Wednesday, February 28, 2007

McCain Announces He'll Announce... Later

In a flurry of excitement, straight from the "straight talk express" comes John McCain's announcement that's he'll announce in April! Wow!

Maybe it will be April fool's day, seeing as he is both his own prank and a complete fool. Or maybe it will be 4/20, so that when no one gives a crap that he's spoken, he can blame it on the pot.

McCain will be 72 if he wins the presidency. Other notable things about 72: It is what happens when you do (6+6)x6. It is also the atomic number of Hafnium - which I heard is one of the more dense elements, and is a lustrous, silvery gray tetravalent transition metal, not at all dissimilar to John McCain's hair. It is room temperature. It is the average number of heartbeats per minute for a resting adult - although remarkably not a 72 year old resting adult. And it is par for a 18 hole golf course. So the next time John McCain falls asleep in the middle of one of George Bush's speech, think about how great it will be to have Hafnium as the president.

Breaking News: Cheney Alive

There were no posts yesterday, in honor of [Vice] President Dick Cheney almost getting hurt near an Al-Qaeda suicide bomber, who - at last report by the [Vice] President himself - was in his last throes.

So yesterday I had a moment of silence for the [Vice] President, rather than the celebration I would have had if............

Today, in memoriam, I will post a picture below of the friend whom Cheney shot in the face. Not the picture with his face all yellow and pock filled though because that would undermine my blog's beauty. Oh yes, I said it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Seattle Sonics/Storm Owners May Be Homophobic

Bad News for Sonics Fans. The group that recently purchased the Seattle Supersonics and Seattle Storm, known as the "Professional Basketball Club LLC," has donated as much as 1.1 million dollars to the "Americans United to Preserve Marriage," an ultra-right wing, anti-gay group. The articles from the "Slog" blog from The Stranger:

Bad News for Seattle Storm Fans?

Posted by on February 26 at 1:38 AM

A tipster says Tom Ward, one of the new co-owners of the Seattle Sonics/Storm contributed $100,000 to a 527 called Americans United to Preserve Marriage.

(Yikes. Sounds like one of those Citizens Councils from Mississippi in the 1950s that was fighting to preserve the tradition of segregation.)

The conservative 527 doled out $1,056,962 in the 2004 election cycle and $162,322 in the 2006 cycle.

I have not confirmed Ward’s donation to the group yet.

I can confirm that Ward contributed $5,000 to Gary Bauer’s PAC, Campaign for Working Families, in 2002—which should make the Storm’s lesbian fan base queasy enough.

Ward also contributed $1,000 to Bill Spadea, a GOP candidate in New Jersey for U.S. Congress in 2004.

I’ll do some more reporting on this tomorrow.


Seattle Storm Owners Bankroll Anti-Gay Group

Posted by on February 26 at 8:4

5 AM

It’s even worse than my tipster thought.

The campaign finance records I’ve reviewed show that Sonics/Storm co-owner Tom Ward has contributed $475,000 to Gary L. Bauer’s Americans United to Preserve Marriage.

And another Sonics/Storm co-owner, Aubrey McClendon, contributed $625,000.

Both men made their first contributions to the group, $250,000 apiece, on September 8, 2004—the day after the group was formed.

As I said, the controversial group doled out $1,056,962 in the 2004 election cycle, which means Storm owners Ward and McClendon basically bankrolled the whole thing. Indeed, records show that between the 2004 and 2006 cycles the group spent $1.3 million total while Ward and McClendon’s donations total $1.1 million.


I'm conflicted. On the one side, I now hate them. But on the other side, they are likely going to keep Rashard Lewis and the rest of the Sonics in Seattle. So I'll let readers draw their own conclusions.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Technorati Top Tags

This isn't political, but I was pinging technorati and I noticed the "top tags" section of their page. I had to share it. Some of the top tags include Web 2.0, War, YouTube, Fashion... those make sense. A lot of sales tags like "adsense" and "singles." Okay, not cool but acceptable. But "boobs"? Who tags their blog pages with the word "boobs?" Probably the same people who label their posts under the tag "tall girls."

Inconvenient Truth Wins Oscar

"Inconvenient Truth" wins Best Documentary. Thankfully, I turned on the Oscars just to gauge when "Best Documentary" was going to be on, saw Jerry Seinfeld, was about to turn it off and saw it was the presentation for Best Documentary. Now that it's over, I can turn it back to law and order.

Unfortunately, Al Gore did not announce he was running for president while making his acceptance speech. Oh well. His movie still won.

Al Sharpton - Descendant of the Slaves of Strom Thurmond

The "Most Shocking Thing in my Life."

Al Sharpton recently found out that he is the descendant of the slaves of Strom Thurmond, the recently deceased South Carolina Senator, known for his controversial (more like blatantly racist) statements about supporting segregation in his failed attempt at the Presidency in 1948.

Sharpton found that his great grandfather, Coleman Sharpton, as well as 3 others (believed to be his wife and children) were given as a gift to Julia Thurmond, whose grandfather was the great-great-grandfather of Strom Thurmond.

"You know for real that you are three generations away from slavery," Sharpton said after being told of his history. Informed by the paper of the Thurmond connection, he wondered aloud: "Strom Thurmond's family owned my family."

"It's chilling," he said. "It's amazing," before adding "Maybe I'm the revenge of Coleman."
Thurmond, despite his bigoted presidential fight and slanted past, also may have had an illegitimate child with an African American maid named Carrie Butler, who died shortly before his segregationist campaign. Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the daughter, announced this after Thurmond's death in 2003, so it has been difficult to verify. However, it suggests that Thurmond may have been the Ted Haggard of Racism.

Fake News Not So Fake

I've written a few fake news articles about possible presidential nominees in 2008 (included, but not limited to, Papa Smurf). One of those articles was about a Democratic candidate that I named "Eniwon Butboosh." You can read that post here.

Last night I was considering the Republican nominees of 2008. I remain unimpressed. John McCain is such a sell out he has become the Puff Daddy of the Neoconservatives. Mitt Romney hasn't made a decision about anything, ever, and he won't win his own state let alone the Republican nomination. Rudy Giuliani has accomplished nothing, ever. Literally, ever. He has done nothing. And he was a mayor. I can't emphasize how incredibly dense you have to be to think he has any qualifications. Sam Brownbackkk...........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.... Oh, sorry, even saying his name makes me fall asleep, let alone listening to him talk. Mike Huckabee - Uh... no.

But looking at the candidates I can't help but sigh in relief. None of them, despite how much I despise what each and everyone of them stand for, is as bad as Bush. And my original joke of "Eniwon Butboosh - 2008" actually stands.

