Friday, November 30, 2007

The GOP Candidates: In a Sentence.

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I decided to subject myself to the full two hours of Wednesday’s CNN GOP debate, mainly because I thought there might be some entertainment value in the YouTube format. In that regard, it did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the likes of Romney and Giuliani pissing all over each other, as they fumbled questions from a combination of right wing loonies and stealthy liberals trying to highlight the absurdly hateful hypocrisy that is today’s Republican Party!

Aside from the entertainment value, however, I didn’t really learn much about the candidates. Perhaps, a few existing impressions were confirmed. All told, I can probably sum it all up for each candidate in a single sentence:

Tom Tancredo – So obsessed that he thinks Chinese toys are illegal aliens!

Mike Huckabee – The only GOP candidate with acting ability worthy of admiration from Chuck Norris!

Mitt Roney – Clearly doesn’t deserve a second “M” when mentioning his name, or his religion!

Rudy Giuliani – Verbally, he attacks like a pit bull (but with slightly less flying saliva!)

John McCain –Likes to scold like a repressed nun, but if someone beats him and becomes President, he’ll be first in line for a hug!

Fred Thompson – Talks like the giant hundred-year-old grouper that lives in the lake!

Ron Paul – Can a doctor prescribe, and then stop taking, his own meds?

Duncan Hunter – Has a mind like a steel border fence: Nothing enters!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rudy and the Threats

Rudy a lot has been said and written today about your apparent "taxpayer" sponsored affair. Your response to the question at the CNN/Youtube debate wasn't exactly a denial of the facts. You said it was not true - but then went on to say that - how the security detail was expensed - was not your responsibility - and as far as you knew it was all done "appropriately".

Way to pass the buck - Mr. "I know how to run a city" - Mr. "I know how to lead in a crisis" - Mr. "9/11"!

Well Rudy you have a crisis now - show us what you're made of!

The part of your initial answer to the debate question that peaked my interest was your reference to threats that required this enhanced security. I would like to hear more about them. Please elaborate. Did you need protection from the mob? From terrorists? Or from your children - pissed at you because you and your security posse were cheating on their mother in the Hamptons!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So Much for That Idea!

I was in line at the grocery store yesterday when I saw the newest cover of The Economist (Yes, I shop at the rare grocery that isn’t completely filled with tabloids!) At first, I thought to myself, “No wonder the U.S. economy is in the toilet; The magazine that America turns to for serious economic commentary is willing to engage in what looks like a blatant act of Presidential Legacy Fluffing TM!”

Turns out the story was more of a challenge to the President than an effort to build him into a legitimate leader. Basically, it was a call to use a rare opportunity to redeem himself for a laundry list of failures, so I can’t hold anything against the magazine.

But jeez! Talk about failing to meet a challenge! Not only is Bush not the man to bring the leaders of Israel and Palestine toward lasting peace, he can’t even pronounce their names!

If you haven’t seen it, check out the video of his embarrassing effort to introduce “Ehud Ul-mult and Ma-hoom-mud Abbas” (that would be Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas, by the way!)

Unbelievable! Even Rudy Giuliani introducing Nicolas Sarkozy and Sammy Sosa would be an improvement over this guy!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rove: "I’m Still a Genius!"

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I finally read Karl Rove’s first column for Newsweek magazine. It’s written as a how-to guide to beating Hillary Clinton, but I think it’s really the first step in Rove’s desperate attempt to reclaim his status as “genius” despite the monumental failure of his political "brother," George Bush. Here’s a quote (with my emphasis):
Every presidential election is about change and the future, not the past. So show them who you are in a way that gives the American people hope, optimism and insight. That's the best antidote to the low approval rates of the Republican president. Those numbers will not help the GOP candidate . . . .
First of all, if every presidential election is about change, why was the last presidential election about "how Bush had all the right policies and Kerry didn’t?"

And why would anyone need an "antidote" for a great president? At this point, Rove is clearly detaching from the Bush policies because they no longer make him look like such a genius. Eventually, I fully expect Rove to embrace the idea that his true “genius” was not discovering a great president, but getting an idiot elected twice!

