Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Did You Hear the One About the Kids Stuck in Iraq?

John Kerry started a firestorm with Republicans
when he flubbed a joke directed at President Bush. Study hard and stay in college or you'll end up "stuck in Iraq" he told students at Pasadena City College.

It is unclear if Kerry's statement has led to increased casualties in Iraq but the administration's response was so swift you'd think Kerry had sent the troops to Iraq with inadequate body armor.

"Senator Kerry not only owes an apology to those who are serving, but also to the families of those who’ve given their lives in this,” White House press secretary Tony Snow said. “This is an absolute insult.”

Kerry pulled a
Nolan Ryan, met the charge, and bashed Snow's face in.

"This is the classic GOP playbook,” Kerry said in a harshly worded statement. “I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did. I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium.”

Kerry suddenly felt better than he had in years. "He really needed to get that off my chest," an aide reported. But Republicans were quick to point out the sensitive nature of our marines.


"Our soldiers need John Kerry's support, yet John Kerry offers nothing more than disparaging commentary," said House Majority Leader John Boehner.

This hits on an important topic. Discouragement of any type of criticism on how the war is being executed is pedestrian at this point. We are reminded almost daily that the troops need our support and many of us have responded with ribbons on the back of their cars, and flags on the 4th of July. The White House says our troops need not only this but also absolutely no sign of uncertainty as we commit more money and more lives in Iraq.
While there seems to be no correlation between war criticism and US casualties rates in Iraq the previous 2,816 deaths have all been absolutely linked to the flawed decision to invade Iraq in the first place. And that is, ironically, the very thing we are not allowed to even think about. Kerry's comedic timing might suck, but he refuses to apologize because the greater evil was perpetrated three years ago, and has been since effectively been perpetuated.

But how much political damage has been done by Kerry's remarks?

"He has already cost us one election. The guy just needs to keep his mouth shut until after the election," a top Democratic strategist said Tuesday.

This certainly seems like a badly needed opportunity for the Republicans to wrap themselves again in nationalism and question the Democrat's commitment to "win" in Iraq. It's certainly a chance for someone to defend the troops honor, which the President did today by calling them "plenty smart." Yes, even his compliments are built from ruins of poor grammar. But, as in all things for the last six years, it's the spirit that counts, right?

Kerry's statement is the most recent in a string of emboldened Democratic attacks.
Jim Webb, who now
leads in Virginia, easily fended off negative comments by faltering incumbent George Allen. Allen read some sexual passages from a book Webb wrote. Webb pointed out that was nothing compared to the raunchy lesbian sex in Lynn Cheney's book Sisters.

Touche.

President Bush has been out stumping but his poll numbers have actually fallen. Bush has become the star of numerous Democratic campaign adds since it was discovered that very few Americans like or trust the President.

Republicans are trying desperately to find a foothold as the mountain comes down around them. They carefully painted these elections around two issues: taxes and terrorism. Now that both are blown they've raised an old specter to aid them--gay marriage.

"For decades, activist judges have tried to redefine America by court order," Bush said Monday. "Just this last week in New Jersey, another activist court issued a ruling that raises doubt about the institution of marriage. We believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and should be defended."


Man, first desegregation and now this?

Republican strategy over the last week can be summed up as such: The infamous "plan" to keep America safe is now on hiatus for re-tooling. And, on Halloween, they're up to their old tricks trying to convince people that their sacred marriage is under attack by gays, lesbians, and activist judges...oh my! Uh, let me clue you: your marriage is falling apart because you suck at being a husband or a wife. OK? Get over it.

The Democrats have clearly learned though. They too have found a marginalized group and pinned the fears of a nation on them. Yes, they've got the Republicans against the ropes with a week left before the elections. It almost doesn't even seem fair, a guy like Kerry tossing Snow out of the ring like that. But it is incredibly fun to watch.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

700 Miles of Nonsense

You know, after watching campaign adds from both sides, I'm really depressed that best people put forward are America-hating, backroom dealing, lying scumbags! And it gets worse. Some people running for congress are actually into...sex!

The race for the Senate seat in Virginia has been hot since Republican George Allen uttered "makaka." Last week Allen hit Democrat Jim Webb with the
proverbial folding chair when he cited sexual passages from Webb's books. Webb responded by saying if Allen wants to read graphic sex he should ask Lynn Cheney for a copy of her book Sisters. The book is 25 years old and Mrs. Cheney has completely disavowed it, claiming it is not her best writing. Readers, however, seem to disagree.

