Wednesday, November 30, 2005

How To Win a War When Everybody Hates You

Step One: Bomb Real News Outlets.

Step Two: Pay For Fake News.

The good news is step two works domestically as well.

Count Me In

In a stunningly consumer-minded decision, the FCC has decided that we should no longer have to pay for every cable channel just because we want IFC. Now we’ll be able to pick and choose which channels we want, tapas style.

In a sharp reversal, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday that the agency now thinks cable companies should stop forcing people to subscribe to bundles of channels and give them the option of choosing individual channels.

Kevin Martin, FCC chairman since March 16, asserted that a la carte pricing could both allow parents to block offensive programming and lower their surging cable bills. His stance might push Congress to require cable and satellite companies to offer the option.
No Thanks:
  • Pax
  • Lifetime
  • Oxygen
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Discovery Health (gross!)
  • Country Music Television
  • Fox News
More Please:
  • Comedy Central
  • ESPN
  • C-SPAN
  • C-SPAN2
  • C-SPAN3 (I watch so you don’t have to)
  • Speed Channel
  • IFC
  • Sundance
  • Cartoon Network
  • OLN (yo, I gots to see the Red Wings)
  • History Channel
  • Science Channel
And bring a couple pitchers of sangria, if you would be so kind...

Keepin’ It Real

I don’t even have a comment. Just read it for yourself.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) says the NFL and Philadelphia Eagles are being unfair to wide receiver Terrell Owens, and he just might bring the matter to the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee he chairs, so there. Just because Owens is a spoiled brat who humiliates his teammates and ruins their season is no reason for them to prevent him from playing or talking to other teams; it's "vindictive and inappropriate," said Specter. (The Eagles deactivated Owens on Sunday after a four-game suspension; an arbitrator ruled the action was supported by terms of the player's contract.)
And we thought the steroid hearings were a waste of time. Arlen Spector’s constituency now consists of only one spoiled asshole football player who lives in New Jersey during the off-season? Would that he cared how inappropriately Wal-Mart treats its employees. How about how inappropriately the Pentagon treats its employees?

I guess I did have a comment. Dammit.

Paging Doctor Virgin

They’re at it again, folks. Some pharmacists in Missouri have refused to fill a woman’s legally prescribed birth control medication. They’re “morally opposed” to it. They’re morally opposed to doing their jobs. I know, I know, we’ve written about this before and it’s roughly the same song and dance. But it irritates me so. When on earth did these overblown stock clerks in white jackets get so full of themselves as to second-guess the decisions of an individual, a doctor, the local and federal government, and the fucking United States Supreme Court? Who the fuck do these people think they are?

And morally opposed? I’m morally opposed to making printouts for my boss because he never figured out how to open attachments and to fixing everyone’s goddamned mistakes here around my office, but you know what? I do it. You know why? Because they pay me to. You do your job, you go home, and you bitch about it to your spouse. That’s the American way. So shut up about it before I come over there and smack that self-satisfied shit-eating grin off your face.

Girls! Girls! You’re Both Pretty!

It would appear that our esteemed Secretary of Defense and our new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have a few disagreements to hammer out before they go on camera.

Encouraging reporters to consult their dictionaries, the defense secretary said: "These people aren't trying to promote something other than disorder, and to take over that country and turn it into a caliphate and then spread it around the world. This is a group of people who don't merit the word 'insurgency,' I think."

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace, standing at Rumsfeld's side, evidently didn't get the memo about the wording change. Describing combat in Iraq, he paused and said, "I have to use the word 'insurgent' because I can't think of a better word right now."

"'Enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government' -- how's that?" Rumsfeld proposed.

"What the secretary said," Pace continued, to laughter. [ed. - HA! HA! Dead people...] But Rumsfeld's new description -- ELIG, if you prefer an acronym -- didn't stick with the general. Smiling, he uttered the forbidden word again while discussing explosive devices.

The secretary recoiled in mock horror. "Sorry, sir," Pace explained. "I'm not trainable today."
Oh, and that’s not all. The bickering defense staff have different ideas on how to solve the torture problem.
When UPI's Pam Hess asked about torture by Iraqi authorities, Rumsfeld replied that "obviously, the United States does not have a responsibility" other than to voice disapproval.

But Pace had a different view. "It is the absolute responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it," the general said.

Rumsfeld interjected: "I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it's to report it."

But Pace meant what he said. "If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it," he said, firmly.
I think General Pace wanted to say, “with all due respect…” but quickly reconsidered when he realized that calling him “sir” was giving him much more than the respect he’s due.
Reuters's Charlie Aldinger asked about "uniformed death squads" in Iraq. Rumsfeld replied: "I'm not going to comment on hypothetical questions."
Secretary Rumsfeld, what do you say to the reports of gravity keeping the earth in orbit around the sun?

“I’m not going to comment on hypothetical questions.”
When Aldinger protested that the question was not hypothetical, Rumsfeld replied that Iraq is "a sovereign country" and suggested the death-squad allegations could be politically motivated. "I just don't know," he said. "I can only talk about what I know." With an exaggerated shrug, he added: "That's life."
Hey, we all end up in a box six feet under, am I right? Donald Rumsfeld – the Jean-Paul Sartre of the 21st century.