I would never vote for any of them, and I encourage all curious moderates to follow my lead and vote Democratic. But the Republicans this year are all are not as bad as Bush. Bush not only represents all that is evil and wrong with this world, he represents what happens when connections and corruption enter the white house. He and Cheney, with their connections to the oil industries, Halliburton, and other powerful individuals in the business, religious, and political nexus, single-handedly distorted, manipulated and exploited everything in the country during the past 6+ years of their reign over the white house. Whether it was hiring their cronies or providing contracts and money to their families and business partners, nothing in the government was executed without some sort of gain for someone in the Bush/Dick web. Sam Brownba....................................................... Sorry... Sam Brownback may be more conservative than even Bush, but at least he does not have the same for-gain mindset of the Bushies. John McCain may be a sellout, but he doesn't have the support (or, in Cheney's case, support) the oil industries. And Giuliani - again, a man who has done nothing, ever - doesn't have the white house connections that allow him to get away with nominating under-qualified Neanderthals for important military and political positions.

Barack Obama, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Richardson - each of them is a qualified, trustworthy, strong candidate that deserves our vote and respect, no matter which one of them gets the Democratic nomination (I hope to see that no matter who receives the nod, we can put our differences behind us and rally ourselves towards that candidate). But at least we can finally say "Anyone But Bush, 2008" and be satisfied that is what we're getting. It's comforting that the worst case scenario is still better than it has been for the past 6 years.

Knock on wood.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Conservative Response to Truth


File this under: Stupid Sh*t. This will be a long post.

Conservatives, convinced that Wikipedia is full of anti-Christian, anti-American Sentiment, has created their own wiki - titled "Conservapedia." From the Conservapedia.com main page:

Conservapedia: A conservative encyclopedia you can trust.

Conservapedia has over 3,400 educational, clean and concise entries on historical, scientific, legal, and economic topics, as well as more than 350 lectures and term lists. There have been over 252,000 page views and over 14,800 page edits. Already Conservapedia has become one of the largest user-controlled free encyclopedias on the internet. This site is growing rapidly.

Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American. On Wikipedia, many of the dates are provided in the anti-Christian "C.E." instead of "A.D.", which Conservapedia uses. Christianity receives no credit for the great advances and discoveries it inspired, such as those of the Renaissance. Read a list of many Examples of Bias in Wikipedia.

Conservapedia is an online resource and meeting place where we favor Christianity and America. Conservapedia has easy-to-use indexes to facilitate review of topics. You will much prefer using Conservapedia compared to Wikipedia if you want concise answers free of "political correctness".

Contributions that comply with simple commandments are respected (and improved) to the maximum extent possible. Please improve this website as you use it, and please cite your sources. With your help, Conservapedia will continue to be an online encyclopedia you can trust. This is also a meeting place, and appropriate questions may be posted at Ask questions."

You can't make this stuff up. The full list of reasons wikipedia is bias is here, however I will place some of the notable gems of the bias in wikipedia below:

  1. Wikipedia often uses foreign spelling of words, even though most English speaking users are American. Look up "Most Favored Nation" on Wikipedia and it automatically converts the spelling to the British spelling "Most Favoured Nation", even there there are far more American than British users. Look up "Division of labor" on Wikipedia and it automatically converts to the British spelling "Division of labour," then insists on the British spelling for "specialization" also.[3]. Enter "Hapsburg" (the European ruling family) and Wikipedia automatically changes the spelling to Habsburg, even though the American spelling has always been "Hapsburg". Within entries British spellings appear in the silliest of places, even when the topic is American. Conservapedia favors American spellings of words.
  2. Unlike most encyclopedias and news outlets, Wikipedia does not exert any centralized authority to take steps to reduce bias or provide balance; it has a "neutral point of view" policy but the policy is followed only to the extent that individual editors acting in social groups choose to follow it. For example, CNN would ensure that Crossfire had a representative of the political right and one from the political left. In contrast, Wikipedia policy allows bias to exist and worsen. For example, even though most Americans (and probably most of the world) reject the theory of evolution,[6] Wikipedia editors commenting on the topic are nearly 100% pro-evolution.[7] Self-selection has a tendency to exacerbate bias in the absence of affirmative steps to limit it. Gresham's Law reflects the problem in economics of bad money driving out good in the absence of corrective action. As a result, Wikipedia is arguably more biased than CNN and other information sources.
  3. Wikipedia allows the use of B.C.E. instead of B.C. and C.E. instead of A.D. The dates are based on the birth of Jesus, so why pretend otherwise? Conservapedia is Christian-friendly and exposes the CE deceptio
There are more, but to appreciate it you have to visit the website yourself. Apparently, "open source code" is too open, and should be regulated by the wikipedia staff in accordance to common knowledge. For example, they should not write about evolution, since apparently no one believes in it.

Conservapedia is a plethora of biased crap, and as such it is hilarious. It purposely omits articles and things that do not support conservative values.

Here is the article for "fox news":

Fox news

From Conservapedia

Fox News was started in 1996 in response to the other cable news channels which all had obvious liberal biases. Because of this, Rupert Murdoch decided to start a real new channel which would tell the truth. The success of Fox news over every other news channel is because it is fair and balanced. [1] It has many people on it who work to spread truth such as Sean Hannity who is a great American. [2]. Fox News is best because instead of just telling you what to think, they only report the news unbiased and then allow the viewer to decide. [3].

In 2005 the White House selected Tony Snow from Fox News to be the new White House press secretary which was a great honor for Fox because it showed how well it was presenting the real truth instead of the fake liberal version.

Apparently, the people who write conservapedia articles have a third grade reading level. BUT HERE IS THE BEST PART - Here are the "REFERENCES" for the above article. I told you, you can't make this shit up:

References

  1. Fair & Balanced[1]
  2. Sean Hannity[2]
  3. We Report. You Decide.[3]
  4. Tony Snow to be Named White House Press Secretary[4]
The first reference links to job opportunities at fox news. The 2nd, to a Sean Hannity "American Car Giveaway." The third: A page that has no words, it has 1 ad and a banner that says "We Report You Decide." And nothing else.

Wow. Just Wow. Wow... Wow.....

"A Cat Without Whiskers" - By Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd rarely puts up an article I don't like. Also, she quotes a man in Seattle, and I like representing my city.

From the New York Times:

A Cat Without Whiskers
By, Maureen Dowd


February 24, 2007
SEATTLE

So some guy stands up after John McCain’s luncheon speech here yesterday to a group of business types and asks him a question.

“I’ve seen in the press where in your run for the presidency, you’ve been sucking up to the religious right,” the man said, adding: “I was just wondering how soon do you predict a Republican candidate for president will start sucking up to the old Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party?”

Mr. McCain listened with his eyes downcast, then looked the man in the eye, smiled and replied: “I’m probably going to get in trouble, but what’s wrong with sucking up to everybody?” It was a flash of the old McCain, and the audience laughed.

Certainly, the senator has tried to worm his way into the affections of W. and the religious right: the Discovery Institute, a group that tries to derail Darwinism and promote the teaching of Intelligent Design, helped present the lunch, dismaying liberal bloggers who have tracked Mr. McCain’s devolution on evolution.

A reporter asked the senator if his pandering on Roe v. Wade had made him “the darling and candidate of the ultra right wing?” ( In South Carolina earlier this week, he tried to get more evangelical street cred by advocating upending Roe v. Wade.) “I dispute that assertion,” he replied. “I believe that it was Dr. Dobson recently who said that he prayed that I would not receive the Republican nomination. I was just over at Starbucks this morning. … I talk everywhere, and I try to reach out to everyone.”