Said one reviewer on amazon.com, "This story of a Washington wife who leaves her powerful husband to join a woman's commune is charged with the kind of eroticism you just don't expect from the Second Lady of the United States of America. I was amazed at how graphically Ms. Cheney details the commune's daily 'massage classes' and their predictable free-for-all aftermaths, while at the same time delivering a devastating critique of phallocentric discourse in modern culture. I can't wait for the sequel, in which the Sisters declare war against the male-dominated multinational corporation that is threatening to foreclose on their commune. Four Stars!"

The book has been out of print for years. Copies are selling on amazon.com for $700.

Check it out it here.

Or, check out Mrs. Cheney's much more Republican warm fuzzy Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America here

Mrs. Cheney didn't appreciate Webb's reference, bashed CNN, and completely denied she's ever written anything sexually explicit, but the play was fair. The point is, obviously, that a person's writing has no relevance on how they perform in public service. The fact is God fearing people writing books laced with sexual content is simply nothing new. Jimmy Carter's done it, Newt Gingrich has done it, William F. Buckley has done it, and of course Bill O'Reilly has done it.

So, can we please stop playing dumb here, talking about who wrote what and when? Can we please get back to the real issues? That's right, I'm talking about what everyone is asking: if the plan to keep America safe is no longer "stay the course" what the hell is it? With Iraq breaking at the seams, North Korea's new nuclear capability, and the President now admitting previous dogmatically held beliefs are futile, my God what IS the plan??

Well, we don't know....um, but rest assured, everyone, um...top minds are working on it. Stay calm. What we do know is that the answer will involve no less 700 miles of fence. Is it an omniscient, deficit-reducing, nuclear-diffusing fence? Erm, well, no, it's just a really long fence. OK? That's the plan at this point: a big fence. Fences keep your dogs in. Good fences make good neighbors. Fences are what made America great. Sleep tight.

Fences aside, the one thing Bush does have going for him is that his fiction contains no sex--just a lot of lies about Iraq and some kind of plan to keep us safer.

Red October

Sorry, I was gone for a few days. What did we miss?

Holy crap, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series?

Ah, another baseball season has come to a close and this time a truly improbable winner emerged and won in improbable ways. The Cardinals won in five games against a heavily favored team; they won with strong starting pitching coming from a rotation with only one reliable starter; they won with strong relief pitching from a pen full of rookies; they won without the mighty bat of Albert Pujols, the best hitter in baseball. The Cardinals were led by 5'7" David Eckstein, a throwback style player epitomizing all the good things about baseball: team play, hustle, and fundamentals. In a year heralded as "clean", I think it is only fitting that someone like Eckstein won the World Series MVP. Congratulations to a great city, St. Louis.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Election Tactics Heat Up

Google-bombs, interracial sex, shots at people suffering from Parkinson's disease--all at the same time? It must be time for an election!

A group of clever liberals has come up with a way to make Google's search algorithm work for them during the election. The idea, dubbed Google-bombing, was first outlined by Chris Bowers of MyDD. It involves buying Google AdWords so that negative articles appear next to key Republicans up for election. It's an attempt to sway those who may be searching for more information about someone like George Allen (R-VA) before voting. Of course it's our belief that if you don't know the difference between George Allen and George Webb, or Claire McCaskill and Jim Talent and you're just not trying.


Speaking of McCaskill v Talent, the Missouri Senate race has become extremely close and is now reaching the national state as a key state in 2006. The big issue in this race is stem cell research. Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1991, appeared in a TV ad urging Missouri voters to support stem cell research. Fox swayed uncontrolably during the commerical--or was he just over-acting? Rush Limbaugh became so upset that he accused Fox of not taking his medication, exacerbating his Parkinson's symptoms, and preying on public sympathy.



Personally, I think it takes a lot of brass to rip on a guy who has a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. I mean that's so low-class and distasteful it's no wonder Rush has to pop pain-killers to get through the day with himself.

It must be pretty frustrating to live with PD knowing that maybe there could be a cure if only stem cells, which are going to be destryoed anyway, could be used for reasearch. Yeah, I'll bet that sucks. But some see it differently. Opponents have responded in-kind with a commercial featuring Cardinal pitcher Jeff Suppan, former Rams quarterback Kurt Werner, and the guy who played Jesus in Passion of the Christ, telling Missourians to block the stem-cell bill because it could lead to human cloning.

Speaking of ads, the worst campaign commercial of the week goes to the Bob Corker and the RNC. This thing is so bad Corker wanted it pulled but RNC chairman Ken Mehlman pointed that it was beyond his control. It sort of sounds like how we've been running Iraq for the last three years. The add incites speculation that Congressman Harold Ford Jr. may have had—gasp--interracial sex with a white woman from the Playboy mansion. The idea is driven home at the end of the ad when the woman begs Ford to call her.

