Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What Social Security crisis?

I don't like the campaign rhetoric from Barack Obama suggesting that Social Security is facing some kind of big crisis.

As Paul Krugman noted in The New York Times a few years ago, just a little tweaking of Social Security would fix the system for the next 75 years.

Thirty seconds

Theocracy now!

Max Blumenthal visited the recent convention of so-called values voters and filed this report (be sure to play the video):

Monday, October 29, 2007

A prayer for Rudy

Please, God, please see to it that Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican presidential nomination. Please, please, please.

Griper Blade, a blogger up in Madison, explains why Democrats should be rooting for Rudy.

The Evangelical Crackup

Back from a few days in California, where I looked in on an ailing brother (he's doing fine after a scary episode, thanks), I'm catching up on some good reading, including this piece from The New York Times Magazine about disunity on the religious right.

Friday, October 19, 2007

No blogging for a few days

An illness in the family requires that I take a break from blogging for a few days.

Meanwhile, avail yourself of the spendid archives on the right side of this site.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Uh-oh! Is Mitt Romney another Larry Craig?

Twelve brave Army captains

Pseudo-patriotic pukes like Rush Limbaugh probably think of these Army officers as "phony soldiers."

Don Manzullo calls this "socialism"

Pope waves from Hell, says it's not so bad

Countless Catholics are claiming that the late Pope John Paul II recently appeared in a bonfire in Poland waving his right hand in greeting.

Even Vatican TV is convinced that JP 2 has pulled off yet another miracle.

But then, there also are Catholics who claim that the late Mother Teresa once appeared in a sweet roll:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Al Gore never said he invented the Internet

Thomas Fleming, president of the paleonconservative think tank The Rockford Institute, was on local radio this morning disdainfully spreading the durable myth that Al Gore claims to have invented the Internet.

In the past few days, we've been hearing a lot of that nonsense from the global warming deniers who are upset at Gore having won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The reality is that Gore never made any such claim about the Internet.

In an interview on CNN in 1999, Gore, who was then the sitting vice president and a candidate to succeed Bill Clinton in the White House, said this by way of reviewing his record:

“During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth, environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.”

Notice that Gore took credit for leadership in Congress in creating the Internet. He never said he "invented" the Internet. Was his claim to such leadership legitimate? Well, here's what Republican Newt Ginrich said about that:

"(I)n all fairness, Gore is the person who, in the Congress, most systematically worked to make sure that we got to an Internet, and the truth is—and I worked with him starting in 1978 when I got [to Congress], we were both part of a 'futures group'—the fact is, in the Clinton administration, the world we had talked about in the ’80s began to actually happen."

Way back in 1988, The Guardian, a British paper, reported this:

"American computing scientists are campaigning for the creation of a 'superhighway' which would revolutionise data transmission. Legislation has already been laid before Congress by Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee, calling for government funds to help establish the new network, which scientists say they can have working within five years, at a cost of Dollars 400 million."

Years later, when Gore was vice president, computer scientist Vinton Cerf, widely known as the Father of the Internet, had this to say:

“I think it is very fair to say that the Internet would not be where it is in the United States without the strong support given to it and related research areas by the vice president."

History shows that Gore's claim to leadership in congressional action regarding the Internet was ignored by the media and not distorted into a claim that he invented the Net until the Republican Party cooked up that falsehood a few days later.

A useful chronology of the controversy can he found here (you have to scroll down a little to get to the good part).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Columbus and the flat Earth theory

Speaking of Christopher Columbus (as we were here last week), there are still some people who think that the great explorer, on his voyage to the New World, bravely defied the popular theory that the Earth was flat.

For example, that fiction about Columbus is touted in a letter to the editor in today's Rockford Register Star -- a letter, by the way, that is wrong on several other counts as well.

The truth is that most educated folks in Columbus's time recognized that the Earth was round (or spherical, in reality).
For all his other achievements, ol' Chris didn't break any new ground with respect to the shape of our planet, as we see here and here and here.

Friday, October 12, 2007


On Tuesday, I mused here on what a fuss would ensue if Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize.

But then yesterday, I flatly predicted that it wouldn't happen.

