Saturday, February 28, 2004

Sunday Blog Outsourcing 

First off, just wanted to mention that on "Songs in the Key of Springfield", the Simpsons have a wonderful song about Constitutional Amendments. I heard it on the local college station recently and thought it was from "School House Rock" because it was so dead on. It's called "The Day the Violence Died."

"I'm an amendment to be/ yes, an amendment to be/ and I'm hoping that they'll ratify me/ there's a lot flag burners who have got too much freedom/ I want to make it legal for policemen to beat'em/ cuz there's limits to our liberties/ at least I hope and pray that there are/ because the liberal freaks have gone too far!" (spoken: Child: why don't we just make a law against flag burning? The Singing Amendment: because that law would be unconstitutional! But if we change the constitution then.... Child: Then we can make all sorts of crazy laws!) [note: oh pisser! looks like craptastic has beat me to the punch!]

Meanwhile, friends, there is a dying fairy that can only be saved by your clicks.

New blog alert: New World Blogger, say hello.

Make Me A Commentator has a post that is not only delightfully challenging to liberal orthodoxy on free trade, but also references Toby Zeigler and Paul Krugman, so how can you go wrong?

Chris Brown runs into John Edwards in the food court. Sort of. I actually ran into Dennis Kucinich in downtown Cambridge, Massachusetts the other day. Harvard does not like Ralph Nader this year, it seems like, and it's interesting and kind of telling. When I volunteered for the Greens it was in Cambridge, and in fact, I think Nader won in Cambridge in 2000. But I could be wrong. Anyway, Dennis Kucinich had an overflow crowd at the Unitarian Church. People were talking about Nader as they were leaving- they don't like him. Take it as a litmus test. Or else, you can take the vast majority of blogs that are angry at Nader for running this week. Words on a Page for example.

Nader mentioned the creative potential of the third world, and Rivka has a classic example.

Obviously, the big news is the Gay Marriage Amendment. Mercury 23, and Rubberhose have some comments.

Echidne has got a post on the matter of Germans hating America. The old joke is, "If we're pissing off the ______, we must be doing something right!" (Guffaw, guffaw). So the current joke is: "If we're pissing off the Germans, French, Russians, British, Mexicans, Canadians, Koreans, Chinese, Japanese and Australians, we must be doing something right!" (guffaw, guffaw).

Corrente with some news on the little matter of importing books from the Nation's enemies. It is now illegal to edit them for clarity, since that would, you know, provide a service to a country with which trade is illegal.

Edward Pig is just really great this week. An open letter on the Constitutional Amendment, some words of assurance on JFK2, an update on Katherine Gun (she's free!) and more.

Archy is keeping tabs on Roy Moore so I don't have to.

Sunday Morning Laptop Reading: Blogamay has clearly done a lot of research on the matter of Roe v Wade.

PS: Transformers.

Oh Lord 

It seems an entry on Bill Frist is now on the very first page of search results for his name on google. As a result, my blog now gets something like 300 hits a day for people searching for Bill Fucking Frist.

I've got to say though, there's something that gives me a warm feeling about having my blog be a top search result for both "Bill Frist" and "Gay Penguin".

Friday, February 27, 2004

Is Idaho Under Gay Attack? No! 

In Idaho, a state Senate committee voted 5-4 to kill a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have banned same-sex marriages. "If I thought for one minute that this would threaten marriage in Idaho, I would vote for it," said Sen. Brad Little, one of three Republicans to reject the measure. "The sanctity of marriage is not under attack in Idaho." - AP

I Failed You 

Readers, I failed you: I knew about The Grey Album weeks ago, and never posted it, because it isn't entirely political. But now we're in the middle of the new culture wars, it's might be worth mentioning an album you can download (legally in that the artist is okay with it, illegally in that the album consists entirely of uncleared samples) that combines rapper Jay Z's accappella raps over sample of the Beatles "White Album." It all comes full circle, it seems like.

"Encore" is the only song on it that isn't brilliant, and maybe "Dirt Off Your Shoulders." Everything else on there would qualify as one of the best hip hop songs I've heard this year. If you're into it, you can also check out cuechamps' mp3 blog, which is a good source for IDM / Hip Hop etc in this vein (and where I was originally tipped off to this whole project.)

Log Cabin's Burnin', Log Cabin's On Fire 

In a letter to the chair of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County, [Ohio -ed] John Farina, a former official in the county's party organization and former president of the Cleveland chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, ended his 20-year association with the GOP. He also withdrew his candidacy for the Board of Elections' central committee in the March 2 primary. Farina, 35, said in the letter that the president's announcement on Tuesday forced his decision.

"Quite frankly I'm sick over it," Farina wrote. "It is an insult to me as a lifelong Republican and it does nothing to strengthen marriage. It is an obviously political move that will do nothing but divide the nation even further. So much for Mr. Bush being a uniter."
- c/o by way of Buzzflash.

