Saturday, October 15, 2005

Bush's approval rating among African-Americans, Part 2

I'm sorry, I inadvertently left off the only other black Bush supporter. I wish that team member ZinfandelFan could supply the appropriate voiceover (apologies to the readers unacquainted with this inside joke!) as we proudly introduce:

Bush's approval rating among African-Americans

It appears that President Bush has hit an all-time low in terms of his approval rating with African-Americans, as his poll numbers dip below two percent. In fact, we have pictures below of the only remaining black Bush supporters:

Oh clap, please, clap, clap, clap!

There is a "quote" allegedly from a U.S. soldier at Chimpy's staged dog and camel show in Iraq that is circulating on the wacko winger sites, like Michelle Malkin's:

According to the soldier, "it makes my stomach ache to think that we are helping to preserve free speech in the U.S., while the media uses that freedom to try to RIP DOWN the President!"

Oh no! The press is saying bad things about TinkerBush! We must do something!
Poor TinkerBush! I know! Clap your hands! Clap your hands and say, 'I believe in fairies! I believe in TinkerBush! Oh please clap ever so hard, and whatever you do, for TinkerBush's sake, please please please DON'T THINK! Just clap! His poll ratings are down so low, please clap clap clap for TinkerBush!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Who do you save if you're a wingnut?

Radio Talk Show host Neil Boortz: OK, I've got an insensitive thought, folks. There's a news story out there -- there's a news story out there that rich people got some sort of an email notification of the terrorist threat against the New York subway before poor people did. OK? They're making a big deal out of it. Let me see if I can find it on the Drudge Report here. Let's see. There's a guy strangling a goose. That's a pretty good -- that's a pretty impressive picture. It's something about bird flu. So he's got this goose and he's just wringing its neck. You can -- oh, who tipped off the big shots? OK, now here's the story.

And it says, "The Homeland Security Department launched internal probes yesterday into whether its officials tipped off friends and relatives to a possible subway terror plot days before average New Yorkers were alerted." So the real gripe here is that it seems that some wealthy people got notified of the terror plot before the great unwashed, before the others. Now, the Daily News in New York has a headline: "Rich got terror tip." Rich got terror tip. OK, let's get logical about this, folks. Let's play logic with this. This is as it should be. OK? If we are faced with disaster in this country -- let me ask you this, OK? You just be logical. Get all of the emotion out of this. Get all of the emotion out of this.

But if we are faced with a disaster in this country, which group do we want to save? The rich or the poor? Now, if you have time, save as many people as you can. But if you have to set some priorities, where do you go? The rich or the poor? OK? Who is a drag on society? The rich or the poor? Who provide the jobs out there? The rich or the poor? Who fuels -- you know, which group fuels our economy? Drives industry? The rich or the poor? Now if you -- all of a sudden, somebody walks up to you and says, "Hey, Boortz listener. You're gonna have a -- you have to make a choice. You're going to -- we're gonna move you to another country. And you're just gonna have to make your way in this other country.

We have a choice of two countries for you. In this country, people achieve a lot and they are wealthy because of their hard work. In this country, people don't achieve squat. They sit around all the time waiting for somebody else to take care of them. They have children they can't afford. They're uneducated. They can barely read. And the high point of their day is Entertainment Tonight on TV. Which country do you want to live in? The country of the high achievers, or the country of sheep, the country of followers?" You know what you're gonna do. I don't see what the big problem is. I just don't. I mean, if you -- who do I want to save first? The rich. Save the poor first. Then, when everything's over, where are you gonna go for a job? OK, hey, if I get a tin cup, can I sit next to you and sell pencils too?


I'm serious about that, folks. You see, that's the kind of thing that's going to end up in news stories: "Neal Boortz said that in times of disaster we should save the rich people first." Well, hell, yes, we should save the rich people first. You know, they're the ones that are responsible for this prosperity. I mean, you go out there and you look at this vast sea of evacuees, OK? You want to get an economy going in some city? Well, who you gonna take back? The people who own businesses? Or the people that sit around waiting to get their minimum wage job, work 'til Friday, get a paycheck and then not show up again until the following Wednesday? Come on. Just put a little logical thought into this, folks.

Vatican: Get More Exorcise!

