Archive for October 17th, 2007

World’s worst alibi.

Oct 17, 2007 in Politics

For once, I’d like somebody who got fired by Bush for opening up his mouth just tell the press, “That asshole fired me for telling the truth. Thinks he’s king, he does!”

Three days after Americans saw the Bush administration’s counterterrorism chief say the Iraq war has likely not made the United States safer from terrorism, the official announced his resignation, citing health reasons.

In an e-mail sent to his staff Wednesday afternoon, Adm. Scott Redd, head of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), said he was stepping down to “take care of some long-delayed surgery that I can no longer neglect.”

The surgery? Double-knee replacement. My dad just got knee-replacement surgery. The recovery time? Six weeks.

Of course, as counterterrorism chief, Admiral Redd’s job mostly involved isometric squats.

-jb

The sad condition of the rightwing slime machine.

Oct 17, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives

Eric Boehlert sums up the sorry state of affairs. The right-o-sphere has really been eating their feet lately, and all of their pathetic weaknesses have been on display for the world to see. The mindless character assassination of anybody who gets in Bush II’s way, the shoddy research, the complicitness of the party as a whole as politicians carry water for the hatemongers who carry water for them.

But the whole messy slime offensive against the Frost family came as no surprise to anyone who follows Malkin and her army of true believers. As I detailed last winter and spring, they’re most dangerous when they accidentally bump into some facts and suddenly think they’re Woodward and Bernstein.

The irony, of course, is that radical-right bloggers despise journalists and claim they’re dishonest, biased, and even treasonous. But when the bloggers try to become journalists themselves, when they try (sort of) to report out a story like the supposed Frost blockbuster, the bloggers prove themselves to be comically incompetent as they publish falsehoods, connect nonexistent dots, cherry-pick information, and generally make fools of themselves.

As Boehlert notes, much of this emanates from the true godfather of the modern Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh. A serial bloviating idiot, opportunist, and outright liar who never lets anybody pin him down or hold him accountable, Limbaugh has molded one of our country’s two political parties in his image, and they know it:

It wasn’t just bloggers who rushed to Limbaugh’s defense, it was also key leadership members of the Republican Party. It was presidential contenders Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney. It was Senate Republican Conference chairman Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). It was House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and his number two, Roy Blunt (R-MO), along with fellow Reps. Mike Pence (R-IN), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who supported legislation that commended Limbaugh following his “phony soldiers” crack, and Eric Cantor (R-VA) who unveiled a Stand With Rush e-petition, urging “conservatives around the country” to fight for Limbaugh.

Anyway, read the whole thing, it’s way too illuminating to capture here, with tons of good linkage. Boehlert mentions that Limbaugh is seen favorably by 26% of Americans, the hardcore right. Give pigs like him and his little runts like Malkin the sunshine treatment, I say. Let people really see how ugly these pathetic propagandists are. Let the other 74% of Americans say, “Boy, not only do I hate these people, but I would find anybody defending them to be discrediting themselves!” Limbaugh, Malkin and their ilk should be one big, giant, as John Cleese would say, “Albatross!”

-jb

How To Make Yourself Look Bad: the Continuing Saga

Oct 17, 2007 in Religion

Look, here’s the deal: lots of lefties may hate conservatives, call Republicans all sorts of stupid insulting names (way to advance the dialogue, guys – I’m sure “they did it first” makes everybody feel a lot prouder of themselves, eh?), and generally dedicate much of their spleen to wasting time, energy and verbiage articulating their hatred. Similarly-minded conservatives parlay this into a neat reversal, describing their own irrational and unseemly hatred as a response to those hateful people on the other side of the aisle. A good sign that you’re in the presence of a person who’s still got loads of childhood issues to work out is that they’re still engaged in name-calling, all these years after kindergarten.

But the real fact is that most people who lean left, like most people who lean right, are just folks. They have their opinions, and because opinions are exactly what we’re talking about, they vary. Angry people don’t dig variance, because it’s so damned mellow, so they describe people who don’t agree with them as insane, fanatic, belligerent, moronic, etc., etc., etc. It’s tedious to read such stuff, and there’s no shortage of places to read it.

Such is my thinking, anyhow, on most days. And then something like this happens. Explaining how it actually makes sense to put somebody who’s against contraception in charge of family planning programs, an HHS spokesman cites the appointee’s “breadth of managerial experience.” Across the nation, the sound of palms smacking foreheads echoes loudly. Such an appointment seems really stupid, and not just to partisan standard-bearers, either, but to a rather vast majority and broad cross-section of this country’s citizens. Your normal church-going clock-punching cable-watching American isn’t opposed to birth control; he or she generally uses it a couple of times a week. Nor are most people right or left against birth control being available to the poor at some government expense; everybody knows that the long view’s more important than the short one, and that given the choice between preventing a pregnancy and feeding a poor child for eighteen years, the former is the sounder economic choice. This is not a liberal position; it’s a frankly an unabashedly conservative one. That’s what makes this whole business so irritating. It’s conservatives who ought to be most outraged about this; instead, any time the subject comes up, the poor wretches will go directly to the talking points (“Some people use abortion as birth control! That’s just wrong!”), selling out their conservatism to a race in which they don’t actually have a horse. Is it more frustrating than pathetic, or more pathetic than frustrating? I can’t decide. It’s like there’s chocolate in my peanut butter, only it’s bizarro universe chocolate and reverso-world peanut butter, so the whole thing taste like gym socks.

-Thomas Tallis

I’m feeling old.

Oct 17, 2007 in We'll post whatever we goddamned want to

Recovering from my recent anemia, which left me with the strength of an old man, rather than the usual ten, I just threw out my lower back. Then I told a kid today who asked me how I knew who Sephiroth was…”Because I played Final Fantasy VII when it first came out…when YOU WERE IN DIAPERS!”

I’m now that guy. Except it’s no longer about walking to school in three feet of snow. It’s not even about Atari games, or changing the channels with a knob, or Transformers. This is about a frickin’ Playstation One game. Can you wait until you’re telling kids, “Ha, I remember the old days when we had to carry our music around on iPod nanos, not these fancy subdural implants you can’t even see!”?

-jb