Well, of course, now it has happened. Al Gore is a Nobel laureate -- unless it turns out that agents for George W. Bush can steal enough votes on the Nobel committee or can somehow get the Supreme Court to reverse the verdict. (Heh, heh. Just kidding.)

So, now I'm left to make another flat prediction, and I've got a lot of confidence in this one:

Al Gore will not run for the Democratic presidential nomination next year. A failed effort in that regard would only diminish this most prestigious honor. Why would he want to risk that?

Besides, a candidacy on Gore's part would be highly problematic. He's not the best political campaigner. He would alienate many of the followers of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and would split the Democratic Party apart (just when the party seems to be fairly unified while the Republicans are badly splintered and dispirited).

No, Gore won't run. He'll be happy to take his Nobel and use it to advance the cause of environmentalism.

POSTSCRIPT: Here's an early roundup of reaction from around the blogosphere.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Turkish genocide against Armenians?

President Bush is right, for once, in urging Congress not to adopt a resolution condemning Turkish actions against Armenians during World War I.

Let history be the judge of something like that. Why needlessly piss off today's Turks, none of whom were around at the time in question?

BooMan has the correct slant on this matter.

UPDATE: Amazingly, RascalLand Congressman Don Manzullo bucked the Bush administration in a committee vote on this issue.

Suckers and their sneakers

There's a new study out showing that men's running shoes are pretty much the same in terms of comfort and support -- no matter the price.

But, of course, lots of men are buying image, not performance, when they purchase sneakers or certain other products. Women generally do the same thing with some of the crap they buy.

I'd like to see a study on whether men or women are the bigger suckers in falling for the imagery peddled to them by advertisers. My guess is that there's little difference between the two genders.

Wait! Upon further reflection, I think men are the dumber consumers. Watch an NFL game on TV sometime and notice the countless ways in which ads for beers, cars, razors and other stuff manipulate the fears and dreams of men.

When you get right down to it, most men are afraid of being perceived as insufficiently masculine -- a matter we've discussed before (here, here and here) with respect to politics and religion.

Let's face it: Compared to women, men are somewhat more stupid -- not a lot, but unmistakably.

Why are wingnuts afraid to debate?

This is funny:

Right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin has been a leader in the infamous smearing of a 12-year-old boy and his family in the political debate over President Bush's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

In a valiant response, liberal blogger Ezra Klein (right), a bright lad of only 23, has challenged the much older Malkin (she'll be 37 next week) to a debate on the issue of health care, but Malkin has chickened out, which has prompted other progressive bloggers to mock and taunt her.

UPDATE: There's more taunting of Milken here, here and here.

The Gay Republican Caucus

Here's video of a meeting of the GRC:

Al Gore WILL NOT win the Nobel Peace Prize

Remember where you heard it first: This year's winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced before dawn Friday (U.S. time), and The Rascal's sources in Oslo, Norway, say it will not be Al Gore.

Ann Coulter wants to get rid of Judaism

The darling of the deranged right says Jews are just imperfect Christians.

UPDATE: Jewish and Catholic groups are criticizing Coulter's remarks.

Furthermore regarding American flag pins

Roy Edroso over at Alicublog isn't desecrating the flag when he offers this observation:

From the guy who fired Brad from All-American Burger in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" to Fox anchors to the creeps who run for office to "American Dad!", the flag pin has proved a reliable symbol of dickitude. Seldom have I seen an otherwise normally-dressed guy wearing a flag pin and thought, oh, isn't that sweet, he's telling America that he loves her! No, long experience has taught me that the pin-wearer wants something from me: either my vote, or an unearned advantage for whatever song-and-dance or sales pitch he's about to spool out. Or he wants the other Republicans in the room to spot him, so they can huddle privately and exchange stories about how they dicked someone over. Or he wants to pass for a dick so the other dicks won't gang up on him. Which makes him a dick.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oooh! I can hardly wait.

As my intimate friends are well aware, The Rascal is a major player in the world of high finance, and I'm here to tell you that I'll soon be basing my investment strategies on the stuff I learn from watching Fox Business News.