Rove continues:
The American people want their president to be authentic. And against a Democrat who calculates almost everything, including her accent and laugh, being seen as someone who says what he believes in a direct way will help.
Here, Rove reveals his own formula for getting the idiot Bush elected: calculate almost everything, including his accent and laugh, to be seen as someone who says what he believes!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Is it Too Early for a New Year's Prediction Karl Rove?


When I first read that Newsweek had hired Karl Rove as a contributor to their increasing irrelevant weekly magazine - I was, to put it mildly, "outraged". Once again - here was a perfect example of the corporate media selling their soul to the devil.

But upon further review and after reading "Turdblossom's" first effort - it is only a matter of time before it becomes painfully clear just how ordinary Mr. Rove really is. Somehow he was able to convince just about everyone that he possessed the gifts of intellect, strategy and skill never before seen in american politics. The "mainstream" media pundits routinely gave him credit for one political miracle after another. He was a chess master, artfully maneuvering the pieces, while no one else even new what game they were playing. And he did it all merely by never saying anything in public or on the record.

Sure he would leak some classified information once and a while. And yes, he would occasionally speak at some far right neocon gathering. But Karl never had to explain his ingenious strategy and he never had to answer to anyone. By simply not speaking - the Karl Rove's myth mushroomed to biblical proportions.

But mushroom no more!

My first New Year's prediction: Karl Rove's job at Newsweek will finally pull back the curtain on this "Wizard". Sure he put on a good show - but what will be revealed is the scared little man just hoping that no one will find out how ordinary he really is. And, while he suggests in his first column that the Republican presidential candidates should move away from "this unpopular Republican President" - I predict it will be Rove himself standing alone and unprotected - no longer hidden by his curtain of secrecy.

Thank you Newsweek in advance!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Watching Reality TV = Crossing the Picket Line!

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As I watched a recent segment of Countdown with Keith Olbermann trumpeting the impending return of American Idol, it occurred to me that anyone who is willing to stand in solidarity (at least in spirit) with the striking writers should probably take this opportunity to wean themselves from any “addiction” they may have to reality TV!

Remember, the development of the current genre that includes Idol, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, The Amazing Race, and many others, developed as a way to keep programming available to maintain network profits without the services of striking writers!

If you claim to support the talents of the writers who bring you quality entertainment (or at least crap you like!) over network executives (who would force you to watch a test pattern between commercials if they could figure out how to get it to hypnotize you into buying the shit they are selling!), then any time you feel the urge to tune in to your favorite reality show, crack a book or talk to a family member instead!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Life Outside Bush’s Bubble

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Looks like the usually lucrative post-administration speaking circuit isn’t going to be too kind to war criminals and torture enablers!

Here’s Gonzo during a speech at the University of Florida.

(Note to self for future business venture: Open a store selling orange jumpsuits and black hoods near the campus of Southern Methodist University right before the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library!)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Is That Bush’s Hand Up His You Know What?

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Day after day, on issue after issue, Mitch McConnell can be consistently counted upon to flap his mouth, spouting anything the Bush administration wants him to say. In fact, it’s almost as if they have some kind of control over his actions and can make him move his mouth at will.

Here’s Howie Klein with the complete rundown on the lead Republican obstructionist running interference for Bush’s policies against a Congress supposedly elected to provide some actual oversight.

Not surprising! In today’s Republican Party, I guess you can say there are two types of puppets. There are the hand puppets, like Mitch McConnell, who can be made to say anything at any time with absolute control. And then there are the marionettes, like Larry Craig, who can be manipulated by pulling the right strings, but are a bit wild and often prone to inopportune and uncontrollable toe tapping!

Juicy Robert Novak Rumor

I just heard from an acquaintance that his coworker's - 3rd cousin's - ex boyfriend - heard an incredibly juicy rumor about Robert Novak. However, I'm not going to reveal what I have learned out of respect for citizen journalism and bloggers everywhere.

