Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales, indicted!!

Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales were not indicted for war crimes or lies leading up to war or other things I would have expected, no, the were indicted in a Texas Prison Case.

Cheney is charged with engaging in an organized criminal activity related to the vice president's investment in the Vanguard Group, which holds financial interests in the private prison companies running the federal detention centers. It accuses Cheney of a conflict of interest and "at least misdemeanor assaults" on detainees because of his link to the prison companies.

Gonzales is accused of using his position while in office to stop an investigation in 2006 into abuses at one of the privately-run prisons.

None of the indictments, as of this writing, have been signed by the Presiding Judge.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yet more evidence that right wing punditry causes brain damage.

Ed Brayton, over at "Dispatches from the Culture War," posted "Hinderaker's Delusions" which had this quote (from "The Importance of Being Careful"):

Obama thinks he is a good talker, but he is often undisciplined when he speaks. He needs to understand that as President, his words will be scrutinized and will have impact whether he intends it or not. In this regard, President Bush is an excellent model; Obama should take a lesson from his example. Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly. He chooses his words with care and precision, which is why his style sometimes seems halting. In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed.

Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly?

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
-- George W. Bush

He chooses his words with care and precision?

We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease.
-- George W. Bush

In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed?

There are books full of Bush's gaffes.

“The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done.” – George W. Bush, regarding Iraq, ,Greeley, Colo., Nov. 4, 2006

Why do these right wing pundits always say things contrary to reality? Probably because they want to alter your perception of that reality so you don't see the mess they've made. Alas, this can only be done by writing in such a way that it causes brain damage. Recall, if you will, this passage from the Ron Suskind article, "Without a Doubt":

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

How true that has been. We are living in the nightmare world they created.

Like Palin, Bush was a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity. Perhaps we have misunderestimated him? One of the hardest parts of his job was to connect Iraq to the war on terror and he had us all fooled for years. There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again... or something like that. The point is that this is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mental losses and we can ill afford a brain damaged decider. And rarely was the question asked, 'Is our decider learning?' He wasn't.

I think we all agree, the past is over and you never know what your history is going to be like until long after you’re gone, and probably not even then unless you believe you have an immortal soul, but then you'd never really be gone. You're just not allowed to play the game any more.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christian Love versus Christian Superstition

Keith Olbermann had a great "special comment" on the passage of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry:

Note how Keith asks this question:

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not... understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you?

Here is the typical answer you might get from church officials:

“Alternatives to the legal and loving marriage between a man and a woman are helping to unravel the fabric of human society. I am sure this is pleasing to the devil. The fabric I refer to is the family. These so-called alternative life-styles must not be accepted as right, because they frustrate God’s commandment for a life-giving union of male and female within a legal marriage as stated in Genesis. If practiced by all adults, these life-styles would mean the end of the human family.”
-- President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Pope Benedict had said: "Christians must defend traditional heterosexual marriage as a 'pillar of humanity' benefiting Christians and non-Christians." A couple other examples of answers:

Marriage is supposed to be a sacred bond between man and woman in a one–to–one ratio. I want to see that bond protected. -- Jamie Edgerly


...because homosexual sex - the underlying basis for such unions - causes harm to those engaged in such activities. Doctors have indicated the physical harm it causes and psychologists have pointed out the emotional and psychological harm that ensues. But over and above these very serious considerations is the spiritual harm that results from this sexual behaviour.
-- John-Henry Westen

So, do you think that if Keith Olbermann had heard those explanations for opposing gay marriage that he wouldn't have a question any more? Do those explanations make sense for you?

If they do, please leave a comment and explain them to me. I might pick up on this later if someone can explain them. In the mean time I'll leave you with this:

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Can you hear me now?

You'd think that after the election it would end, but no, the Palinfreude goes on and on. Here's a quote from one FReeper post:

Palin didn't know Africa was a continent and did not know the member nations of the North American Free Trade Agreement -- the United States, Mexico and Canada -- when she was picked for vice president.

Here's a quote from another FReeper post:

With the Republican left out in force slimming Sarah Palin today, we desperately need to keep a record of these treacherous, back-biting vipers who are right now trying to destroy the one good thing to emerge for conservatives during this election cycle.

With any luck, this list can serve as an archive of the traitors in our midst who should NEVER get any support from Conservatives again. With these folks in our ranks, the conservative movement will never make any progress.

The purge should begin right now.

'Nuff said?

If not, let me spell it out, the one "good" thing to emerge for conservatives during this election cycle was a VP candidate who didn't know Africa was a continent and did not know the member nations of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Now, do you believe me when I tell you that these Republicans, the base of the GOP, are stupid?


I was ready to believe that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent, not a country, because she looked that bad in her first interviews. However, I've been watching CNN and they just had an interview with Palin where she denied it was true. She also called her critics cowards and jerks:

"It's unprofessional and those guys are jerks if they came away with it, taking things out of context and then tried to spread something on national news. It's not fair, and it's not right."

Fair? She wants fair after she used Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi to smear Obama? Welcome to a taste of your own medicine Palin. Do some harder interviews where your basic knowledge will be tested with new questions and lets find out what you really know. Let's find out what you know about evolution, Islamic religion, (does she know about Sufis?), Russia, Europe and China (let's see if she ever heard of the Boxer Rebellion).

One must consider the original sources -- The McCain campaign and Fox news. Those are not reliable, credible sources. Maybe it's not true. I'd be willing to give Palin a chance if she would do a harder interview with a credible reporter. It would be improbable for a governor not to know about the basics of NAFTA. She was still an awful candidate and the McCain campaign can blame her for some loss of votes, but it was their mistake for picking Palin in the first place and McCain himself blew it several times from my viewpoint, saying the fundamentals of the economy were sound, calling "woman's health" a mere excuse for abortion.