The folks at Fox are so reliable and accurate when it comes to reporting politics, I figure they'll be terrific in covering business.

Check out this teaser:

Theocratic third party if Rudy gets GOP nod?

Steve Benen says yes, but Kevin Drum isn't so sure.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Gosh, this is so unfair

Those mean people who don't see Frederick of Hollywood as the solution to America's problems, president-wise, have come up with an audiotape transcript of Richard Nixon referring to Freddy as "dumb as hell."

The slur dates back to when Nixon was in the White House and Freddy (pictured on the right) was a young lawyer for the Republicans on the Senate Watergate Committee.

This is a cheap shot. After all, Nixon was no great judge of character or smarts, was he? And besides, maybe Freddy's not so dumb anymore.

Another thing: Don Manzullo, who's smart enough to try to save America from socialized medicine for kids, thinks Freddy would make a swell president.

UPDATE: Uh-oh! Dan Bartlett, a former top aide to President Bush, says Freddy is the "biggest dud" among the Republican field of White House hopefuls.

Loonies attack 12-year-old and his family

In their pathetic efforts to defend President Bush from public outrage over his veto of legislation funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, a gang of right-wing zealots, including Michelle Malkin (right), are going after a 12-year-old boy.

Lovely people, these extremists.

Big Al up for Nobel Peace Prize?

Boy, this would piss off a lot of right-wing zanies, wouldn't it?

Did White House leak screw up U.S. spying?

There ought to be hell to pay on this one, right?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Trib scribe cuts Clarence Thomas a new one

The Chicago Tribune's Dawn Turner Trice does a nice little job of showing the mean-spirited side of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who casts himself as a victim in his newly released autobiography.

Trice notes that Thomas, on the high court, has approved of executing the mentally retarded and chaining prisoners to outdoor hitching posts, not allowing them to eat, drink or relieve themselves.

He also ruled against a prisoner whose appeal was filed two days after a statutory deadline had passed -- an error attributable to a federal judge having set the wrong date.

Clarence Thomas is a cruel man, and it's not racist to say so.

Christopher Columbus was a swell guy

The conservatives among us are fond of dismissing any unflattering accounts of Christopher Columbus's exploration of America as mere "political correctness."

They seem to favor more traditional versions (like perhaps the one in the hagiographic 1949 film in which Frederick March plays the title role, or the ridiculous stories of Columbus bravely refuting the universal belief at the time that the Earth was flat).

We would do well, however, to ponder the report Columbus sent to Ferdinand and Isabella back in Spain. It shows that exploitation and mistreatment of the natives was on the minds of the Europeans almost immediately upon their arrival in the New World.

The report reads in part:
These people in the Caribbean have no creed and they are not idolaters, but they are very gentle and do not know what it is to be wicked, or to kill others, or to steal...and they are sure that we come from Heaven....So your Highnesses should resolve to make them Christians, for I believe that if you begin, in a little while you will achieve the conversion of a great number of peoples to our holy faith, with the acquisition of great lordships and riches and all their inhabitants for Spain. For without doubt there is a very great amount of gold in these lands….
The people of this island [Hispaniola], and of all the others that I have found and seen, or not seen, all go naked, men and women, just as their mothers bring them forth; although some women cover a single place with the leaf of a plant, or a cotton something which they make for that purpose. They have no iron or steel, nor any weapons....They have no other weapons than the stems of reeds...on the end of which they fix little sharpened stakes. Even these they dare not use....they are incurably timid....
I have not found, nor had any information of monsters, except of an island which is here the second in the approach of the Indies, which is inhabited by a people whom, in all the islands, they regard as very ferocious, who eat human flesh….
They brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.

Bush's Columbus Day Address

The Great Decider decides to impart some of his edumacational historicalness to the Merkin Peepul.

A soldier explains why he fights

Iraq War veteran John Bruhns (left) is what pseudo-patriot Rush Limbaugh would call a "phony soldier."

Bruhns explains here "why I fight and why we all must."

Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore

The silly flap over whether Barack Obama or any of the other presidential candidates sports an American flag pin on his lapel brings to mind John Prine's antiwar song of 1968:

While digesting Reader's Digest
In the back of the dirty book store
A plastic flag with gum on the back
Fell out on the floor.
Well, I picked it up and I ran outside
Slapped it on my window shield
And if I could see Old Betsy Ross
I'd tell her how good I feel


But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.

Well, I went to the bank this morning
And the cashier he said to me,
"If you join the Christmas club
We'll give you ten of them flags for free."
Well, I didn't mess around a bit
I took him up on what he said.
And I stuck them stickers all over my car
And one on my wife's forehead.

(Repeat chorus)

Well, I got my window shield so filled
With flags I couldn't see.
So, I ran the car upside a curb
And right into a tree.
By the time they got a doctor down
I was already dead.
And I'll never understand why the man
Standing in the Pearly Gates said...

"But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
We're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more."

Amen to this

Waldman and Digby have it exactly right.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Theocrats in disarray (cont.)

Last week, we offered you this. Now, we give you this.

Funny headline

In a subheadline on a story today in the Freeport Journal Standard, we get this news: "Large turnout turns out for event."

In another example of peculiar wording, our local TV news shops are inclined on occasion to report that some motorist was killed "after" the accident rather than "in" it.

My all-time favorite was the local TV anchorwoman who referred to a man having been "shot to death repeatedly on his front porch."

Cubs lose. Too bad. But so what?

In 1984, when the Chicago Cubs blew a two-game lead in a best-of-five playoff series with the San Diego Padres, I allowed my disappointment to become a brief bout of depression.

I was young then -- well, all right, I was 41 -- but I suddenly grew older and wiser. The next day, I told myself that I would never again get so bummed out over a mere sporting event. If my team played an especially crucial game or vied for a championship or something, I would be greatly pleased with victory but not especially crushed by defeat.

After all, what difference does it make? The White Sox won the World Series in '05, and I was tinkled pink. But it didn't exactly affect my life much one way or the other. The great pleasure faded in a few days, and life went on.

This year, the Cubs started out poorly and then turned it around in June and finished their season with a division title. In the playoffs, they were bested by the Arizona Diamondbacks in three straight. End of story...until next year. It had nothing to do with a curse or with a 99-year history of not winning the big championship. It just happened. In baseball, any team can win three in a row from any other team. This time, the D-Backs did it.

But to hear some idiots, like Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti, tell it, the Cubs are guilty of some great moral failure. This is the same overwrought Mariotti who called for the resignation of the president of the University of Notre Dame when the school hired and then quickly fired a football coach who had fudged his resume.

To Mariotti and his ilk, everything in sports includes some dimension of abject disgrace. These people are eternal juveniles. The fools.

Most Americans still love Bill Clinton

Whenever right-wing rants against Bill Clinton and his presidency arise these days on talk radio or in letters to newspapers, I get the sense that the callers and writers have no knowledge whatever of how popular Clinton remains among the American people.

They seem to think that the mere mention of Clinton's name arouses the disdain of the populace.

But consider the results of this latest Washington Post-ABC News poll: Two-thirds of respondents approve of the job Clinton did as president. Even one-third of Republicans give him high marks. George W. Bush's performance in the White House, by comparison, is approved by only 33 percent of Americans in general.

The rightists also seem to have forgotten, if they ever knew, that Clinton was wildly popular even at the time the Republican-controlled U.S. House was voting bills of impeachment against him. In the very week that he was impeached, Clinton's approval rating in the Gallup Poll jumped 10 points to 73 percent, a higher mark than Ronald Reagan ever achieved.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why do Sean Hannity and Fred Thompson hate America and denegrate our brave troops?

Decent folks have been up in arms the past few days over news that Barack Obama doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin.

The nerve of the guy! Oh, sure, he says he prefers to show his patriotism in more substantive ways. Who's he kidding? He's just a terrorist sympathizer, that's what he is. He has no respect for our fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. The man's a damned traitor.

You wouldn't find Sean Hannity or Fred Thompson without flags on their lapels, would you?

Oops! I guess you would.

Uh-oh! There seems to be lots of pictures of the Republican presidential candidates all dressed up in their Sunday best -- but most of them without flags on their lapels.