But I can say that it involves a gerbil, a giant vat of jello and a mule.

But that is all I can say.............. because I take my position as a progressive blogger very seriously and I wouldn't want to risk my stellar reputation by spreading rumors. Even one that my acquaintances coworker's 3rd cousin's ex boyfriend was pretty sure about.

Mr. Novak - You are a disgrace to journalism. You have no credibility and you are ugly! Those are facts - not just a rumor. And you quote me on that!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Geshundheit!

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It’s a little known fact, for inherently obvious reasons, that I’m a notoriously bad self-promoter when it comes to my blogging. I rarely solicit links, directly through blogroll requests, or indirectly through strategic commenting. I usually opt not to cross-post on the more heavily trafficked group blogs, mostly because I don’t want to try to fit the expected mold of other writers there. I haven’t bothered to learn a lot of the newer technologies that help increase exposure across the web.

When I attended the Yearly Kos Convention last summer, I was motivated enough to make up business cards to give out, but then ended up coming home with almost all of them, because I simply forgot to give them out despite many opportunities, including several conversations with moderately influential bloggers.

Hell, I go many months at a time without even checking the Sitemeter to see who, if anyone, is stopping by. If not for the occasional comment, I’d basically be writing the things I want to read and can’t find elsewhere, purely for my own amusement!

Occasionally, I even joke sarcastically about Left-Over’s lack of readership, such as in the following excerpt from this post from a couple of weeks ago:
If you are one of those other nations Dick Cheney says the United States is joining with, what would frighten you the most:

Iran having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon?

Or Dick Cheney having control of a whole bunch of actual nuclear weapons?

Any of our many international readers care to weigh in on that question?
Of course, the really strange thing about sending your thoughts out into the world is that you never know when you might catch someone’s attention and/or imagination.

After months of ignoring the Sitemeter, I happened to take a look yesterday, only to find that not only do we have international readers, one of them had actually taken one of my posts and translated it into German. Well, at least I hope it was translated! For all the German I know, my writing might have been completely ripped to shreds, and my only possible rebuttal would be to call my German critic a “weiner dog!” Or, if that wasn’t enough, I could respond assertively to an imaginary sneeze!

After looking at the site, however, I’m a little confused as to why my post was translated into German, as it does not appear to be a politically oriented site. Oh well! I’m going to take the "Condoleeza Rice" approach to resume building and just say my blog “has been enthusiastically translated into other languages!”

In addition to the odd German translation, I also found from the Sitemeter that I had been quoted and linked by one of my favorite writers at Firedoglake, T-Rex. That was a pleasant surprise and a first for me as well!

So I guess I’m not just writing for, as Karl Rove recently put it, my own “personal release!” But frankly, that’s still the main reason! It’s either that or have permanent steam coming out of my ears whenever I see what they are doing to my country!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

If You’re a Californian, and You’re Stupid, Say “Aye” to Ed Rollins!

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I was going to limit the title to “California Democrats” before realizing this was completely unnecessary, even though I’m really only targeting the majority who plan on voting to put a Democrat in the White House in 2008.

Apparently, the scheme to steal a large chunk of California’s electoral votes for the Republicans is now back, full steam ahead! Here’s a recent appeal from Ed Rollins for support for the newly re-packaged “California Counts” initiative posted on the conservative FlashReport blog.

According to his biography, Rollins is a former amateur boxing champion turned GOP political strategist. After reading his arguments in favor of this initiative, I can attest to the fact that he certainly thinks and writes like a boxer! Actually, there is something particularly fitting about the juxtaposition of the phrase “boxer turned GOP political strategist,” but I’ll leave that for another post!

I already did an extensive analysis of the arguments against this ridiculous measure, which included a breakdown of how the actual math affects the vast majority of California voters (as an aside, the post also includes my all time favorite accompanying image).