But there’s one huge group that he’s not pandering to: Americans.

Most Americans are sick and tired of watching things go hideously backward in Iraq and Afghanistan, and want someone to show them the way out. Mr. McCain is stuck on the bridge of a sinking policy with W. and Dick Cheney, who showed again this week that there is no bottom to his lunacy. The senator supported a war that didn’t need to be fought and is a cheerleader for a surge that won’t work.

It has left Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, once the most spontaneous of campaigners, off balance. He’s like a cat without its whiskers. When the moderator broached the subject of Iraq after lunch, Mr. McCain grimaced, stuck out his tongue a little and said sarcastically, “Thanks.”

Defending his stance, he sounds like a Bill Gates robot prototype, repeating in a monotone: “I believe we’ve got a new strategy. … It can succeed. I can’t guarantee success. But I do believe firmly that if we get out now we risk chaos and genocide in the region.”

He was asked about Britain’s decision to withdraw 1,600 troops from Iraq. “Tony Blair, the prime minister, has shown great political courage,” Mr. McCain said. “He has literally sacrificed his political career because of Iraq, my friends,” because he thought “it was the right thing to do.”

He said he worried that Iranian-backed Shiites were taking more and more control of southern Iraq. (That was probably because the Brits kept peace in southern Iraq all along by giving Iranian-backed Shiites more and more control.) And he noted that the British are sending more troops to Afghanistan, “which is very necessary because we’re going to have a very hot spring in Afghanistan.”

But then he got back to Tony Blair sacrificing his political career, and it was clear that he was also talking about himself. When a reporter later asked him if Iraq might consume his candidacy, he replied evenly: “Sure.”

I asked him if he got discouraged when he reads stories like the one in The Wall Street Journal yesterday about Ahmad Chalabi, the man who helped goad and trick the U.S. into war, who got “a position inside the Iraqi government that could help determine whether the Bush administration’s new push to secure Baghdad succeeds.”

Or the New York Times article yesterday about a couple of Iraqi policemen who joined American forces on searches in Baghdad, but then turned quisling, running ahead to warn residents to hide their weapons and other incriminating evidence.

He nodded. “I think one of the big question marks is how the Maliki government will step up to the plate,” he said.

And how, I asked him, can Dick Cheney tell ABC News that British troops getting out is “an affirmation that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well,” while he says that Democrats who push to get America out would “validate the Al Qaeda strategy.” Isn’t that a nutty?

But Senator McCain was back on his robo-loop: “I can only express my gratitude for the enormous help that the British have given us.”

Sometimes I miss John McCain, even when I’m with him.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Tom Vilsack Announces First, Drops Out First

Sooner than you can say "Who the hell is Tom Vilsack," The former Governor of Iowa will announce Saturday that he is dropping out of the presidential race.

Vilsack, the first person from either party to announce his candidacy back on November 30th of 2006, is the first Democratic in the very competitive field to withdraw. Few people expected he had any chance of winning the election, but some hoped that a Governor would emerge from the field since American history gives Governors a better chance of winning back the presidency. With Vilsack's withdrawal, Bill Richardson (D-NM) is the last remaining gubernatorial contender. Tom Vilsack's aides have cited a lack of funding mixed with the publicity of the top prospects (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards) forced him to take his name out of the running.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Iraqnophobia


IraqNo!Phobia
By, Librocrat

When a man reaches a certain age, his body starts to weaken. He begins to have physical problems. Every day, new drugs, creams and therapies are being created to treat these issues – and their advertisements run rampant on television and in magazines.

One old man that experiences these troubles is [Vice] President Richard (Dick) Cheney. A Vasculopath with a long history of coronary atherosclerosis, Cheney – according to DoctorZebra.com, an online encyclopedia of the medical history of major US politicians – has suffered from multiple myocardial infarctions (heart attacks with permanent damage), moderate left-ventricular dysfunctions (loss of heart strength), cardiac electrical instability (random periods of fast and slow heartbeats), and peripheral atherosclerotic disease (artery hardening). He’s had gout. He may also have angina pectoris (mouth and jaw discomfort due to a decrease in blood flow).

Although the list of medications for the [Vice] President is kept confidential, each problem he suffers from has its own treatment. For his heart, he can take Zestril, For his cholesterol, Lipitor. Trental for his generalized atherosclerotic disease, Lasix for his left ventricles, Zyloprim for his gout, and so on.

But there is no treatment for his poor decisions. He can’t take exlax for his constipated thinking, or fiber to stop the bullshit from oozing from his mouth regularly. He can’t use a defibrillator to shock himself back to his senses, or Cipralex for his depressed intelligence. We couldn’t perform Amniocentesis to predict his retardation, and we can’t give him Viagra for his raging Iraqtion. And now that we’re stuck in Iraq, we can’t unclog his ears with Rocephin and so he can finally listen to what 75% of the country already knows – and even if we could, it wouldn’t matter, because there is no existing behavioral therapy for IraqNo!phobia.

No. The elderly man with the severe Iraqtile dysfunction won’t be helped by Cialis. His explosive Lierrhea uncured by Crofelemer. And his Moronary disease untreated by Abbokinase. And so, like an old dog, it may be time to consider euthanasia.

----------------------------------------------


“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you.”

--Rita Mae Brown

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Maureen Dowd: Obama’s Big Screen Test

Apparently Maureen Dowd's new article about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is Controversial. So, as a reference for those reading blogs, I'm posting it below:

Obama's Big Screen Test
By Maureen Dowd:

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.- Hillary is not David Geffen’s dreamgirl.

“Whoever is the nominee is going to win, so the stakes are very high,” says Mr. Geffen, the Hollywood mogul and sultan of “Dreamgirls,” as he sits by a crackling fire beneath a Jasper Johns flag and a matched pair of de Koonings in the house that Jack Warner built (which old-time Hollywood stars joked was the house that God would have built). “Not since the Vietnam War has there been this level of disappointment in the behavior of America throughout the world, and I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together.

“Obama is inspirational, and he’s not from the Bush royal family or the Clinton royal family. Americans are dying every day in Iraq. And I’m tired of hearing James Carville on television.”

Barack Obama has made an entrance in Hollywood unmatched since Scarlett O’Hara swept into the Twelve Oaks barbecue. Instead of the Tarleton twins, the Illinois senator is flirting with the Dreamworks trio: Mr. Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who gave him a party last night that raised $1.3 million and Hillary’s hackles.

She didn’t stand outside the gates to the Geffen mansion, where glitterati wolfed down Wolfgang Puck savories, singing the Jennifer Hudson protest anthem “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” But she’s not exactly Little Miss Sunshine, either. Hillary loyalists have hissed at defecting donors to remember the good old days of jumping on the Lincoln Bedroom bed.

“Hillary is livid that Obama’s getting the first big fund-raiser here,” one friend of hers said.

Who can pay attention to the Oscar battle between “The Queen” and “Dreamgirls” when you’ve got a political battle between a Queen and a Dreamboy?