The Holy See apparently thinks we need more exorcists, as a Vatican-endorsed university is offering
a course on "Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation" to train future expellers of demons. The Pontifical Academy Regina Apostolorum ("Go Pontifical Academy Regina Apostolorum, Go, Go, Go!" or "Cheer, Cheer for Old Pontifical Academy Regina Apostolorum!") offers the course "to express a clear vision of the phenomenon," said Italian Bishop Andrea Gemma, a leading exorcist who delivered the opening lecture." It was also reported that Pope Benedict XVI "welcomed a large group of Italian exorcists who visited the Vatican" in September.

This raises a couple of questions. First of all, Bishop Gemma is a LEADING exorcist? Is there a poll out there? Does Time Magazine do an "Exorcist of the Year?" Are there aspiring exorcists playing in the low minors of exorcism who are waiting to be called up to expel big demons? Then we see the Pope welcoming a "large group" of exorcists to the Vatican. Is there a lot of this going around? How many people are out there casting out demons? Perhaps your Uncle Jake, who really isn't your uncle, but let's not get into that now, who always gets liquored up at Thanksgiving and hits on your hot divorced cousin, isn't just an ass, he might be possessed?

[editorial note to anyone who believes Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of WMD: While the news story cited above is true, the content below is satirical in nature.]

Sources close to the Vatican also announced that they will be offering refresher courses in burning at the stake. "Let's face it," said an academy source, "we live in a Duraflame log and gas fireplace world now, we've forgotten how to build a proper pyre to send the damned souls of heretics to God for judgment on the tongues of flame." A class designed to curb child abuse, "Youth Ministry: Piety with Pants," was cancelled due to low enrollment, however.



People Power

by Lawrence F. Kaplan

Only at TNR Online Post date 10.07.05

Yesterday, in his long overdue bid to rally public support for the U.S. enterprise in Iraq, President Bush sounded less like a president determined to win a war than a president determined not to lose one. Long gone were the war's cascading rationales. In their place was a defense of the war which amounted to this: If we leave, things will be worse. Or, as the president put it, "Would the United States and other free nations be more safe or less safe with Zarqawi and bin Laden in control of Iraq, its people, and its resources?" About the war in Iraq, there is no more essential and urgent truth than the one Bush's question raised. But when it comes to the American public, this particular truth won't have much traction.

To begin with, the alternative-would-be-worse line of reasoning has been employed by so many presidents, and so disingenuously, that it's not even clear the public would respond to the argument were it offered sincerely. "In Iraq," Bush said, "there is no peace without victory." This counts as a far cry from Richard Nixon's Vietnam mantra, "peace with honor." But Nixon, too, pledged never to abandon an ally, promising that he wouldn't be the first American president to lose a war. He was. A decade later, in the aftermath of the October 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, President Reagan vowed not to withdraw U.S. troops from Lebanon. "Are we to tell them their sacrifice was wasted?" he asked in a publicly televised address. He promptly withdrew the remaining U.S. forces. Exactly a decade after that, in the aftermath of the October 1993 fiasco in Somalia, President Clinton repeated the exercise: "We face a choice: Do we leave when the job gets tough or when the job is well done? Do we invite the return of mass suffering or do we leave in a way that gives the Somalis a decent chance to survive?" Clinton opted for the former, ordering U.S. forces to hunker down in their bunkers, and then withdrew them altogether.

Bush, unlike Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton before him, seems genuinely committed to the cause of battlefield success. But he faces a vastly more skeptical public than either of his predecessors did. Nixon, for one, didn't have to contend with opinion polls showing majority support for withdrawal from Vietnam until 1970-1971, by which time he had enshrined withdrawal in official policy. As for Reagan's experience, in the aftermath of the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, public support for the U.S. intervention increased. Similarly, when 18 Rangers were killed in Mogadishu, NBC, ABC, and CNN polls found that 61, 56, and 55 percent, respectively, favored sending more troops to Somalia. These levels of support evaporated only as it became clear the presidents themselves no longer backed the missions. Today, the situation has reversed itself: The president supports the mission, but no one else does.
Hence, in the space of two and a half years, Americans have arrived at a point it took them six years to reach during the war in Vietnam: Opinion polls today show clear majorities favoring one form of withdrawal or another. Various measures of wartime opinion can be, and have been, turned around--during the Korean War, for example, poll respondents swung wildly between saying the war was a good idea and saying it wasn't. But never before has a war survived a public verdict in favor of canceling it altogether. If history offers any guide, nothing the president can say or do will reverse this sentiment.