So here, I will just present a few Rollins gems followed by my comments:
Dear FlashReport Reader:

As you know as well as anyone, for the last several elections, no Presidential candidates of either party made an effort in California. They took our money but they did not use it to tell California voters about how they could best serve our great state or our great nation.
And they made a great effort to serve other states exactly how? With Swift Boat ads and threats that terrorists will kill us if we don’t vote Republican? No thanks, I’ll let them spend the money pestering other states!
Over 5.5 million votes were cast by Californians that HAD NO IMPACT ON THE OUTCOME OF THE 2004 ELECTION. In no other state did either candidate receive more votes than those cast in California. Furthermore, over $240 million was given by Californians and it was used to address issues in battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida not California!
Um, the “issues” being addressed in those battleground states, if I recall correctly, were that many votes had no impact on the outcome of the 2004 election, thanks to Republicans spending money to keep them from counting, and Democrats spending money fighting to count them!
This initiative is NOT about helping any one party or candidate and it is not about changing the system our founding fathers created for the success of our democracy. It simply makes sure that every vote cast in our state counts in the Electoral College.
What about Democrats living in Orange County whose votes won’t count if their district’s electoral vote goes to a Republican? Why don’t we just give every registered voter in the country their own electoral vote! That would be a lot of people who would have to attend the Electoral College on the voters’ behalf, and there may not be enough “non-voters” willing to do it, so we might have to hire some illegal immigrants!
For instance, in 1988, Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis received 4.7million California votes but received ZERO electoral delegates from California. And in 2004, Republican nominee George Bush received over 5 1/2 million votes of Californians, but received ZERO electoral delegates from California.??? It has been over 30 years since presidential candidates have actively sought the votes of Californians. Without this reform initiative, they will take us for granted again in 2008.
OK! I’m convinced! I just can’t go on with the thought of being taken for granted by Michael Dukakis for another 20 years! Where do I sign the petition?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Top Ten Reasons Why Liberal Bloggers are More Vitriolic than Conservatives!

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Think Progress explains how Karl Rove attacked liberal bloggers yesterday, and boy howdy, am I feeling the sting right about now!
“The Web has given angry and vitriolic people more of a voice in public discourse,” said Mr. Rove, who served as one of President Bush’s top strategists until he resigned this past summer, and is a noted technology nut.

“People in the past who have been on the nutty fringe of political life, who were more or less voiceless, have now been given an inexpensive and easily accessible soapbox, a blog,” Mr. Rove said during a speech about politics and the Web at the Willard InterContinental, a hotel just blocks from his former place of employment.

“I’m a fan of many blogs. I visit them frequently and I learn a lot from them,” Mr. Rove said. “But there also blogs written by angry kooks.”

He also claimed that liberals use more “bad words,” comparing sites like DailyKos and Democratic Underground to Townhall and FreeRepublic. The “netroots often argue from anger rather than reason, and too often, their object is personal release, not political persuasion,” said Rove.
In response to Rove’s tirade against bloggers like me, I’ve put together my own list of the top ten reasons why liberal bloggers are more vitriolic than conservatives:

10. Most profanity learned after the fourth grade reading level!

9. Conservative angry kooks all too busy with their radio and TV shows!

8. No opportunities to let it out on the floor of the U.S. Senate!

7. More passion comes from actual beliefs than from Richard Mellon Scaife’s checkbook!

6. Some scientists say it’s just a natural cyclical rise in vitriol, not caused by human liberal bloggers!

5. Official Republican talking points pre-screened for swear words!

4. Conservatives just resting between Clinton presidencies!

3. Need to seem dangerous enough to keep Bill O’Reilly from “coming to your house!”

2. Bungled response to 9/11 changed everything!


And the top reason why liberal bloggers are more vitriolic than conservatives:

1. Conservatives prefer to get their “personal release” in public restrooms!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Torture is the Best We Can Hope For!

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In defending their votes for Michael Mukasey - an otherwise seemingly respectable man who somehow deliberately refuses to label waterboarding as illegal torture - Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer have made a clear statement about the standards to which they hold our country:

From Feinstein:
First and foremost, Michael Mukasey is not Alberto Gonzales.
From Schumer:
Under this administration, (the) nominee will certainly never share our views on issues like torture and wiretapping.