Wait! It gets worse. Here's President Bush shaking hands with some guy, and the prez is completely flagless! No wonder his approval rating is in the dumper.

Man! This country's in big, big trouble.

The General rules!

This is some funny stuff (and be sure to check the comments by clicking on "Report to the General" at the bottom.)

Whiny white men

Oh, pity the poor white man these days!

What with all your uppity women taking jobs that used to be the exclusive province of guys, and what with all your dusky minorities turning up all over the place, and what with your John Waynes being few and far between anymore -- well, Jeez, a white dude can hardly catch a break.

And now they tell us that the disfavor for the Democratic Party among most white men is just tough toast, because the demographic groups that lean toward the Democrats increasingly outnumber the white guys.


Bob Somerby (left) over at the Daily Howler did a brilliant job the other day exposing the ridiculous lengths to which certain celebrated political pundits (Tim Russert, David Broder, David Gregory, et al) will go to cast doubts on Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy.

The subject is baseball, and the important background factor is that Clinton grew up in the Chicago area but now represents New York in the U.S. Senate. I'm using the text from Somerby's piece in addition to a link (which brings up some extraneous material):

DAMNED FOR THE YANKEES: The first person we saw who took it seriously was the New York Times’ hapless Gail Collins. On Saturday morning, Collins was typing very hard about the way vile Hillary Clinton just won’t take any firm stands. We thought the column was weak through and through. But then, dear God! She typed this:

COLLINS (9/29/07): It's one thing to refuse to answer a hypothetical question about whether there is any circumstance under which you might ever use nuclear weapons against Iran. It's another to refuse to commit on who you'd root for if the Yankees played the Cubs in the World Series. No young person is going to fall in love with politics because of a candidate who says: ''I would probably have to alternate sides.”

Good God—Collins actually seemed to be serious! She actually seemed to be criticizing Clinton for the joking remarks she made when Russert asked her, in last week’s debate, who she’d root for if the Cubs played the Yankees in the World Series. But then, Collins perhaps didn’t understand that Clinton was joking about those “alternate sides”—making a play on the way the commander-in-chief used to switch sides at half-time at the Army-Navy football game. (Prexies no longer attend that game.) Maybe Collins just didn’t know that this whole thing had been a damn joke.

But then, good lord! The very next day, a doddering Dean voiced the same complaint—and he too seemed to be playing it straight! Here’s where The Pundit Dean ended up as he bleated about Clinton’s “evasiveness:

BRODER (9/30/07): "It went on like that through several more topics, until a final question about baseball fandom. Clinton identified herself as a Yankees fan, saying she knew it would not help her with the Red Sox Nation supporters in New Hampshire. But what if it is the Cubs vs. the Yankees, Russert asked. "I guess I would have to alternate," she said, triangulating once again.

"This dodginess got her through the two hours. Whether it can get her through the next three months is a different question..."

There are no words for such phony conduct. It was clear that Clinton was joking throughout this pointless exchange with Russert. But to Broder, when Clinton joked about her two favorite teams, this meant that she was “triangulating again!” It was a mark of her “dodginess,” the tired old Hill-hater said.

And then, it was time for Meet the Press—and the Head Raccoon had summoned some lodge-mates to sit agreeably on his panel. Like Digby (hurrah!), we’ll post a substantial chunk of what happened. It defies the things we think we know—to see that people will gather in a group, on TV, and pretend to be this stupid. The Head Raccoon was shedding real tears as this ludicrous segment began:

RUSSERT (10/1/07): I tried to get these candidates to take positions on Iraq, on Social Security, on the big issues.


RUSSERT: We talked about baseball. And I found this exchange particularly interesting. Let's watch.

(Videotape) RUSSERT: Senator Clinton, what about a World Series, Yankees and Cubs?

CLINTON: Well, you know, I've worried about that because I think, given the Cubs' record, which—of course I, I hope it happens, but it could very well be a sign of the coming apocalypse were that to ever occur. It would be so out of history that you'd have the Cubs vs. the Yankees. Then I'd be really in trouble. But I—

RUSSERT: But who would you be for?