The NAACP called it “a powerful innuendo that plays to pre-existing prejudices about African-American men and white women.” Even Bob Corker called the add “distasteful.” Mehlman called it "fair."




Adults having sex? This really shows how messed up we are, doesn't it? Those who scratch their head at this kind of behavior are the Republicans, who effectively forfeited the moral high ground after spending a lot of time in white collar crime and recently committing and covering up acts of pedophilia. You can see now why they find Harold Ford's alleged behavior so odd and atypical. Can he really make it in an environment where people fudge their finances, prey on minors, and cheat on their wives?

I for one welcome the new trend of sex between consenting adults. This Ford guy sounds like a real visionary. Maybe he'll go into the Senate and shake things up a little.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Everyone's Pissed

It looks like a lot of bloggers are really pissed about Bush denying his own "stay the course" strategy in Iraq. Our friends over at Hard-Boiled were feeling the same way we were--upset. Go ahead and read It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad President and see what we mean.

But bloggers, Democrats, liberals, other countries, Christian fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalists aren't the only people who are upset at President Bush right now. Former Army Ranger Kevin Tillman is pretty ticked off also. He's the brother of Kevin Tillman--who became the Army's model recruit after dumping a career in the NFL to join the Rangers. He was sent to Afghanistan and killed by friendly fire--which the Army tried to cover up for years.

It turns out that Pat's birthday is November 6. That's the same day you get to go to the polls and make a change for the better. This coincidence was not lost on Kevin when he wrote a scathing review of the current administration. He's no bleeding heart liberal either. This is an Army Ranger, a guy who would just as soon kill you with a lunch tray than talk about your feelings. So, listen up.

He writes, "Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers in cards, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in the helmet."

"Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes."

"Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country."

"Somehow this is tolerated."

"Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People can still take action. It can start after Pat's birthday."

Think he guy carries a heavy burden? Multiply that pain by all the family members of men and women killed or wounded in Iraq; by all the family members of Iraq's killed; all of it, being passed on and on... and you get some idea perhaps of what is happening. We are sowing the wind, and reaping the whilwind.

I saw "Flags of Our Fathers" this weekend. It didn't blow me away but I was struck by all the nationalistic imagery. Maybe that's what I was supposed to walk away with--the dissonance of Americans dying on Iwo Jima while the image of a faux flag raising being what people back home chose to believed in.

When the symbols become more important than the people they stand for, we have a problem. We are not to submit to what Amos Oz referred to as the "tools of statehood." They may be an unfortunate necessity in today's world, but they are to be used with sober judgment, not joy.


I don't know what Kevin Tillman is feeling, but I imagine he followed a long chain of events back to its source and asked: why? He and his brother willingly signed up to help defend this country after 9/11; they turned their lives over to the judgment of the government which used us all after 9/11. It appealed to our sense of nationalism to get us into Afghanistan as a warm up and Iraq as the main event. And now people like Pat Tillman are gone, and people like Kevin want to know why. What for? Was it for a bumbling administration? Was it for the same people who sold Pat Tillman as a hero, while trying to conceal his death by friendly fire? Is that what we've done it for? Is the whole thing a sham?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bush Distances Himself from Himself

The latest political move by President Bush is an attempt to distance himself from his own worst enemy: himself. And he says he doesn't read polls?

He pulled this move off masterfully Sunday morning by alerting George Stephanopoulos that his policy has never been "stay the course" in Iraq. This would have caused a lot of confusion coming from anyone else (As in: I could have sworn I heard him say "stay the course" just the other day...) but coming from this, the most elusive of eels, we're not a bit surprised are we?


Bush's unpopularity is well known. He has become such an albatross that Democrats are using him as an election year cudgel, and Republicans are doing all they can to get out from under his grim visage. These moves were mentioned by both Stephanopoulos and his next guest the far more presidential John Kerry. Yes, Bush's image is that bad: John Kerry looked like JFK in comparison.

But Karl Rove has apparently come up with an ingenious plan for President Bush and the Republicans in 2006--that is to completely disavow any knowledge of President Bush's former slogans or strategies. The Republicans don't look so hot if they can't even claim to be behind their glorious leader. But that task becomes a little easier if their leader claims to have no association with himself.

Not only is George W. Bush now flatly denying he ever said things that we've all heard him say, there are rumors on the internets that the White House may be preparing a whole new strategy in Iraq, to be unveiled after the elections, and also to coincide with the Christmas season.