When an administration, so political, so out of touch with the realities of governing and so contemptuous of the rule of law is in charge, we are never left with an ideal choice. Judge Mukasey is not my ideal choice. However, Judge Mukasey, whose integrity and independence is respected even by those who oppose him, is far better than anyone could expect from this administration.
In other words:
We should give President Bush everything he wants, because he could want something worse!
So tell me, Senators Feinstein and Schumer:

What could be worse than losing your rights of habeas corpus with a President who can declare you an enemy combatant and waterboard torture you without fear of prosecution, and who would like to give legal immunity from murder to the private mercenary army on his payroll?

Yeah, I suppose Feinstein and Schumer could be commended for providing enough oversight to protect the country from the equivalent of a President Jeffrey Dahmer, or a President John Wayne Gacy. So far, George Bush hasn’t been allowed to cook and eat his enemies and store their bones under the White House!

Nice job, Senators!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

If Chauncey Gardiner Had Been An Warmonger!

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In the 1979 movie, Being There, Peter Sellers plays a mentally-retarded gardener whose simple-minded platitudes about gardening, combined with behaviors learned from watching television, are so mistaken for homespun wisdom that he ends up being considered as a Presidential candidate.

Substitute brush cutting for gardening, and Neocon warnings about terrorism for television, and you pretty much have George W. Bush! Like Sellers’ character, Bush has the ability to live his life based on a few simple sayings that he applies to every situation. Among the simple life rules he appears to follow are:

• Jesus loves me and wants me to be rich
• Stand by those who say I’m great
• I’m the decider
• No taxes.

There are a few others, but certainly no more than his remaining countable digits (and probably even with his shoes on!)

Lately, the “No taxes” idea seems to be the one he’s applying to the SCHIP debate, as he staked out his most recent position:
"If they keep passing this legislation, I will keep vetoing it," Bush vowed, saying the latest version is even more expensive than the first, which he vetoed October 3.
(snip)
"I'm going to use my veto pen to prevent" Congress from raising taxes, the president promised.
He later enforced his desire to keep things simple, with the demand that Congress send him single-issue legislation:
"There are now reports that Congressional leaders may be considering combining the Veterans and Department of Defense appropriations bills, and then add a bloated labor, health and education spending bill to both of them," he said.

"Congress should pass each bill one at a time in a fiscally responsible manner," he said. Bush also urged Congress to send him a "clean defense appropriations bill and a war supplemental bill."
At this point, the Democrats should use Bush’s expectation of simplicity to their advantage, by saying the following:

Look, if we can’t afford to provide the medical care necessary to keep kids healthy long enough to pay off the debt for the Iraq war, then we have no choice but to “pay as we go!” Then, they should chop up the elements of funding the war and send them to the President one by one, each with an associated tax that will cover the cost in a fiscally responsible manner that won’t burden the kids whose health care we can’t afford.

Send him legislation that includes the estimated cost for Haliburton, along with a “Halliburton Tax,” and another with the estimated cost for Blackwater, along with a “Blackwater Tax.” They should send him legislation approving funds for a phased troop withdrawal, without a tax (since removal of troops will spare future generations the cost of extended military activity, so they will have it to pay for health care) , but include another separate bill for any costs associated with an ongoing military presence in Iraq, along with a “War tax.”

Then, sit back and let Bush be the Decider!

(hat tip to Swopa for reminding me of one of my favorite movies right at the time I was looking for an opening for this post)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Ballad of Dick Cheney’s America



I recently had the opportunity to see a live performance by The Tiger Lillies, whose song, “The Crack of Doom,” is performed in the video above. They were quite brilliantly strange, and as I listened to them sing this song, all I could think of was Dick Cheney’s twisted view of the world and what it has done to the country.

They later evoked the entire Republican party when they sang “Hamster!” (click through and select "listen to this song" if you aren't easily offended!)