And in a particularly sarcastic twist, the WaPo's Dana Milbank sums up the press conference thusly:
Fortunately for the Iraqis, things are going well there, in Rumsfeld's view. He rattled off a series of improving statistics -- "seven operational divisions and 31 operational brigade headquarters"-- accompanied by a collection of favorable descriptions: "Largely peaceful . . . liberating and securing . . . solid progress . . . positive . . . a darn good job."

"The strategy is working, and we should stick to it," Rumsfeld judged.

Particularly now that the insurgents have become ELIGs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My Super Sweet Bat Mitzvah

Have you seen this show on MTV? It takes the most rich, spoiled, entitled 15-year-old girls and films them planning their 16th birthday party with all the grace and elegance of Jackie O. herself. There are rich scenes with lines such as, “I’m sixteen and I get what I want,” and “She’s too ugly to come to my party,” and “Everybody has to look at me, it’s my birthday.” Ah yes. It is the stuff of Dickens.

Anyway. I’m not sure what to make of this. It sounds made up.

For his daughter's coming-of-age celebration last weekend, multimillionaire Long Island defense contractor David H. Brooks booked two floors of the Rainbow Room, hauled in concert-ready equipment, built a stage, installed special carpeting, outfitted the space with Jumbotrons and arranged command performances by everyone from 50 Cent to Tom Petty to Aerosmith.

I hear it was garish display of rock 'n' roll idol worship for which the famously irascible CEO of DHB Industries, a Westbury-based manufacturer of bulletproof vests, sent his company jet to retrieve Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from their Saturday gig in Pittsburgh.

The party cost an estimated $10 million, including the price of corporate jets to ferry the performers to and from. Also on the bill were The Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh performing with Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks; DJ AM (Nicole Richie's fiance); rap diva Ciara and, sadly perhaps (except that he received an estimated $250,000 for the job), Kenny G blowing on his soprano sax as more than 300 guests strolled and chatted into their pre-dinner cocktails.

"Hey, that guy looks like Kenny G," a disbelieving grownup was overheard remarking - though the 150 kids in attendance seemed more impressed by their $1,000 gift bags, complete with digital cameras and the latest video iPod.

For his estimated $500,000, I hear that 50 Cent performed only four or five songs - and badly - though he did manage to work in the lyric, "Go shorty, it's your bat miztvah, we gonna party like it's your bat mitzvah."

At one point, I'm told, one of Fitty's beefy bodyguards blocked shots of his boss performing and batted down the kids' cameras, shouting "No pictures! No pictures!" - even preventing Brooks' personal videographers and photographers from capturing 50 Cent's bat-miztvah moment.

"Fitty and his posse smelled like an open bottle of Hennessy," a witness told told me, adding that when the departing rapper prepared to enter his limo in the loading dock, a naked woman was spotted inside.
And so you see the true downside of war profiteering. It’s not our soldiers dying needlessly or our treasury being robbed by unethical, cold-hearted death merchants. It’s that it enables The Bitchening&trade of the next generation of Paris Hiltons. Who’s not proud to be an American today?

But Tell Us What You Really Think

Q: Tom DeLay? Tom DeLay! How would you describe a man who had taken more than $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors while he was on the defense appropriations committee?

TOM DELAY: “Duke Cunningham is a hero. He is an honorable man of high integrity.”

For your reference, faithful readers:

Hero (n):

  1. In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
  2. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.
Honor (n):
  1. High respect, as that shown for special merit; esteem.
  2. Good name; reputation.
Integrity (n):
  1. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.
  2. The state of being unimpaired; soundness.
I can’t decide what to get Tom DeLay for Christmas. This? Or this?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Lord, I'm Not Usually a Praying Man...

...but PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE let this happen!

50 [Cent] thinks the president is "incredible ... a gangsta."

"I wanna meet George Bush, just shake his hand and tell him how much of me I see in him," 50 told GQ. If the rapper's felony conviction didn't prevent him from voting, 50 said he would have voted for Bush.

Way to shoot your street cred straight to shit, "Fitty." Someone should tell him that Bush would probably have him arrested and on death row (not the Suge Knight one) within 5 seconds of meeting him.

If you think about it, though, 50 Cent has a point. I mean, what with the drugs, the associating with criminals, the love of violence, and the drinking Barcardi in da club like it's your birthday, Bush pretty much is a gangsta. I wonder if he knows who killed Tupac...

From Alabama to Wyoming

Sea to shining sea, purple mountain majesty and all that crap. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the massive volume of Republican scandals, have no fear. Someone else can do the research for you and write it all down in a handy Scandal Scorecard.

Think of all the time we would save if the Republicans could just abide by the law instead.

Bye Bye!

Republican congressman Duke Cunningham pleads guilty and resigns.

The first of many, no doubt.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Jury of Your Peers?

“I voted guilty before I voted not guilty.” -Senator John Kerry on jury duty.

