Monthly Archives: April 2006

Obey the Hive Vagina

My latest Sirens story’s up:

Look at what are traditionally classified as “women’s issues:” Birth control. Abortion. Child care. Breast cancer treatment. As though all we are in the public sphere is boobies and babies. It’s insulting. As though in a time when women are earning more than ever before, fiscal policy isn’t of interest to us. As though in a time when more single women are owning homes, issues of taxation aren’t “women’s issues.”

Family and medical leave, when more women (and men) are caring for their elderly parents than ever before, are critical to us now. Labor laws, as women are staying longer in the work force, matter deeply to everyone who works for a living. The entire arena of foreign policy, for heaven’s sakes, is a woman’s issue. Last time I checked there were more than a few female members of our armed forces, but no, when we talk security, it’s “moms” we talk about, at home with their kids and their chocolate Lab, not deterrence and isolationism and Wilsonianism and the dispersement of our resources abroad. Resources which include female soldiers and sailors and spies.

A.

Come Again Some Other Day

Rain, rain, go away.

When I was little, rainy days were taken up with endless games of Candyland and viewings of “Mr. Mom.”

What do you do when bad weather chases you inside?

A.

Colbert was GREAT!

From Scout:

Stephen Colbert was great at the White House Correspondents dinner tonight. Don’t think Chimp and Laura dug it though…..

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Will have video later

UPDATE: Here are Excerpts only from Colbert tonight.I think I got almost all the best parts. I included only a very brief portion of Colbert’s press secretary “audition tape.” But if there is demand I can do a separate video of just that portion so let me know. Otherwise…..Enjoy:

VIDEO No Longer Available. Sorry

The Dawnzer

That’s it. I give up. God is a Republican:

The national anthem should be sung in English — not Spanish — President Bush declared Friday, amid growing restlessness over the millions of immigrants here illegally.

“One of the things that’s very important is, when we debate this issue, that we not lose our national soul,” the president exclaimed. “One of the great things about America is that we’ve been able to take people from all walks of life bound as one nation under God. And that’s the challenge ahead of us.”

A Spanish language version of the national anthem was released Friday by a British music producer, Adam Kidron, who said he wanted to honor America’s immigrants.

When the president was asked at a Rose Garden question-and-answer session whether the anthem should be sung in Spanish, he replied: “I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.”

It’s beautiful, really, how well it fits. I continue to believe that immigration is not the backfiring nightmare people hope it will be for Republicans. I continue to think it’s 2006’s version of gay marriage, the hot topic that had nothing to do with anything but that right-wingers used to whip up their fearful, selfish base into a frenzy of hatred that drove them to the polls.

The other night the local news was doing their bullshit “man on the street” segment where they interview six famewhoring pinheads who don’t know anything, and this Spanish-language national anthem was the topic of the poor reporter’s questions. The woman who caught my interest was every third woman I’ve ever met: tight perm, thick specs, loud boxy shirt and windbreaker. It should be in English, she said indignantly. Why? Because it should.

Because deep down she felt uncomfortable and creeped out by “her” national anthem being sung in Spanish, the same way thousands like her felt vaguely unsettled by the thought of removing “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance and by the idea of boys kissin’ on each other. And in Bush’s America, things that make the halfbright feel yucky are the things that decide elections.

I passed by this billboard all the time on my way up to Wisconsin in September and October. It was blue and in white letters it read, “One Nation. Under God.” In the corner was the Bush/Cheney logo.

That billboard is the story of the Republican party’s campaign and public image strategy, right there. It tells you Bush is for God. You vote for Bush and you vote for God. Because, unspoken in that billboard is the message that the other guy, Kerry somebody? Shot God in Reno just to watch him die.

God wasn’t on the ballot that November. God wasn’t anywhere near any of the issues that were in fact important. Just as “should the national anthem be English-only” isn’t anywhere near anything we need to worry about. But people will, and damn it if you ignore that, you ignore the political reality that for most people the thought process is: You ain’t got a job and you ain’t got no savings and your neighbor’s kid just got his ass shot off in Fallujah, but damn it, you can fix this national anthem thing right quick.

And it’s not so much a party problem as it is one of utter debasement of the national conversation, until all you need in order to consider yourself politically knowledgable is this beauty-shop gossip grasp of Today Show-type issues. All you need to know you can get from The View. Bullshit media-driven chatter about nothing, about sweaters and God and now this, as if somebody somewhere singing Oh Say Can You See really matters. Of course it doesn’t.

