Thursday, September 28, 2006

Out of town for a couple of days

I'll leave you with this portrait of some of the world's most powerful men:


Graphic by the handsome and talented MD.

Being fair and balanced, I offer an alternate image from Velociman (though your imagination will have to supply the visual. V-Man could use a talented graphic artist like MD)

You're either against torture, or you're for it

Or, your name is "Brad Warthen" and you see the words "Lindsey Graham," "John McCain," and "compromise" in a story about pending legislation and your heart flutters, 'cause McCain and Graham are such bold non-partisan mavericks, and you realize you don't have to trouble your beautiful mind about this issue ever again.

Warthen says McCain and Graham won "an apparent victory in favor of the American Way." "Apparent" being journalese for "I can't be bothered to comprehend what this bill actually says."

There's plenty wrong with this bill, as even the New York Times and the WaPo finally got around to noticing. Some fine bloggers have been hammering on this for days. Some of the best: Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings; the Balkinization bloggers, and Firedoglake. Please go read these excellent blogs.

By the way, Lindsey Graham's had it in for the writ of Habeas Corpus for a long time. I hate to break it to Brad Warthen, but that's part of the American Way. If Brad's depending on glory-hounds McCain and Graham to protect the American Way, he's in for a big disappointment.

UPDATE: More on Graham from Digby.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Just some pockets of dead-enders

Sept. 27, 2006 — The Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland has conducted a poll on the war in Iraq.

Here are a few of the poll's findings:

Six in 10 Iraqis approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, up from fewer than half in an earlier PIPA poll in January.

Not good

Exclusive: U.S. Troops Abandoned Me, Says Convoy Driver
September 27, 2006 11:16 AM

Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz Report:

A dramatic home video obtained by ABC News shows U.S. troops apparently abandoned a truck convoy after it came under insurgent attack in Iraq last year.

Three unarmed Halliburton truck drivers were executed at point-blank range once the troops left, according to a surviving driver, Preston Wheeler, of Mena, Ark., who taped the scene.

"They was murdered. To me, they was murdered," Wheeler told ABC News in an exclusive interview to be broadcast Wednesday on World News and Nightline.

Once insurgents opened fire and disabled four trucks, the personnel carrier can be seen racing ahead.

"They left. They, I don't know where they went, they're nowhere to be seen," Wheeler said.

Wheeler says it was 45 minutes before a U.S. military force returned. By then, Wheeler says, he had seen two drivers shot at point-blank range. He identified them as Keven Dagit, of Jefferson, Iowa, and Sascha Greener-Case, of Sierra Vista, Ariz.

Joe Lieberman takes a bold and courageous stance

er, straddle:

Leading Democrats Wednesday, like U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, called on Bush to release the entire document in order to give the public "the full story." The Bush administration refused, saying that to release the full report would endanger lives by revealing classified secrets.

Asked during the conference call where he stood, Lieberman declined to join the Democrats' call.

"Look, it's a shame that this was leaked," he said. "But I think in the context of this being leaked [to the press], it was important that the essence of it be" released.

Via Atrios.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tuesday cat-blogging (for MrsMG)

Meet Beavis:


Look at his stumpy little tail. Isn't he cute?

Only in South Carolina

Hog-wrasslin' juror subdues rampaging convict:

Hog wrestler used talents in line of duty
Juror No. 1 knew it was up to him to subdue defendant
By Kelly Marshall Fuller
The Sun News
GEORGETOWN - A juror who took a flying leap out of a jury box had one thought in mind as he prepared to tackle an angry defendant who was about to choke a prosecutor: Hit him low.

Jon Cottingham, 56, known as juror No. 1, said he locked eyes with Shannon McGee, 39, who had just been sentenced to life in prison for a sex crime against a minor, as McGee crossed the room toward the prosecution Wednesday.

A former high school football player and longtime hog wrestler, Cottingham went into a crouch and prepared to lunge at a man who was bigger and taller than him.

"I knew what to do: Hit him low," Cottingham said. "He's got to come down. I was just trying to block him from interfering with anybody. I was thinking it was something that had to be done."

OK, I admit it: I was born and raised in South Carolina, and I've never heard of hog-wrestling. Gator-wrestling, yes. But not hog-wrestling.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Al Qaeda says it doesn't know you

Bill O'Reilly says he's on an Al Qaeda "death list."


Teh sad

Think good thoughts for The Editors' sweet kitty,Waffles.