The Log Cabin Republicans in New Hampshire are still endorsing Bush, apparently. One wonders just what Bush has to do to them before they withdraw support?


The best/worst moments of the debate:


SHARPTON: The issue in 2004 is not if gays marry. The issue is not who you go to bed with. The issue is whether either of you have a job when you get up in the morning.


SHARPTON: Senator Edwards, are you saying, since you agree that there's a lot of problems in the death penalty -- and no one has mentioned the racial disparity about those on death row -- that therefore, you would suspend your support of capital punishment until we dealt with those problems?

EDWARDS: No, I would not.

SHARPTON: So you would proceed even with the flaws?

EDWARDS: I think those changes need to be made in the system. We need to make those changes. I've been fighting for those changes in the United States Senate. But that does not...

SHARPTON: But you would let them continue?

EDWARDS: But that does not mean -- and I think states can -- for example, North Carolina can evaluate whether its own system is working. I think they vary from state-to-state. The state of Illinois did that and came to a conclusion that their system was not working. I think we should support that if they make that determination.

SHARPTON: That sounds like states' rights again. I don't agree with that.

EDWARDS: No, it is not.

Sigh. It seems like Kerry really is the best guy, and I'm rooting for him. I like that Edwards is against NAFTA, but I don't like that he's pro-death penalty (and yeah, I know Dean was. I traded that issue in for the sake of Dean, but I can't for Edwards.)

And no more money to candidates until the general election. I gave to Edwards and second guessed it, and then I gave money to a Democrat running to take a Republican seat in South Dakota, who, two days later, came out in favor of the Hate Amendment. That's about $80.00 down the toilet to candidates I don't even like. I'm all for getting a Democratic Majority, but I would like it to be a progressive Democratic Majority.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Invisible Homosexuals Cause Conservative Panic 

Never mind the War in Iraq, or the Terror Threat, or the oncoming oil crisis, forget the deficit spiraling out of control to the point where Greenspan is saying we need to cut social security benefits. No, no, what has people up in arms across the country is this:

The newly elected president of the Rose Parade says he was not trying to put himself in the middle of the furor over gay rights. But that is exactly what happened when he picked as the parade theme for next year "Celebrate Family."

What happened then is amazing. Read this story carefully. Conservative groups started emailing the Rose Bowl concerned that Gay Rights Groups would try to enter the parade. None of them are, so far, and none of them did. But then, our good friend Randy Thomassen of the Coalition for California's families didn't seem to care. He issued a statement claiming that Gay Groups were trying to get a float into the parade.

"Homosexual activist groups are now trying to hijack the Rose Parade and are pushing themselves into this as a public relations stunt to try to switch topics away from family and toward the homosexual agenda," warned Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for California Families.

Accurate, of course, except in that it is a lie, writ large on an agenda of "morality". As you see, a few paragraphs down, the article casually mentions that, in fact, "So far, no gay organizations have stepped forward to say they will enter floats."

Later, "Focus on the Family founder James Dobson also urged listeners of his daily radio broadcast to express their outrage." Outrage, that is, over there being a parade that Gay Groups might be able to participate in, but aren't. What is the outrage that people are supposed to be registering?

Shameful Plea 

It seems that has decided that the "Gay Penguin for America" website qualifies as humor. They've linked to it, and now I am being bombarded with 250 page views per hour, and it's two in the freakin' morning (by comparison, the website you're reading now gets 174 hits a day at its peak). So. What does this mean?

It means, if this goes at all like the New York Times mention a while ago, that I may be shelling out up to $1500 in server overuse fees.

So. Do me a favor, if you will: go buy some Gay Penguin for America Merchandise. You totally know you want it anyway. (I suggest the sweatshirt?) Or better yet, help me out by donating to me directly here.

Or just let me know you've contributed to some worthy charity so I can feel better about displacing my massive charitable/political donation schedule for a few months.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004


Seems that the DU has individually contacted members of the House to ask if they support the Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage. It looks like they don't have the numbers to pass it. (c/o Atrios).

Just so y'all know, the legislation is here and it has a handy little wording that could be used to ban civil unions, too: Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

Hey, Minnesota: What are you going to do to get this asshole out of office? Here's a complete list of all the Nazi Motherfuckers (including some very confused Democrats) you can "thank" for being in favor of the amendment.