"I just found him to be a knowledgeable, normal person," said Cynthia Lovell, a nurse and registered Republican who says she now regrets voting for President Bush in last year's election. "He kept us focused. He wanted us all to have our own say."

The former Democratic presidential candidate reported for duty Monday and none of the lawyers in the case objected to putting him on the jury.

"I was a little surprised," Kerry said of being selected for jury duty.
You ready?
  • I guess these days he’s pretty surprised when anyone picks him for anything.
  • I hope he gets picked for Scooter Libby’s jury.
  • If he could keep his jury focused, why couldn’t he keep his campaign focused on not losing to a draft-dodging oil industry puppet who lied us into war?
  • If sitting on a jury is boring, just think how boring it was for these jurors to have to listen to Senator Kerry make his case for conviction.

Have They Admitted the Earth Moves Around the Sun Yet?

Pope Peter Lorre, er, Benedict just released the most retarded document since George W's last college paper or Ann Coulter's last book.

In spelling out its position on Tuesday, the Vatican office that deals with education within the Catholic Church made a distinction between deep-seated homosexual tendencies and what it called "the expression of a transitory problem."

What. The. Fuck? Someone get Tom Ridge on the phone and have him work up a color-coded scale of homosexuality! At the bottom it could say "Transitory" and correspond to a nice chartreuse. Then it could move up to "Really Likes Abba" and be a lovely mauve, all the way up to "Deep-seated" in bright, nuclear neon pink, just so there's no confusion.

Notice that homosexuality is a "problem," too. Nice. You know, I consider Catholicism to be a "transitory problem" in my life. Luckily I was able to overcome it, and I'm proud to say I've been happily Pope-free for the last 13 years.
"The Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the Seminary and to Holy Orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture," the document said.

"Um, yeah, we respect 'you people' and everything, but, uh, self-hating homosexuals only need apply, please. The rest of you, well, enjoy the lake of fire for all eternity."
The 21-paragraph document -- -- which advises bishops and seminary rectors on how to deal with potential gay priests entering the church -- did not spell out how the "transitory problem" could be overcome, or how a potential priest could offer proof that he no longer had such tendencies.

I'm sure they'll explain it the same way they explain everything else that doesn't make any damn sense: MAGIC! Seriously, how are they going to know if someone still has homosexual tendencies? Play the soundtrack to Rent and see if the candidate hums along with it? Bring him into a hideously decorated room and see how he reacts?
The new document underlines that church teaching consider homosexual acts "grave sins" and also intrinsically immoral and contrary to natural law, news agencies reported. "Therefore, in no case can they be approved," it says.

Anyone curious to know what the 4 grave sins are? I looked them up:
These four grave sins are: Murder (Genesis 4:10), the sin of the Sodomites (Genesis 18:20, 19:13),the oppression of the poor (Exodus 3:7-10, 20:20-22), Injustice to the wage earner (Dt 24:14-15).

Well, if you count death by torture as murder, and throw Jeff Gannon into the mix, I think the Bush administration has committed all four. But I digress.

I think the real question is, why in the hell would any gay man want to have anything to do with this bunch of morons? They think homosexuality is as bad as murder, for chrissakes. Yet, look at this:
An estimate of the number of gays in U.S. seminaries and the priesthood range from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a review of research by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, an author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood."

Other estimates have been as low as 10 percent and as high as 60 percent, according to news agencies.

Wow. I guess the wide discrepancy just goes to show you that it's really, really hard to tell the difference between a gay man and a priest. I mean, with the fabulous robes and the whole not having sex with women thing...

You know, could we maybe just stop making gay people of faith hate themselves, and allow them to just go on and live their lives like the rest of society? That way everybody wins. Gay people get to live happy, normal lives, and with fewer self-loathing homosexuals out there, fewer gay people will try to join the ranks of the bigoted idiots who run the Catholic church in an attempt to curb their "sinful" desires. It's a win-win!

Yep, We're Stuck

Remember during the last presidential election, when Bush would go on and on about how many Iraqi soldiers and police we we're training and how great they were going to be, and how our troops would be out of there in no time flat? Well, like everything else he said, that was bullshit.

But the U.S. officers in charge of training the Iraqis say the chance to turn over Iraq to Iraqis may not come any time soon.

Dempsey, commander of Multinational Security Transition Command, whose mission is to help the Iraqi government train the new security forces, acknowledges there are problems.

"Progress is uneven," he said. "It's uneven across the country, it's uneven across units, it's uneven between the army and the police."

The U.S. military says there are 100,000 Iraqi troops. The number given for trained and equipped Iraqi troops has fluctuated wildly over the past year and has been the subject of debate in Washington.

TRANSLATION: They don't want us to know how many troops are actually trained and equipped because we'd all be appalled. Some information has trickled out though, and it ain't good.
At the moment, the United States says some of the formed battalions control their own areas, though they still rely on U.S. support.

Lt. Col. Ross Brown of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment said he is hard on his Iraqi recruits because he wants them to survive. But he sometimes does not get the same commitment in return.

"They didn't do too much work yesterday. They didn't do too much work the day before. They haven't done too much work since they've been here," Brown told CNN.