Uh oh. Has Hitchens heard

about this?:

Minneapolis-St. Paul is concerned that its taxi service is deteriorating. Citing their religious beliefs, some Muslim taxi drivers from Somalia are refusing to transport customers carrying or suspected of carrying alcohol. It started with one driver a few years ago, but the average number of fare refusals has grown to about three a day, says airport spokesman Patrick Hogan.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bill Clinton on The Daily Show

Did y'all see that last night? Is he cool or what?

I've obtained a partial transcript:


[wild applause and cheering]

B. CLINTON [strolls suavely up to STEWART]: Hey, Jon, it's great to see ya. You're lookin' good. [CLINTON eyes STEWART seductively, then gives him a lingering kiss on the mouth. When the passionate kiss is finally over the flustered STEWART blushes, giggles, and fluffs his hair nervously.]

Um, that's all I have for now. I'll try to transcribe the rest of the interview and post it later, 'K?

Also, a source has provided me with a transcript of last week's off-the-record meeting between Clinton and some prominent liberal bloggers. Here's a portion:

PETER DAOU: Mr. President, I'd like to introduce you to Christy Hardin Smith, of Firedoglake.

CLINTON [eying SMITH seductively]: I'm delahted to meet ya. [CLINTON gives SMITH a lingering kiss on the mouth. When the passionate kiss is finally over the flustered SMITH blushes, giggles, and fluffs her hair.]

DAOU: And Mr. President, this is Jane Hamsher, also of Firedoglake.

CLINTON: Hello, Jane, it's an honor to meet you. Ah've heard a lot of good things about you . . . a lot of good things. [CLINTON gives HAMSHER an especially long, lascivious glance, then gives her an extra-long, lingering kiss on the mouth.]

DAOU [uncomfortably]: Um . . . Mr. President.

CLINTON [finally breaking away from passionate kiss]: Whew! Sorry, Peter, Ah got a little carried away. [CLINTON grins at HAMSHER, who flushes, giggles, and fluffs her hair].

DAOU: Now, Mr. President, this is Duncan Black, of Atrios.

CLINTON [eying BLACK seductively]: Hey, Duncan, nice ta meet ya. Thanks for comin'. [CLINTON gives BLACK a lingering kiss on the mouth. When the kiss is finally over, BLACK blushes, giggles, and fluffs his hair.]

There's more, but I think you get the picture.


Monday, September 18, 2006

White people su . . .

KIDDING! I love white people, really. In fact, I have "white blood." In fact, it's entirely white. But still, white people kill me.

The first thing I noticed when I saw the picture of Clinton with the bloggers wasn't anyone's boobs - it was the fact that there wasn't a single black person in the picture. OK, I admit, that was the second thing . . . the first thing I did was pick out the bloggers I recognized and wonder who the others were. That led to me thinking gee, they're all white, aren't they? Not that I have anything against white people, much. But where's Gilliard . . . isn't he in New York City? Why isn't he there?

As it turns out, Gilliard wasn't invited. The Clinton/blogger meet was arranged by Peter Daou, a former blogger now working on Hillary C's campaign for whatever it is she's running for. Gilliard says Daou told him that Daou didn't bother inviting him because he knew Gilliard wouldn't attend, which, Gilliard says, he wouldn't have (good on him - though I myself wouldn't have been able to resist). Oliver Willis was invited, but couldn't make it.

Anyhoo, I had half a mind to post some mild snark about that, and about the lack of substantive blogging about the whole thing, and then along come Ann Althouse and Dr. Helen with their nasty posts about Jessica and her wanton posing in the group pic. That distracted me, I admit, and wound up posting about that instead of the other thing.

I don't know why I'm even posting about now (better bloggers than I am have been all over it already).

Oh, re Clinton: When he was president I recollect that even though I liked him, on those occasions when I paid attention to what he was doing I was mostly exasperated with him or outright disgusted by him. Then as time went on I got even more disgusted by the GOP's crotch crusade. And now? After six years of Bush? Clinton seems like a GOD.

So I confess: I would totally pose for a picture with him.

Well, it seemed funny at the time . . .

[sigh] In the fuss over Althouse and Dr. Helen's egregious comments about Jessica of Feministing, and in my ensuing Google search for pics of Atlas Shrugs posing in an enthusiastic manner with Mr. Dr. Helen (Instahack to you), I was reminded of . . . um . . . this. I really feel rather guilty about that now. In my defense, no one reads this blog (that's always my defense) but still, if it's wrong for Althouse and Dr. Helen it's wrong for me.