Letters to Congresswoman Musgrave, Part One 

I'm going to start a little side project here, called "Letters to Congresswoman Musgrave." She's the woman introducing the bill to the House concerning the Gay Marriage Constitutional Amendment. This is the first one:

Dear Representative Musgrave,

While we are looking at a proposed Constitutional Amendment banning Homosexuals from Marriage, I would also encourage you to act to ban the practice known as Homosexual Recruitment. As we know, Homosexuals are constantly trying to undermine American Values, and this is done partly by way of training children not to reproduce, and instead to come over to the side of gays. Every year, more and more children announce that they are homosexual, at a staggering pace. By the end of 2045, we may no longer have any children interested in God's Blessed Gift of Procreation. The end result for America is obvious: A deadlock on population growth, a devastated economy, and an influx of Immigrants taking this soil from its native born sons. I am on your side, Congresswoman Musgrave: Gays are terrorists who launch slow-detonating population bombs of homosexual non-reproductive sex on the streets of San Francisco, instead of dirty bombs of nuclear chaos in New York.

The Homosexual Recruitment must end. In so doing, I encourage you to support legislation banning Homosexuals from recruitment, including an immediate withdrawal of television shows which spread the propaganda of the enemy, such as "Q*eer Eye for the Straight Guy"- a show which, though I have never seen, I am told is based on the notion of converting straight American men to the side of Pagan Homosexuality. Such a Bill would require that Homosexuals not only be banned from marriage, but also from teaching in our schools, our sports, and in our boardrooms. As we all know, teachers and businessmen are models for our children, and should they be able to see a Homosexual score a homerun, or teach them physics, they may inadvertently begin to favor homosexual urges in their own susceptible, developing bodies and minds, by associating the excitement of sports or math with the excitement of the Gay Lifestyle.

But we are also faced with another daunting task- terrorist "sleeper cells" of Homosexuals, Homosexuals that are not "out of the closet." Here, I have a question for you. Given the problems faced by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," in which closeted Homosexuals can still derive perverted pleasures while watching our brother soldiers die on the battlefield, how do we know if someone is part of the Gay Menace? Are there any distinguishing characteristics or cultural cues to determine if someone is a gay? Perhaps, once we complete our missions to insure that homosexuals are eventually classified as terrorists, we can extend some of our civil corps to do research on individuals suspect of having Gay leanings. Since our terror alert level color chart has been so effective in this Brave President's lead in the war on terror, perhaps we can have a color status for people who are suspected of homosexual tendencies, which could be marked on job applications for Federal Service and Teaching Positions? John Ashcroft is a fine Christian who I am sure would support such legislation. Perhaps, much like the liberal thwarted TIPS program, we could train communities to report on each others homosexuality. If you need agents to go into the field and attempt to seduce men as tests of their Heterosexual will and rigor against gay temptations, I would volunteer in a heartbeat. For work, so degrading, done for the sake of my God and my country becomes an honor.

Yours In Jesus,
Alphonso Heteroni

Siding With Scalia 

I'm on the same side of an issue today with Judge Scalia and Thomas. Who would have guessed that would have happened?

I was watching this one, and Atrios posted the Supreme Court's decision today. The case involved a student with an academic and economic standing that qualified him for a State Promise Scholarship, which was then denied when he decided he wanted to go into the Ministry. The court decided that that's okay, because forcing the state to pay for theology classes constitutes an endorsement of Religion, and because "denying state funding to Davey didn't keep him from practicing his religion." Scalia dissented saying it "discriminates against religion." Which, while true, is also what the Constitution does when it says that there shall be no formal endorsements of Religion. As a nation, we can endorse a language, a law, a constitutional amendment, or a football team, but we cannot endorse a Religion or a religious value.

But I do find it interesting just when the Supreme Court decides on separation of Church and State and when it does not. If, ultimately, having state scholarship money used for Theology classes is a violation of the division between Church and State, then I wait with baited breath to see if they allow a Gay Marriage ban to be ruled Constitutionally Valid.

Personally, I think that if a student is eligible for state money for college tuition, he should be able to pursue what s/he wants with it. I don't think the state should have been required to give him that scholarship, as Scalia and Thomas wanted, I just think the state should have chosen to. While it could be said that taxpayers shouldn't foot the bill for Religious training, they already do in some states-- by paying for school vouchers that send students to Private Religious Schools-- and we already give tax payer's money to Religious Charities. (Unless they're Islamic, in which case we close them down and investigate them for terror ties). All of which is stuff I think is far more threatening to the separation of Church and State than allowing a poor kid, who already qualifies for the scholarship, to become a minister. Paradoxically, a Philosophy degree would be permissible.

I certainly don't like the idea of paying people to become Ministers or Priests, but I am sure there's plenty who don't like the idea of their tax dollars going towards a Grad Students research paper on Existentialism, or Marxist Criticisms of the Catholic Hierarchy. You know this country is on the right course when everyone is annoyed in equal share.

Don't weep too hard for the student involved, however. He's now a first year Law Student at Harvard University. Precisely what we need in this world: A Harvard Educated Lawyer with a Religious Axe to Grind against the Supreme Court.