So, our troops are stuck over there indefinitely. Because you know what you'll get if you turn over control to this unequipped military with half-assed training? The same thing Saddam got from them:
The need to build a new army came after the former U.S. administrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer, disbanded the 400,000-strong force that had served under Saddam Hussein. At the time he said that many Iraqi soldiers simply laid down their arms and went home, sometimes looting the barracks as they left.

They aren't going to stand and fight unless they feel like they're fighting for "Their Country." And they aren't going to feel like it's "Their Country" as long as 155,000 U.S. troops are occupying it. And even then, every different social, political, and religious group has their own idea about what "Their Country" is. And if the actual country doesn't reflect that, why the hell would they fight to protect it? They wouldn't. In fact, we'd be lucky if they didn't fight AGAINST it. So, quagmire, anyone?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Newbies Can Be So Cute

I don’t know if you’re paying attention to the furor in the House over the last few days. I know, many of you get your news only from these pages and we’ve been busy living life lately. Sorry about that.

To sum up, Rep. John Murtha is a hawkish Democrat, a decorated Vietnam vet from humble working class roots. He is respected on both sides of the aisle. And last Thursday, he made a statement saying that the time has come to withdraw the troops from Iraq. Of course, the White House will not tolerate dissent so the attack dogs came with both barrels, comparing him to Michael Moore and saying that we cannot surrender to the enemies. That sort of thing. The standard Swift Boat type stuff. (Not that Murtha just sits and takes it like a certain junior senator from Massachusetts who ran for president last year – Murtha on Cheney: "I like guys who've never been there who criticize us who've been there," Murtha said. "I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and sent people to war and then don't like to hear suggestions that what may need to be done.")

But that’s not the money shot. Representative Jean Schmidt has the least seniority of anyone in the House. She just won that special election against Paul Hackett in the Ohio 2nd. Remember that? So she’s been in for a few months, yet she decided it was time to go on the floor and launch some Scud missiles at the loveable old war hero John Murtha.

In attacking the Democrats' position, Ms. Schmidt, the newest member of Congress, said she had received a call from a Marine colonel, who "asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

The House exploded in catcalls and jeers among outraged Democrats. When debate resumed, Ms. Schmidt retracted her comments and said, "I did not intend to suggest they applied to any member," especially Mr. Murtha.
You should hear the tape of the speech. The House really did explode with catcalls and jeers. It sounded like questions for the Prime Minister in the British parliament. And even that’s not the funniest part. Read what she said in her very first speech after her swearing-in ceremony.
Honorable people can certainly agree to disagree. However, here today I accept a second oath. I pledge to walk in the shoes of my colleagues and refrain from name-calling or the questioning of character. It is easy to quickly sink to the lowest form of political debate. Harsh words often lead to headlines, but walking this path is not a victimless crime. This great House pays the price.
It would appear that we have already had to pay that price, honorable congresswoman. Well played.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Judy Miller is So Five Minutes Ago

The new irresponsible journalist? Our favorite old-time hero (played by Robert Redford in the movie) turned Republican operative Bob Woodward. There’s no sense writing my own nonsense when Talking Points Memo can do it so much better:

So the news is out from the Post now -- both in a statement from Bob Woodward and in an article from the Post.

The details still seem sketchy and I suspect we're going to find out a lot more in the next few days. But it now seems that Woodward -- who has long been publicly critical of the Fitzgerald investigation -- has been part of it from the beginning. Literally, the beginning.

From the Post account it appears that Woodward was told of Valerie Plame's identity before any other journalist by an as-yet-unnamed senior administration official who is not Karl Rove or Scooter Libby.

More problematically for Woodward, he didn't tell his own Post editors about any of this until last month and then only after the unnamed senior administration official came forward to Fitzgerald and told him about it. That apparently led Fitzgerald to subpoena Woodward.

Woodward claims that he told Post reporter Walter Pincus about it at the time. But Pincus says he has no recollection of such a conversation.
The interesting parts to me are a) the not telling the editors what was going on. That just stinks of Judy Miller and in both cases speaks to a sense of entitlement from these two - “I’m above the rules.” And b) what sort of journalist runs around making comments about an investigation in which one is embroiled without revealing that you are part of that investigation? The latter applies to Mr. Tim Russert as well.

I think this thing’s still got legs, people.

The Holy Grail

Dan Savage writes about privacy today in the New York Times. And oh my god, he’s right. This is it. This is how we win, and by doing something noble for a change.

If the Republicans can propose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, why can't the Democrats propose a right to privacy amendment? Making this implicit right explicit would forever end the debate about whether there is a right to privacy. And the debate over the bill would force Republicans who opposed it to explain why they don't think Americans deserve a right to privacy - which would alienate not only moderates, but also those libertarian, small-government conservatives who survive only in isolated pockets on the Eastern Seaboard and the American West.

Of course, passing a right to privacy amendment wouldn't end the debate over abortion - that argument would shift to the question of whether abortion fell under the amendment. But given the precedent of Roe, abortion rights would be on firmer ground than they are now.
Why aren’t they doing this? I’m sure it wouldn’t pass, but it would alienate everyone who opposes it. Do it! Do it!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What's a Liberal Elite Boy to Do?