I just hope that if someone ever calls me on something like I don't react as badly as Althouse and Reynolds did - that is, I hope I don't start digging myself an even deeper hole.

At long last, Madame Althouse, have you no decency?

The woman does not know when to shut up. Commenting on her own blog, she says,

Whether Jessica deliberately presented herself sexually at the lunch may be open to question

Well, she IS a law professor. Maybe she's just experimenting with the boundaries of defamation law.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Shorter Dr. Helen Part Deux

"Some female bloggers criticized one of my posts; therefore I am fully justified in talking about this other female blogger's trampy pose with a known rapist, Bill Clinton."

She's not kidding.

("Shorter" concept stolen from busybusybusy)

Shorter Ann Althouse and Dr. Mrs. Instahack

"Look, this female blogger posed for a picture - and she's not even wearing a burka. STONE HER."

The picture in question is one of Bill Clinton and some liberal bloggers (I was invited, but I had to work day shift at the Waffle House that day). According to Althouse, the blogger in question "wears a tight knit top that draws attention to her breasts and stands right in front of him and positions herself to make her breasts as obvious as possible". Dr. Helen accuses the blogger of "posing in a rather provocative stance." I certainly don't think it's a "provocative stance" - in fact, I'll bet most people's grandmothers wouldn't find it a provocative stance.

But you be the judge - the picture is here; the blogger who attracted Althouse's and Dr. Helen's attention is the young woman in front in the gray top. It's Jessica, from Feministing. She's standing in what looks to ME like a fairly natural, relaxed stance, arms to her side, shoulders not thrown back, breasts not thrust out. Nonetheless, Althouse and Dr. Helen found her stance, and top, to be unduly alluring. I think the mullahs of Iran would certainly agree with them on that.

I don't think Jessica's got anything to be embarrassed about.

Now here's someone who could really show Althouse and Dr. Helen a thing or two about, um, posing provocatively:


Say, who's that doughy-looking guy with her?

Via Pandagon, via Atrios in turn.

UPDATE: D'oh. And I thought I was so clever. Julia totally beat me to that Atlas pic . I should stick to blogging about stuff after the rest of the blogosphere's moved on . . .


Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Path to Iraq - Part Two

As promised, here are a few key scenes from Part Two of ABC's upcoming miniseries, "The Path to Iraq," a revealing look at the events leading up to America's disastrous decision to invade Iraq. If Part One seemed hard on Bill Clinton, Part Two promises to anger Republicans with its unsparing account of how George W. Bush and the Republican Party failed to do all that they could to resist the Democrats' push for war.

[SCENE: A large ballroom, full of glittering Hollywood celebrities dressed to the nines. The camera pans around the room, revealing at one point a large banner which reads "Hollywood Loves Hillary." The camera comes to rest on BILL and SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON, who are standing side by side, smiling. Or rather, BILL CLINTON is leering as his gaze follows various nubile young starlets; HILLARY wears a tight, fixed, rigid smile. HILLARY is speaking in an urgent whisper]

H. CLINTON: [in furious whisper] You IDIOT! You did WHAT!?

B. CLINTON: Aw, Hon, it was just a quick li'l drop-in. Ah hadn't seen ol' Osama in a long tahm.

H. CLINTON: I cannot BELIEVE you parachuted into Tora Bora and WARNED him! Are you trying to get me thrown out of the Senate on my ASS?

B. CLINTON: Aww, Babe, we owed Osama one. After all that cash money he gave for our Whahtwater defense fund . . . all under the table, of course . . .

H. CLINTON: You know the one thing I care about more than money is POWER. And if it gets out that you helped Bin Laden escape AGAIN my [BLEEEEP]ing political career is OVER.

[A familiar-looking couple approaches BILL and HILL]

B. CLINTON: Hon, keep it down, now, somebody maht hear ya. Look, here come Sean and Barbra.

H. CLINTON: [swiftly turns to face BILL and knees him in the nuts, hard, while hissing -] -- I'll deal with you LATER, you [BLEEEP]hole.

[Sean Penn and Barbra Streisand walk up to the Clintons. Hillary's fierce scowl at Bill changes instantly to a smile of feigned warmth]

H. CLINTON: Barbra! Sean! It's SO good to see you! Thank you SO much for holding this fundraiser for me.

BARBRA: Oy, it's nothing.