Sorry For Trashing The Discourse Again 

A purely idiotic write up of a plan to keep "The Vagina Monologues" from being performed in Catholic Universities. By Students. Makes sense:

"...I have a suggestion for bringing the "V Monologues" to a halt. You get jock fraternities to put on the play, casting their "little sisters" as the performers. No changes necessary; keep the script intact. [...] Overnight, from being a bold and disturbing exploration of emerging values, the "V Monologues" will become a threat to women's safety and an insult to feminists everywhere."

But I'm the one "trashing the discourse" by calling them idiots. Such a brilliant trap they've made, eh?

The Rhetorical Staring Contest 

I should be clear, when I say "go fuck yourself", it's not a matter of anger at the opposed position. I like Republicans, I like Democrats, it's all fine and good. I respect people when they make conclusions that lead them somewhere, and are open to having them challenged in order to define where we end up. I can handle that kind of dialogue.

What I don't like is people who set up some political goal they want to achieve- such as, say, making sure gays don't get married- and then reverse engineer the positions they would have to take to get there. When one of those positions falls through or is exposed as ridiculous, and they keep harping on talking points to frustrate whoever they're arguing with. Because, in the broken excuse for modern day political discourse, we don't actually debate anymore. We see who can hold on to their point the longest on national television. The first one to lose their cool with frustration, apparently, is the "loser."

Today some fascist Republican Congresswoman Musgrove, sponsor of the Gay Marriage Amendment Bill, was on Larry King Live with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Here's the conversation:

NEWSOM: Well, she didn't say what either presidential candidate said. She said separate but unequal. At least there's an argument being made by the presidential candidates that the thousand-plus benefits afforded opposite-gender couples, married couples, can at least be considered as an extended benefit with civil unions. The bottom line is, visitation, the rights of pension benefits, health care benefits, inheritance rights are not afforded opposite-gender -- are afforded opposite-gender couples but not same-sex couples. So to say that's not discriminatory to me is abjectly remarkable when, in fact, it is discriminatory. And she's preaching, at least, a separate but unequal standard, and it's just simply not the world that I represent out here in the great state of California.

MUSGRAVE: Are you going to have polygamy day? Are you going to have a polygamy day? Are you going to have a group marriage day? How far is this going to go, Mr. Mayor? I'd just like to know how far you're going to go in defining the law. And please answer that. Is polygamy OK?

NEWSOM: It's -- you know, it's the typical red herring, and it's almost stale rhetoric. It's the same rhetoric to get off the fundamental...

MUSGRAVE: It's a legitimate question.

NEWSOM: ... the right of two -- the right of two people...

MUSGRAVE: Is polygamy OK?

NEWSOM: ... to come together...

MUSGRAVE: If you blur the lines of the definition of marriage, Mr. Mayor, how far do you go? I'm really interested. Do you support polygamy?

NEWSOM: I don't support discrimination, and I feel I have an obligation to protect and preserve...

MUSGRAVE: You haven't answered the question.

NEWSOM: Because it's a red herring and it's stale, divisive rhetoric.

MUSGRAVE: If you think it's discrimination...

NEWSOM: You can do better.

MUSGRAVE: Do you support polygamy? How about group marriage? I'd like an answer.

So, the right wing has their own version of "Go Fuck Yourself". Musgrave's response to a Gay Man on the panel, later on:

CALLER: My question is directed to everybody. Seems to me that the problem is the word marriage. What role does the state play dictating what a marriage is? [...]

ALLEN: To me the debate goes two ways, you either take away the special rights and privileges that go along with a marriage for everybody or allow it for everybody. If we can get civil union under the law, than I can decide whether I'm allowed to marry in a church.

MUSGRAVE: What about incest? What about incest? What about group marriage. What about polygamy.

Really elevating the discourse by totally not saying "go fuck yourself" to anybody.

Political Discourse in this country is usually nothing more than a rhetorical staring contest. That's the kind of debate that Musgrave was trying to have- the kind of debate where if Newsom blinked, said something hasty out of frustration, she could claim a victory. When it gets to that point, I think I'd rather not pretend that Musgrave is engaging in some sort of "important political discourse", I'd rather they just say, "Go Fuck Yourself."

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Bush Expands Fear-based Campaign to Include Hate 

Bush's Amendment

Captain Spectacular announced today that marriage is "the most fundamental institution of civilization." And he wants an amendment to codify it.

So he's heeding to activists (known for being activists) who say that judges (who are hired and promoted based on their records of impartiality) were being "activists" by interpreting "liberty and justice for all" to mean that all people are to be given liberty and justice, not just straight people.