Our hope with immigration is this: that the hundreds of thousands who turn out for rallies will turn up at the polls and vote against Republicans because the public perception is that Republicans are nasty racist assholes. But is that our message? Is it being driven home that way, that simply? I don’t see it. I see media getting increasingly bitchy (“growing restlessness” is one of those characterizations that needs no facts to back it up) and no sign that public opinion has any bearing whatsoever on what Republicans do.

I hate the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach about this, but there it is. Our billboards have already been written. We the People. All the people. We’ve got to put them up, before all the roadside space is taken up by Republicans’ “One Nation. No Habla Espanol.”

A.

Puppies, Batteries and Onions…Oh My.

From Scout:

Maybe it’s just me but I was laughing out loud reading this article…. “He’s Back Again” from the Sun Herald:

BILOXI – President Bush stopped in at a volunteer base camp Thursday, played with puppies and shook hands with some of those who have been working in the community since Hurricane Katrina hit. A security threat was also quickly extinguished by the Secret Service

SNIP

The president’s remarks were brief, and he congratulated several volunteers in front of the tool shed.

“I have come to the conclusion that I am at an incredible place,” Bush said, standing among the volunteers.

After leaving the volunteer site, the jovial nature of the visit was broken for a couple of seconds while the president mingled inside Fayard’s BP station on Pass Road. Outside the station, a cigarette-smoking customer pumped gas, but an alert Secret Service agent halted the safety threat by making the woman extinguish her smoke, seconds before Bush ambled out, without one of the station’s trademark pressed po-boys.

The president talked to pedestrians who were pumping gas, pointing to the skyrocketing gas prices and saying he supports increasing Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which are a minimum fuel-efficiency standard new cars must meet.

He also touted alternative energy sources such as ethanol and batteries.

SNIP

He held a couple of puppies that are looking for a good home. Bush said he has no favorite among the White House dogs, denying Barney is his top dog.

One volunteer couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“That’s a little over the top, the president holding puppies,” he said.

SNIP

The president spent some time with Niko Poore, a volunteer from Putney, Vt., who gave him an onion from his crop.

“I don’t think I’ll eat it now,” Bush said, wiping the dirt away.

Poore said his life has been surreal since he hitchhiked here from Vermont.

“It’s amazing I could be some redneck hitchhiking and coming down here and cutting trees and now I am meeting the president,” Poore said with a grin.

Friday Cat Blogging

From Scout:

Teddy was being difficut today but finally got her to sit for this pic…

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Late Night Dorkblogging

Non-video-gamers, here’s the situation. Nintendo’s next game system was going to be called Revolution. Then Nintendo announced it would not be called Revolution, but would in fact be called “Wii.” Pronounced “we.”

That sound you heard? Yeah, that was the Internet breaking. I haven’t seen a meltdown this extensive since the latest Harry Potter book came out.

This is my favorite thread:

If Nintendo said the name would be “Bowl of Dicks” that sure wouldn’t stop me from buying what is a very cool system.

I don’t have a cat in the console fight. I don’t play video games because I suck at them. I post this because there is no purer form of entertainment than watching fanboys flail like drunken circus animals, insult each other, and make cock jokes.

Via Fandom Wank.

A.

As Wily As A Wolverine

Though she is a fan of the hateful Yankees, Sars reminds us that baseball season is above all announcer-mocking season:

But at least baseball is back, and one of my favorite things about a new baseball season is renewing my love-hate relationship with Bill Simmons’s columns on ESPN.com. I yaw back and forth all year between wanting to buy the guy a beer and wanting to stuff the guy into a beehive, and his Opening Day column did not disappoint in the schizo department.

For your reading pleasure, please direct your Intarwebs to Shut UP, Tim McCarver:

McCarver on Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera: “He’s so impressive with that excellent gait of his, the way he walks. There’s nobody that walks any easier, or comes in from the bullpen with an easier gait than Rivera. And I think that’s part of the reason for his success because the ball just explodes out of his hand – hitters just can’t believe he can do that.”

A.

Leadership

From Holden:

When was the last time you recall a Republikkkan doing anything like this?

Five Congress members were willingly arrested and led away from the Sudanese Embassy in plastic handcuffs Friday in protest of the Sudanese government’s role in atrocities in the Darfur region. “The slaughter of the people of Darfur must end,” Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., a Holocaust survivor who founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, said from the embassy steps before his arrest.