Which isn't to say he shouldn't bother trying. Historically, one of the preconditions for sustaining public support during wartime has been a president's ability to make the case for pressing on--a finding culled from a mountain of opinion data by, among others, Peter Feaver, a Duke University scholar who now works in the White House. But the same data shows that two other conditions must be fulfilled as well: The public needs to believe the stakes justify continued casualties and it must believe the United States will emerge triumphant. As to the former, surveys dating back nearly two years have reported that the public sees no compelling interest to justify further casualties in Iraq. In theory at least, this measure can be reversed, especially if Bush succeeds in making the case that the stakes have increased along with the specter of "Zarqawi and bin Laden in control of Iraq." What Bush can't reverse is the perception that we're losing the war.

Nor, absent some clear evidence or at least barometers of success, do events in Iraq seem likely to change people's minds. Suicide bombings, U.S. casualties, political mayhem--no amount of speechifying can wish away the nightly news. If the administration really intends to persuade Americans that the war can be won, it would have to make some progress toward actually winning the war. That would mean bolstering rather than cutting troop levels in Iraq, and substantially expanding the army's ranks. It would mean overhauling tactics on the ground, moving away from big-unit sweeps and toward a viable counter-insurgency strategy. It would mean not rushing headlong into a constitutional crisis or otherwise devising fig-leaves for a U.S. withdrawal. It would mean mobilizing national power on a scale not even contemplated by the administration. Yes, the president delivered a fine and necessary speech yesterday. But no war was ever won by spin alone.

Lawrence F. Kaplan is a senior editor at TNR.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I am shocked and stunned.....

Actually, I am shocked and stunned that the mainstream media reported it. Ladies and gentlemen, the emperor has been buck naked for a LOOOONG time!

It was worse on ABC News, whodathunkit, when they showed the rehearsal and the extra prep for when Chimpy would screw up.

Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged

President Bush Teleconference With U.S. Troops Was Choreographed to Match His Goals for Iraq War


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.

"This is an important time," Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said, coaching the soldiers before Bush arrived. "The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you."

Barber said the president was interested in three topics: the overall security situation in Iraq, security preparations for the weekend vote and efforts to train Iraqi troops.

As she spoke in Washington, a live shot of 10 soldiers from the Army's 42nd Infantry Division and one Iraqi soldier was beamed into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from Tikrit the birthplace of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me," Barber said.

A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.

"If the question comes up about partnering how often do we train with the Iraqi military who does he go to?" Barber asked.

"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.

"And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit the hometown and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?" she asked.

Before he took questions, Bush thanked the soldiers for serving and reassured them that the U.S. would not pull out of Iraq until the mission was complete.

"So long as I'm the president, we're never going to back down, we're never going to give in, we'll never accept anything less than total victory," Bush said.

The president told them twice that the American people were behind them.

"You've got tremendous support here at home," Bush said.

Less than 40 percent in an AP-Ipsos poll taken in October said they approved of the way Bush was handling Iraq. Just over half of the public now say the Iraq war was a mistake.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Thursday's event was coordinated with the Defense Department but that the troops were expressing their own thoughts. With satellite feeds, coordination often is needed to overcome technological challenges, such as delays, he said.

"I think all they were doing was talking to the troops and letting them know what to expect," he said, adding that the president wanted to talk with troops on the ground who have firsthand knowledge about the situation.

The soldiers all gave Bush an upbeat view of the situation.

The president also got praise from the Iraqi soldier who was part of the chat.

"Thank you very much for everything," he gushed. "I like you."

On preparations for the vote, 1st Lt. Gregg Murphy of Tennessee said: "Sir, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make this thing a success. ... Back in January, when we were preparing for that election, we had to lead the way. We set up the coordination, we made the plan. We're really happy to see, during the preparation for this one, sir, they're doing everything."

On the training of Iraqi security forces, Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo from Scotia, N.Y., said to Bush: "I can tell you over the past 10 months, we've seen a tremendous increase in the capabilities and the confidences of our Iraqi security force partners. ... Over the next month, we anticipate seeing at least one-third of those Iraqi forces conducting independent operations."

Lombardo told the president that she was in New York City on Nov. 11, 2001, when Bush attended an event recognizing soldiers for their recovery and rescue efforts at Ground Zero. She said the troops began the fight against terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and were proud to continue it in Iraq.

"I thought you looked familiar," Bush said, and then joked: "I probably look familiar to you, too."

