31 March, 2010

At Last

Can we say "told you so!" now?

Judge rules Bush illegally wiretapped Americans

Chick Flick Update: I'm Down With It

I've watched so many of these damned things I can't even remember where I left off reporting.

Right, a few I know I haven't yapped about: I broke down and bought Love, Actually because they refused to play it on the movie channels.  I enjoyed it, although I wish it could've been a mini-series with so many characters. 

Under the Tuscan Sun was an absolute delight.  I do believe I'll be buying that one.  It made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and the visuals of Italy were squisito.  Which Babelfish swears is the Italian word for delicious.

Just finished watching Down With Love, which had me laughing me arse off.  Of the three, I've had the most sheer fun watching that one. 

And I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I've developed an abiding fondness for Bridget Jones's Diary.

If you're in the mood for something seriously warped, not to mention fucked up beyond all recognition, Virgin Territory is a good place to start.  You'll never look at a dairy cow the same way ever again.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

This, my darlings, is pure-P pathetic (h/t):

Guys, it's really hard to be Shelby Steele. First you write a book about how Barack Obama can't win the 2008 election because he's constrained by the traditional roles of black people in American politics. After he wins you're stuck writing harried op-eds about how he only won because white people felt really guilty and wanted to vote for a black guy, a thesis belied by the available demographic information. Conversely, you praise then-candidate for RNC Chair Michael Steele as someone with "integrity" who "really stands for something," which was already embarrassing enough at the time.

Then, when the political winds seem to be blowing misfortune Obama's way, you eagerly rub your hands together and write about how Obama is ineffectual as a president because he never had the chops to get the job done after all, because he was only elected because he's black. Then, of course, Obama pushes historic health-care legislation through Congress that puts him on the same playing field as the most prominent Democratic presidents in American history.

So now that Obama has repeatedly proved his public assessments about race wrong, Steele writes about how these accomplishments were only achieved because Obama, as a black man, needs to prove that he's just as good as all the other white presidents:
Mr. Obama's success has always been ephemeral because it was based on an illusion: that if we Americans could transcend race enough to elect a black president, we could transcend all manner of human banalities and be on our way to human perfectibility. A black president would put us in a higher human territory. And yet the poor man we elected to play out this fantasy is now torturing us with his need to reflect our grandiosity back to us.
A president with an inflated sense of ego and concern over his ultimate historical legacy? How black of him.
I feel a bit sorry for this poor schmo.  You know what, actually, I don't.  If he wants to sit around spinning little stories for himself meant to explain away just what a tremendous dumbshit he is and only end up drilling himself a deeper hole, I have no pity at all.  Wot an idiot.

Bonus dumbfuckery: Faux News strikes again, misrepresenting LL Cool J and Toby Keith to sell Palin, pissing the two of them off mightily in the process.  I just want to know one thing: are the fucktards at Faux really so fucking stupid they couldn't see a trainwreck in the making?

No, you don't have to answer that.  I already know the answer begins with a Y and ends with an ES.

30 March, 2010

Catblogging Time!

It's been awhile since I've given you poor souls anything other than pollyticks, and poor fare at that.  Have some kitteh!

Here's kitteh sleeping uncompromisingly on the Bible:

She still refuses to stand uncompromisingly on it, silly beast.

Her appreciation for the pillow-like qualities of religious texts does not end with the Bible.  Indeed, she can be a proper Zen kitty when she likes:

Apparently, she'll lounge unashamedly and uncompromisingly on any book I set within her reach, because she was at geology this morning.  Alas, I didn't have the camera.

As you can see, she has no problem lounging uncompromisingly on the book I'm writing as well, but only when I'm actually trying to scribble something.

As you can see, this leads to writing as a performance art, because I have to become a contortionist to accomplish it.

And then there's times when I just have to give up altogether, because when you have a purring bundle of fur stretched out right across what you're trying to work with, well, all you can do is pat it until it gets sick of the attention and goes away.

At least I finally found an actual cat toy she'll play with.  Sometimes, I'll see the little string on its pole bob like a fish has just taken the line, and I know that at long last, I have fulfilled my duties as a cat owner.  At least until the next belly rub is required.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Desperate times call for desperate measures, as we all know.  And Cons are desperate.  They lost the health care reform battle.  The nutjobs they've whipped into a frenzy are making them look worse.  The "bu-bu-but we get a few death threats too!" defense isn't really working out too well.  So what's a Con to do?

Why, whine, lie, and play the victim, of course!

You see, health care reform is racist:

The recently passed health care reform act includes a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning salons to help pay for expanded insurance coverage for millions of Americans. Radio host Doc Thompson, subbing in for Fox News host Glenn Beck on his radio show today, used the tax to make the absurd accusation that the health bill is somehow “racist”:
For years I’ve suggested that racism was in decline and yeah, there are some, you know, incidents that still happen with regards to racism, but most of the claims I’ve said for years, well, they’re not really real. But I realize now that I was wrong. For I now too feel the pain of racism. Racism has been dropped at my front door and the front door of all lighter-skinned Americans. The health care bill the president just singed into law includes a 10 percent tax on all indoor tanning sessions starting July 1st, and I say, who uses tanning? Is it dark-skinned people? I don’t think so. I would guess that most tanning sessions are from light-skinned Americans. Why would the President of the United Stats of America — a man who says he understands racism, a man who has been confronted with racism — why would he sign such a racist law? Why would he agree to do that? Well now I feel the pain of racism.
Oh, the horror!  Oh, the sting!  Oh, the humanity!  I mean, there's really nothing worse than being forced to pay a 10% tax on a tanning session.  Forget lynching, beatings, denial of services, denial of opportunity, being singled out for police brutality and pulled over for the crime of being black in the wrong neighborhood, forget unequal treatment in courts, running gauntlets of rabid racists, and all that other stuff like increased risk of being murdered, dying of treatable disease, etc. etc. that one may suffer by dint of non-white skin pigmentation.  None of that compares to the pain of a 10% tax on tanning sessions.

I mean, honestly, people, that's like $5 - $6 per month if you sign up for an unlimited package!  Can't you understand how awful that is?