Four other Democratic Congress members — James McGovern and John Olver of Massachusetts, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Jim Moran of Virginia — were among 11 protesters arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly, a misdemeanor subject to a fine.

“We must hold the Sudanese government accountable for the attacks they have supported on their own citizens in Darfur,” Olver said.

For Christ’s Sake

Thanks, Pope-a-ratzi. Seriously, smooth move:

ROME (Reuters) – The Vatican stepped up its offensive against “The Da Vinci Code” on Friday when a top official close to Pope Benedict blasted the book as full of anti-Christian lies and urged Catholics to boycott the film.

The latest broadside came from Archbishop Angelo Amato, the number two official in the Vatican doctrinal office which was headed by Pope Benedict until his election last year.

Amato, addressing a Catholic conference in Rome, called the book “stridently anti-Christian .. full of calumnies, offences and historical and theological errors regarding Jesus, the Gospels and the Church.”

He added: “I hope that you all will boycott the film.”

It astounds me that officials of the Roman Catholic Church, which pioneered pointless self-denial before these straight-edge kids made it cool, wouldn’t understand that the only way to make something that’s already kind of attractive more pleasurable is to forbid the experience of it.

Judging by attendance at church on Holy Days of Obligation, if the church wanted to stop Catholics from seeing this film, they should advertise it in the bulletin and threaten people who don’t see it with Hell.

A.

Partying With The Foxes

From Holden:

Dan Froomkin:

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts write in The Washington Post about the “Fox News Sunday” 10th anniversary bash Wednesday night where Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes was joined by “most of the Bush administration, including Karl Rove, Josh Bolten, Karen Hughes, Dan Bartlett and former Fox host Tony Snow, just hours after he was named the new Bush spokesman. ‘Ten years ago we could have never gotten the White House press secretary to come to this party,’ joked Ailes.”

Also in attendance: Cheney, who, as the Smoking Gun Web site illustrated last month, requires all televisions in his hotel suites to be preset to Fox.

I Agree, Let’s Start With The President

From Holden:

Quick: How many grammatical errors can you find in this statement made by the Chimpster in the Rose Garden this morning?

“I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.”

UPDATE: From the man who thinks anyone who would like to be an American citizen should speak English, we have this.

And part of the reason why gas is up demand larger than supply.

What’s The Deal With The Terrorism Report?

From Holden:

CNN International has an enticing story synopsis about the State Department’s annual report on terrorism, which is supposed to be released today.

Report says Iraq becoming terrorist safe haven (28.04.2006)

The State Department’s annual terrorism report finds that Iraq is becoming a safe haven for terrorists and has attracted a “foreign fighter pipeline” linked to terrorist plots, cells and attacks throughout the world, a senior State Department official involved in the preparation of the report told CNN.

So the State Department says the War on Iraq has transformed the beleaguered country into a safe haven for terrorists? That’s big news.

But when you click the link to read the full story you get a blank page. Here is the link:

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/US/04/28/terror.report/

Other news outlets have cited CNN International’s scoop (the Middle Eastern Times is one) and watertiger linked to the full story earlier today so it must have been available this morning.

What’s up with that?

UPDATE: The link is now working. Weird.

All-Time Lows

From Holden:

What follows is a limited list of the current job approval ratings for George W. Bush that happen to be his all-time low ratings for the respective polls. There may be other current all-time lows out there that I’m missing, but here are the six I can verify.

Rasmussen: 38%

American Research Group (ARG): 34%

NBC/Wall Street Journal: 36%

CNN: 32%

Fox News: 33%

Gallup: 36%

Trouble In Paradise

From Holden:

Sounds like the Odd Couple are at odds.

A full 10 seconds of silence passed after a reporter asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld what the intense secrecy and security surrounding their visit to Iraq signified about the stability of the country three years after the U.S.-led invasion. Rice turned to Rumsfeld to provide the answer. Rumsfeld glared at the reporter.

“I guess I don’t think it says anything about it,” he snapped. He went on to say that President Bush had directed him and Rice to go to Iraq to “meet with the new leadership, and it happens that they are located here,” a reference to the heavily fortified Green Zone where U.S. officials — and many Iraqi leaders — live and work.

[snip]

Even though her arrival here followed an exhausting sprint through Greece and Turkey, Rice appeared energized by the task at hand. Rumsfeld arrived directly from Washington — after a recent Asian tour — but he seemed disengaged and bored, both to reporters traveling with him and to some U.S. officials. Some said he seemed irritated by the whole exercise. He did not speak a word to reporters with him on the flight to Baghdad.