B. CLINTON: Hey, y'all. Barbra, baby, you're looking mighty fine. [BILL eyes Barbra lasciviously, then gives her a lingering kiss on the mouth. When the passionate kiss is finally over the flustered Barbra blushes, giggles, and pats her hair.]

[Quick close-up of Hillary's face, scowling]

B. CLINTON: Sean! Hey, dawg. [BILL eyes SEAN lasciviously, then gives him a lingering kiss on the mouth. When the passionate kiss is over the flustered Sean blushes, giggles, and pats his hair].

BARBRA: So listen, you two kids, Natalie brought some fanTAStic blow. Ya wanna go into the back room and do a few lines?

B. CLINTON [starting to move, presumably towards back room.]: When in Rome . . .

H. CLINTON [seizing BILL's arm in steely grip]: Thank you SO much, Barbra, but not tonight. Too many photographers around. [everyone laughs]

[the next scene is set in HILLARY's Senate office. HILLARY is behind her desk. Another woman, who is apparently an aide - she's holding a stack of files - is standing in front of HILLARY's desk. The aide is a stocky middle-aged woman with close-cropped hair, wearing a pantsuit and sensible flat shoes]

AIDE: Jesus, Hill, I cannot believe he did that. What if someone finds out he actually warned Bin Laden - America's Public Enemy Number 1?

SEN. CLINTON: It's gonna KILL my career, that's what. We can't afford to have the press digging around into Bill's whereabouts . . . especially not that Terry Moran or that Charlie Gibson. Or Barbara Walters. Those guys are real relentless investigative journalists.

AIDE: We need to do damage control.

SEN. CLINTON: No [BLEEEEP], Sherlock. Get the whole staff in here. Let's brainstorm this.

[In the next scene HILLARY's entire staff is assembled in her office. All of HILLARY's staffers are stout middle-aged women with close-cropped hair, wearing pantsuits and sensible shoes]

SEN. CLINTON: . . . so that's where we stand right now. We cannot afford to let this get out, or my career is TOAST. And so are your phony baloney careers. Suggestions, ladies?

STAFFER ONE: We need to distract the press and the public.

SEN. CLINTON: Yes, but HOW, goddamn-it?

SECOND STAFFER: Maybe we could send out some anthrax in the mail to some prominent people . . .

SEN. CLINTON: That's promising. But they almost nailed me on that Foster thing. I'd probably be under suspicion immediately. Too risky.

THIRD STAFFER: Hey . . . how about another war?

[general murmuring of approval among all staffers]

SEN. CLINTON: Say, Gertrude, that has real promise. But war with who?

BERTHA: North Korea?

SEN. CLINTON: Naah. That Kim guy, he's no threat. No one will buy it.


SEN. CLINTON: Nah, they're no threat either. Lame.

ORIGINAL AIDE: . . . Iraq?

SEN. CLINTON: Hey, that's IT! Beautiful, Alice. Iraq is perfect. Nobody likes that Saddam bastard, we could make HIM Public Enemy Number One. But . . . the Republicans will insist on a causus belli. What reason can we give for invading Iraq?

GERTRUDE: Didn't Saddam, like, gas his own people?

ALICE: Yeah, but that was years ago.

SEN. CLINTON: Who gives a [BLEEEP] if it was twenty years ago or yesterday. We'll just say he's a monster who GASSED HIS OWN PEOPLE, nobody will care about the details.

BERTHA: I think it would be an easier sell if we painted Saddam as an imminent threat to America. We could say he has WMD's.

SEN. CLINTON: Hell, yeah. Bill said that for years. That's how we'll get Bush on board . . . that and the humanitarian [BLEEEP]. You know how much Bush cares about brown people.

[A later scene shows the Oval Office; President Bush, in his customary spirit of bipartisanship, has convened a meeting with a few prominent Congressional Democrats and Republicans to discuss the risks of invading Iraq]

BUSH [with troubled look on face]: Look, y'all all know that I care about the safety of the American people more than I care about my OWN safety. And I weep myself to sleep every night thinking about the plight of the poor Iraqi people. But . . . I'm just worried that we're being a little hasty on this. For one thing, Afghanistan isn't truly secure yet.