Well, it's like totally the only racism currently going on in America.  I mean, all those stories you heard about how Congressmen voting for the health care reform bill got racial epithets thrown at them - that's like total lies and stuff.  I know cuz Michele Bachmann sed so:
Oh, Michele Bachmann, is there anything you won't say out loud?
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told a crowd at a Duluth, Minn., rally over the weekend that there is no evidence that several black lawmakers were harassed by conservative protesters on Capitol Hill in the days leading up to the health care reform vote.
Black lawmakers, including civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), reported that they had been spat on and slurred by protesters demonstrating against the health reform bill last week.
"Democrats said that they were called the 'N word,' which of course would be wrong and inappropriate. But no one has any record of it. No witness saw it, it's not on camera, it's not on audio," she said. "They said that they were spat upon. No one saw it."
She went on, "There's a $10,000 reward right now for anyone who can produce a video or an audio. Don't you think we would have seen a video or an audio by now if there was something out there?"
I see. So, Michele Bachmann would have us believe that John Lewis is a liar. John Lewis, who has demonstrated more integrity, honesty, and courage in his career than Bachmann's limited intellect can even fathom, is deserving of mistrust, because he heard racial slurs and talked about it. Got it.
Nevermind the point-for-point debunking Steve Benen did in that piece, even qualifying himself for the $10,000 reward.  None of that's true because Cons don't wanna believe it, therefore, all evidence to the contrary, it's not true!!1!11!

[insert fingers in ears, stomp feet, scream loudly]

Aren't they precious?

And in news of further precious people, my own great state of Washington has a total fuckwit for an AG.  Just thought I'd get that on the record.

29 March, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Three things:

I'm waiting for Faux News, the Cheneys et al to call for the immediate torture and detention without civil rights for the terrorists who plotted an attack on American soil.  Alas, holding my breath on this one could cause me to asphyxiate.

The RNC really needs to rethink the "It wasn't the chairman who spent all that money at the lesbian-themed bondage club, so spending $2000 in contributions for it isn't so bad!" defense.

And Oklahoma hates teh gayz so much they can't even be bothered to proofread the legislation they wrote trying to circumvent the Shepard Act.  Congratulations, Oklahoma minorites and religious people: crimes against you now don't have to be reported to those meddling federal authorities.

All we need now is the clowns pouring out of the car.

28 March, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

The fundamental stupidity of the Teabaggers is exemplified in a few items today.

First, Steve Benen explores their remarkable ability to remain oblivious to glaringly obvious contradictions:
There's an old joke that goes something like this: my neighbor went to public schools before joining the military. He went to college on the G.I. Bill, bought his first home through the FHA, and received his health care through the V.A. and Medicare. He now receives Social Security.

He's a conservative because he wants to get the government off his back.

I mention the joke because a surprising number of right-wing activists don't seem to appreciate the humor. We talked the other day, for example, about a radical libertarian activist who encourages his allies to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices to protest the Affordable Care Act. He hates government involvement in the lives of citizens -- but his main income is taxpayer-financed disability checks sent to him every month by the federal government.

This is not uncommon. The NYT reports today on some of the well-intention folks who've been caught up in the Tea Party nonsense. Take Tom Grimes, for example.
In the last year, he has organized a local group and a statewide coalition, and even started a "bus czar" Web site to marshal protesters to Washington on short notice. This month, he mobilized 200 other Tea Party activists to go to the local office of the same congressman to protest what he sees as the government's takeover of health care. [...]
"If you quit giving people that stuff, they would figure out how to do it on their own," Mr. Grimes said.
When Grimes lost his job 15 months ago, one of his first steps was contacting his congressman about available programs that might give him access to government health care. He receives Social Security, and is considering a job opening at the Census Bureau. But in the meantime, Grimes has filled the back seat of his Mercury Grand Marquis with literature decrying government aid to struggling Americans.
The same article noted the efforts of Diana Reimer, considered a "star" right-wing activist in her efforts against government programs, a campaign she describes as her "mission." Reimer, of course, currently enjoys Social Security and the socialized medicine that comes with Medicare.

The cognitive dissonance is rather remarkable.

I'd like to try a little experiment.  If someone wants the government to stay out of their business, let's do that.  Let's have government get right out of their lives.  They won't even have to pay taxes.  Of course, they'll lose any and all government benefits, including but not limited to not being able to drive on taxpayer-funded roads, enjoy police and fire services, receive unemployment and/or disability benefits, eat government subsidized food, etc. etc. and so forth.  I give it about 3.1 seconds before they start screaming for government intervention.

As for their screaming about the joys of limited government and howling that they just want us to all live by the Constitution, well, so much for that idea:
Yesterday’s Tea Party rally in Searchlight, NV, for instance, was filled with imagery of the Constitution. Protesters carried signs that read “I honor the Constitution” and “What about the Constitution don’t you understand?” Rally attendee Norman Halfpenny, a 77-year old retired Marine Corps veteran, said, “We need to get our Constitution back.” 

In her speech at the rally, Sarah Palin of course paid homage to the Constitution. “Our vision for America is anchored in time-tested truths that the government that governs least governs best, that the Constitution provides the path to a more perfect union — it’s the Constitution,” she exclaimed. And so it’s extremely puzzling that Palin introduced this new attack line against President Obama yesterday:
In these volatile times when we are a nation at war, now more than ever is when we need a commander-in-chief, not a constitutional law professor lecturing us from a lectern.
Ironically, the crowd cheered wildly at Palin’s line. 
Just take a moment for that one to sink in.  


So, Cons in Congress have to pull some pretty ridiculous stunts to appease these self-contradictory imbeciles.  Such as this one:
The new health care law has an individual responsibility requirement, meaning that every person must have health coverage (or receive an affordability waiver), otherwise he/she will be subjected to a fee. While the Affordable Care Act doesn’t explicitly state that TRICARE — the military’s health program — will meet the individual responsibility requirement, everyone from the chairs of relevant House committees to Veterans Affairs officials to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has asserted that TRICARE would meet the requirement. On March 20, the House — out of an abundance of caution — unanimously passed separate legislation affirming that TRICARE will not be affected, and Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

The TRICARE fix still isn’t law because Republicans have held it up in the Senate. On Wednesday, Webb asked unanimous consent to approve his bill. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), however, objected. “Let the American people understand the Republicans objected to a matter that could have been fixed by law tomorrow,” said Webb. 
That's right.  Cons in the Senate are so reflexively anti-Democrat, so whipped by the Teabagging masses, that they shoot down even common-sense, troop-loving measures.

That's one example among countless ones, of course.  And then there's their upset at the recess appointments their blind obstructionism forced Obama to make.  They loved them some recess appointments when Bush was in charge.  They also don't mind voting for Obama's nominees when their dumbshit holds and filibusters are overcome.  But now their screaming because Obama got tired of their antics.