Terry McAuliffe and First Groupie Bill have tried to hoard the best A.T.M. machine in politics for the Missus, but there’s some Clinton fatigue among fatigued Clinton donors, who fret that Bill will “pull the focus” and shelve his wife’s campaign.

“I don’t think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person,” Mr. Geffen says, adding that if Republicans are digging up dirt, they’ll wait until Hillary’s the nominee to use it. “I think they believe she’s the easiest to defeat.”

She is overproduced and overscripted. “It’s not a very big thing to say, ‘I made a mistake’ on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can’t,” Mr. Geffen says. “She’s so advised by so many smart advisers who are covering every base. I think that America was better served when the candidates were chosen in smoke-filled rooms.”

The babble here is not about “Babel”; it’s about the battle of the billionaires. Not only have Ron Burkle and David Geffen been vying to buy The Los Angeles Times — they have been vying to raise money for competing candidates. Mr. Burkle, a supermarket magnate, is close to the Clintons, and is helping Hillary parry Barry Obama by arranging a fund-raiser for her in March, with a contribution from Mr. Spielberg.

Did Mr. Spielberg get in trouble with the Clintons for helping Senator Obama? “Yes,” Mr. Geffen replies, slyly. Can Obambi stand up to Clinton Inc.? “I hope so,” he says, “because that machine is going to be very unpleasant and unattractive and effective.”

Once, David Geffen and Bill Clinton were tight as ticks. Mr. Geffen helped raise some $18 million for Bill and slept in the Lincoln Bedroom twice. Bill chilled at Chateau Geffen. Now, the Dreamworks co-chairman calls the former president “a reckless guy” who “gave his enemies a lot of ammunition to hurt him and to distract the country.”

They fell out in 2000, when Mr. Clinton gave a pardon to Marc Rich after rebuffing Mr. Geffen’s request for one for Leonard Peltier. “Marc Rich getting pardoned? An oil-profiteer expatriate who left the country rather than pay taxes or face justice?” Mr. Geffen says. “Yet another time when the Clintons were unwilling to stand for the things that they genuinely believe in. Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”

The mogul knows it’s easy to mock Hollywood — “people with Priuses and private planes” — and agrees with George Clooney that it’s probably not helpful for stars to campaign for candidates, given the caricatures of Hollywood.

I ask what he will say if he ever runs into Bill Clinton again. “ ‘Hi,’ ” he replies. And will he be upset if Hillary wins and he never gets to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom again?

“No,” he says with a puckish smile. “It’s not as nice as my bedroom.”

President of Iraq Applauds UK Troop Withdrawal


And yet... Bush still wants us to believe that the Iraqis want us there. From the Guardian:
The Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, today told the Guardian that Tony Blair's statement on phased troop withdrawal in the southern city of Basra was "a welcome catalyst for Iraqi security forces in the south and elsewhere to stand on their own feet".

Mr Talabani said Mr Blair's announcement to the Commons "had not come as a surprise to anyone".

His comments came as Iraq's political leaders, who have been pressing the Bush administration to allow Iraqi forces shoulder more of the security burden in the country, welcomed news of the troop reduction.

The deputy prime minister, Barham Salih - who was praised by Mr Blair for directing a multi-million dollar reconstruction package for the oil-rich but poverty-ridden southern city, said: "British troops have helped liberate the people of Iraq from tyranny.

"We honour their sacrifices in helping Iraqis to live in freedom. The redeployment comes in the context of transferring security responsibilities to the Iraqi government, but activating the economy is the real key to stability."

Read More...

In case you do not want to read the entire article, the best line comes at the end of the article: "One senior provincial official in Basra said: 'If, after four years, they can't withdraw 1,600 troops without destabilizing the situation, then God help us.'"

It seems that the only people that still want us there are Cheney, Bush, and an incredibly dense 30% of America.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

UK to Pull Out of Iraq

Tony Blair has decided to set a timetable for the withdrawal of his UK troops in Iraq in as little as 3 weeks. This pullout comes during a time when the United States has already promised their "surge" aka "escalation" of 21,500 more troops in Iraq. Tony Blair plans to cut most of the 7,000 United Kingdom troops stationed in Iraq by the middle of the year. His popularity in the UK has been slowly deteriorating thanks to his association with "President" Bush.

From MSNBC:

LONDON - Prime Minister Tony Blair will announce on Wednesday a new timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, with 1,500 to return home in several weeks, the BBC reported.

Blair will also tell the House of Commons during his regular weekly appearance before it that a total of about 3,000 British soldiers will have left southern Iraq by the end of 2007, if the security there is sufficient, the British Broadcasting Corp. said, quoting government officials who weren't further identified.


According to NBC News, White House officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Blair will announce he is withdrawing 1,700 troops from Basra, southern Iraq. Blair and Bush spoke about the timetable on Tuesday morning, NBC reported.


The announcement comes even as President Bush implements a surge of 21,000 more troops for Iraq.


But Blair said Sunday that Washington had not put pressure on London to maintain its troop numbers. Britain hopes to cut several thousand of its 7,000-member force in the southern city of Basra by midyear.


As recently as late last month, Blair rejected opposition calls to withdrawal British troops by October, calling such a plan irresponsible.


"That would send the most disastrous signal to the people that we are fighting in Iraq. It's a policy that, whatever its superficial attractions may be, is actually deeply irresponsible," Blair said on Jan. 24 in the House of Commons.


Blair, who has said he will step down as prime minister by September after a decade in power, has seen his foreign-policy record overshadowed by his role as Bush's leading ally in the unpopular war.



So apparently our "Surge" is actually just the US sending in replacement soldiers while other countries in Iraq pull their men out. Way to go with the strategic decisions, Bush.

Republican Donor Charged with Terrorism

GOP donor hit with terror charges - Politics - MSNBC.com

WASHINGTON - A New York man accused of trying to help terrorists in Afghanistan has donated some $15,000 to the House Republicans' campaign committee over three years. Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to charges that include terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and money laundering. From April 2002 until August 2004, the man also known as "Michael Mixon" gave donations ranging from $500 to $5,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to Federal Election Commission reports and two campaign donor tracking Web sites, http://www.politicalmoneyline.com and http://www.opensecrets.org.

The NRCC did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Tuesday about whether it would return the donations.

In the federal indictment, the government said Alishtari, 53, of Ardsley, N.Y., also known as Mixon accepted an unspecified amount of money to transfer $152,000 to Pakistan and Afghanistan to support an Afghanistan terrorist training camp. He also stands accused of causing the transfer of about $25,000 from a bank account in New York to an account in Montreal, money the government says was to be used to provide material support to terrorists.

Read More...

--------------
I guess the terrorists want the Republicans to win, contrary to what Neil Cavuto and Bill O'Reilly believe. But I suppose that doesn't surprise anyone.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Today is Political YouTube Day

I've been posting videos all day on my other site, and since my last post on this site had some html issues (all the photos became "Tripod Owned" or something), today will be YouTube day on this site as well:

This is a video of Fox "News" as a comedy show, with laugh track added to real "news" on the channel. Apparently, Fox doesn't think we should vote for Barack Obama because he smokes.