CLINTON: Well, I would probably have to alternate sides. (Laughter)(End videotape)

RUSSERT: Well, the Cubs are in the playoffs, David.


RUSSERT: Cubs, Yankees. You going to seat—sit behind each dugout?

GREGORY: You can't have it all. In the sports world, you can't have it all.


GREGORY: That reeks of calculation, which is a potential downside for her.

BUCHANAN: The term "Nixonian" comes to mind on that response.

Russert even played the tape, so people could see that Clinton was joking. (The term “laughter” after Clinton’s remark appears in the Nexis transcript.) But Gregory, playing it totally straight, said her answer “reeked of calculation”—and Buchanan went with “Nixonian.” As we watched, we still thought the whole group might be joking. But as this lodge of fools continued, it became clear that they actually weren’t. Even Tavis Smiley played along, earning his spot in The Brotherhood:

RUSSERT (continuing directly): How so?

BUCHANAN: In the good sense of the word.

RUSSERT: How so, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Well, I mean, which—"on the one hand, on the other."

TAVIS SMILEY: That sounds like Romney is what it sounded like.

RUSSERT: But, Dan Balz, it's been tough getting these candidates to, to one, one, talk to the press and take real positions. They want to hide out in the Internet, they want to hide out on their blogs, they want to put out prefab commercials and brochures. But when you say to them, "Where are you on Social Security? How are you going to save that program? Where are you on Iraq? Where are you on immigration?" sometimes you get answers like that.

Good Lord! To his semi-credit, Tavis smiled grimly as he spoke—but he played along with the klan, comparing Clinton to flip-flopping Romney. And Russert made it clear at the end—this was meant to be an example of phony pols who just weren’t willing to play it straight. The Head Raccoon was showing his pain. “It's been tough,” he sobbed to Balz, “getting these candidates to...take real positions.” “Sometimes you get answers like that,” he complained—talking about a joking reply to his stupid-ass question about the Cubs versus the Yankees.

Insane? Deranged? Is our language too strong? Too strong when this stable of millionaires makes such a ludicrous joke of our discourse? David Gregory—he of the millions per year—was playing along with the Head Raccoon, and Smiley—a major self-promoter—was willing to get stupid too. But what are liberals and Dems to do, when this cult of multimillionaires starts down this troubling path once again? We have put up with these people for year after year—we’re in Iraq because of their conduct—and they have played this game the whole time, and seem to be gearing up once again. Now, the crying King of the Nantucket nabobs introduced a very familiar notion. As usual, the Dem front-runner was a big fake—even when she told a joke about the Cubs and the Yankees.

Rudy speaks


Compassionate conservatism

By the way, if you're from the Rockford area, you should know that Don Manzullo voted against the State Children's Health Insurance Program and almost certainly will vote to uphold President Bush's veto.

POSTSCRIPT: Paul Krugman says conservatives generally regard the problems of the downtrodden -- sick kids among the poor, for example -- as funny.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Is Larry Craig a political genius?

Josh Marshall says he is.

Iowa sucks!

Why do we allow this small, unrepresentative state to have a disporportionate say in our presidential politics?

My homework

I'm busy studying this photo for body-langauge tips and overall style because, you see, I'm only three months younger than Frederick of Hollywood, and I, too, might someday want to land me a lovely lady who's 24 years my junior.

If and when that happens, I'm also going to run for president on a platform of not knowing much about anything, which I will demonstrate by delivering boring speeches. And I'll expect to be endorsed by Don Manzullo (as Frederick has been).

Yes, siree. Senior citizenship can be a lot of fun, if you play it right. God bless America.

Olbermann on Limbaugh

Keith Olbermann on MSNBC has offered the most concise smackdown of Rush Limbaugh's efforts to weasel out of his slander of antiwar troops as "phony soldiers."

It's important to note that Limbaugh says he used the infamous term only in reference to one guy who was caught lying about serving in the military, and he's supported that contention with a conveniently edited tape of his remarks.