As always in such matters, Cons have shot themselves right in the foot:
It's worth fully appreciating the extent to which the president's move reflects deep animosity. Kevin Drum explained the context of the National Labor Relations Board move, in particular.
Years ago, after Republicans filibustered a Carter nominee to the NLRB, the two parties made a deal: the board would have three appointees from the president's party and two from the other party. So after he took office Obama nominated two Democrats and one Republican to fill the NLRB's three vacant seats and got support from a couple of Republicans on the HELP committee for the entire slate. But when it got to the Senate floor John McCain put a hold on Becker, and his nomination -- along with the others -- died.
Fast forward to today and Obama finally decides to fill the board using recess appointments. But what does he do? He only appoints the two Democrats. This is not what you do if you're trying to make nice. It's what you do if you're playing hardball and you want to send a pointed message to the GOP caucus. You won't act on my nominees? Fine. I'll appoint my guys and then leave it up to you to round up 50 votes in the Senate for yours. Have fun.
There are, alas, probably nine Dems in the Senate spineless enough to round out the fifty, but it's still a nice little message sent, there.  I have to say, I'm very much enjoying the President treating Senate Cons like the terrible two year-olds they are.

There's no working with people this fundamentally fucked in the head.  There's no meeting in the middle when you have people who will throw their own ideas away the instant you express an appreciation for them.  There's no way to hold a discussion with people who can't understand that accepting government largess is fundamentally at odds with claiming there should be no government largess given to anyone.  You can't talk rationally with irrational dumbfucks.

The sooner everybody who's still nominally rational understands that, the sooner we can leave these morons babbling among themselves and get on with the serious business of governing.

25 March, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Good job, Cons.  You've whipped up the angry mobs.  Let's see, since the health care reform bill has passed, we've had death threats against Bart Stupak, death threats against Kathy Dahlkemper, a cut gas line at Tom Perriello's brother's house (because Teabaggers are too fucking stupid to post the correct address), anthrax threats against Anthony Weiner, a Teabagger promising "a thousand little Wacos," , morons vandalizing Democratic lawmakers' offices and threatening to kill their kids, and - well, I'm sure there's plenty I've missed, but I'm running out of time.

In the midst of all this, Sarah Palin had a brainwave:
...[O]n Tuesday, Sarah Palin seemed to fan the flames of discontent by labeling a map of vulnerable lawmakers’ districts with crosshairs on her Facebook page and tweeting, “Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: ‘Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!’”
Which John McCain sez happens all the time and is perfectly groovy as far as political discourse from national political figures goes.

Cons, of course, have been simultaneously pretending to condemn the violence whilst egging violent people on.

Oh, and when Eric Cantor tells you that he's being attacked by angry mobs, too, and in fact he's being attacked worse because ZOMG people are shooting at him!!1!one!1! - well, let's just say it might be best if you have a salt block handy:
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) seemed rather desperate today to characterize this as a bipartisan problem. During a bizarre press conference this morning, Cantor told reporters:
"I've received threats since I assumed elected office -- not only because of my position, but also because I'm Jewish. I've never blamed anyone in this body for that.
"Just recently I have been directly threatened: A bullet was shot through the window of my campaign office in Richmond this week."
Well, that sounds pretty serious. We've heard about plenty of vandalism at district congressional offices this week -- all of the cases involve Democrats as targets -- but this would be the first reported shooting.

The problem is, what Cantor told reporters wasn't true. When he said he was "directly threatened," Cantor was either shamelessly, blatantly lying, or he was popping off to the press about politically-motivated violence without getting his facts straight.

Here's what happened: early Tuesday morning, someone in the Richmond area fired a bullet into the air. It eventually came down and hit a building -- named, of course, the Reagan Building -- on the first floor. According to a report from the Richmond Police Department statement, "The round struck with enough force to break the windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds. There was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman."
So, yeah, Eric - shut the fuck up.

Someday, I'd truly love to see Cons grow the fuck up.  Alas, from what I understand of American history, they never were grown, and they're regressing.  And their hysterical screaming tantrums thrown because they couldn't get their way are now directly responsible for inciting violence, and could end up getting people killed.

Heckuvajob, Cons.

24 March, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

For those of us who were wondering just what sort of screaming tantrum the Cons would throw after getting their asses handed to them on a platter, wonder no more:
Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) told the media on Monday about his outrage over the Democratic majority voting to approve legislation they support. He announced that, going forward, he would tell Dems to stay off his lawn refuse to cooperate in the Senate's legislative process. To punish Democrats for fulfilling their campaign promise to the nation, McCain said, "There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year."
We saw the manifestation of this pettiness yesterday, when Republicans used an obscure rule to block any Senate hearings from continuing after 2 p.m. Amanda Terkel reports on the developments that are almost too juvenile to believe.

Today, during a Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on transparency, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) announced that he had to stop the proceedings because of Republican blocks. [...] 
My my my.  Les enfants terrible strike again. 

If the American electorate rewards these jackasses with a majority again, I swear to fuck I'm leaving the country.  I'll never be able to look another American in the face ever again.

23 March, 2010

The Ongoing Bid to Entertain Americans

If the goal of Senate Cons was to turn American government into absurdist theater in the wake of defeat, they're making a pretty good start of it:
As for Senate Republicans' next move, Sen. David Vitter, the scandal-plagued far-right Louisianan , offered the GOP's first two amendments this afternoon. The first is a measure to "repeal the government takeover of health care," and the second is "prohibiting use of funds to fund ACORN."

The latter refers to a group that no longer seems to exist.

It sometimes amazes me who actually gets to serve in the world's most deliberative body.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Ah, my darlings, if ignorance is bliss, Glenn Beck must be the most blissful man in the universe:
Glenn Beck wasn't exactly pleased with Sunday's developments on health care reform. On his Fox News program yesterday, he seemed especially incensed about images of Speaker Pelosi, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), and other Democratic leaders marching from their caucus meeting to the Hill, arm in arm, en route to passing their long-sought legislation.

Showing viewers the image, Beck said, "They locked arms, because they wanted to compare themselves to the civil rights activists. How dare you! Look at these people [image of civil rights activists at a diner counter]. They refused to get up! ... I don't know how you could be offended by that."

Um, Glenn? John Lewis doesn't have to compare himself to a civil rights activist; he was a civil rights activist. He was a giant of the civil rights movement, and the advances of the era were made possible because of John Lewis' extraordinary courage and heroism. When he locks arms with his allies to go pass health care reform, he understands the symbolism far better than a self-described rodeo clown.
I'm sure I'm not alone in quoting Hermione Granger here: "What an idiot."

