Thursday, February 07, 2008

Unintentionally Funny Headline of the Day

From The Boston Globe:

Romney squandered a quality brand

Didn’t they mean “Romney’s a square and quantitatively bland”?

Posted by Kevin K. on 02/07/08 at 08:29 PM

Categories: PoliticsEditorialsElection '08

Monday, February 04, 2008

Obama vs. the Phobocracy

Michael Chabon had an editorial in the Washington Post today. It’s quite good and spot on:

There are many reasons not to support Barack Obama’s candidacy for president, but every one of them is bad for the same reason.

Because I have come out publicly for the senator from Illinois, I am often called upon to listen as people offer up—with wistfulness and regret, or with a pundit’s show of certainty, or with a well-earned but useless skepticism—their bad reasons for not giving Obama their support. For a long time now, I have listened to these people with forbearance and with a sense of duty—not to some principle of open debate or of the inherent merit in the free exchange of even meritless ideas, but rather out of obligation to the candidate whose cause I champion.

Because Obama appears to be a patient, forbearing man with a gift for listening, I figured I owed it to him to play the thing his way. So I have nodded and looked into their eyes and hummed sympathetically as people gave their reasons and made their excuses and generally offered up, as if they were golden ingots of profound wisdom, the handful of two-penny nails with which they plan to board up the windows of their hopes for themselves, their families, their country and the world.

Read it all. (hat tip: hopemonger in comments)

Posted by Kevin K. on 02/04/08 at 03:06 PM

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaEditorialsElection '08

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Sunday Selector: January 20th, 2008

John Prine & Iris DeMent - “In Spite of Ourselves”

Monday, January 14, 2008

Can I ask a stupid question?

With all of the consultants, advisers, strategists, etc. working for the Democrats right now, can’t one of them come up with a way to take this “the surge is working and the Dems don’t want to admit it!” meme away from the Republicans? It’s about all they have right now and they’re fitfully hanging off of it like deranged squirrel monkeys and the media is lapping it up.  I know it’ll piss off some of the more rabid elements of the anti-war movement, but can’t Dems think of a strategically sound way of pointing out that if it wasn’t for their electoral wins in ‘06 chances are pretty good we’d still be burdened with Donald “Dunderhead” Rumsfeld, who pretty much everyone, except for the most rabid dead-enders, has admitted was a colossal failure? There would be no Robert Gates.  There would be no General Petraeus.  There would be no reduction in our military fatalities.  There would be no surge.  And if they want to see continued “success” (or what’s interpreted as success) in Iraq and an eventual withdrawal from this War in Error, they have to elect a Democratic president and vastly increase the number of Dems in Congress.

It seems fairly simple to me.  Or am I missing something?

Posted by Kevin K. on 01/14/08 at 10:00 AM
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Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Sunday Selector: January 6, 2008

Jeffrey Lewis—“Anxiety Attack” (unauthorized fan video)

  • The Hyena and Other Men: If you’re a New Yorker you’ve only got a few days left to immerse yourself in Pieter Hugo’s stunning exhibit at the Yossi Milo Gallery. It’s comprised of large-scale photographs of a band of Nigerian men who roam the country with a menagerie of animals and a six-year-old girl named Mummy. You can view most of the photos at the gallery (and many, many more) here (hint: view images separately—right-click), but the small JPGs are nowhere near as impactful as witnessing them blown up and surrounding you.
  • Scratch a Bloomberg, Get a Democrat: There’s a joke in there somewhere, but unfortunately it’s not funny.
  • Butter 08: Egg City Radio is giving away Butter 08’s way-fun and punk-funky (and out-of-print) selt-titled ‘96 release featuring Miho from Cibo Matto and Russell from the Blues Explosion. From Miho saying, “Thank you, daddy” to the last throbbing yelps of “Butterfucker,” this delivers great gifts to your needy assbone.
  • Why I Believe Bush Must Go: George McGovern writes an editorial in The Washington Post calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.  Yes, that sound you hear off in the distance is the howler monkeys of the right going batshit.