We all eagerly await the questioning Tony Snow will get tomorrow when asked how the president could possibly expect the American people to believe we have never been "stay the course" in Iraq.

The truth would go something like this... Mr. Snow: "Well, the 'course 'was to find WMDs. Since Iraq had no WMDs we've had to adjust our course a tad or risk being completely off-course...”

But what you'll probably get something like this... Mr. Snow: "The Woodward books kind of melt on contact..."

When asked what the Woodward books have to do with the President's new doublespeak Mr. Snow will then tell the band to keep jamming while he takes the money and escapes through a service exit in the floor.

Speaking of Bob Woodward, he has now written three best-selling books about the current administration. Our exalted leader has read none of them. In-fact, during the interview, Bush seemed to strongly imply he doesn't do much reading at all. This seemed to be the subject he was the most uncomfortable talking about (that's saying a lot).

When Stephanopoulos pressed he did admit he was reading "A History of English Speaking Peoples." This is a massive volume by Winston Churchill which wont help him one bit concerning what to do in Iraq, but does fit in nicely with his sense of ethnocentrism. Perhaps he should have consulted Chuchill prior to March, 2003.


Get on the President's reading list here.

Watch the President say 'stay the course' over and over, here.

See The Daily Show's take on 'stay the course' here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Priest Did Not Have Sex With Foley

The Rev. Anthony Mercieca, 72, who now lives on the Island of Gozo, denied ever having sex wtih Mark Foley. But he did go naked in saunas with Mark Foley.

"We were friends and trusted each other as brothers and loved each other as brothers," Mercieca said in a chilling statement.

"We never had sex, OK? I fear God," Mercieca stated firmly. "But I did give the boy a reach-around...once. No, sorry, twice...there was that time at the cabin. Ah, that boy was like a son to me."

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported meetings that included naked massages, skinny-dipping in a secluded lake, and drug use.

Once again Ten Commandment worship is paying dividends.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Colbert / Westmoreland Interview

Honestly, I thought last Friday's video clip was the greatest thing ever, but I stand corrected. This video is the greatest. Steven Colbert interviews Congressmen Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) about his bill requiring the 10 Commandments to be displayed in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Colbert then asks Westmoreland to name the ten commandments and the rest is history.

1. Don't Murder
2. Don't Steal
3. Don't Lie
4. Uhhhh....

*cracks the whip* Back to church with ye!

Do you see now, people? See how badly we need the 10 Commandments up in schools, courthouses, and all other public buildings? I warned you. Didn't I warn you?! Look what happened to that poor slob, he's almost forgotten ALL of them! The poor guy probably doesn't even own a Bible or know where to find the 10 Commandments if he did...Sad, really.

Luckily that interview came out after our friends at Radar Online compiled their list of the 10 dumbest members of congress.

Can we really expect those who believe so strongly in the 10 Commandments to actually be able to name...all 10? In this sense Westmoreland represents his constituency.

Only 40% of Americans can name more than 4 of the Commandments.

Only half can name any of the four authors of the Gospels (here's a clue: the Gospels are the books where you read about Jesus' life; the authors are the names of the books.)

75% believe the Bible teaches "God helps those who help themselves."

12% believe Joan of Arc was Noah's wife.

But what DOES the Bible say about the Commandments? "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts." (Deut 6:6). Notice, God says "hearts" first; before talking about them with others they are to be on your heart. Before tying them as symbols to your hands they are to be on your heart. Before putting them up in your house or on your gate they are to be in your heart. Which means, if you believe they're so important, the very least you should be able to do is recite them all.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Impossible is Nothing

Is it comic genius or capitalism gone horribly, horribly wrong? You decide!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7pok0TKDU8

Meet Aleksey Vayner, a young man who believed he could fly and became the seedy byproduct of the American Dream. Follow his adventures with our friends at the Wall Street tabloid
DealBreaker.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bush Welcomes Kim Jong into Nuquler Club

The 45 slipped off the turntable as Kim Jong Il strode through the front door. He was wearing an outrageous outfit: white blazer, dark shirt unbuttoned to his navel betraying a huge medallion. It glinted into the eyes of everyone in the room. He dangled golden keys from a puffy hand.

China was lying lethargically in an over-stuffed chair. America was chewing on a role talking to England. France was wiping down the bar as Russia slipped down the hall with a woman under each arm. India and Pakistan were sitting, coldly on opposite ends of the couch.

Bush stepped forward, visibly upset. "Who invited him? No one invited him." he said, moving his left hand dangerously close to the revolver at his side. An eerie tension spread over the room but Kim John Il smiled, and walked to the bar.

