Don is an editor with cold, hard judgment about what works and what will appeal to people,” veteran “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney told the Los Angeles Times in 1991. “I’m always surprised at how he can look at a piece once and remember every element of it.”


Hewitt’s most public hour came in 1995, when he bowed to a CBS lawyer’s decision to kill a Wallace interview with a tobacco industry whistleblower named Jeffrey Wigand because of a possible threat of litigation.

As a substitute for the interview, Hewitt permitted Wallace to reveal on “60 Minutes” the management decision to pull the story. “That was a first -- a network-news broadcast holding its own management’s feet to the fire,” Hewitt declared in his 2001 memoir.

Hewitt later bristled over Hollywood’s unflattering portrayal of Wallace and himself in “The Insider,” a 1999 movie that essentially accused them of selling out.

Hewitt had two sons, Jeffrey and Steven, from his first marriage and a daughter, Lisa, from his second.

Played in the film by Philip Baker Hall, a chapter of Hewitt's memoir is spent dealing with the fallout the movie caused. In the end, the decisions shown in the film were the ones Hewitt went with. However, a glaringly bad call shouldn't outweigh a lifetime of talent and journalistic contribution. Full Disclosure, The Insider is one of my favortie films.

As far as what Lowell Bergman (Pacino's character) has been up to IRL, this particular episode of Frontline is a must-see.

Dog is my Co-pilot

Cute follow-up to bad news:

I went over to my ‘rents house and I did give my mom and my brother a big hug. They needed it, and my mom saw this thread, and though perplexed about the format, purpose, and etiquette of the blogosphere, she appreciates the kind words expressed by total strangers.

We all explained Maxie's absence to my 4 year old niece and then my younger brother, her father, saying,

“She was sick. She’s up in heaven now. She misses you too.”

My niece goes, “Oh, did she fly a plane up there?

Thank FSM for little girls.

P. S. Maxie was part Beagle...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Evil people pass away...

Via Radley Balko:

The remaining half of America’s great freedom-loving couple has passed away.

Yeah not so much.

Again, between the stark dichotomy of free markets vs. free people, you need to define "freedom" for clarity's sake...

After right-wing “free market” economist and longtime University of Chicago professor Milton Friedman dropped dead in 2006, it did not take long for the U of C administration to spark a minor firestorm on campus by proposing to name an economic research institute in his honor. In the 1970s Friedman and his “Chicago Boys” notoriously served as economic advisers to the bloody CIA-backed Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet that massacred 30,000 workers, peasants and leftists and imprisoned and tortured thousands more. Last year, in response to the U of C proposal to launch a Milton Friedman Institute, faculty formed the Committee for Open Research on Economy and Society (CORES), which initiated an online petition against the Institute and held a number of well-attended campus events. Over 100 professors signed a letter of protest to the administration, and the full Faculty Senate convened for the first time in a decade to debate the proposal.

It is truly an affront to working people and the oppressed around the planet that the University would attempt to honor the legacy of this man. It would be utopian to think that bourgeois universities would not name buildings in honor of sundry capitalist moguls and their academic mouthpieces. But Friedman was not simply a reactionary ideologue; his hands were drenched in the blood of the Chilean masses. In 1975, the New York Times accurately labeled him “the guiding light of the junta’s economic policy” (21 September 1975). The CIA funded a 300-page Friedmanite blueprint given to the leaders of the junta in preparation for the coup. In March 1975 Friedman himself, accompanied by his U of C cohort Arnold Harberger, flew to Chile for high-level talks with the regime to outline the economic “shock treatment” that led to the mass starvation of those who had survived the initial phase of bloodletting.

If there's an afterlife, and any justice in the Universe, Rose Friedman now joins her husband in Hell where they are eternally drowning in fire ants, 1 for every victim of the dictatorships they supported and whose life they otherwise destroyed.

Monday, August 17, 2009

RIP Maxie


She annoyed the piss out of me so often, I’d swear I hated that dog. If you took her off a leash for even a second, she’d decide to give you a tour of the most heavily wooded area around my parents’ house on the coldest or darkest days of the year by making you chase after her. And now she’s gone, and I teared up a little at work. But you were a good dog, and all you ever wanted was to be loved or petted. I hope we gave you that much. You will be missed.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wingnut Prosecutor vs. Indian Willy Loman

[OT- a little closer]

New Jersey Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Christie's bio as U. S. Attorney:

Putting Terrorists Behind Bars

Obscure businessman and British citizen, Hemant Lakhani, came on the radar screen of the FBI because of his desire to broker the sale of shoulder-fired missiles to shoot down American passenger jets. His independent efforts to find an arms buyer and his persistence in completing a deal that would result in a terrorist attack in the United States sealed the image of someone predisposed and motivated to follow through with terrorist acts.