This is Ann Coulter getting impressively frustrated with some awesome woman I don't recognize filling in for Combs and Hannity and Combs

Here is a Video Montage of Bush's Greatest moments

Government Interference in Protesting

My Article of the Day, by Geoffrey Stone from the Guardian [photos added]:

You've decided to participate in an anti-Iraq war demonstration. Perhaps you've never done such a thing before. But you're troubled by the way things are going in Iraq and you want to express your concern. After bundling up against the cold and marching several blocks side-by-side with your protesting comrades you come upon a platform on which a burly man wearing a dark blue FBI jacket is videotaping the event. What is your reaction?

For many, perhaps most, people, this would generate a sense of anxiety. Why is he there? What's the point of videotaping the protest? Sure, channel 6 might do this, but why the Federal Bureau of Investigation? In all likelihood, you will begin to wonder whether this might land you in a file. At this point, you might begin to second-guess your decision to march. After all, whether you protest or not will have absolutely no effect on national policy. One marcher more or less is a matter of no consequence. But what if the FBI turns this photograph over to the Internal Revenue Service, or to your employer, or to your landlord? The next time someone asks you to march in a protest, sign a petition, or attend a lecture by a government critic, you just might think twice.

Such participation is a fundamental aspect of free speech. It is easily discouraged ("chilled") because our individual act of expression is unlikely to make a difference. But if many people are individually chilled, the overall impact on public discourse can be quite dramatic. This is why courts formulating First Amendment doctrine generally pay special attention to the dangers of chilling effect.

Unfortunately, courts generally pay attention to chilling effect only when the government is actually doing something to harm an individual because of his speech - for example, criminally prosecuting him, firing him or allowing him to be sued. In such circumstances, courts try to ensure that the law protect not only the person being prosecuted, fired or sued, but also those who might be deterred from speaking by the fear of being prosecuted, fired or sued.

Note, however, that in my demonstration hypothetical, the government isn't necessarily doing anything to directly harm anyone. It's only filming the event. And, so far as we know, the government isn't using the information to do anything improper. The fear is only that the government might do so. In this situation, which is quite common, courts are usually reluctant to allow individuals to challenge the government's conduct. If they can't prove the government has misused the information against them, they have nothing to complain about. Mere chilling effect is not enough. That you might never again exercise your First Amendment right to sign a petition or march in a demonstration because of your fear that the government will misuse the videotape is not a legally cognizable harm.

This is a very bad doctrine. It is why the government can usually get away with videotaping political demonstrations, demanding that bookstores and libraries turn over information about book buyers and borrowers, recording the names of those who attend particular mosques, and wiretapping phone calls when no single individual can prove that he was wiretapped. All of these techniques have been used by the Bush administration; all of them have a serious chilling effect; and under existing law it is very difficult for anyone to challenge the constitutionality of the government's conduct. The very fact that the government keeps secret what it does with the information prevents anyone from suing, even though the information gathering can have serious consequences for First Amendment activity.

There is one ray of hope. On February 15, federal Judge Charles S Haight, Jr ruled that the New York City police cannot - in the absence of any reason to believe that unlawful activity might be afoot - constitutionally videotape individuals who are peacefully exercising their First Amendment right to demonstrate against government policy. More than thirty years ago, Attorney General Edward Levi recognized this same principle. He adopted a Justice Department guideline prohibiting any FBI investigation of a political or religious organization or activity in the absence of reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful conduct was involved. Unfortunately, the Bush administration repealed that guideline. Hopefully, Judge Haight's decision will be a significant step toward fixing this glaring deficiency in American constitutional law.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

John McCain to America: I'm In, And I'm In to Lose to a Mayor

John McCain continued his quest to plunge his campaign into the abyss today as he released a statement in Iowa pledging his all out, unwavering support for the war in Iraq.

From the New York Times: "Almost from the moment he took the stage at his first campaign event in Iowa since forming his presidential exploratory committee, Mr. McCain made clear that he was not backing away from his support of the war. From Des Moines to Cedar Rapids to this eastern Iowa community, Mr. McCain aggressively identified his candidacy with the war. In the process, he signaled the political advantage his campaign sees in presenting Mr. McCain as an unapologetic Iraq war advocate to the conservative Republican activists who dominate the Iowa caucuses."

The man who used to be known as a Maverick for the way his steadfast moderate beliefs contrasted against the rest of his party, has now become a Maverick because he makes stupid decisions against the advice of his aides and supporters. Although it can help him win the pro-war Republican nomination, his advisers think ("Anxiously" according to the New York Times) that there is no way he can win the Presidency against an anti-war Democrat with such a blatantly pro-war stance. "Mr. McCain’s aides could barely contain their frustration, as he sailed off on this maiden voyage of his campaign, at the extent to which perhaps the most important factor in determining the 2008 race was beyond their control."

We will always wonder what happened in these last 4ish years to the "Moderate Maverick" that would have him change (one might say "flip-flop" - though I hate that term) his stance on such issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, stem cell research, torture, tax cuts for the wealthy, NSA eavesdropping - and what made him begin prostituting himself to the right wing neocons.

I remember after the 2004 catastropuck of an election, my fellow liberals and I - through our tears - hoped that at least if McCain ran and won in 2008 we'd have the lesser of the vast number of Republican evils. Now, although he has voted more conservative than Sam Brownback over the last few years, we still want him to run because there is no way this sleepy old man can win. The Moderate Maverick is no more.

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If you are a John McCain fan, I've posted a photograph below of Britney Spears bald to help cheer you up:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

What's New With the Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has issued a new statement regarding the Iraq war. She has announced that she is willing to lose the anti-war vote rather than claim she would not have supported the war, "Which I don't agree with."

"If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or who has said that vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from."

Her statement, of course, referring to Barack Obama who is on record for not supporting the war (although not in office at the time of the vote) and John Edwards, who casted his vote for the war but has since denounced it as the result of misinformation.

Her adviser, Richard C. Holbrooke, revealed that “Some of her many advisers think she should’ve uttered the three magic words — ‘I was wrong’ — but she believes it’s self-evident that the Senate Iraq resolution was based on false intelligence and never should’ve come to a vote.”

And in this case I agree. Needing the Democratic Senator to claim she is sorry for her vote is like believing that Michael Richards's or Mel Gibson's apologies have any value. They don't. Since then she has announced the war to be a disaster, announced that they were given faulty intelligence and been a vocal critic, even calling for a withdrawal to begin within 3 months. She's not Joe Lieberman, who still supports the disaster, so an apology would be a meaningless set of words used only as a strategic veil to help get her elected. She's not the most liberal candidate, and you can dislike her over Barack Obama if you like, but at least worry about the issues rather than a war that she will likely be responsible for in 2 years.

I'm not happy with some of her stances on the issues, but I'm thinking in the general terms of "who can win" and "who do I like." I like Obama, Clinton AND Edwards. So I'm going to worry about who can win. However, if you're still debating "who do I like?" You should probably not worry about a hollow apology and start worrying about the issues that will affect our country in the future.