Posted by Kevin K. on 01/06/08 at 11:47 AM
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Friday, December 14, 2007

The Silver Pining

Ron Silver and his new friends
Dear terrorists, please kill several thousand people in an American city (or cities) of your choice so that I won’t continue to look like a fucking dunderhead to all of my ex-friends for hanging out with loathsome douchebags like Bill Sammon and Ann Coulter. Thanks, Ron Silver

Here we go again. Via TS at Instaputz I see that the somewhat-newly-minted wingnut and part-time actor Ron “Reversal of Fortune” Silver is pining for massive terrorist attacks over at Pantload Media:

The critics of our national security policies know we have the means to sort things out in finding the proper balance between civil liberties and security. What they haven’t figured out is how to deal with the real enemy so they avoid talking about it. They don’t like what we’re doing but they offer nothing else. I believe they’re afraid to take on our real adversaries.

In fact we are not afraid enough. Perhaps after losing Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago or Atlanta a great many of our citizens will realize that George Bush was not the person to be afraid of. Although I have every confidence they will find a way to blame him. Classic displacement-redirecting an impulse (in this case fear) onto a substitute target.

Perhaps after losing acting job after acting job Ron Silver will realize that he’s not being shunned in Hollywood because of his political views but because after 9/11 he turned into a full-blown, utterly repugnant dickhead.

Put that in your displacement and redirect it, Silver.

Posted by Kevin K. on 12/14/07 at 12:18 PM
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Feithing

Douglas Feith -- the dumbest fucking guy on the planet
(image via Jesus’ General‘s Doug Feith parody site)

When compiling a list of the most loathsome douchebags involved in the Bush admin (I know, an endless task), b-lister Douglas Feith (along with David “I Keep Evil in My Beard” Addington) is often overlooked.  Monday Feith came crawling out of his dank little hole (currently located at Georgetown, where he teaches a course that’s sole purpose seems to be trying to scrub the massive shit stain off his reputation) to speak at the cretin-packed stink tank American Enterprise Institute. He was introduced by the deeply delusional and discredited Richard Perle while his massive failure of a buddy Paul Wolfowitz sat in the front row to cheer him on. No cameras were allowed at the event, but the Washington Post was there:

A former top Pentagon official blamed the Bush administration’s top official in Iraq for abandoning a plan for a quick transition to Iraqi leadership in the summer of 2003 and instead keeping the U.S. government in control of the country for more than a year.

The decision to carry out “a lengthy occupation was, I believe, the single biggest mistake the United States made in Iraq,” said Douglas J. Feith, who as undersecretary of defense for policy was a key figure in the drive to war.


Feith served as one of the top civilians in the Pentagon from July 2001 until August 2005. Many military officers disliked his precise, intellectual approach to making decisions, which they found tangled and time-consuming. Most famously, retired Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who led the U.S. invasion force in Iraq, stated in his memoir that Feith had achieved the reputation within the military of being “the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet.”

But Feith was consistently supported by then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who in a 2004 interview with the Associated Press called him “without question, one of the most brilliant individuals in government” and “one of the really . . . intellectual leaders in the administration in defense policy.”

Defenders of Feith constantly throw around the “intellectual” tag when referring to him, probably to soften the blow of that Franks quote which will, thankfully, follow Feith to his grave.  Is he an intellectual? Sure, maybe using the simplest definition of the word, he is an intellectual, but he’s also WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING, which should count for something outside of the neocon clubhouse.  And after hearing him interviewed on NPR back in April, let’s just say, I came away thinking Franks was pretty spot-on in his, ahem, frank assessment.

Fortunately, the Post wasn’t the only paper to cover Feith’s speech, The New York Times let the uber-crotchety Maureen Dowd loose on the Feithdom:

Doug Feith, the former Rummy gofer who drove the neocon plan to get us into Iraq, and then dawdled without a plan as Iraq crashed into chaos, was the headliner at a reunion meeting of the wooly-headed hawks Monday night at the American Enterprise Institute.


But he wasn’t self-flagellating. He was simply trying to put an egghead gloss on his Humpty Dumpty mishegoss.