I do like Glenn Beck for one reason.  It's because he inspires Jon Stewart to do great send-ups of him.  For those of you who didn't catch it:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Daily Show
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Political HumorHealth Care Reform

And for a nice chaser, consider this beatdown of Ann Coulter performed by the University of Ottowa:
Far-right pundit Ann Coulter will be in Canada this week for “a trio of speaking engagements,” including one at the University of Ottawa. In advance of her visit, a senior official at the school sent Coulter a letter warning her to use “restraint, respect and consideration” in her remarks and telling her to review the country’s hate speech and defamation laws. From the letter
I would, however, like to inform you, or perhaps remind you, that our domestic laws, both provincial and federal, delineate freedom of expression (or “free speech”) in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States. I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here.
Considering that pretty much everything she spouts is hate speech, I'm afraid she shall have to perform as a mime whilst in Canada.  Speaking of mimes, perhaps she should take some lessons from these mimes, who were accused of assault.  You know, it must be pretty fucking embarrassing to have to whine to the police that a bunch of female mimes scared you.

Finally, my darlings, I'm torn.  Cons have been saying such stupid things about health care reform that it's hard to pick a favorite bit of stupidity.  I mean, should we go with Rep. Cao's declaration that health care reform is "at a par with slavery" - a determination he's made because he thinks there are abortion provisions in the bill that actually aren't?  How about all those silly little Cons who whine about activist judges and yet have already started a court battle in the hopes that activist judges will overturn health care reform legislation passed in a fully legal manner precisely as the Constitution and normal procedure require?  Or, does Rep. Gohmert take first prize for this bit of dumbfuckery:

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is calling for a strong re-assertion of states rights against Congress -- in the form of a Constitutional amendment to eliminate the direct popular election of Senators, and go back to the pre-17th Amendment setup of state legislatures appointing them.

"Ever since the safeguard of State legislatures electing U.S. Senators was removed by the 17th Amendment in 1913, there has been no check or balance on the Federal power grab for the last 97 years," Gohmert said in a press release, calling for a constitutional convention of the states. "Article V requires a minimum of 34 states to request a Convention which in this case, would be an Amendment Convention for only ONE amendment."
In other words, they likes elections and the will of the people only so long as they're getting their way.  When not, then not.

You know, I knew that Con dumbfuckery would not end with the passage of health care reform.  It appears our gang of Congressional Clowns shall be continuing their tried-and-true routine.  Isn't it wonderful that they're so very devoted to keeping us roundly entertained?

22 March, 2010

The Pleasures and Perils of Literal Interpretations

Via PZ, I see that Answers in Genesis (you know, that group of fundie lackwits who go in for an utterly literal interpretation of the Bible to the point of absurdity) wishes Christians to "stand unashamedly and uncompromisingly on the Bible." 

Yes, I got finished laughing later in the afternoon.

Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes is running a bit of a campaign in response:
I am hereby starting my own campaign, the I-Am-Who-Am Is Ashamed of Your Slogan Campaign. It is my hope that we will show the world that we too can be ignorant, pigheaded literalists. 
Though I hate to mistreat any book, being a bibliophile, I cannot dash the hopes of Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes.  Moreover, I happen to own a Bible.  Furthermore, I've been egged on by my best friend, who belongs to a very conservative Christian denomination and, after years of experience, realizes that literalism needs a good twist of the nose every so often.  (Yes, he eventually got finished laughing as well.  Eventually.)  So I am more than happy to report that non-Christians, too, can "stand unashamedly and uncompromisingly on the Bible."  Although, as Garrett pointed out, it's also "uncomfortably," because the book is rather small and slippery. 

And so, to demonstrate the utter stupidity of taking every last thing literally, here is my unashamed and uncompromising stand upon the Bible:

I tried to get my cat to join me, but she found the whole thing utterly boring and too much effort.  She only consented to lounge unashamedly and uncompromisingly instead:

I do so hope that Answers in Genesis runs another campaign soon.  And this has clarified some matters for me.  I have discovered that one possible reason for taking things literally is because it's such ridiculous fun.

21 March, 2010

Yes They Could

They did it.  At long last, we have health care reform.  We've begun.  Now we have a foundation, imperfect as it is, that can be built upon.

Drinks on the house tonight, my darlings.  And make sure Cujo gets a few stiff ones, as he won't be a happy puppy tonight.  As for the rest of us, I do believe some drunken debauchery is in order.

Oh, and Republicans?  Ha ha ha fuck you!  That is all.

20 March, 2010

Poetry and Flowers

In a moment, here, the Muse will be having her way with me.  But in the meantime, George brought us flowers:

Which delight not only because George is a wonderful photographer (which he is), but because when I was growing up, crocuses always meant spring had almost sprung.  It also meant we'd be out in the yard around the wishing well with toothpicks and saran wrap a day or two later, desperately trying to keep the little buggers alive.  When they bloomed, you could be assured a snowstorm was on the way.  Lousy sense of timing they had.

Ah, memories.

And my heart sister Nicole has a poetry contest going for National Poetry Month.  Really not to be missed, you poets, so break out the rhyming dictionaries and once again curse the dearth of entries under "daffodil."

I'd love to stay and rhaposdize, but the Muse and I need to go have an argument about what one should write immediately upon seeing something as saccharine as 27 Dresses.  

19 March, 2010

Shameful Admission

I've been listening to, and enjoying, a rap song.  No, not "Fuck You" by Pharoahe Monche - of course I love that song, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  It's called "Fuck You."  What's not to love?

No, it's not "Fuck You" that makes me scuff my toes and look down at the ground and mumble shamefully "yeahI'vebeenlisteningtoiteverynightsowhat."  It's "Wolves" by Krumbsnatcha that does that to me.

Just thought you all should know in case you swing by the house and hear me shouting "And let the wolves out / let the wolves out / let the wolves out!" and wonder if you have the wrong house.  You don't.  It's mine.  And I'm still metal, damn it.

Also planned to blog a lot of pollyticks, but they've been forced to the backburner by the Muse, who is now looking at me with a meaningful flick of the whip, so I must go.

18 March, 2010

Geology Strikes Again

Okay, so you know how in Sleepless in Seattle, they roll the opening credits over a relief map of the USA?  Yeah.  And no shit, there I was, thinking of the vagaries of plate tectonics.  'Twas the angle on the map, y'see.  It showed with amazing clarity just how flat the Midwest is (where it's tectonically relatively quiet), how low the mountains in the East are (passive margin), and how mountainous the West is (active boundary, whole lotta squishing going on). 

I'm sure I'll start thinking of the actual movie here soon...

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Oh, look, isn't this precious - a matched pair of fucktards:

What's the matter with Georgia? Two long-shot candidates in the state's governor's race were suspended as school-teachers after allegations of inappropriate conduct with female high-school students. 