But you know, why not help Bush out? Here's a recommendation for the parts of the Constitution that ought to be amended. If we're going to ban gay marriage, let's do it all out. So here we go, with the suggested changes in italics:


"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice for all heterosexuals, insure domestic heterosexual tranquility, provide for the common defense of marriage, promote the general welfare of heterosexuals, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our heterosexual posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article IV:

Section 1. Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state unless a state chooses to honor the marriage of homosexuals. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

Section 2. The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all heterosexual privileges and immunities of heterosexual citizens in the several states.

Amendment IX:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, unless they are homosexuals wishing to be married.

Amendment X:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the heterosexual people not seeking to marry a person of the same gender.

Make sense? Yeah, me neither.

I Am An Angry Young Man.  

I think that I need to decide, once and for all, whether or not telling people to "go fuck yourself" is endearing somehow. I think it's important for people who come over to blogs and post bullshit to be told to go fuck themselves, because I don't think people who don't think about things or do research on the subjects they try to condescend me with should be able to get away without direct confrontation. The facts are on the table and I am tired of being polite. I am tired of being on the defensive. Our ideas are better. Our fundamental framework is more fair. We have a better heritage.

The Bush admin likes Leo Strauss. They admit it. Leo Strauss believed in the "noble lie," the idea that you can rightfully deceive people if it is for their own good, but are unwilling to do something based on the truth. So then we have an organization running this country that sincerely does not trust the public to make it's own decisions on matters of war and peace. I look through the news and three times a day, at least, there is something that infuriates me coming out of the White House. While this administration is in office, I will suffer no apologies for it. I am no longer interested in a debate on whether or not George W Bush is a good leader. The time for that has passed, and so I say, these trolls can take their ignorant little defenses elsewhere. The period of debate has ended. From now on, Bush supporters, you are going to be told, quite simply, to go fuck yourself.

I only worry that you, dear reader, won't like that about me, because it means I am mean or something. Intolerant. Mostly: I worry it means I am "as bad as they are." But I seriously don't see the point of "fair minded debate" with some of these people. I already did the research. The evidence is on my side, the facts are on my side. I don't need to be dishonest to humiliate them. I know what I am talking about, I already know the good and the bad of what I believe.

I have to ask myself about who I am as a person, I guess. I think giving up the pretense of "engaging" / "convincing" the right is better for me. Because there's plenty of reasons to engage with the fascist new wave, but conversion takes more energy than I care to extend to that purpose. Convincing people really isn't my strength. I get furious and throw tantrums, and I think maybe instead of trying not to throw tantrums (and then losing whenever the tantrum gets thrown) that maybe I just ought to focus on throwing tantrums in a really constructive way. Certainly engagement is the more noble option. But anger is an important energy too. Perhaps there is such a thing as constructive progressive anger after all- and maybe that's why the right wants to put "anger" into a box.

I'm not advocating violence, or emotional abuse. I'm just saying, go fuck yourself, troll. Your attempt to annoy me only mobilizes me, and your condescension only reinforces my intellectual rigor. And, you're a shit head.

Al Franken says "fuck" a lot, so I think it's okay. Can I be smart and hostile at the same time? Can one be taken seriously and still tell people to go fuck themselves? What do you think? It's the old tolerance vs intolerance question, it's a question of who to be tolerant of and who not to tolerate. Tolerating everything is tolerating nothing, or whatever. What do you think? Is there a need for a passionate progressive movement that has no real interest in engaging the complete, undressed absurdity of the opposition and focuses on its own alternatives instead? Particularly when the opposition is such a condescending group that shares a legacy of fact-crushing with Nazis? I'm not the one who degraded the discourse, am I? I was born to be pragmatically idealistic.

It's not even like I hate Republicans. I don't even particularly like Democrats. What I cannot stand is the way these distinctions blind everyone to the godamned truth. It's like, John McCain, maybe I'd love John McCain. I don't care what party he's in. What if Bill O'Reilly wasn't a fucking liar? It'd be great. "No Spin". But can't I be righteously angry at peoples denial of reality? "Well I voted republican, so I'd better make sure that I denounce anything negative that is said about my president." Look at the facts. Look at the fucking facts!

I'd like your comments, because I have no idea if what I am saying is liberal blasphemy, trite vitriol, or cliche angry liberal ranting. Cast your votes, please.

[edited to remove a comment that made it look like this rant was directed at Christopher Lydon's Blog, which it absolutely wasn't.]

George W Bush Wants You To Know Something, Part Two 

We saw war and grief arrive on a quiet September morning -- and from that day to this, we have pursued terrorists across the world. We've captured or killed many of the key leaders of the al Qaeda network, and the rest of them know we're on their trail. There is no cave or hole deep enough to hide them.

Well it sure is comforting to know that Osama Bin Laden "knows we're on his trail." I'd have to say it would be a huge failure if Bin laden didn't even know we were looking for him. I can see how he might think that though, since we really should have had him about two years ago.