During a joint meeting with reporters traveling with the secretaries, Rumsfeld frequently doodled with a black felt-tip pen or stared absent-mindedly at the ceiling when Rice spoke. Rice would occasionally cast a nervous glance at Rumsfeld as he prepared to respond to a question. His answers were terse; hers were expansive.

[snip]

The two secretaries recently had a widely publicized dispute over a comment by Rice that the administration had probably made “thousands” of “tactical errors” in Iraq. Aides later said she had meant it figuratively, but it generated headlines around the world. In a radio interview, Rumsfeld dismissed it as a comment made by someone who didn’t understand warfare.

Asked about the flap here in Baghdad, Rumsfeld replied, “I wasn’t aware of what she meant.” (The transcript shows that the radio interviewer described her remarks carefully and placed them in context.) Rumsfeld made no effort to smooth over the issue but pointed to Rice and said, “She’s right here, and you can ask her.” Rice noted that her comment about tactical errors had been made “not in the military sense.”

Rice courted the news media, racing through five television interviews in 17 minutes. Rumsfeld gave no separate interviews. At one point, he arrived early for a meeting and saw an array of television cameras inside the room. He shook his head at the reporters and turned on his heel.

Before the two Cabinet members left Baghdad on Thursday, Rice dismissed any suggestions of tension. “Secretary Rumsfeld and I have an excellent relationship,” she told Fox News. “We’re working very hard together. We’re actually having a great time here in Iraq.”

Friday Ferretblogging: Attica! Edition

Joey hasn’t been bad (yet, it’s early). He’s just peering out from behind the baby gate we have set up to keep his destruction confined to one room.

A.

Assigning Responsibility for Collecting the Dead Recommended

From Scout:

bod katrina dead Chris Usher

On April 17th I did a post entitled Just who the hell IS responsible to pick up dead bodies???…..Try No One.” In it I pointed to an apparent hole in disaster response by outlining that neither the Stafford Act nor the National Response Plan deliniated any mechanism for the collection of dead bodies after a disaster thus leading us to the despicable situation post Katrina where 8 months out bodies remain in debris.

Well FINALLY someone is acknowledging the error and addressing this. The following recomendation appears in the just released Senate Katrina Investigation Report under the heading: “Reviewing, Aligning and Improving the Stafford Act, the National Response Plan, and the National Incident Management System”…

Recommendation 11: The scope of ESF-8 (Public Health and Medical Services), as defined in the NRP, should be expanded to clearly include the public health and medical needs not only of victims of an emergency, but also those of evacuees, special needs populations, and the general population who may be impacted by the event or may need to be evacuated or sheltered-in-place. The NRP should also clarify that responsibility for all mortuary activities, including collection of victims, resides with ESF-8, and appropriate mass fatality plans and capabilities should be developed. (emphasis mine)

I have to say I was half hoping that I may have been wrong in my research and analysis as it is unbelievable that no one thought to set forth the responsibility for collecting the dead. But I guess I was right.

Hopefully at least this recommendation will be acted upon before the next disaster. There has been far too much heartbreak already.

Chimpy Sez…

From Holden:

Our current high gasoline prices are not due to those whacko environmentalists who won’t let the oil companies build refineries.

We’ve got a problem because we’re dependent on oil from overseas. And oil is the main reason — the price of oil is the main thing that drives the cost of gasoline.

Today on Holden’s Obsession [Yesterday’s] with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Other obsessites (obsessors?) have already covered the little dust-up yesterday aboard Air Force One over the White House staff’s refusal to change the AF1 teevees from Fox News to CNN as requested by the press corps, but they missed this addendum to the gaggle transcript.

MR. McCLELLAN: We just called up. They’re going to be changing it, at your all’s request, to the channel that you requested, which is CNN — from the press corps.

Q Thanks, Scott.

Happy landings, Pony Blow.

Show Us The Records!

From Holden:

With American consumers getting unmercifully gouged at the pump Democrats should demand that the Bush Assministration release the records of Dick Cheney’s energy task force. Yes, I know the demand will be refused outright, and the Supreme Court has already sided with Cheney on this in the Judicial Watch suit.

All that doesn’t matter, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid should demand that they release the records anyway and let the Assministration publicly turn them down now when the country is up in arms over the ongoing gasoline rip-off.