Friday, September 29, 2006

FOX's Shepard Smith Skips His Kool-Aid

Watch Shepard Smith lay into Bill Kristol and the Administration on Iraq:

Remember this is a FOX anchor we're watching here! Smith is waaay off the company line here. Some highlights:
Smith: Can't you say, beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt that what's happening in Iraq is not working as we had hoped...That the terrorism is getting worse...that [pounding desk]"stay the course" isn't working, any more than maybe "cut and run" would work!?

Yikes. At FOX, that stuff'll get you a pink slip. Or the overnight. Smith and Kristol then discuss that more troops are needed...
Smith: "If they really want to win it! But I think they're just playing lip service to all of it!"

To be clear her, Smith is referring to Bush and the Administration. This is nothing short of amazing. There is going to be some sort of severed head greeting him in bed tomorrow morning. Kristol tries lamely to defend Bush...
Kristol: "Well, I hope not, that really wouldn't be the right thing to do."

Ya think? Kristol then explains that Bush is hamstrung until after the election. Smith will have none of it...
Smith: It’s horrifying that you just said we can’t do anything until after the election. We’ve got men and women over there who are dying everyday and you just said that the man that you support (Bush) can’t do anything even though you believe he knows it’s wrong.—What is worse than that Bill Kristol?

Kristol: I think it’s hard to ask Bush to do something in the middle of this election season…

Smith: That’s a disgusting and repulsive reality Bill, you have to admit that.

[...] If I were the mother or father of a soldier who dies between now and the election, I would be raising holy hell..."

This isn't earthshattering stuff here except for the fact that this is unfolding between a FOX anchor and one of the "All Stars." Kristol must feel a bit like Chris Wallace after Clinton pounded on him. The other side is reeling here, Dems, keep swinging.

Or jus sit back like usual and let the Republicans get their footing back....

UPDATE: Here, Brit Hume faces a three-on-one as he tries to defend Mark Foley of all people...

[cross-posted at]

A Necessary Reprieve

Need some cheering up today? What with the country careening over a cliff and all?

Here you go. "Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager" Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Thursday, September 28, 2006

At a Loss for Words...

Don't take that to mean I am shocked or surprised. I'm not. I always expected this putrid piece of shit Torture Bill to pass. And I never realistically expected the Dems to rise to the most important challenge to the Constitution of our lifetimes and actually get off their asses and filibuster...

I'm at a loss for words because I actually cannot reconcile my feelings about this. I just don't know what to say.

For days, I've been unable to really put something together on this. It's too big, too important. This is truly a historical fuckup happening here. I've read some good stuff over the last couple days from people who could actually get a handle on this issue. Perhaps I'll throw some links down later. Right now, I'm going to bed with a gigantic knot in my stomach. Not because this thing passed—that was a foregone conclusion. It's the fact that thirteen Democrats and one fake Democrat (Lieberman) supported this. I'm going to need some time to reassess. An incredibly disappointing episode for the party from the start.

This I do know. Debbie Fucking Stabenow is dead to me. I cannot vote for her. Not this fall. Not ever.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Kerry Actually Brings Gun to Gunfight

Back when he was running for President, John Kerry seemed content to stay above the fray and at most show up with a knife. Perhaps he is more comfortable from the sidelines, I don't know, but Kerry is doing the right thing and coming out strongly for Ned Lamont, and throwing Joe Lieberman right under the bus. Democrats take notes. Your talking points are coming fast and furious. Olbermann, The Big Dog kicking ass on FOX and now Kerry...

Senator John Kerry on Connecticut's Iraq Debate

"Iraq has been a national security disaster and a terrible set-back in the war on terror. As Robert Kennedy said of Vietnam, there is enough blame to go around. We must all accept our responsibility to change course. We don't need misleading speeches. We don't need slogans. We need leaders who will tell it straight and stand up to this administration and say it's time to change course. Ned Lamont is providing that kind of leadership.

Senator Lieberman and I disagree deeply and profoundly on Iraq. No matter how much Senator Lieberman pretends otherwise, as we were debating a Senate resolution to change course on Iraq, our intelligence agencies were telling this Administration that America is less safe and more endangered by terrorists because of the failed stay-the-course policies in Iraq. There's just no excuse for continuing the old line that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror when in fact we know Iraq is a recruiting poster for terrorists while the real war on terror in Afghanistan spirals downwards.