Paul Rieckhoff, director of the New York-based Operation Truth, an advocacy group for U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, denounced the event as a "carefully scripted publicity stunt." Five of the 10 U.S. troops involved were officers, he said.

"If he wants the real opinions of the troops, he can't do it in a nationally televised teleconference," Rieckhoff said. "He needs to be talking to the boots on the ground and that's not a bunch of captains."

Dr. Dobson? Mr. Rove is calling on Line 1

So WHY is Karl Rove, apostate of Hell, calling James Dobson, pseudo-Christian freak show, about Ozzie's Harriet? WHY is this pervert vetting a Supreme Court nominee?

For those of you who aren't familiar with this Dobson psychopath, he is the anti-Spongebob activist who gave us this useful nugget for childrearing:

"You see, the parent should have some means of making the child want to cooperate, other than simply obeying because he was told to do so. For those who can think of no such device, I will suggest one: there is a muscle, lying snugly against the base of the neck. Anatomy books list it as the trapezius muscle, and when firmly squeezed, it sends little messengers to the brain saying, "This hurts; avoid recurrence at all costs."

Nothing says I love you like a little child abuse!

Now in all fairness, Dr. Dobson has admitted that a man can be an actor and a cook without being a homosexual. I am thankful for that.

This nutball also tells us parents that we can keep our sons from becoming gay by showering with them, where dad can "mirror and affirm his son's maleness." Right.

As Jack Nicholson's Melvin Udall said in "As Good as It Gets, "Sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here!"

The Aptly-Named "Dick" Cohen

Bloggers who are good at this have been all over this one today (to twist Oscar Wilde a bit, and he reportedly liked that, "work is the curse of the blogging class"), but you really should look at an op-ed piece by Richard Cohen in the Washington Post. Dick gives us this gem:

"The best thing Patrick Fitzgerald could do for his country is get out of Washington, return to Chicago and prosecute some real criminals. As it is, all he has done so far is send Judith Miller of the New York Times to jail and repeatedly haul this or that administration high official before a grand jury, investigating a crime that probably wasn't one in the first place but that now, as is often the case, might have metastasized into some sort of coverup -- but, again, of nothing much. Go home, Pat." He concludes that the Valerie Plame affair was no more "than what Washington does day in and day out."

I think we see some of the reason that Dick is unhappy, when he cries that "I have no idea what Fitzgerald will do...My own diligent efforts to find out anything have come to naught. Fitzgerald's non-speaking spokesman would not even tell me if his boss is authorized to issue a report."

Mommy! Pat won't play with me, make him stop! Dick is angry about being rendered irrelevant on this one.

But beyond pampered, privileged petulance, this one shows ever so clearly that Dick just doesn't get it: "This -- this creepy silence -- will be the consequence of dusting off rarely used statutes to still the tongues of leakers and intimidate the press in its pursuit of truth, fame and choice restaurant tables.
Apres Miller comes moi ."

No, Dick. No. This has nothing to do with the free flow of information, a vigilant and independent press or the public's right to know. This case is first and foremost about a CRIME, a very real and cognizable crime. Beyond that, though, it is about whether government officials are above the law. We have before us the very real possibility that senior members of this administration actively conspired to keep the truth about perhaps the most momentous decision a nation can make, the decision to go to war. They were not trying to intimidate YOU, Dickie, they were trying to intimidate US with the "cross us and we will crush you" message.

I like the notion, though, of "the press in its pursuit of truth." You should try that some time.

What, Me Worry?

The Potemkin Constitution

Potemkin village: (noun) "An impressive facade or display that hides an undesirable fact or state; a false front."

The phrase above comes from 18th-century Russia, where Grigory Potemkin, a Russian prince and statesmen under Catherine the Great supposedly (and probably mythically) had elaborate and handsome villages built for the Empress to see on her tours of the provinces, creating a facade of peace and prosperity that hid the real squalor and desperation.

This Saturday, Iraqis will vote on a Potemkin constitution. Like the "elections" in January, when no one knew who or what they were voting for, a major Sunni group has agreed to withhold opposition because they have been promised negotioations later that could lead to major changes. In other words, they are voting for a non-constitution.

This becomes even more bizarre, as the country descends further into a chaotic maelstrom so violent and pervasive that the "government" that might be "constituted" on Saturday would have no hope of controlling it. The "Potemkin village" of constitutionalism and "democracy" is a cheaply constructed facade barely obscuring a violent nightmare of death and destruction.