I live in New York City, since you asked. First it was the Republican Convention last year. Tonight, it's the CMA Awards. Even Wal-Mart wants in on the action. What on earth is going on? Is there a redneck committee out there in the Heartland who decided it's time to conquer the City? Will we slowly be converted to cowboy boot wearing pod people? Will it suddenly become acceptable to wear a ten gallon hat to a business meeting? Look. We gave you the whole country. All we ask in return is the northeast, the west coast and parts of the industrial midwest. Can't we work this out without a hostile takeover?

I fear the future, friends.

Oh god! Friends? Fear the future? It's already starting!!!

Pay Attention Mr. President

Since it’s something that’s become foreign to us over the last five years, I thought you might be interested to see what it looks like when someone actually accepts responsibility for a mistake.

Eleven top Jordanian officials, including the kingdom's national security adviser, resigned Tuesday in the wake of last week's triple hotel bombings, state-run TV announced.
Of course, the finger pointing and the rewriting history works well too, if you’re a weaselly sonuvabitch.


You might want to eat your breakfast before you read this.

A woman died in a Calcutta hospital after ants ate one of her eyes as she was recovering from a cornea operation, media reports said Tuesday.

Gauri Chakraborty, 55, had complained of terrible pain after the operation at a state-run hospital, but a nurse told her it was normal and left her unattended, her son Soumen told the Press Trust of India news agency.

He said that when her bandage was removed the next day they found big black ants nibbling at her eye, PTI reported.

"She died a ghastly death. We don't even know the reason of her death," Amitabha Kar, Chakraborty's son-in-law told PTI.
Damn, that is gross! Do you think they took the pieces of her eye and carried it away in one of those single-file lines you see on nature shows? Carrying 800 times their body weight of eyeball back to the nest?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Which Do You Prefer?

See if you can tell the difference between these two presidential speeches:

John F. Kennedy on April 27, 1961:

I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers--I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for, as a wise man once said: "An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.
George W. Bush on November 11, 2005:
While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. (Applause.) Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs.
This president is fully aware that the Senate refused to investigate the claims of political pressure to change the intelligence. This president is fully aware that Harry had to shut down the freakin’ Senate just to get the Republicans’ attention on this gravest of national security concerns. This president is fully aware that his God tells him not to lie.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Rick Santorum is a Stupid Asshole

Sweet jebus on a pogo stick. I don't even know what to say about this:

Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., says that the No. 1 health care crisis in his state is medical lawsuit abuse and in the past he's called for a $250,000 cap on non-economic damage awards or awards for pain and suffering. "We need to do something now to fix the medical liability problem in this country," he declared at a rally in Washington D.C., this past spring.

But Santorum's wife sued a doctor for $500,000 in 1999. She claimed that a botched spinal manipulation by her chiropractor led to back surgery, pain and suffering, and sued for twice the amount of a cap Santorum has supported.

How do these people keep getting elected? Do the voters in Pennsylvania just not get it? Basically he's saying to them "Even though I'm a rich asshole, my latte-sipping, stay-at-home-and-home-school-the-brats wife has the right to sue for half a million fucking dollars because her yuppie chiropractor moved one of her vertebrae a little to far, probably because she wouldn't stop screeching at him for making her wait for five minutes instead of rushing her straight in ahead of everyone else. Meanwhile, the rest of you regular folks whose surgery may have gotten botched by some quack, making you unable work and earn money for your family, well, fuck you, you can only sue for half that. We've gotta protect the doctors, after all. Except from me. Just from everyone else."

Of course, this is the same guy who had a school district pick up the tab for his kids' schooling, even though he doesn't actually live in the school district. All this begs the question: Is there a bigger "welfare queen" than Rick Santorum?

The Morons at Fox

And for once, I’m not talking about the “news” channel. They’ve cancelled Arrested Development. How long will the Pamela Anderson show run, I wonder?

Between this and Firefly, they’ve cancelled the two best shows on network television not called Lost in the last five years. I hate you, Fox!!

Watch Your Back

Pat Robertson provides us with more evidence, as if we needed it, that God loves you… until He kills you.

As reported in these pages (a.k.a. cut and paste from the Times), science was declared the victor in its battle against ignorance in Dover, PA this past Tuesday. And even though God designed our brains Himself to function so highly as to allow us to use logic and the scientific method to uncover the answers to millions of life’s mysteries, it would appear that it pisses Him off when we do so.

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson warned residents of a rural Pennsylvania town Thursday that disaster may strike there because they "voted God out of your city" by ousting school board members who favored teaching intelligent design.

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected him from your city," Robertson said on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "700 Club."

Later Thursday, Robertson issued a statement saying he was simply trying to point out that "our spiritual actions have consequences."

"God is tolerant and loving, but we can't keep sticking our finger in his eye forever," Robertson said. "If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them."
Jesus! God can be such a drama queen.

A Cold Shower of Truth

Who better to tell you how to live your life than the most morally upright citizens in all the land, the United States Senate? Good news! They’re furiously studying masturbation with reckless abandon.