“This must be the place!” he said, a wide smile breaking out across his face, seemingly oblivious to what Bush had just said. “We all know our friend here has an itchy trigger finger, but there will be no blood tonight. You see, now I too own a weapon."

He thrust his hand into an ice bucket and produced a bottle of champagne. "We must celebrate," he declared. "I am one of you now, and we will deal with each other as equals, right? No more veiled threats, no more disrespect."


But Bush walked over, uncomfortably close, and summoning all of his contemptuous fury said, "China, tell Kim Jong here that there's going to be trouble over this."

Hu blinked and sat up in his chair. He looked around for a moment, slightly amused now, and repeated, "Kim Jong, the sheriff says there's going to be trouble.”

Bush was a little buzzed by being referred to as ‘sheriff' and he reiterated,"Yeah, "big trouble." And then he added, "Tell him he'd better get out of town, and leave the keys at the door."

Somewhere, outside, a dog barked.


"The sheriff says you'd better leave town...and...oh, for godsake, why don't you just tell him yourself? We're all right here!!"

"You know I don't talk to people like him: rogues, terrorists, outlaws..." Bush explained. And then, in a voice just above a whisper, "Come on, Hu, we practiced this...remember?"

Then Bush wheeled to address the room. In dramatic and fiery prose he let everyone know, "This is the Nuqulur Club, a solemn and sacred club that demands the highest standards for entrance. Nu-qu-ler Club!” he repeated, impatiently. “Doesn't that mean anything to you guys?"

But the only reply was the echoing of his own words down the hall...nu-qu-ler....nu-qu-ler...


At this Hu rose from his chair, walked across the room and examined the record collection on the wall. Blair met him on the other side. "Listen, we all know George gets a little wrinkled over…unexpected events. We all know he’s given this a considerable amount of…....ah, yes, well, we need you to talk to Kim Jong...please. We...we have a policy."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, Kim Jong had passed into rapture. "Wow, look at this place," he said, walking around the room, "You guys have everything... a fully stocked bar, chambermaids, the complete James Bond collection? How'd you guys know I love James Bond?"

"There's even freshly stocked caviar in the fridge," Chirac beamed. Bush flashed him an icy glare.

Kim Jong pulled From Russia with Love off the shelf. "Hey, Putin, what do you say? Hey, where'd he go?"

"Put that down," Bush said. You're not staying!

But Kim Jong’s eyes were now boggling, "Hey, wow, a ping pong table and giant screen TV? A steam room? Are you kidding me? This place is incredible!"

"Someone tell this guy to get out of here!" said Bush, stomping his foot on the floor impatiently. "Before...before he finds the whiskey..."

But no one seemed to notice, the floor was Kim Jong’s. "For thousands of years, my people have struggled, against the Chinese, the Japanese, the Mongols, the Russians....we have labored and toiled and sacrificed...millions of us all, to arrive at this moment today,” he declared. “But now let's get this party started!"

Dejected, Bush walked over to the front window. Staring out into the darkness he was surprised to see a bearded face staring right back. It flashed him a smile and waved. "Hey, is that Iran? You brought Iran?" Bush said, clenching his fists.

"Hey, he can't get in...yet. But he's...how do you Americans put it? He's in the green room,” Kim Jong winked.

India was transfixed working on a Rubex cube. "I can never get these damn colors to line up! Curse this thing!"

Pakistan, the newest member of the club left the couch and walked up to the bar and tried to offer some perspective. "You know, I can remember the look on your faces when I walked in. You were all stunned. Those golden keys,” he laughed. “You guys had no idea did you? Bush you were playing darts. Blair, you were polishing your polo mallet? Chirac, you were behind the bar. You haven't moved, have you? Putin, well, who knows what he's up to. But India was my favorite. That was priceless. He still won’t talk to me. Yes, keep working on your little cube. But I'm here now, and I'll say this, it was worth the wait."

He punctuated this last fragment by cracking a peanut open between his thumb and forefinger and vaulting it into his mouth. "It was worth the wait," he repeated, surveying the room. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a steam."

Bush, utterly crushed, moved his eyes from person to person, "Blair? Chirac? Hu? You, on the couch, whatever your name is...with the cube, India...Makaka? You're going to let this madman stay?"

But by now Hu and Kim Jong were engrossed in the opening scenes of From Russia with Love. On the television James Bond admires a special suitcase which has a safety mechanism that detonates a magnetically attached tear gas bomb if it is improperly opened. Watching this causes Kim Jong to giggle with delight.

"What's so funny about that?" Hu asks.