Besides, I think we need to spend more time planning for the aftermath, the reconstruction. If we do this, we can't afford to do it wrong. I'm just worried that if we don't do the hard planning work, and just go barging in there, we'll wind up mired in a quagmire of sectarian violence, a nightmarish situation which will result turning the entire region into a powderkeg . . .

SEN. CLINTON: Don't be such a goddamn pussy, George.

SENATOR KENNEDY: Yeah, stop worrying. It'll be easy. Hell, those Iraqis will be throwing flowers and candy at our troops. You'll be a hero . . . I wouldn't be surprised if they put up statues in your honor.

SENATOR GEORGE ALLEN: Well, I think we all need to devote some time to considering the real possibility of strife between the Shiites and the Sunnis if we depose Saddam . . .

SENATOR KERRY: Whoa, whoa, whoa . . . what's this "Sunni" and "Shiite" stuff? I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!

SEN. ALLEN: They are two different sects of Islam.

SEN. KENNEDY: Well, I'll be damned. I did not know that. Well, it doesn't matter. Freedom is God's gift to all men. I know that some people don't think brown people are capable of self-governance [KENNEDY pauses, stares significantly at ALLEN, who fidgets, eyes darting about nervously] but I don't happen to be one of those people. We just need to liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam - the rest will take care of itself.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Look, I'm all for freedom. Nobody loves freedom more than I do. But I'm concerned that one consequence of the invasion will be to drive the Shiites into the arms of Iran . . . to strengthen Iran in the region. That would be extremely deleterious to American interests.

SEN. KERRY: Nah. Never happen.


SEN. KERRY: It's win-win for us. Once we get, uh, a democratic Iraq I'll bet gas prices will go below a dollar . . .

SEN. CLINTON [adjusts her crotch, belches before speaking]: Look, enough of this goddamn jawing. We need to invade that mother[BLEEEEP]er and we need to invade it NOW. That crazy bastard Saddam is armed to the TEETH with weapons of mass destruction. What if he gives WMD to Al Qaeda and they use them to attack America?

PRESIDENT BUSH: But there's no evidence of any cooperation between Saddam and Al Qaeda. In fact, most of the intelligence shows the opposite.

SEN. KERRY: Maybe you're just looking at the wrong intelligence.

SEN. KENNEDY: Yeah. Maybe you just need different intelligence. What if you're wrong and Saddam does have WMD and is cooperating with Al Qaeda? Do you want the smoking gun to be in the form of a mushroom cloud?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No, of course not. I just think we can afford to take more time to plan this, and if we're going to to do it, to work in good faith with America's allies around the world to build a true international coalition.

SEN. CLINTON [spits]: Enough of this horse[BLEEEP]. [BLEEEP] Saddam. We're taking him out.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Path to Iraq

Being a big-time right-wing blogger, I just received promotional materials and a preview video of ABC's next blockbuster miniseries, "The Path to Iraq."

According to some very fine print in its promotional materials, "The Path to Iraq" is a dramatization that is drawn from a variety of sources. It is not a documentary, but a fact-based docudrama. For dramatic and narrative purposes, the series contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, as well as time compression.

The promotional materials state, and I agree, having watched it in its enirety, that "The Path to Iraq" is a devastating, critical account of the lead-up to the Iraq War; it will spare neither political party in its critical, hard-hitting look at the events leading to America's disastrous decision to invade Iraq.

Here's a description of the opening scenes from the first installment:

[Wide shot of rugged, mountainous terrain. Complete stillness, no humans or animals in sight. Total silence. On the screen, the words: "Tora Bora, Afghanistan. Late November, 2001)

Then a droning sound is heard. The sound grows louder. A plane flies into the shot, flying as low as possible. A figure parachutes out.

The next shot is a closer one of the figure landing, rolling; then standing up and removing the parachute harness. The person is wearing a helmet, which he slowly removes.

Close-up: It's Bill Clinton.

CLINTON's hair blows in the wind. He looks around, surveying the terrain, then breaks into a broad smile.

In the next shot, a small caravan of men in Arab dress is shown approaching CLINTON. The men reach Clinton. A tall, slender man emerges from the group; CLINTON and the tall man embrace warmly, then draw apart. The camera closes in on the tall man: It's Osama Bin Laden.]

CLINTON: Osama! How ya doin', good buddy!

BIN LADEN: Bill, my friend. You honor us with your presence.

CLINTON: Phew, it's been a long time. Ah haven't seen you since we planned that aspirin factory thing. 'Member that?