Some thoughts from Britain's The Independent:

Iraq Has Descended into Anarchy, Says Fisk

By Nigel Morris Home Affairs Correspondent

Most of Iraq is in a state of anarchy, with insurgents controlling parts of Baghdad just half a mile from the so-called Green Zone, an Independent debate was told last night. Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, whose new book The Great War for Civilisation: the Conquest of the Middle East has just been published by 4th Estate, painted a picture of deepening chaos and misery in Iraq more than two years after Saddam Hussein was toppled.

He said that the "constant, intensive involvement" in the Middle East by the West was a recurring pattern over centuries and was the reason why "so many Muslims in the Middle East hate us". He added "We can close doors on history. They can't."

Fisk doubted the sincerity of Western leaders' commitment to bringing democracy to Iraq and said a lasting settlement in the country was impossible while foreign troops remained. "In the Middle East, they would like some of our democracy, they would like a couple of boxes off the supermarket shelves of human rights as well. But I think they would also like freedom from us."

Recalling the sight of an immense US convoy rolling into the country's capital, he said: "A superpower has a visceral need to project military power. We can go to Baghdad, so we will go to Baghdad."

He told the debate in London: "The Americans must leave Iraq and they will leave Iraq, but they can't leave Iraq and that is the equation that turns sand to blood. At some point, they will have to talk to the insurgents.

"But I don't know how, because those people who might be negotiators ­ the United Nations, the Red Cross ­ their headquarters have been blown up. The reality now in Iraq is the project is finished. Most of Iraq, except Kurdistan, is in a state of anarchy."

He said that the portrayal of Iraq by Western leaders ­ of efforts to introduce democracy, including Saturday's national vote on the country's proposed constitution ­ was "unreal" to most of its citizens. In Baghdad, children and women were kept at home to prevent them from being kidnapped for money or sold into slavery. They faced a desperate struggle to find the money to keep generators running to provide themselves with electricity. "They aren't sitting in their front rooms discussing the referendum on the constitution."

With insurgents half a mile from Baghdad's Green Zone, Fisk said the danger to reporters from a brutal insurgency that did not respect journalists was increasing. "Every time I go to Baghdad it's worse, every time I ask myself how we can keep going. Because the real question is, is the story worth the risk?"

He attacked television reporters for flinching from depicting the everyday bloodshed on the streets of Iraq. "You can go and see Saving Private Ryan or Kingdom of Heaven ­ people have their heads cut off. When it comes to real heads being cut off, you can't. I think television connives with governments at war." He added: "Newspapers can tell you as closely as they can what these horrors are like."

Asked if the "anger and passion" he felt over the events he witnessed had affected his objectivity, he said: "When you are at the scene of a massacre, you are entitled to feel immense anger and I do."

He rejected suggestions that graphic pictures of the dead in newspapers took away their dignity. He said: "My view is the people who are dead would want us to record what happened to them."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

GOP dealmaking

He gives us another Scalia, We keep pretending that smirking alcoholic C-student chimpanzee cheerleader is Winston Freakin' Churchill. That was the deal.

Decisions, decisions

Iraqis Must Choose Between Anarchy and Chaos

(From Baghdad wire services) As Saturday's constitutional referendum approaches, Iraqi voters are faced with a clear choice. They can accept the new constitution over Sunni objections and lead the country into chaos and violence, or they can reject the constitution and leave the country in anarchy and violence. A source close to the Iraqi government stated that "It is time to make a choice, and that choice must be chaos. We tried anarchy, and that didn't work out so well. It is time to give chaos a chance."

Also on Saturday's ballot, the electorate will vote to approve the vulture as the new national bird and a new national anthem, Lee Greenwood's stirring "Allah Help Iraq, Death to the USA:"

If tomorrow all the things were gone (hey wait, they already are!)
I'd worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my two surviving children out of twelve and three of my five wives,

I'd curse the stars in heaven
to be living here today,
I once had dreams of freedom
and they took all those away.

It sucks to be in Iraq today
where destruction's all I see
And I won't forget the men who died (dozens of them today)
Thank Allah it wasn't me,

And I gladly stand up next to you
and leave this dump today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I hate this place

Allah help Iraq--AND DEATH TO THE USA!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bill Maher's New Rules

New Rule: You can only kill the number-two man in Al Qaeda once. According to the White House, we've killed the number-two man in Al Qaeda about nine times now. He's not a terrorist. It turns out he's a zombie. We're fighting them over in Transylvania so we don't have to fight them here.