"I own one of those," he smiles proudly. "George sure doesn't look happy to see me. Well, don't just stand there, George, have a glass of champagne! If that doesn’t cheer you up maybe you can call the UN to throw me out?" At this absurd notion everyone started laughing.

Bush finds a lonely spot at the end bar, he knows there's nothing he can do. His peacemaker is all out of bullets. He stirs a glass of whiskey with a thin straw and watches the ice complete it circuits. Blair sidles up to console his old friend. "Don't worry George, Pakistan got in and they haven't blown anyone up yet. I'm sure this will all be fine."

But just then Bush's pager goes off, he unclips it from his belt and reads the words scrolling across the tiny console. “Oh, shit,” he says. “It’s Rumsfeld.”

Monday, October 09, 2006

My "Over-Friendly" Reply to Republicans

The euphemism of the week is “over-friendly” which is a phrase the Republicans have commandeered to describe Mark Foley’s sexually explicit e-mails to under-age page boys.

Scratch that, they weren’t “sexually explicit.” They weren’t “inappropriate.” They weren’t “lewd and crass and pedophilic in nature.” They were just “over-friendly.” That’s not so bad when you put it that way, is it?

Trying to claw for every vote the party of family values has just given ambiguity to every guy who doesn’t know when to stop. The boss at work isn’t sexually harassing you, he’s just being “over-friendly”, so loosen up! A guy who contacts teenagers with messages laced with sexual innuendo isn’t a pedophile, he’s just “over-friendly.”

Appalling.

The Republicans have summoned Bill Clinton’s past behavior for a last-ditch defense. I remember the analogies put forward during that scandal: if you or I had an affair with an intern we’d be fired. And that’s true. So, now, in light of Foley’s behavior, which is so much worse—and if you can’t understand that you have issues--why didn’t the Republicans fire him when they had the chance? ABC news had to break the story?

These are the games politicians play. The Republicans have successfully spun so many incredible disasters they almost seem to enjoy the challenge. They certainly don’t have much respect for you if they’ll go on national television and describe someone like Mark Foley as “over-friendly.” It should be taken as an insult to your intelligence; a slap in the face. When caught in the act they put the question to you, who are you going to believe? Me? Or your lying eyes?

God forbid, let’s hope it’s never your child who meets an “over-friendly” adult. The party that played black-and-white politics on complex issues like foreign policy, terrorism, and religion has a very hard time talking tough when one of their own is mired in disgrace. Some things are more important than politics.


These are the things the Republicans claim to stand for: ethics and morality. I don’t see it displayed anywhere in this scandal, nor in the behavior of other recently felled Republican leaders, or in how the leadership has handled the war on terror. They use words like "over-friendly", "last throwes", "freedom on the march", fuzzy nothingwords, stripped of all common sense. We're told things are going well in Iraq, and now Iraq is in a civil war. EVERYONE admits this now. We're told about WMDs, and "smoking guns" where none exist, and the result is a blanket confusion and reliance on emmotional whims rather than any empiracal logic. Even IF Iraq had been a success, would it have been worth it to strip the people of their faith and common sense, the very people who make possible such a altrusitic exercise?

At this point their spin is kind of like cotton candy, it kind of dissolves on contact.

So, my “over-friendly” reply to the Republicans, and as a parent, would be: you guys are pathetic. Anyone not calling for people’s heads over this scandal should be ashamed of themselves. Anyone even attempting to spin this makes my skin crawl. Anyone voting for the “Federal Marriage Amendment” and not trying to root out all of those in congress who prolonged Foley’s behavior should be considered hypocrites. Pointing a finger at Bill Clinton or a scandal that happened 20 years ago will do no good, because you are the party of the moral majority, the Tom DeLays, the Ralph Reeds, the James Dobsons who have an open line to the White House! We bowed to the new revolution.
Don't point fingers, you say? You wanted to change things and now you just want to be treated like everyone else. Well, where is the fruit? What have we gained after all that? “Over-friendly"? Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss.

Sad, really.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Another Yankee Collapse

Barring another Republican fiasco, the biggest news of the weekend is almost certainly the collapse of the New York Yankees. My sense of shaddenfraude: very high!

The ubiquitous Yankees entered the post-season as overwhelming favorites (again) to win the World Series. They field a line up of all-stars (again) and carry the largest payroll in baseball (again). The Tigers had lost 119 games two years ago and have a manager who was born during FDR's last term.