Here's what Keith said the other night:

OLBERMANN: First the background. Comedian Rush Limbaugh has stuck to the standard scripture for fringe extremists—never apologize, attack anyone who criticizes you.
This time, Limbaugh claims that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, who went to the floor yesterday asking Limbaugh's boss to repudiate his comments, took those comments out of context. It is the standard claim, debunked easily enough by listening to it. Something Limbaugh has denied his own listeners the ability to do when he later played an edited clip in his defense.
We will play the unedited clip in a moment. When you hear it, keep in mind, Limbaugh later claimed he was referring to one soldier whom he did not mention until two minutes after the clip you will hear has ended.
And the caller he speaks with, specifically says, prior to this clip, that he called as a, quote, "retort to the previous caller," an antiwar Republican military veteran.
Keep in mind, also, that you will hear Limbaugh agree with a definition of real soldier, which confirms the obvious interpretation of the term “phony soldier.”

(Audio tape)

LIMBAUGH: What is the imperative for pulling out? What's in it for the United States to pull out? They—I don`t think they have an answer for that other than, well, we've got to bring the troops home?

MIKE: Yeah, and, you know what?

LIMBAUGH: Keep the troops safe or whatever. It's not possible intellectually to follow these people.

MIKE: No, it's not. And what's really funny is they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and stuff.

LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers?

MIKE: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they're proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq because they understand their sacrifice. And they're willing to sacrifice for their country.

LIMBAUGH: They joined to be in Iraq.

(End of audio clip)

OLBERMANN: Real soldiers joined to be in Iraq.

Jon Stewart cuts Chris Matthews a new one

This is too, too sweet:

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Just a thought.

UPDATE: They're thinking about it here, too.

El Rushbo redux

Lest we forget, a look back at an interesting story.

McCain not aware of what he'll say

Am I the only one who's noticed this?:

The Associated Press has a story this morning about remarks prepared for delivery later today by John McCain. The subject of those remarks strikes me as less important than the fact, buried down in the AP story, that McCain doesn't know what he'll be saying.

Here's the key passage:

The Associated Press obtained excerpts of McCain's remarks Tuesday from his campaign.

Later Tuesday, McCain said he had not yet seen the remarks. "But I will look at them very carefully," he said.

The Arizona senator was to deliver the speech Wednesday at a South Carolina military academy. Campaign spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said while McCain had not seen the language in the speech about Hillary Clinton, he still plans to deliver the critique.

UPDATE: It turns out that McCain won't deliver that speech today after all.

Political power of religious right fading

The theocrats are in disarray, which gives us cause to shout "Hooray!"

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

GOP party of business?

A piece in the Wall Street Journal, no less, suggests that the Republican Party is losing its lock on the business vote.
Writes Jackie Calmes:
Some business leaders are drifting away from the party because of the war in Iraq, the growing federal debt and a conservative social agenda they don't share. In manufacturing sectors such as the auto industry, some Republicans want direct government help with soaring health-care costs, which Republicans in Washington have been reluctant to provide. And some business people want more government action on global warming, arguing that a bolder plan is not only inevitable, but could spur new industries.

Those damned illegal immigrants are going to be the death of us all

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, one of the greatest leaders of our time, warns that littering by illegal immigrants "is the worst thing you can do to the environment."

The worst thing? Worse than all those greenhouse gases and all that other stuff?

Who knew?

Monday, October 1, 2007


Deep down, I understand that it's unfair to judge a person by his or her looks or clothing. But I'm nonetheless taken aback by this photo of Debra Cagan, deputy assistant secretary for coalition affairs to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

(No, this pic wasn't snapped at a costume party or any other such affair.)

I'm also taken aback at Cagan reportedly having said: "I hate all Iranians."

Bona fide right-winger turns on Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh's feeble attempts to deny that he slandered countless U.S. troops with his rhetoric about "phony soldiers" are seen for the bullshit they are -- even by this genuinely conservative pundit.

Your "liberal" media (cont.)

Bob Somerby does a good job trashing the likes of Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd of The New York Times, David Broder of the Washington Post and Tim Russert of NBC for some of the nonsense they peddle.

Hey, c'mon! Slavery wasn't so bad!

That's what right-wing blatherer Michael Medved (who occasionally fills in for Rush Limbaugh) says here.