According to the Senate, the pornography industry has grown in mammoth proportions. Wherever you look nowadays, you will find it thrusting its head deep inside the warm folds of your family’s life. Despite the obvious dangers, everyday Americans continue to stroke the porn industry such that it has risen to stand tall and firm across this great land, a rock solid pulsating pillar of evil in a once happy community. As the evil grows, the two spheres of morality and wholesome family life are left dangling below, not receiving the attention they deserve. If pornography continues to be abused in such a manner, it will soon explode, spreading its evil seed far and wide across the underbelly of the heartland.

This must be stopped. I, for one, am glad that the Senate is here for us, to provide protection. A rubber sheath of sorts with which to wrap up this filthy beast, keeping our hearts and minds clean and pure. Apparently, when it comes to pornography, I can’t even trust myself!

She went on to explain that the experience of masturbation activates about 14 neurotransmitters and hormones, causing a quick chain reaction of brain activity. "There have been some experts who have even argued that, in and of itself, overrides informed consent when encountering this material," she said, apparently suggesting that an adult's own sexual self-stimulation can lead to a loss of judgment.
Oh my word. I've been taking advantage of me! It’s clear. I cannot be trusted. You cannot be trusted. The only people who can be trusted are the God-fearing, righteous men and women in the U.S. Senate. Bravo, Senators! Thank you for saving me from myself.

I feel so cheap and used...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Self-Aggrandizing Anniversary Message

It just occurred to me! Delusions of Grandeur had its first birthday last week on November 4th. Hooray! We’ve been busy irritating conservatives and entertaining literally several people for over a year now. We look forward to entertaining you in the years to come. Perhaps you’ll even tell one of your friends! In the meantime, here is a short list of incredibly useful DoG statistics:

  • Number of Posts: 575
  • Number of Insightful Posts: 7
  • Stories Broken: 0
  • Inside Sources Contacted: 26
  • So-Called “Real” Sources: 0
  • Times quoted by Wonkette: 1
  • Number of Comments: 71
  • Number of Insightful Comments: 70 (we love the fans)
  • Highest Traffic in One Day: 213 unique users
  • Average Time Spent on Site: 7 seconds
  • Most Often Used Word: Orwell
  • Second Most Often Used Word: Fire
  • Third Most Often Used Word: Pants
  • Most Common Obscene Word: Fuck
  • Second Most Common Obscene Word: Coulter
  • Number of Posts about Truth: 422
  • Number of Posts about the Media: 394
  • Number of Posts about Laguna Beach: 0
  • Number of Rigged Elections since DoG inception: 0 (two fewer than in the four years previous)
So we’re gonna keep at it for as long as we can stomach doing so.

And above all, thanks for reading!

Ministry of Truth

A common Beltway definition of “gaffe” is when someone accidentally tells the truth. What happens when a White House gaffe is caught on tape? They try to wash it down the memory hole.

At the Oct. 31 briefing, David Gregory of NBC News stated the following question to McClellan about White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby: "Whether there's a question of legality, we know for a fact that there was involvement. We know that Karl Rove, based on what he and his lawyer have said, did have a conversation about somebody who Patrick Fitzgerald said was a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. We know that Scooter Libby also had conversations."

The official White House transcript states that McClellan's response was "I don’t think that's accurate."

But two outside news agencies, Congressional Quarterly and Federal News Service - which provide transcripts for a fee -both reported the response as "that's accurate."

The differing accounts have sparked a flurry of buzz on numerous blogs, such as, Wonkette, Eschaton and DailyKos. They say a video of the press briefing reveals McClellan saying "that's accurate."

White House officials contacted the news outlets and ask for a change to their versions of the transcript.
The news agencies aren’t having it, thankfully. It’s a different press corps than the one from 2003. They’ve moved back with us into the reality-based world, except for those who want to forever remain in Bush’s fantasy world – they just up and quit.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Will They Ever Learn?

The Secretary of State Condi Rice is actually meeting with convicted embezzler, intelligence-maker-upper, Iranian spy, and oh yeah, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi today in Washington. What is the matter with them?

They’re addicts. They really want to try to kick the pipe. They come over your house and promise that if you just let them stay the night, they won’t have any more secret prisons, they won’t leak any more national security secrets, and they really, really promise to stop lying and go back to school.

But when you wake up in the morning, the couch is on fire and your TV is gone.

On the Other Hand

From the Times:

All eight members up for re-election to the Pennsylvania school board that had been sued for introducing the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in biology class were swept out of office yesterday by a slate of challengers who campaigned against the intelligent design policy.
Just when you think your faith in humanity is broken once and for all, the people do something inspirational. Big ups, Dover!

You’re Idiots. There, I Said It.

What’s the matter with Kansas, the book title asks. This is what’s wrong with you.

The fiercely split Kansas Board of Education voted 6 to 4 on Tuesday to adopt new science standards that are the most far-reaching in the nation in challenging Darwin's theory of evolution in the classroom.