Tammy Nyp's Blog

Cross Posted on Observational Musings:

It's not surprising to me that people on Technorati would rather search for a 17 year old cheerleader's cell phone video than Barack Obama. But it does upset me, slightly, that this same person's blog is now like the #1 blog in the country, even though all she talks about is make-up and shopping, just like other 17 year olds. Is that how I have to make my blog popular? Do I have to get major surgery and become an underage chinese girl? Because I can. I'm sure it exists.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Recent Search Terms to Hit My Site


I got hits for the the search term "penis pride" and the search term "facial expressions during fellatio." I really need to stop using genital jokes. Where are my high brow search terms? Where is: "Best Liberal Blog"? Or "Politically Progressive Sesquipedalian?"

Sculptures - Made from Pencils

I kid you not, the following pieces of art are made using pencils:




I don't care that this isn't political. These are extremely cool.

Someone is Compensating....

Oh George. How your genitals size is a constant source of comfort and jokes. I think in a previous post I said you had the penis the size of a 6 year old girl's. It's good to see that your fellow neoconservatives agree. Robert Novak, of course, knowing from experience.

Shakespeare's Sister's Article in Her Brother's Country


Melissa McEwan, the "controversial" blogger who mentioned something once negative about Catholicism, maybe, wrote an article today in "The Guardian." If her speaking ill of Catholics once makes her a target of Republican attacks, it looks like I'll never get a job working for Barack Obama. Darn. I think I called Neil Cavuto a rabies infested flea, and I know that will insult all the other rabies infested neoconservative fleas. So my career working as a blogger for the Democratic presidential candidates was over before it started.

Melissa McEwan's article:

Not long ago, I was contacted by the John Edwards campaign, asking me if I would be interested in working for them. I was, and after the details all shook out, I came on as a part-time adviser, tasked primarily with creating an outreach program between the campaign and the progressive blogosphere. My most important credential was, quite plainly, being a blogger (although my background in marketing and branding didn't hurt, either), and specifically a blogger plugged into several blogging communities. The progressive blogosphere is not monolithic, but a mosaic of overlapping subspheres largely built around issues and/or identities - and successfully navigating that wide and wondrous map of the netroots was my job. I was beyond excited about it.

About the same time, Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon was hired as the campaign's blogmaster - a position perfectly suited to her strong abilities as a writer and audience-builder. The progressive blogosphere generally agreed, and we were congratulated while the Edwards campaign was celebrated for hiring two fierce feminists to be a part of their team. Good vibes all around.

And then, at 4:34pm on February 6, seven days after I'd announced I had joined the campaign, I got an email from Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press, asking to me comment on a press release she'd received from the Catholic League. The headline of the press release was "John Edwards Hires Two Anti-Catholics." By 5:49pm, I'd gotten a second email that the story had appeared. When it went to press, I was still out to dinner with a friend who was visiting from out of town, having never seen any of the emails and knowing nothing of the press release. I had no inkling of the chaos to come.

The story began like this: "Two bloggers hired recently by Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards were criticized Tuesday by a Catholic group for posts they had written elsewhere on the Internet. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, demanded that Edwards fire Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. 'John Edwards is a decent man who has had his campaign tarnished by two anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots,' Donohue wrote in a statement. 'He has no choice but to fire them immediately'."

Donohue's history of controversial, including multiple anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim, statements was not mentioned. An article by John Broder in the New York Times the following day similarly failed to mention Donohue's history, as did reports on CNN and MSNBC. Donohue was smearing Marcotte and me - two women who had supported John Kerry, a Catholic, and had both attended Catholic universities - across the American media with impunity, for things we had said on private blogs before we were employed by the campaign...


Read the Full Article here.

It's too bad. But luckily, it doesn't stop bloggers from blogging. It only stops them from getting paid for it. If controversial statements prevented bloggers from sharing their beliefs, Michelle Malkin would have been shot long ago.

Bush Drops His Dog


Recently my Google ads have been about joining the military. While I support those who choose to do so, it doesn't fit with the general theme of this blog. So, below, I'm going to write numerous anti-bush, anti-republican phrases and words so that the ads are a little more geared towards my audience. In the interim, please enjoy the photo above of George Bush dropping his dog. What a colossal idiot.

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Anti-bush, anti-GOP, anti-Republican, democrat, liberal, librocrat, liberal democrat, progressive, George Carlin, anti-Laura Bush, anti-war, Iraq, Catastrophuck, Bush sucks, Republicans suck, Republicans suck Bush, anti-Fox News, democracy, fun, humor, Republicans hate fun, Republicans suck at life, NeoCons, anti-conservative, anti-Bush, anti-bush, anti-bush, anti-bush, anti-bush, anti bush, antibush.

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Thank you for your time.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My Love Affair With George W. Bush


Dear Mr. Bush,

What happened with us? You don't call, you never write... Have you forgotten our time together? Have you forgotten how much we meant to each other? We shared that special day together... Gosh, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was almost Thanksgiving, and I caught you glancing at me across the room. Ha, what fools we were. I wandered over, "clucked" in your direction. You smiled that loving, blank faced smile as if you had no idea where you were anymore. Like I was the only person on the lawn. America doesn't approve of homosexual intraspecies love but we didn't care. Pretty soon it was just you an me, and no one else mattered.

That day I gave you the greatest fellatio you had ever received. You liked it so much, you pardoned me. Then, that night, after Laura's face cryogenically froze itself for the night, we went up to the Lincoln bedroom and made love five times that night. Heh, remember? My snood was so sticky!

But, as time passed, the letters stopped coming in. Soon the phone calls became sparse, and Bill O'Reilly grew less and less jealous. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. I haven't heard from you in so long. Did our time mean nothing to you? Accuse me of being unpatriotic all you want, but you, sir, are a fraud. You take and take and take until there is nothing left. It's not supporting Al Queda to want a to talk now and then. It's doesn't embolden the terrorists to expect a little appreciation.

Well, this bird will squawk for you no more. I am not just your play turkey, and I'm not your "little Frito Bandito" anymore. I don't care if you get the whole United States Army to bring me flowers anymore, you'll never be fondling this booty ever again.

With Love Sincerely,

Turkey

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ben and Jerry's Announces New Stephen Colbert Ice Cream



Stephen Colbert has a new Icecream, called the "Americone Dream"

From Stephen Colbert:"I'm not afraid to say it. Dessert has a well-known liberal agenda," Colbert said in a statement. "What I hope to do with this ice cream is bring some balance back to the freezer case."

Read More at Yahoo!: Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mitt Romney Running for President


Watch out Barack Obama, here comes Mitt Romney. He's just like you, only not charismatic, not a minority, conservative, inconsistent, and somewhat of a Neocon sellout. Oh, and he's a Mormon, which doesn't bother me at all but will certainly make hilarious Republican attack ads.

Now that he's officially in the race, please contribute to the anti-Mitt Romney presidential poetry located in the link on the top of this website.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Papa Smurf Announces He is Running for President in 2008


On a day steeped in Smurfiness, Mayor Papa Smurf yesterday launched his bid to become America's first blue President with an emotional vow to fundamentally change American politics.