The Yankees get all the prime-time slots while announcers and players who didn't make the playoffs but are brought in to be post-season analysts routinely trip all over themselves handing out their praises. After Derek Jeter went 5 for 5 in game one I heard “he's my favorite player” gush from some guy's mouth on Baseball Tonight. Swoon! But just underneath all the man-love lurked a fragile and dysfunctional team with a crappy pitching staff and zero clutch hitting. After game one, which looks like a fluke now, the Tigers easily dispatched the Yankees in four. It wasn't even competitive.

I think it's time to start comparing the Yankees to the Atlanta Braves. Does anyone really fear this team in the post-season anymore? Long gone is the late 90s dominance. Their premature exit from the playoffs is pretty much routine at this point. They've won the division nine years in a row, but haven't won the big one since 2000. And when you have a payroll more than double what 25 other teams have, you're expected to win the big one. Anything else is failure.

Oh, yeah, these Yankees are proud owners of the greatest choke in post-season history: the 3-0 ALCS lead they turned over to the Boston Red Sox in 2005. No team has ever lost a playoff series after leading 3-0. Ever...in 100+ years of post-season baseball. I'm really glad the Yankees can claim that.

So what the hell is wrong with this team? Well, they're old, hobbled by injuries this year, and they act like a dysfunctional bunch of prima donnas. Jason Giambi just got done flapping his gums about A-Rod in a Sports Illustrated expose. What kind of teammate does that? If you have a problem you take it up in the locker room, not in SI. That embarrassing display capped a season-long attempt to throw A-Rod under the bus by teammates. He will now certainly be the fall guy for their collective failures. Maybe that's not a bad thing if he means he gets traded to some kind of real team. Do any of these guys even like each other? Much less know how to play together?

To quote Giambi, “A-Rod doesn't know who he is. We're going to find out who he is in a few weeks.” Well, we found out A-Rod hit .071 for the series. Giambi kept him company, hitting .175 and sitting out the game four loss. Rather than pointing fingers, bitching, moaning, and bloviating about earning “Yankee stripes” maybe these guys should learn to play together first. A team with a 200 million dollar payroll can probably steam roll its way into the playoffs, but it takes a team to win in post-season. I know that sounds terribly cliché but baseball just works that way, thank God.


And so rather than 2006 World Series Champs, the Yankees will be remembered as a dysfunctional mess that imploded at the usual time. They were too busy figuring out who was going to be the fall guy and not spending enough time manufacturing runs. Thou shalt not earn "Yankee stripes" by trying to save thine own ass. None will be earned by calling teammates out. They're earned though a concept called teamwork. Maybe next year?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hey, Makaka, Go Long!

It's been quite a week, hasn't it, kids? The Republicans have taken on a wild ride and I, for one, am spent.

So, let's see, it's Friday and...holy crap there's a toxic waste fire in North Carolina! Officials are reporting nothing "alarming" with the air samples they've taken. That, to me, would be little comfort if my house was having flaming waste rained on it.

Rush Limbaugh is barking about Republican George Allen's "double digit" lead over Democrat Jim Webb in Virginia. Actually, it's four points, but we can understand when a Republican can't get basic intelligence right. Go to Rush is Right (*giggle*) and while you're there admire the snappy picture of Mr. Allen tossing the ol' pigskin! Rush knows as well as anyone that cowboy hat + flannel + a football = big votes! "Hey, Makaka, go long!"

Other polling news: Republican Tom Reynolds (R-NY) has watched his double digit lead evaporate. Mr. Reynolds was on his way to easy victory before becoming embroiled in that pesky Mark Foley affair. Oops! His challenger, Democrat Mark Davis is now leading 50-45%

I did a little digging, thanks to the Washington Post, and found out that Mark Foley voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in July. He was one of only 27 Republicans to vote against it--and now I think we all know why. One Republican who voted in favor of protecting marriage was Don Sherwood.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Republican More Faithful to Tax Cuts Than Wife

You've gotta love the Republicans for a good headline. 66 year-old incumbent Don Sherwood (R-PA) has released a TV ad where he says that he is "truly sorry" for cheating on his wife. He also took a second to deny ever abusing his mistress, Cynthia Ore, 30.

But the best part is that he took his infidelity as a chance to reiterate his consistent commitment to traditional Republican values. "While I'm truly sorry for disappointing you I never wavered from my commitment to reduce taxes, create jobs, and bring home our fair share," Sherwood said. "You should forgive me, you can count on me to keep fighting hard for you and your family."

Come on! Forgive him! The guy's 66 years old and he still has blue balls over tax cuts! That's commitment! So he had sex with a 30 year old he met at a Young Republicans meeting? Who among us wouldn't? You're a powerful Washington figure. Mark Foley isn't sharing any of his page-boys. You have a posh apartment somewhere in the city....that's a good gig, man! Fidelity just doesn't stand a chance versus a setup like that...oh, and tax cuts.