“At the end of the day, here we are, and as of now there’s a reasonable chance that the country is going to remain united,” he said. Not quite the original boast of democracy cascading through the Middle East.

Read it all.

ADDED BONUS: The title of this post came from a very funny TBogg video game title.

Posted by Kevin K. on 12/12/07 at 12:44 PM
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Friday, December 07, 2007

Paul Krugman is a terrorist

The wingnuts were right!

UPDATE: He’s lucky he didn’t get the Uday and Quasi treatment.

Posted by Kevin K. on 12/07/07 at 04:02 PM
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007


You know, it’s not that I have anything against dissidents, it’s just that I can’t stand (and don’t trust) the loathsome douchebags who promote them:

ON A COLD MORNING last winter, I arrived at the home of Richard Perle outside Washington for a scheduled interview. I was about 10 minutes early, so I chose to shiver a bit on the front porch. Perle, the point man for the neoconservatives’ drive for regime change throughout the Middle East, had agreed to spend time me with for a book I was writing about his life and times. Just then, the front door opened and out stepped Perle and a robust young man who was obviously in a hurry.

“Oh, Alan,” Perle said with some surprise. “I’d like you to meet . . . ” But I already knew who his guest was.

“Yes, sir,” I said, extending my hand. “I recognize you from your photographs.”

My, my, I thought. Mr. Perle is at it again.

The exiting guest was Farid Ghadry, an exiled Syrian dissident who, like Perle, believes it’s past time to replace Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Ghadry, who heads a Washington-based group called the Syrian Reform Party, hopes to be the man in charge one day in Damascus. When I met him, he had already been granted audiences with David Wurmser, Vice President Dick Cheney’s top Middle East advisor and Perle protege, and with Cheney’s daughter, Elizabeth, who headed the State Department’s Iran-Syria desk from 2005 until last June. I asked Wurmser about Ghadry. Was he another Ahmad Chalabi, the checkered Iraqi exile whom the United States backed as a Saddam Hussein replacement in Iraq?

“He’s not asking for money, and we’re not advocating money for him,” Wurmser told me. “As for him wanting power, sure, he probably has an agenda. But it doesn’t matter. This is where you go back to the Soviet Union, because it’s the same question that we always work with, from Lech Walesa to Vaclav Havel: ‘Did they have an understanding of the malady and danger posed by the totalitarian regime in their country?’ “

If there’s one reason (I know, it’s hard to pick one) to keep Giuliani from being president, it’s to ensure that neocons, who Digby has succinctly (and repeatedly) pointed out are wrong about everything,  are forever discarded into the dustbin of history.

Posted by Kevin K. on 11/28/07 at 08:42 AM
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Sunday Selector: November 18th, 2007

Leroy Troy singing “The Bible’s True”

Posted by Kevin K. on 11/18/07 at 01:43 PM
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

“But” of the day

From Peter Berkowitz’s editorial in the WSJ:

Hating the president is almost as old as the republic itself. The people, or various factions among them, have indulged in Clinton hatred, Reagan hatred, Nixon hatred, LBJ hatred, FDR hatred, Lincoln hatred, and John Adams hatred, to mention only the more extravagant hatreds that we Americans have conceived for our presidents.

That first paragraph sounds somewhat even-keeled so far, right?  Let’s cue up the second paragraph:

But Bush hatred is different.


And then Berkowitz goes on to unfurl the typical story of how people were mean to him at a dinner when he defended Bush (it seems like I’ve read accounts like this one several times on the internet—never mind how venomous a response to a defense of, say, Hillary would be received at a table full o’ wingnuts) and a tepid overview of how Bush really hasn’t been that bad or divisive of a president.

The kicker comes here, though:

In short, Bush hatred is not a rational response to actual Bush perfidy. Rather, Bush hatred compels its progressive victims—who pride themselves on their sophistication and sensitivity to nuance—to reduce complicated events and multilayered issues to simple matters of good and evil. Like all hatred in politics, Bush hatred blinds to the other sides of the argument, and constrains the hater to see a monster instead of a political opponent.