One of those, Republican Ray McBerry, leads a Georgia secessionist group and is hovering around 2 percent in GOP primary polls. McBerry already last weekend issued a hilarious pre-emptive denial of those charges -- as well as several others. The other, Democrat Carl Camon, is the mayor of Ray City, and polls around 2 percent in the Democratic primary.
Looks like they have a lot more in common than their politics would suggest.

In other news of politicians who didn't understand the concept of zipped trousers, John Ensign's sex scandal may be heating up to the point where even the mainstream media, which finds only Dem sex scandals titillating to the point of driving politicians from office, will have to take note.  This should be fun.

And for those of you wondering if trusting insurers to do the right thing is a good idea, it isn't:
Insurance giant WellPoint Inc. -- the company planning double-digit rate hikes for customers -- made a compelling promise a few years ago. Shortly after Democrats reclaimed the congressional majority, the insurer announced that it would use its charitable foundation to invest $30 million over three years as part of a "comprehensive plan to help address the growing ranks of the uninsured."

That was three years ago. How's that promise working out? Not especially well.
[A]ccording to tax filings, company promotional material and former executives familiar with the initiative, WellPoint never came close to fulfilling that pledge. [...]
However, WellPoint's public records indicate that from 2007 to 2009 the foundation gave less than $6.2 million in grants targeted specifically at helping uninsured Americans get access to coverage and care -- barely one-fifth of what was promised and just 11% of the charity's total giving over the last three years.
"It was just not something that the company really wanted to do," said one former executive, who, like others interviewed for this story, asked not to be identified out of concern that discussing WellPoint could have adverse career consequences. "So it went by the wayside."
That right.  Didn't really want to do it.  Promised to do it, swore up and down they'd be good corporate citizens and do it, but in the end, didn't feel like doing anything even close to the right thing.  So they didn't.  They spent all the money on lobbying against health care reform instead.  Isn't that special?

Right, then.  Think I'll go finish watching The Handmaid's Tale.  It's only slightly more fucked up than the current state of our great nation.

Movie Recommendation

If you get a chance to watch The Visitor, I suggest that you do.  I'm usually not in to the slowly-unfolding domestic drama complete with topical events sort o' thing, but this one's very well done indeed.  Makes one think thrice about our immigration policies, our ridiculous fears, and life in general.  Really great music, too.

Not cheesy romantic comedy, but I think the Muse is pleased anyway.  It's about to make me cry, though.  Damn serious movies.

Adventures in Writing: The Muse is Willing but the Flesh is Weak

I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank the makers of Ace Bandages, without whom many things would not be possible.  Such as over 2,000 words per day.

Yes, it's that bad.  The Muse is so unrelenting that she has not been impressed with any excuse.  Not pain - if we can't type, we can scribble longhand.  Not exhaustion - as long as eyes can be propped open, we'll keep going.  Not hunger - if it can be stuck in a bowl, it can be eaten between sentences.

Even melted spatulas cannot stop us, despite the horrific chemical smell that pervades the house after one turns on the oven with spatula inside.  Forgot to take my tortilla pan out.  It used to reside in the oven when not in use, since it doesn't need to be washed every time it's used.  I stress "used to."  It is no more. It has kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible.  It is an ex-tortilla pan. 

You would think that after an incident that left the house smelling like a chemical factory and very nearly set it on fire would cause the Muse to pause.  It didn't.  Windows open, Febreeze sprayed, a microwavable alternative to what I was cooking found, and boom.  Right back to writing.

And here we are today, bandaged up, ready to go.

That's just how it is when you're in that zone.

Had to be Done

Sorry for the dearth of political posting, my darlings.  My workplace decided I was desperately needed, nothing really caught my fancy, and I've been busy.  Got a scene coming up that involves serving an arrest warrant.  And when you are writing a scene about going to serve an arrest warrant, you must have the proper playlist.

These things take time.  Especially when you're searching for shit that reflects the truly fucked-up sense of humor displayed by truly great cops.

16 March, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Two items today exemplifying the remarkable dumbfuckery that pours from Con mouths when they're trying to excuse their appalling ignorance and pathetic political posturing.

Firstly, Rachel Maddow vs. J.D. Hayworth:
Rachel Maddow last night challenged former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), who is running against Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the Republican primary, on his assertion that the Massachusetts Supreme Court defined marriage as an "establishment of intimacy" that could lead to man-and-horse marriage -- when the phrase "establishment of intimacy" isn't in the decision itself.

"Where in Massachusetts law or in the Supreme Court ruling does it say, 'the establishment of intimacy?'" Maddow asked. "I read, spent the whole afternoon sort of looking for that, and couldn't find it anywhere."

Haworth maintained that "the high court in Massachusetts defined marriage in a rather amorphous fashion, simply as, quote, 'the establishment of intimacy.' Now, I think we all agree there's much more to marriage than that."

"Sir, I'm sorry, it didn't," Maddow replied. She laid out all the uses of the word "intimacy" in the court's decision, showing that Hayworth's phrase was not in there.

"Well, that's fine," said Hayworth. "You and I can have a disagreement about that."
Rachel then used a word that was probably a bit too large for J.D.: empirical.  Yes, indeed, it's empirically true that the phrase "the establishment of intimacy" is absolutely not in that court decision.  Anyone can search for the phrase, not find it, and conclude that it is not there.  It can be proven.  But I doubt that a man who believes you can have a "disagreement" about whether something is or is not in a document can understand a word like "empirical."  In fact, I have empirical evidence he doesn't understand the word "empirical:"
Hayworth, perhaps unaware of what "empirical" means, replied, "OK. OK. I appreciate the fact that we have a disagreement on that."

So let me try to sum it up in a way J.D. can possibly understand: saying that people can disagree whether the words "the establishment of intimacy" are in that court decision is like me saying we can disagree whether the letters J and D are in J.D. Hayworth's name.

Indeed, it is like saying we can disagree whether or not J.D. Hayworth possesses a penis after he has dropped trousers, divested himself of briefs, and been arrested for public indecency, his little twig-and-berries photographed by a dozen horrified cell phone wielders, and the photos posted on the intertoobz for all to see.

So, yeah, J.D.  I disagree you're the proud owner of a penis.  But why don't you try to prove it to us at your next campaign rally, eh?

For another Con possessed of a way with words, we turn now to the Senate, and the Cons' determination to obstruct at all costs, even if that means obstructing legislative fixes that would get rid of some of what the Cons hate about health care reform after health care reform is a done deal.  Let's have a Con try to 'splain this, shall we?

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is one of those Republicans who has spent months “hammering the Nelson deal,” which he refers to as the “Cornhusker Kickback.” On Bill Bennett’s radio show today, Alexander — who admitted that health care reform would already be law if and when the Senate takes up reconciliation legislation — was pressed to explain why he would obstruct changes that would be positive in his view:
BENNETT: So what is the point of the obstruction — positive obstruction — of you all doing this if we’ve already lost the game?