We confronted the dangers of state-sponsored terror, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. We have used the power of this country to end forever two of the most violent and dangerous regimes on Earth. More than 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq are reclaiming the rights and dignity of free men and women -- and America has been proud, once again, to lead the armies of liberation.

Wait, weapons of mass destruction? Did anyone tell Bush that we have not, in fact, found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Or is he talking about how Tony Blair got Libya to disarm? As for the rest of it, well- yeah. You better milk the hell out of those 50 million liberated Muslims, because they can't vote in this election, and something tells me they sure as hell wouldn't vote Bush-Cheney.

When Dick Cheney and I came to Washington, we found a military that was under-funded and under-appreciated. So we increased the defense budget to give our men and women the tools and training they need to win the war on terror. And today, no one in the world can question the skill, the strength, and the spirit of the United States military.

One problem, is that Clinton built the Military that won in Afghanistan. Bush was only in office for 9 months when we invaded Afghanistan. And, you're not even giving the military proper body armor- families of soldiers have had to raise the money themselves to send it to them. Neither does Bush provide proper care for the Military Wounded. Bush is also rewarding the military by cutting funding to the schools on Military bases. But, to be fair, Bush did land on an air craft carrier and he does appear with a lot of American Flags. Oh! And Turkey with the troops. Can't forget the turkey with the troops.

We passed major reforms to raise the standards of public schools.


We passed reforms in Medicare to give prescription drugs and choice to our seniors.

He says this after saying "when we came to Washington [...] old problems were politicized, debated, and just passed on from year to year." Well Bush on Medicaid is pretty much that, in a nutshell. It shifts the burden to states. It boosts costs to states and cuts state funding. That's about the end of the Medicaid bill.

It's the President's job to confront problems, not to pass them on to future Presidents and future generations.

Oh I love that. That's fucking precious.

In the next four years, we'll keep our enemies on the run, and extend the frontiers of liberty.

I really hope we actually catch our enemies sometime in the next four years, Mr. President.

"I trust the people, not Washington politicians, to make the best decisions for their own money, their own health, their own retirement, and their own lives."

Isn't it a little weird for Bush, who is the President with the party that controls both the house and the senate, to trash "Washington politicians?"

America and our allies gave an ultimatum to the terror regime in Iraq. The dictator chose defiance, and now the dictator sits in a prison cell.

Can Bush please define the defiance of Saddam Hussein? He said he had no weapons, he had no weapons. We wanted inspectors let in, he let the inspectors in. What exactly was the ultimatum that Hussein defied? I'll say again, it's not like I'm not happy he's out. But shouldn't Bush be saying "well we screwed up on what that guy was doing, but he was kind of a prick anyway right guys?" That would get applause at your NASCAR rally.

They now agree that the world is better off with Saddam Hussein out of power; they just didn't support removing Saddam from power. (Laughter.) Maybe they were hoping he'd lose the next Iraqi election.

Wait, which candidate is he talking about? Because they both supported the war. Is that what the audience is laughing about? Kind of ironic, too, that Bush can talk about rigged elections for a laugh.

After the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States -- and war is what they got.

So you know, since war was what the terrorists wanted, and since we are a civilized society that operates on the rule of law instead of the rule of force, what real virtue is there in giving the terrorists precisely what they want? Do suicide bombers really care what flag is on the bomb that kills them? I would argue, no. But Bush can campaign on the notion that stooping to violence, as Terrorists do, is somehow a virtue.

Oh, it's all too much. You can read the rest of it at if you're interested.

Monday, February 23, 2004

George Bush Wants You To Know Something: Part One 

Mr. Bush unveiled his campaign season stump speech today. He's got some stuff he wants you to know.

This upcoming election? "It's a choice between an America that leads the world with strength and confidence, or an America that is uncertain in the face of danger. The American people will decide between two visions of government: a government that encourages ownership and opportunity and responsibility, or a government that takes your money and makes your choices."

Okay forgive me here, but I'm not too sure I'm going to let Bush get away with that. "Encourages Ownership?" Is he literally starting the campaign season by calling the Democrats Communists? Brilliant. And such a positive message for America! Then there's the charge that Bush advocates "opportunity", such as, I imagine, the opportunity to lose your job to actual Communists in China. Responsibility, as we all know, is the Republican code word for "gutting social programs".

What choices are the Democrats making for us? I seem to have missed that. Is it the choice to have an abortion or not? Is it the choice to allow states to decide on the issue of Gay Marriage? Is it the choice of a nation to go to war based on facts instead of a "noble lie"? Ahhh, no. It wouldn't be any of those things. And in fact, Bush doesn't seem to really tell us what choices Democrats want to make for us.