New Rule: George Bush must meet some new people. You know, when Americans see their president giving every job to the same old cronies, they use words like “loyal to a fault” and “stubborn” and “close-minded,” “lives in a bubble,” “sock-puppet,” “asshole.” “Worst president ever.” But they're missing the point. The problem isn't his political philosophy – “kill people and animals and take their gas”– the problem is he has to expand his circle of friends beyond his mom, Karen Hughes and the House of Saud. Which is why before George Bush makes another political appointment, he has to join Friendster.

This week, President Bush had to nominate a Supreme Court judge, and he picked the most qualified person within 30 feet of his office. Her qualifications: well, she is a lawyer and former commissioner of the Texas State Lottery. And she's seen every episode of “Judging Amy.” Abortion, affirmative action, separation of church and state. Yeah, let's ask the lady who peddled scratch tickets to liquor stores.

Does he just go with the first person he sees? I wouldn't be surprised if Laura was his sister. Now, of course – I keep checking with him – of course, George Bush isn't the first politician to hand out graft gigs to his pals, but he doesn't seem to understand that that's what the bullshit jobs are for: ambassador to the Bahamas. The Recycling Czar. Head of the CIA. But George Bush puts stooges where they can do real damage: Director of FEMA? That guy from the horsie show is available. U.N. Ambassador? Dick Cheney knows a guy with a mustache and anger issues.

Supreme Court justice? Lady down the hall. Labor Secretary? The guy who helped me move that hooker's body at Yale could probably do it. You know – you know, Mr. President, when you got elected, we all figured you were no genius, but smart enough to hire qualified people. But it turns out you're just a dimwit who enjoys feeling superior. And the only way to accomplish that is to surround yourself with the likes of Mike Brown and Harriet Miers: Goober and Aunt Bea. Unspectacular souls who make you feel comfortable and unthreatened. Kind of like when Madonna used to hang out with Rosie O'Donnell.

Well, I hate to burst your bubble. But real friends are the ones who tell you the truth. They're also the ones who work hard so as not to embarrass you. These people who work for you aren't behaving like friends. They're behaving far worse. They're behaving…like...your family. Yes, it's almost enough to make you miss the old pre-“honor and integrity” days. Because at least when Clinton talked about tapping the woman down the hall, he was just having sex with her.

The 2nd Amendment and the Art of Understatement

Humor does not often grace the pages of the United States Reports (the official text of the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court). So when it happens, it is generally safe to presume that the humor was unintended.

Today we consider the opinion of Mr. Justice McReynolds in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). Mr. Miller was indicted in Arkansas after he knowingly, wilfully, and feloniously transported in interstate commerce an unregistered sawed-off double barrel 12-gague shotgun.

He defense in court was that the indictment violated his 2nd Amendment* rights, but the Supreme Court ruled against him.
[ * The 2nd Amendment states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."]

The Court's opinion includes this memorable understatement:

"In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense."

Devilish News

White House Email Proves Karl Rove is Satan

(AP) Sources close to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's office have confirmed that emails recently released by the White House conclusively show that presidential advisor Karl Rove (pictured left) is indeed Satan, prince of darkness. In a series of communications between Rove and Judith Miller of the New York Times, the reporter confirmed that she was serving "Beelzebub, my dark lord" and the "soulless destroyer of virtue."

When asked for comment, a member of Fitzgerald's staff stated that "we always had our suspicions, but we needed Judy to give us the proof. Initially, Rove's Secret Service code name, `Lucifer,' tipped us off, and there was always that peculiar smell of burning sulphur around him, but we just didn't have the hard evidence until now."

While it is expected that Rove will be indicted on several charges stemming from the Valerie Plame affair, Fitzgerald's office indicated that no further charges will result from the fact that Rove is the demonic enemy of goodness. "We've looked at this really closely, and there simply are no applicable federal laws or regulations that prohibit an apostate of hell or any incarnation of evil from serving as a senior member of the president's staff," said the source. "In addition, throughout this investigation, Mr. Rove has never denied that he was Satan."