The standards move beyond the broad mandate for critical analysis of evolution that four other states have established in recent years, by recommending that schools teach specific points that doubters of evolution use to undermine its primacy in science education.
Intelligent Design is not science. This has been said so many times and so many ways so there’s no need to go into detail about it. But these idiots – these Jesusfreak morons – are so frightened by the idea that the Bible might not be literally true that they need to ruin any chance of success for their children. They need to change the school curriculum to see to it that no one sullies their children with the curse of critical thought.
Among the most controversial changes was a redefinition of science itself, so that it would not be explicitly limited to natural explanations.

The vote was a watershed victory for the emerging movement of intelligent design, which posits that nature alone cannot explain life's complexity. John G. West of the Discovery Institute, a conservative research organization that promotes intelligent design, said Kansas now had "the best science standards in the nation."
Someone needs to point out to Mr. West that supernatural explanations are by definition not science. And then hit him in the head with a brick. Perhaps science alone cannot explain the complexities of life, but saying that magic powder was sprinkled on the earth doesn’t explain anything either.
Kenneth Willard, a board member from Hutchinson, said, "I'm very pleased to be maybe on the front edge of trying to bring some intellectual honesty and integrity to the science classroom rather than asking students to check their questions at the door because it is a challenge to the sanctity of evolution."
The rube leader speaks! He thinks that talking about ghosts and goblins in science class is intellectual honesty. Isn’t that cute. Here’s some intellectual honesty – science is all about asking questions, Mr. Willard. The problem here is that all the questions you’re raising are being asked by real scientists too. They may or may not find all the answers, but the difference between them and you is that they are actually looking for answers among facts and fossils. Your mind is already made up. No amount of evidence will ever convince you that you weren’t placed on this earth by your all-knowing father figure who’s looking after you and making sure you don’t masturbate.

Listen up, people and I’ll try to never say this again, although I’m sure you’ll make me. You can’t prove a negative, so we’ll never be able to prove there is no god. But science is based on evidence. There is no evidence of the existence of god. Therefore, as far as science is concerned, there is no god. Go to your spiritual advisor to talk about Zeus and Jupiter and your bearded, cloud-dwelling Christian God. (Ha! Zeus! How silly those dumb Greeks were, they thought there were multiple gods. How could they not know better? And don’t even get me started about the Native Americans…)

As a bonus for our readers, here’s lesson one of the Michael Grant Theory of Creation: Once upon a time there were two giant brothers who lived in a wintery wonderland in space. The older brother was angry at the younger brother because the younger brother ate all the older brother’s Chips Ahoy cookies. Older Brother lured Younger Brother outside into the cold where he had hidden a large snowball covered in water, known as the Creation Iceball. He hurled Creation Iceball at Younger Brother’s head, and when it hit him he shattered into millions of pieces which then became all of creation that we know today, with his heart forming our sun, and the chunks of his brain each becoming a human being in our current form.

Hey Nebraska, show Kansas how much cooler you are and start teaching my truth.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday Night Fights

Here at DoG, we don’t espouse any religion other than using one’s own brain. You can worship the Moon Gods for all we care as long as you don’t start telling us how your lunar overlords think we should live our lives. That said, in light of a recent press release from the Pope, I decided to compare and contrast two popular Christian religions – Evangelical Whackjobs and Catholicism – and definitively tell you which is better.

Spiritual Leader
EW – Failed oil baron and former cokehead George W. Bush
C – Pope Benedict XVI
Winner - Catholicism

EW – Crackers and Tang
C – Wine and Guinness
Winner – Catholicism

EW – Michael W. Smith, Stryper, Amy Grant
C – Gregorian chant
Winner – Draw (let’s face it, Satan wins this round)

EW – Left Behind, The Purpose Driven Life
C – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ
Winner – Catholicism (Latin is pretty damn cool)

EW – Wal-Mart
C – Flowing robes and hats as big as Charles and Di’s wedding cake
Winner – Catholicism

EW – Only within the confines a loveless marriage and for the purpose of babies, babies, babies.
C – Only with alter boys
Winner – Evangelical Whackjobs (by a nose)

EW – None
C – Almost everything up to the 17th Century
Winner – Duh

EW – James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Cotton Mather, John Ashcroft
C – John F. Kennedy, John Kerry, Mel Gibson, Antonin Scalia, Mother Teresa, Conan O’Brian, Sinead O’Connor, Alec Baldwin, Eddie van Halen, Bela Lugosi, Christina Aguilera
Winner – Catholicism (but Mel Gibson makes it close)

Church Proceedings
EW – You can bring drums and guitars into church, but you’d better not dance to them. Did Jesus really turn grape juice into the Blood of Christ?
C – Is this thing ever going to end? Uck, did he just throw water on me?!
Winner – Evangelical Whackjobs

EW – Buy Mom a blackboard for Christmas
C – Notre Dame, Boston College, Trinity College (Dublin), Fordham University
Winner – Catholicism

EW – Sure, if you want to burn in hell for all eternity
C – If I become a priest, maybe I’ll stop having such sinful thoughts
Winner – Draw (grow up, you guys)

EW – Sure, if you want to burn in hell for all eternity
C -

Monsignor Gianfranco Basti, director of the Vatican project STOQ, or Science, Theology and Ontological Quest, reaffirmed John Paul's 1996 statement that evolution was "more than just a hypothesis."