His audacious attempt to win the Republican nomination for the 2008 presidential election has been effectively under way for several months, but Smurf, 542, finally declared what everyone already knew: he's running for the White House.

'I smurf before you today to smurf my smurfiness for Smurf of the United States of Smurf,' he told a cheering crowd at ground zero in New York City. He wanted to hold the press conference in his hometown of smurfville, but the press would be unable to find smurfville unless one of the Smurfs showed them where it is. His audience responded by shouting his name loudly, waving banners declaring 'Smurf 08' emblazoned with a symbol resembling a giant mushroom.

Mr. Smurf, a staunch neo-conservative and generous donor to the Republican party, says the country needs “a good smurfing,” and he intends to be the candidate that will bring about the greatest change in Washington. He reminded the American people of the horrors of 2/12: when Gargamel drove his Toyota Prius straight into the Smurf Center and the cat, Azrael, organized the bombing of Smirfsville. And Papa Smurf reminded America how it was his leadership that brought together the Smurfs during their shock and pain.

Despite the excitement of the crowd, many prominent Republicans are skeptical. Mr. Smurf has had a serious of controversies during his time as Mayor of Smurfville. Most recently Mr. Smurf announced his 3rd divorce, much to the chagrin of the religious right. He also publicly announced his separation from his second marriage at a press conference before telling his wife, leaving him open to attack ads from other conservative nominees.

While he has a strong record of social conservatism, fiscal conservatives are doubtful. “He has not voted for a single tax break his entire time in office.” Said a spokesman for another presidential candidate who spoke under condition of anonymity. “In fact, he may even have ties to communism. He believes in sharing everything and his hat and pants are red, the symbol for a communist society.

“Plus he looks a lot like Karl Marx.”

Amidst all these is his alleged affair with Smurfette, his intern during his time in office. Everyone remembers his famous line “I did not Smurf the Smurf.” But recorded phone conversations and a stain on a dress saved by a close friend of Smurfette named Pathetic Smurf, lead officials to believe he lied.

((There are also circulating rumors that he has a house back and Smurfville made from a Mushroom that is a hallucinogenic. Although since no one can find Smurfville without permission of Papa Smurf, these allegations remain unverified.))

But Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News “journalist” who will be interviewing Mr. Smurf on his program later this week says “[Papa Smurf] is a man who has shown leadership under adversity and shown his people that he can bring them into prosperity. He also looks a lot like a blue Santa Claus, and don’t let the Liberal Progressives continue their war on Christmas by not electing Papa Smurf into office.”

Despite the criticism, Papa Smurf is a front runner in the race to the white house. His minority status may help him garner votes from the Blue population, and his popularity after 2/12 could help carry him into office.

However, Mr. Smurf faces a sharp challenge from Rudy Giuliani, another Republican mayor whose sole claim to fame is capitalizing on other people’s emotions.

Papa Smurf remains unphased by his competition. On his website: DraftSmurf.org, Mr. Smurf told his supporters:

“I’m Smurfed. And I’m smurfed to smurf.”

Sources: The Guardian, Blue Buddies, DraftSmurf.org

Obama Gets Boost From Bush Ally


I love my political party. Only a Democrat can get a positive perception boost from someone assaulting his stance on an issue. From the Guardian.

Barack Obama, one of the leading Democratic candidates for next year's presidential race, received an early and unexpected boost yesterday when the Australian prime minister, John Howard, criticised his anti-war stance.

The attack by the close ally of President George Bush and vocal supporter of the war in Iraq, came just hours after Mr Obama formally announced in Springfield, Illinois, that he would seek the Democratic nomination.

Breaking the convention that foreign leaders do not interfere in domestic political campaigns, Mr Howard rounded on Mr Obama, who is strongly opposed to the war in Iraq, for demanding that all US troops leave Iraq by March 31 next year.

Mr Howard said: "I think that will just encourage those who want to completely destabilise and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and a victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for an Obama victory," Mr Howard said in a television interview. "If I were running al-Qaida in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying ... for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats."

The Illinois senator is a frontrunner, along with Hillary Clinton, for the Democratic nomination. Although Mrs Clinton has a more established team and has already raised $14m (£7.1m) in funds, Mr Obama has a reputation as the more exciting. He has attracted experienced campaigners to his team and is expected to match Mrs Clinton in fundraising.

Mr Howard's intervention helps Mr Obama by highlighting his opposition to the war, in contrast to Mrs Clinton, who voted for it in the Senate in 2002 but now distances herself from it. Democratic activists are strongly opposed to the war. Mr Obama, 45, will also be helped by American irritation that a foreign leader should intervene in their election.

Robert Gibbs, Mr Obama's press secretary, said Mr Howard was not in a position to be overly critical. "If prime minister Howard truly believes what he says, perhaps his country should find its way to contribute more than just 1,400 troops so some American troops can come home. It's easy to talk tough when it's not your country or your troops making the sacrifice."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Many Emotions of George W. Bush


Now I will explain what each of the facial expressions above mean, going from left to right, starting at the top.
1) Does this hair hide Cheney's remote?
2) You're right, I think it's Paris's fault, not Nicole's. Man this thinkin' is hard.
3) I pooped.
4) Hm... I haven't considered anything before.
5) What? Me a stupid incompetent douche who has accomplished nothing, ever? My sign said otherwise. I accomplished a mission.
6) 3,100 American Soldiers have died.

I know someone who reads this blog can do better.

You Know You're an Anti-Semite When...


Recently, on some of my favorite blogs, I see a lot of defensiveness about being seen as anti-Semitic for their disagreement (understatement) with Israel's policies and politics.

So, as both a Jew and a liberal blogger, I have the unique perspective on anti-Semitism and its link to Israel.

I will begin with the following statement: No, you are not anti-Semitic for disagreeing with the Israeli government. However, anti-Semitism is breeding in the liberal community. My example is the following. A man asked another man during the war with Hezbollah: "I saw an orthodox Jew in the street the other day, walking in his little black hat and black robes. I wanted to run over there and punch him in the face. Is that anti-Semitic?"

Yes. That is anti-Semitic. That is singling out a person based on their appearance, stereotyping them, associating them with a country thousands of miles away and threatening violence on them because of it. If the preceding questioned seemed stupid, like it was some random guy on the street, it was actually a statement made on "Air America" to the co-host, and it was not considered a joke.

Understand that most Jewish people are angry with Israel over their military action. The Jewish community is roughly 85% liberal, and votes overwhelmingly Democratic. We are not idle to the actions of the country simply because it is the only country the Jewish people have in the world.

However, there are two things that are predominant in the liberal/progressive community that are either anti-Semitic or so biasly anti-Israel to the point that it is almost like watching Fox News (except, you know... intelligent and anti-war). Hence the lists below. If you fall into either of these categories, you may not necessarily be anti-Semitic or biasly anti-Israel, but you probably need to tone in down some.