ALEXANDER: Well, the point of our doing it is to not allow them to abuse the process further. I mean, they, we cannot allow the House or the president or any group of people to completely undermine the role of the Senate in American constitutional government, which is really to say that on big issues, we’re going to require consensus instead of majority and we need 60 votes.

BENNETT: I see. But the House bill that he would sign might be worse than the one with the amendments they’re trying to offer that you will debate.

ALEXANDER: Well, that’s a good point and but but but and we’ll…
That's a fantastic explanation, innit?  Really encapsulates the complexity, intellectual seriousness, and eloquence of the Con contingent.

They're so precious.  I can hardly wait to see what dribbles from their pieholes next.

*Update: no sooner than I ask...
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): They're gonna pass this on the backs of the armed forces.  This should not be passed by anyone unless they eat it. If they eat it, then I'm in favor of them passing it, otherwise, don't pass it. 
This is, of course, Rep. Louie "There's a whole lot of demons going on" Gohmert.

I have a perfect plan for getting Cons to stop saying stupid shit.  I'll need several rolls of heavy-duty duct tape, some Superglue, and immunity from prosecution, but I can do it.

An Answer to a Common Question

People often ask me why I don't write before work instead of writing at night.  I could just get up early, they say.  As if that's so much better than staying up late.

But this is why.  Note the time stamp.  It is 5:15 am as I write this.  I'm usually abed on work nights by 3 am, but have been unavoidably detained by a scene that was flowing too well to stop in the midst of.

It's easier to go without sleep than it is to call in to work and explain why one will be over two hours late.  And that is why I write after work.

15 March, 2010

Fotos de Cujo

I keep meaning to highlight some of Cujo's cherry tree photos.  At last, here we are: beautiful blossoms!

More where that came from, and some new ones since last week:

See?  They almost make strip malls purty.

Oh, and WANT!

She's getting old, and the ol' hairball remedy doesn't work the way it used to, and all I can say about the house is that caution is warranted when navigating the floors.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Congratulations, Virginia.  You've elected not one, but two, batshit crazy Cons:
I feel like we've seen this story before: a Republican runs statewide in Virginia, presents himself as a moderate, gets elected, and ends up being significantly more right-wing then he let on during the campaign.
Take newly-elected state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), for example.
Not Larry Sabato posts an audio clip of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, apparently recorded some time during the campaign, musing about how one could go about challenging President Obama's eligibility for the office and saying that the speculation that he was actually born in Kenya "doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibility."
Cuccinelli added that "it's possible" he would use his office to test the president's eligibility/citizenship if Virginia were involved in litigation against the federal government.

The poor dumbfuck's backpedaling wildly, yammering about how this was just a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question.  Context, alas, didn't seem to make it better.

It rather puts me in mind of an anecdote I read in a book called Knock Your Socks Off Answers.  A man called an insurance company, and said something along the lines of, "Let's say I hypothetically rent a mule at the Grand Canyon and I hypothetically shoot it.  Does my homeowner's insurance cover that?"  If the man had said later that he'd absolutely never had any intention of whatsoever of shooting a mule, and never would, and moreover believed mules should never be shot, but was just getting a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question, wouldn't you think he's full of shit?

And let's consider this hypothetical in perspective:
This is, by the way, the same Cuccinelli who recently told Virginia's colleges and universities to scrap policies that ban discrimination against gay employees. Cuccinelli also told voters last year that he's considering not registering his son for a Social Security number because "it is being used to track you."
At this point, who the fuck cares if he was giving a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question?  He's still a batshit crazy Con.  I guess Virginia wanted a matched set, so they chose McConnell and Cuccinelli.  Or maybe there was a two-for-one deal on the batshit insanity.

Speaking of which, Arizona Cons have a choice between John "Used-to-be-a-maverick-now-I'm-just-a-hack" McCain and J.D. "Men Will Marry Horses!" Hayworth.  What a conundrum, eh?

And Minnesota's resident embarrassment Michele Bachmann thinks we can all sue the guvmint and  won't have to pay our taxes if health care reform passes.  Alas, because a majority of Minnesotans are stupid or insane in her district, she gets to call herself a lawmaker.

*Update: My darlings, I hate to poach so much from poor Steve Benen, but I can't help it that he found the most entertaining shit today.  Case in point: well, I'm not quite sure how to explain it.  You'll just have to go see for yourselves.

14 March, 2010

Adventures in Writing

As most of you are aware by now, my Muse has been in one of those Moods.  And this means that any research that needs to be accomplished for scenes must take place on the intertoobz in a rapid manner, in advance of actually going out and doing the hard work this summer.  Before the intertoobz, I just had to make this shit up.  I loves me some intertoobz.

But the intertoobz, alas, sometimes lead me astray.  Take the scene I was writing the other night.  I needed a very specific joint.  Not a restaurant, but a joint.  One that served nearly nothing but meat.  And I needed it to be around the Redmond, WA area.  Off to Google I went, and discovered the perfect place right away.  Built the scene around its menu.  Had an idea sparked by one of the items on their menu that added value to the story and so forth. 

As I wrote the scene, I decided I'd best get some of the details about the appearance of the place in immediately, despite this being a first draft where one can fudge these things.  So I started searching photos.

On Yelp, I find photos.  I also see next to the restaurant's name: CLOSED.

Closed?  WTF?  Whaddyamean, closed?  I have the website to the restaurant pulled up right here.  It's even got the hours of operation.  It's got their menu.  It's got directions.  It says nothing about being closed.  Well, they're closed right now, because it's midnight.  But as far as out-of-business closed, it says not a word.  I mean, it's an active fucking website, for fuck's sake.  You'd think if a business was no longer, they'd have taken the site down, or at least maybe mentioned they're no longer, right?

So I do a quick Google search, and in reviews of the restaurant, I see it was slated to close down in 2009.  Then I call their number, and it's disconnected.  Fuckity-fuckfuckfuck.

Back to Google, where I discover that while Redmond has other barbecue joints, they haven't got that one item on the menu that had become an important component of the scene.  Argh argh argh.  Others were closed Sundays, which wouldn't do.  Others didn't open until noon, which again, would not do.  It took me a while to find an adequate substitute, and I'm rather happier with it anyway, because it had a few additional components that worked for the story as a whole.  And while it's in Seattle, it's close to downtown, which added a new component to the scene and made one of the characters involved look a little less like a selfish jackass and more like what I wanted him to be.