So, the Palinfreude will continue on and on as this nasty fight blows through the media and as long as 64 percent of Republicans still want Palin to run for president in 2012 she is going to remain in the media.

The next closest contenders are Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Joe Scarborough is an idiot and an asshole

I was watching "Morning Joe," with Joe Scarborough on MSNBC, and I saw Scarborough wondering aloud, "why, if he could celebrate Obama's win, why could not the dems celebrate GOP wins in the past?" He wondered why Dems couldn't have been so nice as to celebrate a GOP win when it happened. He was offended by people who said "evangelicals want to take us back to the stone-age."

Joe the pundit is an asshole because he only said that on Dem's victory day in order to throw some false guilt on his opponents. It was the emotionally manipulative comment of an utterly clueless asshole. He is an idiot because he thought it would work. The wondering Scarborough indulged isn't really celebrating anything, it's complaining about the victors being happy. Scarborough didn't look happy like the people dancing and singing in Chicago. Second, even if Joe the pundit were celebrating, the FReepers sure aren't. Nor is Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh.

Just read what some of those evangelicals that Scarborough cheers for have written about Obama:

...but what other threats does an Obama administration pose? We have been clearly warned by his running mate, Joe Biden, that America will suffer some form of attack within the first 6 months of Obama's administration. However, unlike Joe, I do not believe this "attack" will be a test of Obama's mettle. Rather, I perceive it will be a planned effort by those with whom Obama truly sympathizes to take down the America that is threat to tyranny.

So, Obama sympathizes with terrorists who want to take down the America and replace it with tyranny?

Of course, the right-wing evangelicals didn't bring us back to the stone-age, nor did they turn America into some fascist/Nazi state like Chris Hedges was predicting. The FReepers, in their extreme mirror image, think that Obama's win means a victory for evil. Why should they be happy about that? It's hard to celebrate the opponent's victory when the opponent is viewed as a destructive force.

No, the GOP didn't give us the stone age, but they did give us a war on science, tortured prisoners, two long term wars, financial collapse and corruption.

We don't want you to celebrate Joe, we want you to suffer, cry and then wake up and realize that your party, your old ideas, have been tested and failed. You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.

And beginning today, our ideas and our candidate will be weighed and measured.

You can blame me... Obama Won!

Can you hear it?

That sweet music... what is it? It is the wailing of the FReepers: "...and he isn't even all black...I am not being racist, or if I am, I don't care anymore." ... "he will never be a 'President,' at least not mine. I will always despise him for the way he treated Hillary and then Palin..." ... "I am still a bit depressed over last nights results." How does a man, according to Fox exit polls, who favors infanticide, taxing everyone over $120,000, handing 1/3 of Jerusalem to the PLO, and destroying the American coal industry get 2/3s of the voters to say 'He shares my values?'" ... "Welcome to socialized everything and feminized culture. Welcome to the arrogant smuggness of those who 'care' more than you do. Welcome to ever increasing health and safety laws, anti-discrimination laws, eco-friendly laws and an overweaning government that intrudes without competence in every part of your lives." ... "... the stagnant cesspool of socialism and communism..." ... "President Obama is also a great friend to the homosexual community and will be a champion of their radical agenda." ... "What an awful way to wake up this morning." "I sit here not understanding how this great nation could have elected a European Socialist to the most powerful position on earth." They are screaming to escape, they want "...a new nation: the Free Capitalist Republic of America."

Of course, the FReepers would have lost even if they had won:

FReepers don't think Obama "managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans, who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president." They don't "admire and commend him for achieving" his victory.

From McCain there was sweeter music:

Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone and I thank the people of Arizona for it.

Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Sen. Obama, I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president.

That was the McCain that I use to respect, and maybe can again. If only his supporters were as gracious as him.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."
-- President-Elect Obama celebrated in Grant Park

Monday, November 3, 2008

Today is your last chance! GO VOTE!

Tuesday, November 4th:

Go vote (if you haven't already) and keep your eyes open for fraud, intimidation and acts of voter suppression. If you encounter any irregularities or challenges, report your experience immediately to the voter protection hotline: 1-800-792-VOTE

A McCain win is possible, however unlikely. The states that are "must-wins" for McCain: Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana and Montana. If McCain drops any one of those states, it's pretty much over for him. So, if you're in one of those states it's even more important. And I'm in Indiana, so I'll be at the polls.
In 2000, the entire election came down to a small number of votes in one county in Florida. Four years later, we came up short by an average of nine voters per precinct in Ohio.

Just a tiny change in voter turnout would have changed history and the course of our nation was determined by a few thousand votes in key battleground states.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ben Affleck as Keith Olbermann on Saturday Night Live

Compare to the real thing:

Ben Affleck got the manufactured hyper shock-to-outrage-to-anger that goes with a Keith Olbermann performance down fairly well. And it must be a performance because no one can be shocked and outraged everyday on demand without it being a performance. However, the writers missed some great opportunities, like Olbermann’s constant, almost every show, obsession with “Bill Oh Really” and his more obscure taste in Twilight Zone metaphors.

The key to Keith Olbermann's act is the movie "Network" and the character of Howard Beale (Peter Finch), "the mad prophet of the airways":

And it's explicit and openly so:

When Olbermann channels Howard Beale he is already exploiting that touch of madness; a man almost driven mad by an insane world. What the writers pulled from the SNL version of Olbermann's performance is the world that drives a credible shock, outrage and anger. Another phony aspect of the skit is the way the guests disagree with Olbermann. That almost never happens on Olbermann's show. Often the guests point out that things are actually worse than Olbermann previously thought.

Yea, they crunched down on Olbermann's self-conscious style, but they couldn't really touch his substance without lying.