BIN LADEN: I sure do. [both men chuckle]

CLINTON: Lemme tell ya, Ah caught some heat for that one, boy.

BIN LADEN: So I heard, so I heard. Those Republican politicians in your country, they are not very sympathetic to my cause.

CLINTON: And then there was that other tahm, when some of our boys had you all cornered and then Ah gave the order to let you get away.

BIN LADEN: Yes, yes. We are eternally in your debt.

CLINTON: Well, hey, what's a few favors between friends, raht? Hey, it's been crazy coupla months, huh?

BIN LADEN: Yes, and it will get even crazier, Allah willing.

Come, my brother, let us go to my cave and talk.

[Long shot of Clinton donning Arab headdress and then walking away with the group of men.

The next shots are inside of a cave. The camera pans around inside the cave. Against one wall is a bank of sophisticated-looking electronic equipment. In one corner of the cave several straw mats lie, with copies of the Koran arranged respectfully on a low table. Yet another corner of the cave is lavishly appointed with plush carpets, draperies of fine cloth.]

BIN LADEN: My friend, make yourself at home. [BIN LADEN gestures to large comfortable armchair. Clinton sits. BIN LADEN then sits cross-legged on a small mat on the cave floor. BIN LADEN claps his hands, and a man rushes up and gives Clinton a cup of tea, which Clinton sips].

CLINTON: Aww, this hits the spot. Lemme tell ya, Osama, it's gettin' kinda hairy out there. Our boys are droppin' some big ol' bombs up in here. Ah barely made it here.

BIN LADEN: We are glad you came. You have done so much for us already. But, Bill . . . I am guessing this is not just a social visit.

CLINTON: You got that right. Osama, buddy, Ah came to tell ya that you and your boys best be makin' tracks away from Tora Bora. Time's a-wastin', buddy, they're comin' for ya.

BIN LADEN: The Americans are coming? Here, to this place?

CLINTON: Naw, not the Americans. They're sendin' in some local fellas after ya. But Ah got mah people workin' on some lubricant, ya know, greasin' a few palms, scratchin' a few backs, to slow the locals down. So what Ah'm tellin' ya is there's a window of opportunity for y'all to get on outta here.

OSAMA: I see, I see . . . it will be as you say. We will depart tomorrow, if Allah is willing, and thanks to you we will evade the infidels once again. Bill, you have done so many services for us. So many, many services. It would be impossible to repay you in full, but there is one thing . . . you will stay the night, my friend?

CLINTON: Yeah, they're pickin' me up tomorrow. Hope I can sneak on outta here then.

BIN LADEN: Then, please accept this gift for the night. [BIN LADEN claps his hands again]

[A shapely, young dark-haired woman emerges from behind one of the draperies. She is dressed in harem pants and a form-fitting top; the lower part of her face is hidden behind a diaphonous veil. She crosses the cave and stands before Clinton, head slightly bowed. Her large, dark liquid eyes gaze at Clinton over the veil. Her posture is obedient and respectful]

CLINTON [perking up]: Well, say, Osama! I didn't know you went in for this kinda thing!

BIN LADEN: Normally I don't, but for a true friend such as yourself, Bill, I'm making this exception.

CLINTON [addressing the young woman]: Well, hey there, pretty lady! How old are you, honey?

YOUNG WOMAN [in low soft voice]: Seventeen.

CLINTON: Perfect! Osama, good buddy, thank you kindly. If you don't mind, I think I'll just retire for the night. [Clinton takes the young woman's arm and the two of them walk behind the draperies].

I'll give you a scene from the second installment tomorrow. I promise you, it will be equally raw, hard-hitting, and truthy.

On behalf of ABC, I just ask you not to pre-judge "The Path to Iraq" until you've seen the entire show.

Local wingnuttery

Via the excellent Cursor, I see that Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) observed 9/11 by attending a barbecue hosted for him by the League of the South. Maybe some enterprising reporter in Tancredo's district will ask him why he saw fit to observe the anniversary of 9/11 by addressing a group that's founded upon - how to put it - an ideology of hate. A group that is devoted to the destruction of the United States as a nation.

The Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes the League of the South as a "neo-Confederate hate group." Judging from the South Carolina website of the League, they're kinda sensitive about being labelled a "hate group"; last year the SC League (warning: Embedded link goes to a HATE GROUP website)took great umbrage at being characterized as such on a local television station:

Last Sunday on a WIS TV program called "Awareness" the South Carolina League of the South was viciously attacked as a "hate group" by a panel of blacks.