In short, Berkowitz lays bare what he’s really trying to get at: liberals aren’t allowed to be angry because it’s not what conservatives want them to be.  They’re supposed to be nuanced, serene and dull as dishwater (or John Kerry).  They’re supposed to realize how awful and uncivilized they behaved in the 60’s and make eternal atonement for it. Only conservatives can get be angry and mean and see stuff in black and white because it’s a lot easier for them to win elections when lefties are suppliant and borderline catatonic while nutters are spitting blood and breaking every unwritten rule of civility.  And if you were a real liberal—a good liberal—you’d take Berkowitz’s advice and just throw yourself into a coma already.

MORE: Greenwald, who points out that Berkowitz is Giuliani’s “Senior Statecraft, Human Rights and Freedom Advisor,” and Sullivan

Posted by Kevin K. on 11/14/07 at 01:27 PM
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Friday, November 02, 2007

We are a nation that tortures people

On Wednesday I missed this editorial by a former master instructor and chief of training at the U.S. Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School, but this ‘graph sums up my feelings on waterboarding nicely:

Is there a place for the waterboard? Yes. It must go back to the realm of training our operatives, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines - to prepare for its uncontrolled use by our future enemies. Brutal interrogation, flash murder and extreme humiliation of Americans may now be guaranteed because we have mindlessly, but happily, broken the seal on the Pandora’s box of indignity, cruelty and hatred in the name of protecting America.

Read it all.  (via Beltway Confidential)

MORE: Ugh.  Waterboarding is just another day at the pool.

Posted by Kevin K. on 11/02/07 at 11:42 AM
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Sunday Selector

Renaldo & the Loaf—“Songs For Swinging Larvae”

  • STOP PICKING ON THE WARMONGER: Poor little Norman “Bomb Iran” Podhoretz, Giuliani’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor, had his ex-neighbors light a bag of dog poop on his doorstep. More here.
  • SUBHEMIANS: Our pal Rob from FREEblowjobs has a new, very funny piece up at Neil Pollack’s Offsprung.
  • FARTING WITH LUV: While you’re at Rob’s place, check out this bizarre music “video” he found.  And here’s an off-the-hook “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” mash-up we found that incorporates some of that video, along with footage of the amazing John Daker.
  • MY NAME IS JOHN DAKER: Speaking of John Daker, here’s a Daker remix that entertained us because we’re functionally retarded.
  • GORED: TBogg, who has been on fire lately, perfectly skewers the nutters’ obsession with demonizing Al Gore in two simple paragraphs.
  • DOWD AND OUT: Stephen Colbert does a guest editorial in Maureen Dowd’s spot while she follows John Edwards around looking for cum jokes to tumble out of his pockets.
  • PELOSI’S STUPIDITY: Yes, I’m a lefty but, first and foremost, I’m a realist.  For that reason, I agree with Condi Rice and John Boehner (yes, you read that right) regarding the Congressional resolution that’s pissing off Turkey.  If Turkey invades northern Iraq, the Democrats are going to pay dearly for this, regardless of how much the DOD would be way more responsible for looking the other way when it came to the PKK. What a fucking mess. More here (2nd link via Eschaton).
  • CHALK ONE UP FOR MY SILLY NEIGHBORHOOD: “A 6-year-old Park Slope girl is facing a $300 fine from the city for doing what city kids have been doing for decades: drawing a pretty picture with common sidewalk chalk.”

Posted by Kevin K. on 10/14/07 at 09:21 AM
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

800 billion reasons why the Democrats should stop caving in

Seriously, if the NY Times can nutshell it so easily, why can’t the Democrats? It’s the taxpayers’ money, stupid:

If, as he says, President Bush is going to start withdrawing troops from Iraq, why on earth does he need vastly more money from Congress to wage war? The staggering, ever escalating numbers tell the real story: As long as it’s up to Mr. Bush, the American presence in Iraq will be endless and ever more costly, diverting resources from other national priorities that are being ignored or shortchanged.