The maxim that we'll stand down as Iraqis stand up is a myth. We need a deadline for the redeployment of American troops to force Iraqis to stand up for Iraq. Aimless talk of stay the course is making things worse. Every time the Administration says we'll stay as long as it takes is an excuse for Iraqis to take as long as they want. We are stuck in a growing civil war that sets us back in the war on terror. It does a disservice to our troops to stick with a broken policy over and over again and expect different results. We need leadership with the courage to change course."

Very good stuff. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

[via Kos. No original source cited. Crossposted at Kakistocrats]

UPDATE: Opening changed to incorporate link.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Only "Compromise" Was That of Our Values

Depending where you look on the internet, the coverage varies about the supposed "compromise" on torture agreed to between the pretend "Conscience Republicans" (McCain, Graham and Warner) and the President.

The LA TImes would have you believe that Sir John McCain the Shining Knight stood up and defeated the President on the great issue of our times. Salvaging the reputation and good name of America...
Bush Bows to Senators on Detainees
The White House agrees to new rules banning the most controversial CIA tactics but allowing a secret interrogation program to continue.

WASHINGTON — President Bush acceded to dissident Senate Republicans on Thursday, agreeing to new rules for interrogating and prosecuting suspected terrorists that leave intact international treaty protections against torture...

Except that is hardly the case. See Glenn Greenwald, John Cole, Kevin Drum and Steve Benen to find out how this "compromise" is really a 99% capitulation to Bush.

While much of the outrage from the left is levelled at McCain and the knuckling under of the Republican Senators—and make no mistake, they deserve it, especially McCain, who after the last Torture legislation was gutted, should have known the score here—my ire is for my own Party for essentially sitting this one out. One quote runs through my head on this (well, another one about fiddling and Rome burning, too, but this one is better)...

“All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

The fact that the Democrats have been content to stick their heads in the sand on this for purely political risk calculations is just as disgusting and discouraging. Had they actually come out with a strong position on this, they would able to call this “compromise” out for the bullshit that it is. Since they made a political decision to wait out the debate instead of doing what was right, they can kindly shut the fuck up about it.

The great Charlie Pierce says it better than I ever could [emphasis mine]:

The national Democratic Party is no longer worth the cement needed to sink it to the bottom of the sea. For an entire week, it allowed a debate on changing the soul of the country to be conducted intramurally between the Torture Porn and Useful Idiot wings of the Republican Party.

[...] And the Democratic Party was nowhere in this debate. It contributed nothing. On the question of whether or not the United States will reconfigure itself as a nation which tortures its purported enemies and then grants itself absolution through adjectives—“Aggressive interrogation techniques”—the Democratic Party had…no opinion.

[...] This was as tactically idiotic as it was morally blind. On the subject of what kind of a nation we are, and to what extent we will live up to the best of our ideals, the Democratic Party was as mute and neutral as a stone. Human rights no longer have a viable political constituency in the United States of America. Be enough of a coward, though, and cable news will fit you for a toga.

The Democrats were content to sit by as three Senators and one President sold out the nation. Nice job.

The Vote I Don't Want to Cast

My Democratic Senator is running for reelection this November. that's a no-brainer, right? Not so much. Debbie Stabenow does not deserve my vote, and I am not happy about casting it. Here's another reason why—an email I received today:
Thank you . . .

. . . for contacting me about legislation to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag. I appreciate that you have taken the time to share your views with me. I understand the strong feelings that exist on both sides of this issue.

On June 22, 2005, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 286-130 a constitutional amendment (H.J.Res.10) that would grant Congress the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag. On April 14, 2005, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Senate version of this measure (S.J.Res.12), but it failed to pass the Senate by a vote of 66-34.

While I understand and respect your concerns, I believe the American flag is a national treasure and represents the values, traditions, and history of our diverse country, and we should protect it from physical desecration.

Thank you again for taking time to share your concerns with me. As always, please don't hesitate to contact me in the future on issues of concern to you and your family.

Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator

The only "hesitation" will be when I'm in the voting booth in November, Senator.

Last night while watching television, I gave Stabenow the finger during one of her ads. My wife wasked, "What's that for?" "She's sold out on several important votes," I explained. Most notably the horrendous Bankruptcy Bill. I'll be holding my nose when I pull that lever. This position on this completely bogus issue doesn't help. Thanks for throwing another log on the fire, Debbie. You suck.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"My other car is an elephant"

That's Joe Lieberman's car parked outside of a fundraiser last week. I guess being ethically challenged qualifies him?