Anyway, to the checklist:

You know you're an anti-Semite when...:

  • You blame the Jews for Israel
  • You create more than one post explaining how not anti-Semitic you are, yet claiming that the Jews are telling you that you are anti-Semitic (again, we don't agree with Israel either, so if you group all the Jews together claiming "We" - as in, all the Jews - are calling you anti-Semitic, you're stereotyping. I don't think you're anti-Semitic, so you should stop assuming I do by grouping us together with the one angry guy on your blog). Also, remember, you don't create posts saying "I'm not a racist because..." you should expect that if you're constantly defending something that didn't necessarily happen, you should probably look at yourself and figure out why you do that.
  • You think Lieberman is an accurate representation of a Jewish Politician. That's partially a joke, but let me assure you: He's not.
  • You think Jews don't like Palestinians because they're Muslims. See below for more explanation.
You know you're biasly anti-Israel when...:
  • You support Hezbollah
  • You support the Palestinian Government (NOTE: The Palestinian Government is run by known terrorists. You can be mad at Israel for their actions, but the Palestinians purposely elected a militant group responsible for suicide bombing Israeli civilians on a daily basis.)
  • You think Israelis chose their Country, rather than the British handing giving it to them.
  • You assume the war in Iraq had something to do with Israel, even though Iraq is not even close to the greatest threat to Israel, and Hussein was barely a blip on the radar of danger in Jerusalem.
  • You see the army in Israel as cruel and inhuman, even though in Reality they are only high school graduates, both men and women because the army is mandatory after high school since the country is too small to sustain itself from the constant threats from the surrounding Muslim nations.
  • You think Israeli's don't want peace, even though they have never, in this history of their fledging, 50 year old country, ever been the first to break a peace treaty. Ever. Not once. Never.
I don't write this to spark controversy. As I stated numerous times, Israel makes poor, dangerous and sometimes deadly military decisions that are inhumane and stupid. But if you fall either of the two groups above, you may have crossed the line from objectivity and may be blinding yourself to the truths of the situation. 1 week before I went to Israel, Hamas militants stuck a bomb in a briefcase filled with nails in the middle of a crowded shopping center. It exploded, and those that were not immediately killed by the bomb were wounded by the hundreds by the nails flying into their legs, sides, and neck. These individuals are now in charge of the Palestinian government.

It is okay to strongly disagree with Israel, as well you should since they are making stupid decisions every day. But be sure you are looking at the situation before you make bias judgements of the country, or worse, the people they unfortunately represent.

I'll give one final example, given to me by a professor of Jewish studies who is also an outspoken opponent of Israel's actions:

"There is a difference here of morals. Remember during the war [with Hezbollah] one of the Israeli rockets hit an apartment building, killing over 30 people including numerous children. This was a horrible event, and the Israeli government should be held accountable. But before Israel bombed they sent two warnings to the residents of the apartment, telling them they needed to evacuate because they were going to bomb it. The Lebanese civilians refused. Also, after searching through the rubble, underneath the school was the stronghold of a Hezbollah leader who was using the school as a human shield. And the Lebanese people knew they were there, and refused to kick them out. On the opposite side, Hezbollah sent rockets into Israel that were not aimed at anyone, shot with no specific target without warning, killing whoever happened to be near it. Israel's actions are horrible and arrests should be made, but theirs was a failed military action, while Hezbollah's was destruction and death. There is a difference of morals."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

No Faith in Feith

An Article by Spencer Ackerman of The Guardian:

No Faith in Feith

An official report has found that Douglas J Feith, a key neoconservative intellectual, cooked the intelligence linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida.


Unless he had a dentist's appointment late this afternoon, it would be hard for Douglas J Feith to have had a worse Friday. Already, one of the first neoconservative officials to have been jettisoned in the second Bush administration, the former undersecretary of defense for policy - the number three position in the Pentagon - just had his legacy torn apart by an official investigation by the Defense Department's inspector general. The long-awaited report, released Friday morning, found that a unit set up in Feith's bureau known as the Office of Special Plans engaged in "inappropriate" intelligence work on the case for war with Iraq.

The Office of Special Plans (OSP) is a murky thing, and, in Washington as well as on the internet, it's taken on a life of its own. Feith has been right to complain that entire conspiracy theories have sprung up around it - like, according to some perfervid views, the claim that the OSP's work was an effort to invade Iraq on behalf of Israel. The inspector general's office didn't dignify that with a response, but it did confirm, in broad outline, much of what has appeared in investigative reports: that Feith's office "developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al-Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the intelligence community, to senior decision-makers."

These alternative assessments, developed in late 2001 and 2002, went far beyond the available evidence to assert a connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Feith's office further suggested that the intelligence community - which, by and large, didn't put much stock in the idea of cooperation between Iraq and al-Qaida - was hopelessly myopic. And that, in turn, served an important bureaucratic purpose: crowding out competitors. For instance, Feith's intelligence analysts presented a briefing on their exaggerated findings to then CIA director George Tenet in August of 2002, in order to delay a CIA assessment on the issue that they considered insufficiently hawkish. Tenet later told a Senate panel that he "didn't see anything that broke any new ground for me" in Feith's briefing. But the next month, the OSP analysts took their findings to the White House, and included in their briefing a section that contended there were "Fundamental Problems With How (the Intelligence Community) Is Assessing Information." The OSP's analysis was established as the one worth trusting.

The inspector general found that the OSP "inappropriately" pressed a case to senior Bush administration officials - a case that purported to be an intelligence assessment, yet "did not clearly show the variance with the consensus of the intelligence community". In what is quite a significant understatement, the report says the result was that the OSP "did not provide 'the most accurate analysis of intelligence' to senior decision-makers". And how: in September of 2002, President Bush boldly stated that "you can't distinguish between al-Qaida and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror." When the Downing Street Memo warned of "intelligence and facts" being "fixed around the policy" to invade Iraq, it had this sort of thing in mind.

Neither Feith nor the Pentagon took inspector general's report lying down. Feith put out a statement calling the charges of impropriety "absurd", and tried to turn the issue into a question of whether or not policymakers are to be forced to blindly accept shoddy intelligence work. His successor at the Pentagon prepared a 50-plus page rebuttal to the inspector general that challenged nearly everything that could be challenged in the report - including the inspector general's fitness to evaluate the question. Bizarre as the rebuttal may appear, it serves an obvious purpose: to let conservatives pretend that the propriety of the OSP is still an open question. If this is Feith's best defense, things don't look good for his reputation.

Perhaps the only promising note the inspector general offered is that the OSP didn't do anything illegal. Yet the Democratic chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Jay Rockefeller, has vowed to investigate whether the OSP in fact broke the law by performing intelligence work without Senate notification. Indeed, the report won't be the last word on Feith's office and prewar intelligence: Rockefeller had been waiting on the inspector general before moving forward with a long-delayed inquiry as to how the Bush administration used Iraq intelligence in presenting its case for war. For Feith, it's enough to make a root canal seem pleasant by comparison.


I think this would be bigger news, but Anna Nicole Smith died, and apparently in the media she is more important than the reason 3100+ Americans died.