"A hypothesis asks whether something is true or false," he said. "(Evolution) is more than a hypothesis because there is proof."
Winner – Catholicism

And the winner is...


But it’s more of a lesser of two evils. Can’t we just think for ourselves and turn to the church only in matters of private spiritual and existential crises? Hmmn… Maybe the Moon Gods will grant that wish.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Bush Doctrine

Aside from cronyism, corruption and sleaze, there’s a major running theme throughout Bush’s reign of terror.

He acted alone.

They are the most secretive tight-knit cabal of cronies in the history of this country until something goes wrong, and then it’s all – who’s that guy? I think I might have met that dude at a party once. When Abramoff went down, his BFF Tom DeLay acted as if he had never met him, and definitely erased the speed dial button from his phone. Lynndie England is caught Girls Gone Wild style pointing and grinning at some prisoner’s johnson and she’s the one bad apple. Pay no attention to the administration memos endorsing torture, the guy taking the photograph, the boots on people’s heads in the photos, or all the suicide attempts at Guantanamo. Now it’s Scoots. Scooter Libby participated in a treasonous act undermining our national security and then proceeded to cover it up. Dick Cheney, George Bush and Karl Rove are marching around as though it caught them off guard. They can’t believe that he would do such a thing. Bullshit. Everyone knows it’s bullshit, but there’s this burden of proof that they’re going to hide behind and in the meantime act as if they were completely unaware of his actions. No one acts alone in this administration.

When something happens often enough, it eventually gets called a pattern. How many times are we supposed to swallow the one bad apple theory? Ten times? Twenty? Bringing accountability to the White House indeed.


You know how sometimes you read a supposedly negative movie review but reading it you think – that sounds really cool! For example, sometimes philistines see a David Lynch film and say, “It made no sense. It didn’t follow a linear narrative. I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on.” And I say perfect. I can’t wait to see it. The same group of words can mean different things to different people.

So are you paying attention to the Scanlon –Abramoff scandal? It’s all tied in with DeLay and money laundering and ripping off Indian casinos, playing both sides against each other, getting rich off it and funneling the money into Republican campaigns. Really dirty stuff, or as it’s known around D.C. - the Official Republican Playbook. There was a Senate hearing about these scumbags yesterday and an interesting memo came to light:

"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them." The brilliance of this strategy was twofold: Not only would most voters not know about an initiative to protect Coushatta gambling revenues, but religious "wackos" could be tricked into supporting gambling at the Coushatta casino even as they thought they were opposing it.
Scanlon describes his dirty strategy the exact same way that I would. But he’s selling it, mind you. Even Republicans think of the religious right as nutjobs and the general public as morons.

Nutjobs and morons – that’s what the Republicans think of you, Kansas. And Utah. And Alabama. And Wyoming. And...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tip Your Waiter and Try the Veal

Oh, that kooky Dubya. He’s breaking down comedic barriers Lenny Bruce style:

Q Mr. President, in Argentina, you will have a bilateral meeting with President Kirchner.


Q What I want to know -- sources of the government told me that they would ask you about more cooperation on support for Argentina, you know, in the IMF fund --


Q Exactly.

THE PRESIDENT: Please don't tell me that the government leaks secrets about conversations to the --

Q Well, I have my sources in the government.

THE PRESIDENT: You do? Okay, well I'm not going to ask you who they are, of course. (Laughter.)

Q No, please.

THE PRESIDENT: Inside joke here, for my team.
HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Stop it, Mr. President! My sides are literally splitting!! Treason in the White House! HAHAHAHAHA! You so crazy!

Oh, but I have a little tip for you, Georgie. I haven’t spent my life making people laugh at me like you have, but well, here’s the thing. When something is on the front page of every paper in the United States and a guy has a press conference that was shown live on every news channel... Not so much an inside joke. Just a little constructive criticism. I love that you’re keepin’ it real though!

More Conservative Than Scalia?

Or as Slate’s Robert Gordon puts it:

When Antonin Scalia starts looking good, you know you're in trouble.
Oh boy...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

None Shall Pass

Boy, the Dems are beboppin’ and scattin’ all over the Republicans today. Where'd they find the balls? Senate Democrats forced a closed session to talk about that whole investigation into Iraq thing that the Republicans decided to put off until after the election. Which made sense, I mean why would the voters want to know how the Iraq intelligence was misused by the White House before they cast their votes?

Anyway, the Senate Dems are doing a nice bit of old fashioned grandstanding and damn, are the Republicans pissed!

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said Reid was making "some sort of stink about Scooter Libby and the CIA leak." [ed. – talk about making a mountain out of a “treason in the White House” molehill!]

In addition, Lott said, Reid's move violated the Senate's tradition of courtesy and consent. But there was nothing in Senate rules enabling Republicans to thwart Reid's effort.
Breaking Senate traditions? Those poor helpless Republicans wouldn’t know anything about that, would they?