While the affair is clearly understandable in that light, admitting in a commercial you've been more faithful to your Republican values than you have been to your own marriage probably stings your poor wife a little, don't you think?

Tell congressman Sherwood you forgive him here.

Democratic challenger Chris Carney currently leads the race 48% - 37% .

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Alcoholism, Church Claims Another Powerful Figure

It appears alcoholism and religion have claimed another one of our best and brightest in congress. Former Rep. Mark Foley announced he is entering rehab treatment for “alcoholism and other behavioral problems” after being caught sending sexually explicit messages to underage boys. The terrible disease of organized religion may have had a hand in Foley’s behavior as well. A day after announcing his struggles with alcoholism Foley added that as a minor he had been sexually abused by a clergyman.

Foley’s bought is another in a sharp rise in congressional alcohol related incidents this year. Foley joins former congressmen Patrick Kennedy (crashed his car near the Capitol) and Bob Ney (took illegal gifts from Jack Abramoff) in the battle against this terrible disease. The Catholic Church has also been mired in high profile scandals this year as it fights pedophilia among its ranks.

Republicans, initially passive about Foley’s behavior toward underage boys, are now expressing shock and outrage at his behavior and his attempt to alleviate personal responsibility, a ploy usually reserved for bleeding-heart liberals.

"I don't buy this at all. I think this is a phony defense,” said Republican Peter King of New York. “The fact is, I think he's responsible for what he did here and I think it's a gimmick."

Other alcoholics are equally offended and upset.

Mel Gibson issued this statement: “Alcoholism is a serious problem. It should not be used as an umbrella or political move when it is the responsibility of the person to control his or her actions.”

Ralph Bunker, a bum living under a dumpster off 43rd street was also annoyed. “I’ve been an alcoholic for most of my 60 years and I’ve never propositioned young boys. I’ve talked to other alcoholics and we don’t want him.”

Some have been more sympathetic.

“These things are pervasive in our society,” said psychologist Maria Ellison. “I think you’d be surprised at the amount of unexplainable behavior that has its roots in alcoholism or religion.”

Foley has checked himself into a rehab clinic in Florida and we wish him the best of luck on his quest to control this terrible disease. Read more about Mel Gibson’s fight here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Another School Shooting

With Americans like this who needs terrorists?

This act was committed by a milk truck driver who was trying to avenge something that happened 20 years ago. What the issue is no one is sure of yet.

This follows the Wisconsin teenager who killed his principal because he received a warning about tobacco on school grounds. The boy was frequently teased and harassed.

That followed the school shooting in Bailey, Colorado, by a 54 year old man who was living out of his car.

What do all of these have in common? They all occurred in schools in small communities, with marginalized white males committing the crime. Why schools? Shock value? Why do only white men do such terrible things like this? Is there a difference between a "terrorist" and a guy who walks into a school and shoots kids? I don't think so. Is it religion or "Islamo-fascism"? Are these people twisted and motivated in that way? No. In this world some are deemed winners and some are deemed losers, but now the losers can buy a handgun, or build a bomb.
I feel sick. Everyone needs counseling. It should be mandatory. There should be more poetry and less competition. How about National Poetry Day?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Missing and Exploited Children Chariman Resigns Over Sexually Explicit Messages to Minors

So, they knew the whole time? This is the story of the Republican congressman who sent sexually suggestive e-mails to underage congressional pages, and the Republican leadership that covered it all up.

I used “Republican” twice because, let's not forget, they're the party trying to tell you who to sleep with, who to get married to, and when it's ok to die--all on some kind of moral ground. Their moral authority now seems as solid as the Catholic church's.

Mark Foley (R-Fla), the 66 year-old congressmen and predator who sent the e-mails to boys under the age of 18. He was also the co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, before resigning on Friday. Foley was so notorious in Washington that the pages warned each other to watch out for him.

John M. Shimks (R-Ill), head of the House Page Board, was told about the troubling e-mails almost a year ago. Mr. Foley was warned to be “epically mindful of his conduct” with pages. House speaker Dennis Haster (R-Ill) is also involved in the cover-up, first saying he found out about the shocking news last week, now saying he was informed early this year. The problem has been moved to the ethics committee, a well-known quagmire of inaction.

So, it seems like the worst place to leave your kids would be with a priest, a scout leader, a high-school, or a congressman. What a world.

Read the whole story here.

Visit Foley's re-election web page here.