"We have a record of historic achievement. And most important, we have a positive vision for the years ahead -- for winning the war against terror, for extending peace and freedom, and creating jobs and opportunity here at home."

Brilliant Wit alert: "A positively stupid vision for the years ahead!" Winning the War on Terror, sure. It's not like Democrats will "lose" the war on terror. Extending Peace and Freedom, yeah. I don't know. Creating Jobs and Opportunity? No. Sorry buddy. But we know that you just backed off your initial claim that 2.6 million jobs would be created this year. We know that not since Herbert Hoover has there been net job loss under any sitting President. We know that, when you were backing off of that prediction only three days after you made it, your grand economic plan was, "there are some things we need to do." Thanks for that steady leadership in a time of change.

We've given serious answers, and the strong leadership these times of extraordinary change demand. We came to office with an economy heading into recession. We delivered historic tax relief, and the consumer spending and investment that resulted helped lift our economy back to growth, so that people are getting hired again. At a time when competition is not just across town, but across borders and continents, America's productive workers have made this economy the fastest growing of any major industrialized nation.

Seriously stupid answers. There's that strong leadership in times of change again! Man oh man, thank God for that steady leadership in these times of change. I mean, if there's one thing a President should brag about in his campaign slogan, it's that times are changing, and he isn't. Such a great idea. But, let's get to what he's "saying". One, that he inherited a recession from Bill Clinton. Steady Buck Passing in Times of change? But the best part is that Bush is, once again, lying. No less a Liberal Watershed publication as "Buisiness Week" Magazine has called him on this. There is no Clinton Recession. While Bush didn't necessarily cause the recession, he did nothing to prevent it. But one thing we know he is doing, is trying to say that the recession started under Clinton, when, in fact, it started under Bush. Getting people hired again- well, we've covered that ground. They aren't, or at least, not in the numbers that are worth bragging about. Yes, competition is moving across borders, thanks to lax regulation by the Bush Administration that actually rewards companies for going overseas- a phenomenon Bush economic cheese Gregory Mankiw just said was "probably a plus for the economy in the long run."

About that "historic tax relief." When the Government had a surplus, Bush said to give it back to the people. Now that we're running the worst deficits in American History, Bush is saying to give it back to the people. "Steady Leadership In a Time of Change", indeed. But we don't have it any more, Mr. Bush. You see- we don't have that surplus any more. You gave it all back to us already. I got $14.00.

We had to confront corporate crimes that cost people jobs and savings. So we passed the strongest corporate reforms since Franklin Roosevelt, and made it clear that we will not tolerate dishonesty in the boardrooms of America.

How's this record for Corporate Reform: After signing the bill he's talking about above, he then issued an "interpretation" of the same law which cut protections on corporate whistleblowers. The original intent was, you couldn't be fired for reporting crimes that went on in your workplace by your superiors. Now you can, unless there is already an investigation going on into your workplace. You can imagine the benefits this has had for Democracy. Nevermind that Mr. Dick Cheney's old megalith toy, Halliburton, is under investigation for overcharging American taxpayers for food and oil in Iraq.

So This Is How We Win 

Well now we know why the FBI was cracking down on Almanacs a while ago.

Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" during a private White House meeting with governors on Monday. -AP

Maybe this is all part of the Bush strategy? First of all, there was the economic report that advocated the re-classification of fast food workers as "manufacturing jobs" so we'd instantly have some manufacturing jobs back. Now, it seems that underfunding the "No Child Left Behind" bill is just the newest front on the War on Terror. I'm so grateful that Bush tells us like it is. What an honest, honest man.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

From Nader To Democrats- With Love 

So, Nader is running. You'll hear the chorus of (rightfully) angry Democrats raising arms in protest, in an attempt to keep him from saying anything that reveals what a sham the DLC arm of the Democratic Party is. While I won't vote for him, unless by some chance he is beating Bush and Kerry in the polls, I certainly can't hate Ralph Nader. It seems to me that, though counter intuitive, the basic premise of his decision to run is rooted in a Dean-esque sort of fire-branding on the ass of Democrats. One comment in particular, on "Meet the Press" today, made me think Nader might be good for Democrats in the end:

Democrats better look at themselves. They'd better brag a little bit more, which they hardly do, about bringing Social Security and Medicare and environmental laws to the country before 20, 25 years ago they turned into a corporate paymaster minion.

He's right. The DLC has "moved to the center", and I think Dean made the same point- they did it because they are too lazy to actually make the case for a progressive agenda. He's right to point out the irony that Democrats don't want him to run because he represents Democratic values far better than the Democratic party itself does. There's got to be some point in this upcoming election where progressives can say, you know- we really ought not to be afraid of beating Bush. We ought to beat Bush handily, and if we cannot win by a wider margin than 537 votes in Florida, then we ought to be ashamed of the job we have done with our candidate and with our message.