This prick's sense of entitlement knows no bounds.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Get 'Em While They're Hot! Not!

UPDATE: Apparently they've sold out of the stickers. I was going to pull this, but let's change the thread... What would you like to see on a bumper sticker? What good stickers have you seen?

This is a good one:

I'm a BIG fan of this one, too:

I think I'll be using that to anchor all the upcoming Iran Drumbeat posts...


ORIGINAL POST Just got an email from offering free bumper stickers to anyone who wants one. They read simply:

Just go here and order yours. I made a donation as well, so I'll be handing them out to friends and neighbors as well. Or, maybe I'll just plaster my car with all of them...

*if any of you regulars wants one of those MoveOn stickers let me know, I'll have 5 or 6 extras. Um, and that's about how many readers I have...

"But Keith Olbermann's a Sportscaster..."

The other night was the latest installment in Keith Olbermann's "Special Comment Gutshot" editorials aimed at President Bush. While this one nudges into the shrillzone, it is still great and needs to be seen. As usual, Crooks and Liars has the video and the transcript.

I was in a long-running argument with a commenter over at John Cole's Balloon Juice [link] about Olbermann's background. After KO's 9/11 Ground Zero broadcast, this commenter argued that KO's sports background rendered him unqualified to analyze the President, and his opinion worthless.

Yeah, a guy with a degree in Communications from Cornell must be a real idiot. Twenty-six years in journalsm, ACE and Murrow awards, but he needs to shut up because he once worked in sports?

Rush Limbaugh was a failed Top-40 DJ. He can shut the fuck up anytime now, I guess.

Steve Bergstein at Psychsound just articulated a great response to the bogus "Who the hell is Keith Olbermann" position:
The only news anchor today with the courage to stand up to this administration is Keith Olbermann, a former sportscaster. There's no irony here. Sports reporters cannot make things up or slant the truth. The games are broadcast for all to see, and there is no way that a sports journalist can shuck and jive the public. If a team's playing lousy, then the team's playing lousy. Sportwriters can also be the best writers at the newspaper. The have to weave poetry and keen observation skills in analyzing the game.

One caveat: Sportscasters and writers can clearly exhibit spin or bias—try watching a Yankees game and you'll see what I mean. Other than that Steve's right. Olbermann's clearly a gifted writer. He (and Craig Kilborn) set the high water mark at ESPN and no one else has ever come close. Mitch Albom and Bob Costas have also risen above and branched out succesfully from the ballpark to politics and other arenas (pun intended).

Olbermann's show can be campy and over the top at times, and I have long since lost interest in his fued with O'Reilly, but the three recent special commentaries he's used to skewer Bush have been powerful and important episodes, and worthy of all the attention and accolades they've garnered.

Olbermann is starting to do the work no one else seems capable or willing to do, and I have nothing but praise for anybody speaking truth to power.

Cross-posted at

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Avast, me hearties!"

Arrggh! Bilge water! I forgot! I canna believe 'tis already been a voyage since Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Evil Jim Rackham be me name an' I be here t' tell ye that ye be havin' t' Talk Like a Buccanneer oince a year, an' today be th' tide.

Excellent sea dog translation t'anks t' this place.

Find ou' yer pirate name here, here or wit' a horkin' quiz here.

Get started now, ye horn swogglin' scurvy cur — or taste me cold steel!

UPDATE: Arrr, twenty nine thin's t' say today at work Gar, Where can I find a bottle o'rum?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

9/11: Postgame Report

You're probably all 9/11-ed out, but I came across something worth watching at the invaluable Crooks & Liars. It's a clip of Jon Stewart on the first Daily Show after the attacks. I never saw it before. Very powerful stuff. Check it out

If you've heard about the Olbermann speech, but haven't seen it, watch it here. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Keith Olbermann just rips the President and his ilk to shreds. A must-see.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

"Path(ological lies) to 9/11"


If that is an accurate description of the scene and its prominance in the movie, ABC is fucking nuts.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Stop ABC's 9/11 Crockumentary

If you've been anywhere on the internets over the last week, you are probably aware that on Sunday and Monday ABC is set to air a "docudrama" billed as "based on the 9/11 Commission Report" when it is, in fact, riddled with fabrications designed to blame 9/11 on the ineptitude of the Clinton Administration, and whitewashing the failures of Bush.