A panel of blacks! How dreadful! I'll bet they were uppity, too.

So apparently it's not just the SPLC that thinks the League of the South is a hate group. I wonder where people would get such an idea, anyway? I dunno, maybe from reading stuff like this:

Finally, after one hundred forty-one years, with the aid of the South Carolina League of the South, justice for the citizens of the Republic of South Carolina has been served. In Columbia, on the steps of our State House, the tyrant, Abraham Lincoln, and the war-criminal, William T. Sherman, were both hung by the neck until dead.

- which appeared immediately above the sentence complaining about the injustice of being attacked as a hate group. By a panel of blacks.

Anyway, the SC League of the South wasn't going to take being labelled a hate group lying down, so they got representatives of WIS-TV (Columbia, SC's local NBC affiliate) to meet with some SC LoS representatives. As recounted by Laura C. Tesh, who says she's legal counsel to the board of the SC LoS in a piece entitled WIS-TV: Defending Our Name & Building Bridges in the Fire:

On Monday, 8 August 2005, Larry Salley, Dr. Clyde Wilson, and I met with Mel Stebbins, General Manager and Vice President for Operations for WIS-TV and his legal counsel from Nexsen Pruet about the recent article on the WIS website citing SPLC’s assertion that South Carolina leads the nation in “hate groups” due in large part to the number of LoS chapters.


The meeting was not what I expected. Idealist that I am, I really thought that once we explained what we were really about—states’ rights, restoring individual liberty, historical literacy, preserving Southern culture—they would want to join or at least be very receptive. Good thing I forgot to bring membership applications.


Just meeting us face to face as real, reasonable people gave them some pause. While they did not listen, perhaps they heard and will review the material we left. Initially, they seemed to have written us off as lunatics who had to be humored.

Heh. As would all sane people. But hey . . . at least they still have Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo.

Okay, so the meeting didn't exactly swell the League's membership rolls, nor did it lead to an apology by WIS-TV, nor did it persuade WIS-TV to give the SC chapter of the League its own television show. But Ms Tesh goes on to counsel against further, um, action by the League against WIS-TV:

At this point, flagging is premature. Although this meeting may not have accomplished much, we have at least initiated relations. The story is over; the blurb on the website is off. If we flag them, it will confirm their suspicion that we are nuts and a hate group for attacking such “nice” people as themselves, all evidence to the contrary. If we let it go at that and try to maintain good relations, we neutralize the attacks. If it happens again, then would be the time to call out the Red Shirts.

Which led me to wonder, what is this "flagging" stuff? And who are these "Red Shirts?" It sounds vaguely familiar, like something one might have read about in one's South Carolina history class . . .:

In 1876, many upstate rebels traded their white hoods for red shirts, becoming part of the "red shirt rebellion" that elected Democrat Wade Hampton governor, forcefully stripped white and black Republicans of their political power and precipitated a withdrawal of Union troops from South Carolina. The first Red Shirt rally was held in Anderson, the next county north of Abbeville.

Oh, those guys. So now the Red Shirts are back:

Just this past year, the Red Shirt tradition was revived by the League of the South, which conducted "red-shirt pickets" outside both of South Carolina's Democratic presidential debates, holding signs that named each candidate and demanded: "Yankee Go Home."

Well, things have certainly changed in the last 130 years, haven't they? Instead of driving Republicans out of South Carolina, the local Red Shirts are inviting the most extreme ones in, and hosting barbecues for them.

Let's get back to what Ms. Tesh said the LoS is "really about": "states’ rights, restoring individual liberty, historical literacy, preserving Southern culture" - gee, it doesn't sound all that bad when you put it that way, does it? Unfortunately, if that wasn't a crock of shit when Ms. Tesh wrote it, it sure is now. A little over a month after she wrote her piece, the League let everyone who didn't already know in on what it is really, really about:

The League of the South unveiled its new strategy at the 2005 national conference in Jekyll Island, Georgia, on 30 September-1 October. Below is a summary of that strategy.

First, the League’s new strategy must be implemented from the bottom up—locally--and not from the top down. If we don’t succeed on the local chapter level, then we will not succeed at all.