Nader is also running on an impeachment platform, which is fantastic, particularly if he makes it his primary talking point. It keeps the war front and center- and out of the hands of the Democrats, who could be damaged by criticizing it. He points out that the press "has documented ad infinitum" the lies and misleading principles Bush offered for war, "I think this country deserves a serious explanation of why, how, when this country was plunged into war against a brutal dictator tottering over an antiquated, non-loyal army, surrounded by hostile neighbors who, if he made one move against, would have obliterated him. It was oil. And oil has ruined so much of our foreign policy and antagonized so many people in the Third World, when we should be converting to renewable energy and solar energy and energy efficiency, all of which creates jobs in this country. So I think it is very important for the American people to take what happened last year very, very seriously."

So, don't be mad at Ralph Nader. If he gets enough attention, he'll be able to bring up some of the issues that Dems can't touch, which may trigger more people to want to move against Bush. Because voters are actually capable of independent thought, they will realize that voting Democrat has a greater chance of getting Bush out than voting for Nader. It's the same thing that happened with Howard Dean- Dean mobilized the party, set the table for the issues, got new people into the booths and caucuses and then they all voted for "electable" John Kerry. We can only assume that a good portion of the people listening to Nader will understand that voting for him is "beautiful but stupid".

Oh, and let's get this "egoist" label off of him, please. This line was manufactured, you can be sure, by the same democrats that echoed the "angry" label for Howard Dean. Ralph Nader is not an egomaniac. Most of what could have been a vast personal fortune has gone into non profit organizations. Just look at the man's suits. So is this bullshit rumor about him being a paid Republican operative. Yes, Republicans paid for pro-Green Party advertisements in 2000, but that doesn't mean the Green Party was corrupted by Republicanism any more than it means Roy Moore is being "corrupted" by Liberal Bloggers.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I think Nader will be good for the Democrats, albeit inconvenient.

Sunday Blog Outsourcing 

This morning, don't forget to watch "Meet The Press" to see if Ralph Nader will speak brilliantly, as he is more than capable of doing, about the obstacles facing our Government and our Democracy, or if, instead, he will become an obstacle facing our Government and Democracy.

When that's done, help yourself to some strawberry and cream oatmeal and click blindly:

Orcinus has an expose (part one, part two) on conservatives' "eliminationist rhetoric", ie, conservatives calling for the mass extermination of Liberals. I tend to fight back with brilliant wit and tremendous vigor against the occasional moronic conservative comments on this blog. But you don't see many violent progressives in this country these days, excepting the widely disowned ELF.

Progressives don't fight, they just try to get married. Which brings us to the Gay Marriage issue that has blazed the blogosphere this week, no doubt following the lead of yours truly, whose "Gay Marriage Week" lasted a full three days.

Corrente has a good long post on Gay Marriage, comparing actual, documented rhetoric of the 1950's with the rhetoric of today. Edward Pig refutes, in a few paragraphs, what took me a full week (and was already forgotten/ignored by our resident troll), Elayne Riggs has got another post on the issue, calling out for a lot more tolerance than I have for the gay-bashing imbeciles of the right wing, and much to her credit. Steve Gilliard has a post on it too.

Some last minute ideas on this subject. I was talking to a gay co-worker who had a brilliant comment. "It's not like they're going to give away all the marriage to the gays." Which is dead on. It's not like marriage is a finite entity that there's only so much of. For that matter, I also wanted to address the new complaint I've been hearing on gay marriage, which is that "marriage is defined as between a man and a woman." If someone really argues that this is the reason they're against gay marriage, can I propose that this may be the most divisive grammatical argument of all American History? We used to argue over whether "ain't" was a word or we're in an all out cultural war over the correct grammatical use of the word "marriage?" But I went to no less a Patriotic source than the American Heritage Dictionary (American Heritage, people- this ain't no pinko commie dictionary) to settle the grammatical debate at the heart of the gay marriage issue: It allows for marriage to be defined either as "The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife" or as "A union between two persons having the customary but usually not the legal force of marriage: a same-sex marriage." Oh, coy dictionary, don't play politician with me!

The Orgy of Godlessness continues: Trish Wilson has a post on abortion rights, Otters has a feminist blog round up, and archy endorses Gay Penguin for President. Surely Mao would be proud.

Chris Brown said nice things about me in his last blog round up, and I'm a sucker for that sort of thing. Also, Make Me A Commentator has come up with a mix tape of sorts, for protest songs. What is remarkable is that before reading it, I had this great idea of making Pulp's "Common People" a theme song for the ABB crowd- and poof! There he went and gone dunnit.

In self-promotion news, Gay Penguin for America has some new bumper stickers and tee shirts, not to mention a transcript from his appearance on CNN's "Crossfire."

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