Chris Christie led the team that prosecuted Mr. Lakhani, ultimately securing a conviction and putting him behind bars for the rest of his life.

Proves to be complete and utter nonsense.

This American Life completely destroys the case that this insecure dumbass could ever be a successful terrorist.

The U.S. government spent two years on a sting operation trapping an Indian man named Hemant Lakhani, whom they suspected of being an illegal arms dealer. It's one of the first cases that went to trial in the War on Terror, and one the Justice Department pointed to as one of their big successes. In the end, they got Lakhani, red-handed, delivering a missile to a terrorist in New Jersey. The only problem was, nothing in the sting was what it appeared to be. Including the missile.

Hemant Lakhani, an Indian-born British citizen, had been a salesman all his life. Clothing, rice, oil ... it didn't matter to him what, as long as he could spin a deal. Then one day, sitting in a hotel room with a gangster he happened to know, the phone rang. It wasa business friend of the gangster's, calling from America. The man on the phone was rich, Lakhani was told. Maybe he would invest in Lakhani's latest venture. So Lakhani started talking to the man over the phone. Pretty soon they set up a meeting at a hotel in New Jersey, to talk business. But when Lakhani got there, the man seemed to be only interested in buying weapons. Illegal weapons, for Somali terrorists. Lakhani, always eager to make a deal, said he can help him out. What he didn't know, is that the supposed rich business man was an FBI informant, and that he had just walked into an elaborate government sting. Petra Bartosiewicz reports.

Christie's justification is that whether he was too stupid or ignorant to be capable of a terrorist act on his own is irrelevant. What matters to Christie is motive.

Why do I get the sense that Christie would shrug off any comparison between Lakhani and any one of the shrieking Right-wing teabaggers who publically fantasize about Obama's demise? These people are incompetent, and generally not capable of pulling off any grand strategic plan, but boy do they shout with murder in their hearts.


Talking Points Memo:

Those newly released documents from the U.S. attorney firings raise a few questions about the Republican who may be his party's highest profile electoral contender this year.

That's Chris Christie, the former U.S. attorney from New Jersey, who's also leading incumbent Jon Corzine in that state's race for governor.

According to the documents, Christie's name twice appeared on informal lists, compiled by DOJ staffers, of U.S. attorneys who might be canned.

The first appearance was in a lengthy memo written by Kyle Sampson, chief of staff to Alberto Gonzales, and sent to Harriet Miers on January 1, 2006. Sampson wrote in the memo, released yesterday, that he was responding to a request from Miers about whether President Bush could fire a large number of U.S. attorneys. Sampson argued that it would be preferable to fire only a "limited number," and listed eight prime candidates, including three -- Todd Graves, Margaret Chiara, and Bud Cummins -- who did ultimately lose their jobs. Underneath these, Sampson listed some other potential choices, which he split into Tiers 1-3. In Tier 1 were five names, including Christie's. (Only one of those five, Paul Charlton, was fired in the end.)

Ten months later, Michael Elston, another DOJ staffer, sent Sampson another list, titled "Other Possibilities." Elston wrote: "These have been suggested to me by others," before listing five names, including Christie's. None of these prosecutors ended up getting fired.

In May 2007, Christie told the Washington Post, which reported on his inclusion on Elston's list, that Elston had contacted him that March to inform him of his inclusion, and to apologize for it -- an apology Christie said he refused to accept.

"I was completely shocked. No one had ever told me that my performance had been anything but good," Christie told the Post. "I specifically asked him why he put my name on the list. He said he couldn't give me an explanation."

He added: "I still to this day don't know how I got taken off the list."

None of the available evidence answers that question (or explains how Christie got on those lists in the first place).

But it's worth noting that in September of 2006 -- by which time he almost certainly had a run for governor in mind -- Christie did something that greatly pleased national Republicans: His office leaked word that it was aggressively investigating Rep. Bob Menendez -- the New Jersey Democrat who at the time was in a tight race for the Senate -- over a rental deal.

Publicly tarring Menendez was especially helpful to the GOP at the time. First, the Senate hung on a knife edge -- a Menendez loss would, as it turned out, have allowed Republicans to hang onto the chamber. Second, Republicans that fall were fending off charges that they had presided over a "culture of corruption." Any hint of evidence that the corruption problem was bipartisan could potentially be used by the GOP to change the prevailing narrative and impact races beyond New Jersey.