So there you go.  Adventures in writing.  And you've learned something valuable about the intertoobz: namely, that you cannot trust a restaurant to still be in business just because their website says they are.

**Those of you mystified by the mysterious details dropped about this scene, who would like to know more, are encouraged to email me at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com.  You, too, can become an exclusive member of my circle of Wise Readers at my writing blog, wherein I occasionally post scenes and other details that are not yet available to the general public.  And then, once I've posted it, you'll get to see the first draft of this scene, wherein meat is consumed and sisters tortured.**

Woozle's Got Talent

You know what, my darlings?  I'm glad I posted that silly post about song covers, because this is how I'm starting my morning: Woozle on keyboards.  Woot!

For those of you considering not clicking the link, or maybe putting the link off for later, lemme give you some incentive.  It's a short song, so even if you're busy, it'll fit nicely into your day.  It's got an energetic drumline and Woozle on keyboards.  You know how Woozle's got a talent for thoroughly taking down really stupid people?  Let's just say that his keyboard work proves this is not his only talent.  The singer reminds me of Motorhead, and those of you who love Lemmy know why that is awesome.  And while it seems to be an anti-drug message, which rather goes against the whole sex-drugs-rock-n'-roll ethos, that's quite all right, because it made me want to finish my morning by buying a motorcycle and a leather jacket. 

If we'd had Woozle and his band playing at our anti-drug rallies, I daresay they would have been a lot more fun, not to mention cool.  Alas, all we got was one DARE officer checking the hallway for oncoming school authorities before leaning toward us all and saying, "Drugs are shit," which was the coolest thing that ever happened in our anti-drug activities.  Still pretty cool in a conservative, religious community where people thought "darn" was a little risque, but nowhere near as cool as a rock band.

Now, my darlings, if any of the rest of you have hidden talents you'd like to reveal, you may feel free to announce them in the comments.  Then I can brag about you.

Weird Covers

One of my latest music obsessions is a band called Sunterra, which does a cover of Falco's "Out of the Dark."  It's always interesting, if not always pleasant, to compare covers to the originals, especially when the cover's done by a band that you would never in a billion trillion years suspect of liking a particular type of music well enough to even imagine covering it.  For instance, Sunterra is one of those symphonic heavy metal bands with death grunts.  Falco is, well, not.  Really not.  80s electronica, actually.

So, upon discovering what kind of music Falco actually did (and no, I'd never heard of him before now), I decided that, in the interest of S&G, I'd give a listen to the original.  It's an interesting juxtaposition, and I shall now allow you to share my experience.  I'll understand if you run away screaming.

I think you can all guess which one's my favorite.

For those of you who don't speak German, translated lyrics are below the fold for them as wants 'em.  Thanks be to Aspidites87.


Anybody familiar with Alexandria, Virginia and environs?  I sincerely hope so, because the intertoobz are being no bloody help at all.  Tell me where one would find a simple home on a couple of acres of land relatively close to Alexandria on the way to Quantico, and I will be yours forever.

11 March, 2010

Harry Gave 'em Hell

I actually had a chance to read me some Ezra Klein this morning, and I'm very glad I did.  I haven't been this satisfied by a letter written by a politician to a politician since Claire McCaskill laid ye olde smackdown upon two deserving Missouri State legislators (and if you haven't read that one, by all means, do - 'tis a work of art).  Check out Harry Reid, ladies and gentlemen:
Harry Reid just sent Mitch McConnell a letter expressing his intention to move forward with reconciliation, and telling the Republicans to, well, read for yourself:
Though we have tried to engage in a serious discussion, our efforts have been met by repeatedly debunked myths and outright lies. At the same time, Republicans have resorted to extraordinary legislative maneuvers in an effort not to improve the bill, but to delay and kill it. After watching these tactics for nearly a year, there is only one conclusion an objective observer could make: these Republican maneuvers are rooted less in substantive policy concerns and more in a partisan desire to discredit Democrats, bolster Republicans, and protect the status quo on behalf of the insurance industry.[...]
60 Senators voted to pass historic reform that will make health insurance more affordable, make health insurance companies more accountable and reduce our deficit by roughly a trillion dollars. The House passed a similar bill. However, many Republicans now are demanding that we simply ignore the progress we’ve made, the extensive debate and negotiations we’ve held, the amendments we’ve added (including more than 100 from Republicans) and the votes of a supermajority in favor of a bill whose contents the American people unambiguously support. We will not. We will finish the job. We will do so by revising individual elements of the bills both Houses of Congress passed last year, and we plan to use the regular budget reconciliation process that the Republican caucus has used many times.
I know that many Republicans have expressed concerns with our use of the existing Senate rules, but their argument is unjustified. There is nothing unusual or extraordinary about the use of reconciliation. As one of the most senior Senators in your caucus, Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, said in explaining the use of this very same option, “Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don’t think so.” Similarly, as non-partisan congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein said in this Sunday’s New York Times, our proposal is “compatible with the law, Senate rules and the framers’ intent.”
Reconciliation is designed to deal with budget-related matters, and some have expressed doubt that it could be used for comprehensive health care reform that includes many policies with no budget implications. But the reconciliation bill now under consideration would not be the vehicle for comprehensive reform – that bill already passed outside of reconciliation with 60 votes. Instead, reconciliation would be used to make a modest number of changes to the original legislation, all of which would be budget-related. There is nothing inappropriate about this. Reconciliation has been used many times for a variety of health-related matters, including the establishment of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and COBRA benefits, and many changes to Medicare and Medicaid.
As you know, the vast majority of bills developed through reconciliation were passed by Republican Congresses and signed into law by Republican Presidents – including President Bush’s massive, budget-busting tax breaks for multi-millionaires. Given this history, one might conclude that Republicans believe a majority vote is sufficient to increase the deficit and benefit the super-rich, but not to reduce the deficit and benefit the middle class. Alternatively, perhaps Republicans believe a majority vote is appropriate only when Republicans are in the majority. Either way, we disagree. Keep in mind that reconciliation will not exclude Republicans from the legislative process. You will continue to have an opportunity to offer amendments and change the shape of the legislation. In addition, at the end of the process, the bill can pass only if it wins a democratic, up-or-down majority vote. If Republicans want to vote against a bill that reduces health care costs, fills the prescription drug “donut hole” for seniors and reduces the deficit, you will have every right to do so.
Like Steve Benen said, "Seems like someone had his Wheaties this morning."  He keeps this up, and follows through with actual action, I might have to stop calling the man "Wet Reid."