Second, we cannot emphasize too often or too strongly that the League is a Southern nationalist organization and not a heritage defense group. Our goal is Southern independence, complete, full, and total. This is our chief principle of action. All efforts must be tested against this question: Does it aid our quest for independence? If not, then don’t do it. It’s as simple as that. If your agenda does not have Southern independence at its core, then you’re in the wrong organization. [emphasis supplied]

So much for that "preserving Southern culture" shit.

I guess, according to this second principle, the barbecue for Tom Tancredo would have to have been done "in aid of" the League's quest for Southern independence, right? I can only hope someone asks Rep. Tancredo about this.

More on the League's "new strategy":

Let’s briefly examine these seven parts. (1) We will never reach our goal of Southern independence if we don’t persuade our people that it’s both desirable and possible. We are thus waging a war to win the minds and hearts of the Southern people.

War? Wouldn't that war ultimately be against, you know, America itself?

I believe our gubmint has thrown people in GITMO for less provocation than that. But then, those people weren't white Christians.


Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 anniversary haikus

I hope I don't go to Hell for this:

The memos warned him
To keep a vigilant eye
The drunk went fishing.

That hot Crawford sun
Blinding, can't really focus
on that PDB.

It's been five whole years
Since Osama attacked us
Why can't Bush catch him?

Used planes as missiles
Condi no anticipate
Dub let him get 'way.

On that fateful day
Bush displayed a newfound zeal
For reading a book.

It was 9/14
When Bush stood astride the dead
With a big bullhorn.

Bush launched his campaign
For re-election astride
A pile of the dead.

"Can you hear me now?"
The miscreant bellowed out.
Please sign this release.

When the country reel'd
And all needed a leader
He just flew away.

Aboard Air Force One
Bush watched in-flight movies and
Smacked on hard candies.

Flying aimlessly
Safely aboard Air Force One
Dubya soiled his pants.

MildlyDisturbed and berg wrote some of these haikus, which I have used without the authors' permission.

Shorter Brad Warthen

On the anniversary of 9/11 I am greatly disappointed by the failure of all Americans to unite around my vision of unending war.

Even shorter Brad Warthen: You don't deserve your freedom, America!

("Shorter" concept stolen from busybusybusy)


Friday, September 08, 2006

Steve Gilliard wishes he wrote this

Here's Annti on Steve Irwin's death:

I'll tell you why I like people like Steve Irwin and Jack Hanna: Because they spend their whole lives WORKING THEIR ASSES OFF TO SAVE ANIMALS AND TEACHING OTHER PEOPLE TO LOVE AND APPRECIATE AND TO WANT TO HELP ANIMALS.

Annti goes on to explain why she hates PETA. Does anyone NOT hate PETA? PETA is truly a uniter, not a divider.

By contrast, here's John Cole's prissy take on Irwin:

It will seem shitty of me to say this, but anyone who didn’t see something like this coming is blind.

You know, it does seem shitty of you to say that.

Well, maybe not seeing him die from a stingray tail to the chest, but something along the lines of an animal attack. I always loved the show, but in the back of my mind during episodewas that I felt doing this sort of thing with a wife and children was supremely irresponsible.

Not to go all Ayn Rand-ish on y'all, but not a lot of bridges or high-rises would get built if everyone felt the way Cole does.

Mystery meat of the day

Please go to 3Bulls and look at this and then come back here and tell me what it is.

I'm guessing whole fried rooster. Comb and everything.

Answer to Wednesday's pop quiz

What do Jeff Goldstein and Marco Materazzi have in common? They both prefer your sister.

Is it my deodorant?

I've noticed this blog gets more comments when I don't post regularly than when I do . . .


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Everything is broken

Blogging will continue to be sparse for a while - still having 'puter problems at home. That's OK, though, I don't have much to say right now anyway.

Except . . . here's a pop quiz: What do Jeff Goldstein and Marco Materazzi have in common?

Also, in re ABC: I frankly thought ABC had hit its lowest point ever when Diane Sawyer tried to blow Marky Mark on GMA, live. But I was wrong.

Go tell ABC how hard it sucks!


Friday, September 01, 2006

Shorter Brad Warthen

"Just 'cause you're old enough to fight and die in one of the many wars I advocate doesn't mean I think you're old enough to have a beer. Whippersnapper."

Speaking of Brad, how is his civility-for-thee-but-not-for-me campaign going, you ask? Just like you might expect.

Incidentally, I am totally into civility. In fact a while back I started a whole blog dedicated to the promotion of civil discourse. Here it is.


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