The administration showed its cards on Wednesday when it asked Congress for an additional $42.3 billion in “emergency” funding for Iraq and Afghanistan. This comes on top of the original 2008 spending request, which was made before Mr. Bush announced his so-called “new strategy” of partial withdrawal. It would bring the 2008 war bill to nearly $190 billion, the largest single-year total for the wars and an increase of 15 percent from 2007.

And here are a few more facts to put the voracious war machine in context: By year’s end, the cost for both conflicts since Sept. 11, 2001, is projected to reach more than $800 billion. Iraq alone has cost the United States more in inflation-adjusted dollars than the Gulf War and the Korean War and will probably surpass the Vietnam War by the end of next year, according to the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

For officials and politicians used to dealing with eye-popping numbers, the additional $42.3 billion may just register as a few more zeros on the bottom line of a staggeringly big bill. But it’s more than enough to cover the five-year $35 billion proposal for children’s health-care coverage that Mr. Bush has threatened to veto.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Kevin K. on 09/27/07 at 10:50 PM

Categories: PoliticsEditorialsWar In Error

I love the smell of bedwetting in the morning


I missed this earlier, but apparently Rick Perlstein picked up on the “bedwetter” meme I started when I was blogging at Catch.com (read Jane Hamsher’s comment (#9) on my guest FDL post) and sprinted with it:

How cowardly our conservative Republic of Fear has made us. How we tremble at the mere touch of a challenge. It’s conservatives who started it, of course. Here’s what they’re reading in their own media: a letter from Human Events editor Tom Winter headlined “Are You Ready for a New Dark Ages?”:

Dear Fellow Conservative:

Someday soon, you might wake up to the call to prayer from a Muslim muezzin. Millions of Europeans already do.

And liberals will still tell you that “diversity is our strength”—while Talibanic enforcers cruise our cities burning books and barber shops… the Supreme Court decides sharia law doesn’t violate the “separation of church and state” ... and the Hollywood Left gives up gay rights in favor of the much safer charms of polygamy.

If you think this can’t happen, you haven’t been paying attention, as the hilarious and brilliant Mark Steyn—the most popular conservative columnist in the English-speaking world—shows to devastating effect in his New York Times bestseller, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It….

This stuff is mind-numbingly hysterical—literally. Such rhetoric is literally calculated to numb the mind, to render any rational calculus impossible, to reduce democratic deliberation on the most subtle and difficult issues of our time to mere grunts and snorts, turning readers’ minds to mush. That’s what the conservative media is all about.

The worst thing about [this], however, is how many people who should know better have surrendered it. They’ve lowered us all to their own pants-piddling level. And somewhere, Nikita Khrushchev is smiling. For well and truly, he is right. We have been buried—by our own demobilizing.

That “letter” from Tom Winter clearly articulates why I came up with the “bedwetter” tag for these truly bad Americans.  They’re a complete embarrassment to this country and useful power tools for the terrorists. They see their job as allegedly patriotic countrymen to constantly point out how our proud nation will fold up like a well-oiled card table the minute a few swarthy brown men with unmanageable beards show up on our shores and say “boo.”  These obsessed, wide-eyed fear junkies howl about how all of our women will be forced to wear burkas if we don’t “WAKE UP!!!”  They sputter about how we’ll all be living under sharia law (that’s right, America—a country they obviously have little faith in—will be living under sharia law) if we don’t come to the terrified realization that “THEY WANT TO KILL US ALL!!!”  They’re a sad, victimized lot and if you don’t join them in spraying streams of panic all over the place, well, they’ll have no sympathy for you “WHEN ISLAMOFACISTS SLOWLY SAW YOUR HEAD OFF!!!” It would be 100% comical if it wasn’t so absolutely deranged, pathetic ... and dangerous.

But don’t count on them to wise up and conquer their self-imposed demons, they’ll just call themselves “grown-ups” while standing in a puddle of hyped-up pusillanimity. Someone get a mop. A big one. And don’t even think about putting it away for the next decade or so.

read the whole post »

Posted by Kevin K. on 09/27/07 at 08:11 AM
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