Cons take note: it looks like you've pushed even amiable doormats beyond endurance.  And it could end up fucking them in the end, because Harry's had it, and he's got a plan:
Meeting with center-left journalists on the Hill today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) not only blamed Republicans' tactics for the chamber's difficulties, but vowed to consider changes in the next Congress.
In a speech before a gathering of progressive media, Reid compared the procedural games played by his Republican counterparts to the use of the spitball in a baseball game and the four-corner offense in basketball -- tactics in each sport that were ultimately outlawed.
"The filibuster has been abused. I believe that the Senate should be different than the House and will continue to be different than the House," Reid said. "But we're going to take a look at the filibuster. Next Congress, we're going to take a look at it. We are likely to have to make some changes in it, because the Republicans have abused that just like the spitball was abused in baseball and the four-corner offense was abused in basketball."
In terms of when we can expect to see changes, or even the possibility of changes, this year will likely offer very little. Reid noted consideration of changes in the "next Congress," which as Sam Stein noted, is a significant qualifier: "To change Senate rules in the middle of the session requires 67 votes, which Democrats clearly don't have. But changing the rules at the beginning of the 112th Congress will require the chair to declare the Senate is in a new session and can legally draft new rules. That ruling would be made by Vice President Joe Biden, who has spoken out against the current abuse of the filibuster. The ruling can be appealed, but that appeal can be defeated with a simple majority vote."
That would be lovely.

Harry, my dear: continue to give 'em hell.  It's refreshing.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

You know, I used to like Stars on Ice.  No more:
Glaad reports that sponsors have “refused to allow” American figure skater Johnny Weir to join the Stars on Ice Tour because they deemed him “not family friendly.” While Weir — a three-time national champion — has never “officially announced his sexual orientation, he has garnered a significant amount of LGBT fans” and is also known for his flashy costumes. Weir won an online poll that asked fans who they wanted to see in the tour, but Stars on Ice seems to have barred him because of his “perceived sexual orientation”:
To say that Weir is “not family friendly” would be a clear jab at his perceived sexual orientation. Weir is extremely involved with his family. He is putting his younger brother through college, and supports the family financially because his father’s disability prohibits him from working. Weir’s dedication to his family can be clearly documented in the Sundance series, Be Good Johnny Weir, which follows him and his family and friends through his life and career as a championship skater.
If he's not family-friendly, no one is, and they should just shut the show down.  Fuck it.  Fuck them.  This is total fucking bullshit, they know it, we know it, and I hope they suffer a backlash the likes of which they've never seen.

Should you wish to sign a petition regarding this dumbfuckery, you may do so here.

That's not all we've got in anti-gay animus news today.  Here's another something outrageous:
A Mississippi school district has canceled this year’s prom at Itawamba Agricultural High School after the Mississippi ACLU urged school officials to allow a lesbian couple to attend. Administrators turned down requests from 18-year-old Constance McMillen and her girlfriend, another student at the school, who planned on wearing a tuxedo. The school cited “distractions to the educational process caused by recent events” as reason for canceling the event, suggesting that “a private group host an independent prom instead.” McMillen, however, said the district’s decision was “retaliation” for speaking out:
“Oh, my God. That’s really messed up because the message they are sending is that if they have to let gay people go to prom that they are not going to have one,” she said. “A bunch of kids at school are really going to hate me for this, so in a way it’s really retaliation.”

School officials told McMillen last month that she could not bring her sophomore girlfriend to the prom and could not wear a tuxedo. The school then circulated a memo prohibiting same-sex dates.

I asked my teacher about it, and she said, ‘Well, you have to remember where you are,’” McMillen said.
Yes.  In fucking America.  Where, apparently, we have not achieved a level of civilization high enough to let non-hetero highschoolers attend proms.  So afraid of teh icky gay, in fact, that instead of letting same-sex couples slow dance, schools feel it appropriate to just cancel the whole fucking prom.

Is it just me, or has there been a rather sharp upswing in the bigoted intolerant fucktard quotient?  And why the fuck are we letting it happen? 

10 March, 2010

Stewart Pwns Thiessen

Mark Thiessen would be an embarrassment to conservative kind if they didn't already have an abundance of embarrassments.  But he went mano-a-mano with Jon Stewart last night, apparently under some illusion that all he had to do was spew the bullshit he considers wisdom, and all of us dirty fucking hippies would suddenly be swayed to his way of thinking.

Alas for him, Jon wiped the floor with him and then wrung him out:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Marc Thiessen Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

Steve Benen followed up with a little floor-wiping of his own:

The two covered a fair amount of ground, but there was something Thiessen said early on that stood out for me. In the process of defending the smear campaign against nine Justice Department attorneys, the speechwriter-turned-columnist insisted those attorneys who successfully challenged Bush administration detainee policies deserve to be attacked.
"Some of these people have very radical views. Jennifer Daskal is one of these lawyers who has been raised questions about. She has written that any terrorist who is not charged with a crime, even though they're being held as lawful combatants, should be released from Guantanamo and set free -- even though we know they may go out and kill American soldiers."
Thiessen was referring to Jennifer Daskal, an Obama-appointed Justice Department attorney, who worked on detainee issues at Human Rights Watch during the Bush/Cheney era. I can't say for certain if Thiessen characterized her writings accurately, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

Stewart responded by arguing that Daskal's position had been bolstered by Supreme Court rulings. But let's go one step further, and note that none other than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) articulated a position on national television that was identical to the Daskal position that Thiessen described on "The Daily Show." McCain said on "Meet the Press" in 2005:
"Now, I know that some of these guys [at Guantanamo] are terrible, terrible killers and the worst kind of scum of humanity. But, one, they deserve to have some adjudication of their cases. And there's a fear that if you release them that they'll go back and fight again against us. And that may have already happened. But balance that against what it's doing to our reputation throughout the world and whether it's enhancing recruiting for people to join al Qaeda and other organizations and want to do bad things to the United States of America.
"I think, on balance, the argument has got to be -- the weight of evidence has got to be that we've got to adjudicate these people's cases, and if it means releasing some of them, you'll have to release them... [E]ven Adolf Eichmann got a trial."
What's the difference between McCain's post-9/11 position and the one Thiessen ascribed to Jennifer Daskal? There isn't one.

As such, by Thiessen's logic, John McCain is a dangerous "radical," whose opinions on national security disqualify him from having a role in shaping government policy. 
Of course, that was pre-terminal insanity John McCain, but the point still stands.

I think the moral here is that, despite the occasional slip, Jon Stewart is not someone Con assclowns should be going up against.  He's just too brutal, and he's got far too many facts on his side.  Of course, I hope they never learn this lesson, because watching this torture-loving shitheel get his ass handed to him with emphasis made me a very happy woman indeed.

This clip should be circulated among the Sunday morning talk show hosts to show them how real journalism is done.