ABC is exploiting the fifth anniversary of the attacks with a free propaganda piece designed to set Republicans up for the Fall mid-term elections.

If ABC still airs their GOP campaign miniseries, you can't complain about it if you sat on your ass. Rumors abound that they might pull it off the air—time to keep the pressure on, not relax.

Petitions—click 'em and sign 'em:
True Majority
Working Assets/Act for Change

This post at DailyKos has phone numbers if you are so inclined.

ThinkProgress is your clearinghouse for the latest news on this scandal.

Joe Conason has a good piece up at salon.

[image lifted from atrios, who got it here.]

New Rule: Bad presidents happen to good people.

Mocking Bush is my patriotic duty
A comedian explains how cruel jokes about the president can stop terrorism.

By Bill Maher

Amid all the 9/11 anniversary talk about what will keep us safe, let me suggest that in a world turned hostile to America, the smartest message we can send to those beyond our shores is, "We're not with stupid." Therefore, I contend -- with all seriousness -- that ridiculing this president is now the most patriotic thing you can do. Let our allies and our enemies alike know that there's a whole swath of Americans desperate to distance themselves from Bush's foreign policies. And that's just Republicans running for reelection.

[...] Anyone who opposes the indefinite occupation of Iraq shouldn't be labeled an al-Qaida supporter. That's like saying that if I tell my exterminator that there are more efficient ways to rid the house of vermin than hitting them with a hammer, I'm "for the rats."

Read the whole thing.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Miniscule Left-Wing Conspiracy

I have an announcement: I'm contributing at a new group blog.

Well, I helped start it, but it's a stretch to say I've contributed much as yet. My duties there have been even more neglected than this blog.

A few months back I was "recruited" by some of the commenters over at Balloon Juice to join their email list-serve. Last month, after a particularly dry spell at BJ and my inability to come up with a spoof character to contribute at the group's righty spoof site, I suggested starting a new left-wing group blog, played straight. Since the threads at Balloon Juice were often just the bunch of us conversing anyway, why shouldn't we call the shots and direct the site? Especially with the elections coming up.

Well, everybody was immediately receptive and we started hatching plans for world domination... I immediately tried to wedge my "Word of the Year" in somehow, and succeeded.

Witness the power of this fully armed and operational battle station — The

After some hard work by "Perry Como" the site has been up and running for a few weeks now. I've only cross-posted my Olbermann piece as of now, but there are plenty of great posts by the rest of the gang, and many of them are far better writers than I am. A regular Furious commenter Pooh, has been the most prolific contributor thusfar.

So, be sure to bookmark The and check it out regularly.

Mr. Furious will still be my primary venue, but I will cross-post all political stuff over at Kak in the hopes that the built-in audience of contributors there will result in some good discussions.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?

Olbermann unloads both barrels on Bush and his disgraceful speech. Go. Now.

UPDATE: The Rude Pundit also rips the speech in his own, special, way.

Insult to Multiple Injuries

Anibal Sanchez of the Florida Marlins pitched the first no-hitter in two and a half years tonite. Anibal Sanchez*...where have I heard that name? Oh yeah, the Red Sox traded him away this off-season.

Just what Sox fans wanted to see after a massive collapse of a season.

Nothing personal, but here's hoping Anibal Sanchez is Venezuelan for Bud Smith.

* That rotoworld link gets the extra salt in the wound by picturing him in his Boston hat...


I have a whole slew of topics "saved as drafts" waiting for when I have more time to properly rant. In the meantime, here's a little thing that I stumbled across that just made me stop, smile, and remember simpler times...

I couldn't tell you which states were in the first 13 colonies. The Mississippi is a long river, but I have no idea how long. George Washington was the first President and Jefferson was the third, but I don't know who the second was. I can say pencil in French, but have no idea how to say pen. These embarrassing gaps in knowledge are the direct result of daydreaming while racing Pink Pearl eraser Can-Am racecars at my grade school desk. [link]

Text-messaging? Bah, All the fun and distraction I ever needed was right in the pencil box... Who among us late-30s guys didn't grow up doing this stuff. I'd even break out the thumb tacks and take my "cars" to the next level...