The White House also confirmed that in response to a subpoena, it had produced the bill of sale for the president's soul. Investigators recovered similar receipts for soul sale transactions from Rove's office, including those signed by "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc, "singer" Ashlee Simpson and drugged-out radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Dirty Bird

"Dirty Bird" Suspect Sought

The Department of Homeland Security announced that it has learned of a so-called "dirty bird" plot. Similar to the alleged "dirty bomb" plot involving imprisoned "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla, the "dirty bird" plot involves an individual suspected of distributing large numbers of chickens throughout the United States. The department advised that, as in the case of the "dirty bomb," there is no evidence of any actual wrongdoing or any real threat involving a "dirty bird." Homeland Security admitted, however, that with all the bird flu talk that people really don't understand and the need to distract attention away from the crummy week the White House was having, that it seemed as good a time as any to increase the terror alert level from its current "ochre" to a new level of "sea foam."

Below is a police sketch of the suspect:


Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because *some liberal* union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor. Joe begins his work day.

He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home or go hungry because of his temporary misfortune.

It's noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.

Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

Hey, Rico!

Rico Carty

Rico Petrocelli

RICO President

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act president, that is! It is amazing how the man who promised the return of "honor and dignity" has turned the White House into a looting free-for-all.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Reducing the crime rate

"If you wanted to reduce crime ... if that were your sole purpose, you could click on every ad to the right, and your crime rate would go would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but the crime rate would go down."

Bush Acts Quickly on Pakistan Earthquake

Bush to Send Mom, Dobson to Pakistan

(AP) The Associated Press has learned that President George W. Bush has sent the Rev. James Dobson and the president's mother to Pakistan to deal with the massive earthquake. According to Rev. Dobson, "I will try and find any Christian survivors and minister to them, and celebrate all those others that the Almighty has sent to His eternal fires." When asked to comment on the thousands of dead, Mrs. Barbara Bush stated that the dead were "underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

The Happy Dance, or not so fast

It is quite appropriate to relish a few moments of glee, as the GOP legislative leaders are indicted and investigated and conservative pundits engage in self-immolation, and yes, we may even engage in flights of fancy:
The temptation to turn the happy dance into a full-fledged "They Shoot Horses, Don't They"-style marathon may become irresistable when the indictments come down soon from Pat Fitzgerald's office. And believe me, they are coming. For those of you unacquainted with him, Mr, Fitzgerald is fearless and relentless. Unlike so many other high-profile U.S. attorneys (insert "Giuliani" here), he is a prosecutor rather than a poltician. Here in Illinois, where there has been a familial relationship of graft and corruption between Chicago and Springfield (effectively one-party rule, the Corrupt-ocrat or Republi-scam party) for years, Fitzgerald has convicted several major players, has a former governor on trial and has gotten closer to Mayor Daley's office than anyone ever thought possible. Bush's gang who couldn't shoot straight wouldn't phase anyone who has stared down the Daley machine!

Even the long-term incarceration of Karl Rove and the naming of Darth Cheney and Mini-Me as unindicted co-conspirators won't do the trick, however. Remember, we start with a basic problem:

The problem is that those 59 million people who chose to vote for four more years of this disaster are still out there. I am reminded of a common phenomenon in 19th-century Russian history. Russian peasants lived in serfdom and grinding poverty, and were regularly abused by corrupt local bureaucrats. Despite their misery, however, the peasants loved their "little Father," the Tsar. They plaintively claimed their heartfelt belief that the Tsar would help them "if he only knew" of their lot, but alas the truth was kept from him by his corrupt ministers.

So, even if we haul the "corrupt ministers" off to jail, and even factoring in the president's tumbling poll numbers, we still have millions of people perversely loyal to their "little Father."
We also have to recognize that the Republicans are in so many ways, from packaging their candidates to focusing the message to this little problem, better at this than we are:

So yes, enjoy the guilty pleasure of watching the GOP implode, but please don't assume that voters will link the grotesque incompetence and shameless corruption they have displayed to their personal voting decisions. The Democrats face a huge challenge in the next two elections. They must clearly define what they stand for (Rep, Rahm Emanuel of Illinois made a good start last week on Meet the Press), and they must articulate a strong, decisive and positive view of America.

That being said, however, they have to be willing to fight back. No more of John Kerry windsurfing past the Swift Boat vets. As Sean Connery's Jimmy Malone said in The Untouchables, "y
ou wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get [substitute "the Republicans" for "Capone"]! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?"

Another key is to avoid the fear of the foolish consistency. Members of Congress and presidential contenders cannot be hamstrung by the fact that they may have voted early on for this miserable war. learn from your mistakes and move on! Implicit in that is also the importance of forcefully defending dissent as a patriotic American virtue.

The last obstacle I don't know how to address right now. This one will take some work: