Friday, August 31, 2007

Iowa Gets First Gay Marriage!


Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan (see photo) made history today when they became the first gay couple to obtain a marriage license and get married in Iowa!

Tim McQuillan and Sean Fritz, both Iowa State University students, managed to complete the entire process — waiver, license and wedding — before Hanson again closed the door on same-sex nuptials in Iowa. . . It’s not clear whether their marriage will remain legally valid.

Some 20 same-sex marriage licenses were issued to gay couples in Iowa today before a stay took effect. No more licenses will be granted until an appeal is heard.

Flip-flopper Mitt Romney is frothing at the mouth about his deep desire for a Federal Marriage Amendment.

The National Review is calling gay marriage "the new front-burner issue in Iowa."

Stay or not, when this kind of victory for equality happens in a red state, you know there is something called progress going on.

Here's to the coming progressive era!

Photo: "Sean Fritz, left, and Tim McQuillan show their wedding license before getting married, Friday, Aug. 31, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa. The Ames, Iowa, couple was married a day after a judge threw out the state's ban on same-sex marriage."

Leno and Letterman Have Fun with Larry Craig (Video)


Scroll down for the videos of Jay Leno and David Letterman having fun with Sen. Larry Craig. [Update: See Lusty Larry's resignation speech.] CNN and the other news outlets have been reporting all day that Larry Craig will resign any minute now and that the pressure for his resignation is growing by the minute. Fox News reports: "The Republican National Committee has warned Sen. Larry Craig privately that if he does not resign, the party will not provide him financial support in the upcoming election and it will recruit a Republican opponent to run against him."

But Larry Craig's office says "the senator plans to return to work .. next week."

So, the jokes continue . .

Jay Leno on Larry Craig:

David Letterman’s Larry Craig Ad:

Fred Thompson to Announce on Sept. 6 - Unless He Changes His Mind


Ladies and Gentlemen -- After three nearly six months of hype and nonsense -- we have a date! Freddy Thompson has announced that he will announce his candidacy on September 6th.

As the Economist says, "So much for an actor's sense of timing."

But what a coincidence. The Republican abortion rights lobbyist will announce just one day too late to participate in the Fox debate.

I guess Freddy's not ready.

And Nashville can forget about watching the former Tennessee senator announce at the Ryman Auditorium. Lawrenceburg can forget it too.

Freddy will do it on the internet -- unless he changes his mind.

And get this, Thompson will appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on the very same night as the Fox debate. Can you blame him? Ole' Fred gets to sit down on the Tonight Show. As to trying to steal some thunder from the Fox debate, that's just Freddy's style.

Hmmm, so maybe flip-flopping Freddy will really announce on the 5th?

Fred Thompson announces his latest announcement
Fred Thompson's Endless Summer

Gay Marriage Ruled Legal in Iowa


In a brave blow for equality, an Iowa judge has struck down the state's oppressive same-sex marriage ban.

My new hero, Judge Robert Hanson ruled that the denial of marriage rights to gays and lesbians is a violation of the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.

We have constitutional rights in this country?

The judge said the state law banning same-sex marriage must be nullified, severed and stricken from the books and the marriage laws "must be read and applied in a gender neutral manner so as to permit same-sex couples to enter into a civil marriage..."

The case will be appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court, which could refer it to the Iowa Court of Appeals, consider the case itself or decide not to hear the case.


Less than two hours after the story hit the press, "two Des Moines men applied at the Polk County recorder's office for a marriage license, and for the first time the application was accepted." (It takes 3 days to get the license.)

Gary Allen Seronko, 51, was listed as the groom and David Curtis Rethmeier, 29, the bride on the application. "I started to cry because we so badly want to be able to be protected if something happens to one of us," Rethmeier said.

Iowa is expecting a veritable flood of applications beginning at 7am today. It may be a tsunami.

Of course the defenders of discrimination intend to seek a stay. And if it is granted, there will be no same-sex marriage licenses issued until an appeal is heard. And if it is not granted . . .

The Advocate reports: Camilla Taylor and Kenneth Upton Jr., senior staff attorneys with Lambda Legal, argued for the plaintiffs alongside Dennis Johnson, a Des Moines attorney. Taylor said that the decision will hold up in the higher courts because Iowa has a track record of supporting equal treatment and due process under the law.

Mitt Romney is already whining.

Men’s Room Chronicles


By GAIL COLLINS

It is time for Republicans to start asking themselves whether there’s something about ceremonial leadership positions that causes their colleagues to collapse under stress.

Larry Craig was co-chair of the U.S. Senate Mitt Romney for President campaign until the recent unpleasantness caused him to resign. Senator David Vitter, the Southern regional chair of Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign, got caught with his name on the D.C. Madam’s rolodex. The state representative who was titular head of John McCain for President in Florida was charged with soliciting sex in the men’s room of a public park. And then there was the South Carolina state treasurer who was chairman of his state’s Giuliani chapter until he got indicted on a drug charge.

Does lending one’s name to a Republican presidential campaign create an irresistible impulse to misbehave? Or is this the sort of job people only undertake when they feel a secret need to do penance? . . .

The Republicans, however, are not in the mood to have a thoughtful discussion about how much the demonization of homosexuality tortures God-fearing conservatives who find their sexual impulses at war with the party line.

Read more . . .

Katrina All the Time


by Paul Krugman

Two years ago today, Americans watched in horror as a great city drowned, and wondered what had happened to their country. Where was FEMA? Where was the National Guard? Why wasn’t the government of the world’s richest, most powerful nation coming to the aid of its own citizens?

What we mostly saw on TV was the nightmarish scene at the Superdome, but things were even worse at the New Orleans convention center, where thousands were stranded without food or water. The levees were breached Monday morning — but as late as Thursday evening, The Washington Post reported, the convention center “still had no visible government presence,” while “corpses lay out in the open among wailing babies and other refugees.”

. . . Future historians will, without doubt, see Katrina as a turning point. The question is whether it will be seen as the moment when America remembered the importance of good government, or the moment when neglect and obliviousness to the needs of others became the new American way.

Read more . . .

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Arrest Audio of Sen. Craig's Bathroom Bust


Below is a link to the newly released audio recording of Sen. Larry Craig's (R) arrest by Sgt. Dave Karsnia (see photo) of the Minneapolis Police Department. Is this story ever going away? The anti gay Republican Party wants to know.

So sorry homophobes -- but try really hard to just get used to it cuz this is called the law of karma.

"You said our feet bumped. I believe they did," Craig is heard to say."The Next thing I knew, under the bathroom divider comes a card that says 'Police."

"You are sitting here lying to a police officer," Karsnia responds on the tape. "People vote for you. Unbelievable."


Listen to audio recording of Sen. Larry Craig's arrest via a video from MSNBC's News Live at Raw Story.

And here's a little GOP damning excerpt from an editorial in the neoconservative Washington Post:

Mr. Craig's Secret

"Once again, the party that embraces a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and blocks laws that would stop discrimination against homosexuals finds itself with a loyal foot soldier who votes one way and allegedly acts another. Mr. Craig voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. He voted for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in 2004. Last year, he supported an Idaho constitutional amendment that prohibits gay marriage and civil unions. Mr. Craig is yet another willing accomplice in the machinery of intolerance that has stunted the lives of many gay men and lesbians. Maybe even his own."

In other words, when oh when will the self-loathing Republican Party do us all a favor and slink off and just die?

Photo of the arresting officer found at Mike Rogers' BlogActive.

Lusty Larry Craig: Tap Three Times With Your Loafer if You Want Me (Video)

Toilet-trolling Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho)
Here's Lusty Larry -- or Sen. Craig's sexcapades set to music! Hilarious! Rightwing holier than thou anti gay hypocrites are too good for something. The whole country is laughing -- laughing at Sen. Larry Craig and the sex-scandal plagued Republican Party. Scroll down for some Lusty Larry Links.

Lusty Larry Links:

Senator Craig is a hypocritical bigot. But if the US wasn't so homophobic, maybe he wouldn't need to be.
WaPo: Tapping Into The Secrets Of the Stall
Think Progress: Conservative ‘Homophobic Hypocrisy’ In Craig Scandal
Dkos: Craig vs. Vitter: Hypocrisy and Politics
YouTube MSNBC's KO: Larry Craig - Dragnet Blues
NY Times: Idaho Senator Loses Committee Leadership Posts

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Michele Malkin: With Cronies Like These, Who Needs Enemies? (Video)

Fox commentator Michele Malkin blasts the Bush Administration for rampant cronyism and profiles some of the incompetent cronies in charge of wrecking the nation. Poor Bush. Even the rightwingers are fed up. What next? Criticism from Laura and Barney?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Larry Craig Speaks of 'Naughty & Nasty & Bad Bad Boys' (Video)

Or, Larry Craig Lusting After Bill Clinton . .

For someone who is NOT GAY, Republican Senator Larry Craig sure has a fascination with naughty and nasty and bad bad boys! Who talks like this? Er, who talks like this on Meet the Press?? This is just weird.

Sen. Larry "Not Gay" Craig Stonewalls (Video)


Here they are -- Larry Craig's mugshots. We've seen better looking gay men. But Senator Craig (R) only pled guilty to being gay in a men's room because the mean old Idaho Statesman was harassing him about appearing to be gay.

Who knew they had gay obsessed newspapers in Idaho?

And if you don't believe it's all the Idaho Statesman's fault, watch the video, in which Sen. Larry Craig (R) denies everything, and no one, with the possible exception of his wife and his paid staff, believes him. Sean Hannity is calling for Larry Craig's head, aka his resignation, unless Craig is found innocent (but he already pled guilty). Republican Senators (they are also not gay) are calling for an investigation.

Says Craig: I am not gay . . I never have been gay . . I love my wife . . . I am not gay.

Any resemblance Craig may have to a gay man is all due to the vicious "witchhunt" by the Idaho Statesman, a newspaper that apparently has undercover cops involved in its vast decades-long conspiracy to paint Larry Craig as a self-loathing gay man.

The Idaho Statesman investigated the rumors that Craig is a closeted hypocritical gay man:

The most serious finding by the Statesman was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials. The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004. The Statesman also spoke with a man who said Craig made a sexual advance toward him at the University of Idaho in 1967 and a man who said Craig "cruised" him for sex in 1994 at the REI store in Boise.

The Idaho Statesman has lots of interesting links to stories, transcripts, and audios on the many tales suggesting that Larry Craig is too gay.

Focus on the Family Targets Lamar Alexander (R-TN)


And the War on Gays Continues

Speaking of homophobes, David Fowler, of Family Action Of Tennessee, is sending out emails urging folks to contact Lamar Alexander and insist that he vote against the Hate Crimes Bill.

This is part of the larger campaign against the Hate Crimes Bill by the radical Focus on the Family group. Family Action Of Tennessee is one of numerous state-based Focus on the Family affiliates, so it does whatever the radical Colorado-based national Focus on the Family group orders.

Last month, the national Family Research Council conducted an automated phone call campaign designed to whip up a little homophobic frenzy in Tennessee and persuade Senator Alexander to bow to the will of the homophobes. At that time, Nashville households were on the receiving end of the hate inspired "robo-calls."

Alexander is currently undecided about his position on the Hate Crimes Bill. He voted for a similar bill in 2004.

Similar rightwing campaigns are being conducted in Virginia, Minnesota, Louisiana and Arkansas. All are aimed at lawmakers who are up for re-election in 2008.

Contact Lamar Alexander!

Rep. Barney Frank on Sen. Larry Craig & Other GOP Hypocrites (Real Time Video)

Bill Maher and Rep. Barney Frank (D) discuss allegedly gay Republican Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and other hypocritical Republicans on HBO's Real Time. The show aired shortly after Mike Rogers outed Sen. Craig as a gay Republican who works against the interests of gays (October 2006, 5 mins.). Sen. Craig was recently busted in an airport sex sting. The Republican was arrested for being "lewd" in a men's bathroom.


And at YouTube see Larry Craig's preemptive denial of involvement in the 1982 congressional sex and drug scandal.

Holding Kids Hostage


By BOB HERBERT

The governors of New York and New Jersey were upset and not trying to hide it.

“We had zero forewarning,” said New Jersey’s Jon Corzine. “It was sprung at 7:30 on a Friday night in the middle of August, the time when it would draw the least fire.”

He was talking about the Bush administration’s latest effort to thwart the expansion of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program. Governors in several states are trying to include more youngsters from the lower rungs of the middle class and have vowed to fight the president on this issue.

Acting during a Congressional recess, and making a distinct effort to stay beneath the radar of the news media, the administration enacted insidious new rules that make it much harder for states to bring additional children under the umbrella of the program, known colloquially as CHIP.

Read more. . .

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sen. Larry Craig (R) Arrested for Being Lewd in a Men's Bathroom


Move over Mark Foley! Remember the alleged gay Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho)? Last October, Larry Craig was 'outed' by Mike Rogers, the gay activist and blogger at BlogActive, as a closeted gay Republican who works against the interests of the gay community.

Larry Craig has now joined the club of Republican lawmakers caught being lewd in a men's bathroom. And, yeah, Craig faces a reelection bid in 2008.

Roll Call reports on the escapades of Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), our latest exposed lewd Republican:

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men's public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon.

Craig's arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation with the court that began on Aug. 8. [via Real Clear Politics]

But it was all a terrible misunderstanding: "Because Larry Craig was under the impression that the other gentleman wanted to have anonymous sex with him in an airport bathroom."

Is Our Beauty Pageant Contestants Learning? (Video)

Miss Teen USA contestant Lauren Caitlin Upton from South Carolina answers a question about America's education problem and -- as Gawker notes -- proves that she is every bit as smart as George W. Bush. Fortunately, she did not win (cause they don't cheat in beauty pageants?).


Fred Thompson to Announce by Video


Non candidate Fred Thompson has changed his mind again. Indecisive Freddy has now 'decided' to take Newt Gingrich's advice and make his announcement by video, reports Bob Novak.

But don't hold your breath.

Previously, Lazy Fred was going to announce in early July, or . . . in late July, or on September 3rd, or on September 5th at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, or in his hometown of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.

Folks in the very small town of Lawrenceburg are convinced that Thompson will make his announcement there, and so the very small town is spending a small fortune to get ready for Freddy, just in case.

One big advantage of announcing via YouTube is that you can take lots of breaks until you get it right, and, of course, you can announce in Lazy Fred's preferred position: sitting down.

"[P]ut [Fred Thompson] on stage with any of the Democratic candidates, and I think he will look like a vaccum cleaner salesman trying to get you to commit to buying an Electrolux." -- Carole Borges

Update: More Non Campaign Staff Trouble for Thompson

Gonzales Quits - At Long Last


This morning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales gave in to calls for his resignation, at long last.

Mr. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation for months, submitted his to President Bush by telephone on Friday, a senior administration official said.

As John Edwards said, "Better late than never."

Bush is expected to speak, or sulk and snarl, about the matter this morning. Update: The Decider said it is sad that his good and loyal friend Gonzales was forced to resign because his good name has been dragged through the mud and because he has been treated unfairly.

Meanwhile in the reality based world, Gonzales long ago lost credibility with both liberals and conservatives. As the editorial board of the conservative National Review puts it:

"We have never seen evidence that [Alberto Gonzales] has a fine legal mind, good judgment, or managerial ability. Nor has his conduct at any stage of this controversy gained our confidence."

A Socialist Plot


By PAUL KRUGMAN

Suppose, for a moment, that the Heritage Foundation were to put out a press release attacking the liberal view that even children whose parents could afford to send them to private school should be entitled to free government-run education.

They’d have a point: many American families with middle-class incomes do send their kids to school at public expense, so taxpayers without school-age children subsidize families that do. And the effect is to displace the private sector: if public schools weren’t available, many families would pay for private schools instead.

So let’s end this un-American system and make education what it should be — a matter of individual responsibility and private enterprise. Oh, and we shouldn’t have any government mandates that force children to get educated, either. As a Republican presidential candidate might say, the future of America’s education system lies in free-market solutions, not socialist models.

O.K., in case you’re wondering, I haven’t lost my mind, I’m drawing an analogy. The real Heritage press release, titled “The Middle-Class Welfare Kid Next Door,” is an attack on proposals to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Such an expansion, says Heritage, will “displace private insurance with government-sponsored health care coverage.”

And Rudy Giuliani’s call for “free-market solutions, not socialist models” was about health care, not education.

Read more . . .

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Little Herstory: 'When Will the Republican Party Stop Blocking Suffrage?'


Goddess, I love the women from the National Woman's Party. It's true that the Democratic Party was also unwilling to share citizenship rights with women, but considering the times we live in, or the nature of today's GOP, this photo is nothing if not timely. But as Bush would say, oh, well, give it another thousand years or so, and then somebody will love the Republicans. Unless they blow up the planet in the meantime.

National Woman's Party members picketing the Republican convention, Chicago, June 1920. L-R Abby Scott Baker, Florence Taylor Marsh, Sue White, Elsie Hill, Betty Gram.

Photograph of women holding banners outside in front of stores. Banners read "Tennessee," "Connecticut," and "We protest against the continued disfranchisement of women for which the Republican party is now responsible. The Republican party defeated ratification in Delaware. The Republican party is blocking ratification in Vermont. The Republican party is blocking ratification in Connecticut.

When will the Republican party stop blocking suffrage?"


Abby Scott Baker, Betty Gram, Elsie M. Hill, and Sue Shelton White all spent time in jail for their participation in NWP activism. White, of Jackson, Tenn., was state chairman of the NWP and one of the editors of The Suffragist. She was a court and convention reporter for ten years and in 1918 was appointed by the Governor of Tennessee to the State Commission for the Blind. She was active with the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Daughters of the American Revolution, as well as the Federation of Women's Clubs and the Parent Teachers' Association. She was arrested Feb. 9, 1919, and served five days in District Jail for participating in watchfire demonstration. She soon after participated in the NWP's "Prison Special" tour of the United States. Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), 370.

Happy Women's Equality Day!

National Women's History Project:

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971 --
Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.

Women's Equality Day Quiz (answers in comments):

How many other countries had already guaranteed women's right to vote before the campaign was won in the United States?

a. 6
b. 2
c. 1
d. 16

What was the first country that granted women the right to vote?

a. Canada
b. Germany
c. New Zealand
d. United Kingdom

Iraq War Protest in Sewanee Tennessee -- 9/21/07


Folks in Sewanee, Tennessee join countless others across the nation in the Iraq Moratorium initiative.

Demonstrations against Bush's immoral war are held on the 3rd Friday of each month. If you're in the area, you can join the protest in Sewanee on September 21.

Otherwise, consider organizing a demonstration in your own area.

You can sign up at www.IraqMoratorium.org.

Email me if you'd like some help spreading the news, or email me if you have photos to share. [egalia-at-earthlink-dot-net]

These photos are from the August demonstration in Sewanee, Tennessee -- where 48 folks made their point in 95 degree heat. Demonstrators included, "Veterans for Peace; professors of theology, theatre, French; lawyers; a priest; a mortgage broker; writers; an herbalist; candidates for public office; activist women and children; retired veterans of the VietNam protest years; and of course the End Iraq Occupation Committee of Sewanee's Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace."

Read more at dkos.



Justice Kennedy Wins Patriarch of the Year Award


Today is Equality Day, and in recognition of the anniversary of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, Ellen Goodman has once again released the annual Equal Rites Awards - "to those who have labored over the last 12 months to set back the cause of women."

And the Patriarch of the Year Prize goes to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy for his daddy knows best efforts to protect women by limiting our right to choose.

Justice Anthony Kennedy's "opinion restricting abortions rested on the retro notion that women needed to be protected from 'regret,' 'grief,' and 'sorrow,' even if it meant protecting them from their rights. We send the paternalistic justice a hook to bring him back to the 21st century."

More Equal Rites Awards to chauvinist pigs of the year. . .

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fox News Trashes Fred Thompson, Again


I realize that the boys at Fox News have chosen Rudy Giuliani as the best strict daddy candidate of them all, but must they keep on trashing poor ole' Fred Thompson?

Exhibit C or highlights from a recent Special Report with Brit Hume:

Brit Hume: We’ve been getting a further sample of Senator Thompson and his uh, and his uh, and his wares. How’s this going?

Jeff Birnbaum: . . . Even though he’s a practiced actor, he didn’t seem to have rehearsed very much for his speech. He isn’t much of a player in a lot of the serious, substantive debates that are going on. . .

Brit Hume: In other words, he had no articulated position?

Jeff Birnbaum: Nothing to say and has been shooting at people like Rudy Giuliani over his anti, uh his gun control position which Thompson complained was too much anti-gun. . .

Charles Krauthammer: You know this could be a first. The Thompson campaign is going negative before it even begins. (Laughing from panel.) I don’t know if it’s ever happened, but it’s historic. Look, he’s a good guy; he’s a nice guy but he was in the Senate for a while, and I don’t think he’s left many traces. He’s an actor who is popular, accomplished in other ways, and uh, has had a boomlet. I think the boomlet was…. is ….

Brit Hume: Peaked?

Charles Krauthammer: May have been spent.

Elsewhere Crooks and Liars reports that Holly Bailey of Newsweek says that ole' Fred could face 10-15% in fines for campaigning while being a non candidate. Fox News and the FEC too? Poor ole' Fred.

Fox News Hates Fred Thompson -- Exhibit A & B:
Fred Thompson Acts Lazy and Wears Gucci Loafers at Iowa Fair (Sez Fox Video)
Fox News: Fred Thompson Bombs at Veterans Convention (Video)

The Constitution Says Nothing About teh Precious Penis

Speaking of protecting 'teh precious penis,' did you know that the Constitution does not include a right to sexual privacy? That and Lorena Bobbitt's timeless protest against the Sacred Penis of the Patriarchy brings us back to the beloved Molly Ivins and the Dildo Diaries.


[Ten minutes, and worth it.]

via Feministe and A Bird and A Bottle.

Lorena Bobbitt Gets Around


MOSCOW (Reuters): - A woman set fire to her ex-husband's penis as he sat naked watching television and drinking vodka, Moscow police said on Wednesday. . .

The attack climaxed three years of acrimonious enforced co-habitation. The couple divorced three years ago but continued to share a small flat, something common in Russia where property costs are very high.

"It was monstrously painful," the wounded ex-husband told Tvoi Den newspaper. "I was burning like a torch. I don't know what I did to deserve this."

United Press International:

The woman said she was fed up with the man watching pornography and having affairs.

He had a fractured foot from a car accident and asked the woman to bring home a bottle of vodka, which he drank in front of the television. When he fell asleep, the woman told police she tried torching his whole body but the alcohol evaporated too quickly.

She then made a torch out of a newspaper, splashed his groin with alcohol and lit it, Korolyova said. "His sex organs took the heaviest blow," an unidentified nurse told the newspaper.

The Crone Speaks has more in Penile Problems.

Fox News Loses, Netroots Wins


The Fox Opinion Channel has admitted defeat and called off the Sept. 23 Democratic presidential debate because nobody would come.

John Edwards was the first to decline. Obama and Clinton soon followed his lead. The biased GOP led affair was to be held at the Fox Theater in Detroit.

Skippy reminds us that this is yet another win for blogtopia since it was the netroots that pressured the Democrats to come to their senses and stay away from the Decider's channel. Earlier this year, a Fox sponsored Democratic debate in Nevada was also cancelled due to pressure from the netroots.

The proposed debate was co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus. Unfortunately, the CBC was polite to the bitter end, citing scheduling conflicts as an excuse for its withdrawal rather than the sheer absurdity of letting the "biased, racist GOP propaganda newschannel" be in charge of anything calling itself Democratic.

Seeking Willie Horton


Republicans
by Paul Krugman

The people who run the G.O.P. are concerned, above all, with making America safe for the rich.

So now Mitt Romney is trying to Willie Hortonize Rudy Giuliani. And thereby hangs a tale — the tale, in fact, of American politics past and future, and the ultimate reason Karl Rove’s vision of a permanent Republican majority was a foolish fantasy.

Willie Horton, for those who don’t remember the 1988 election, was a convict from Massachusetts who committed armed robbery and rape after being released from prison on a weekend furlough program. He was made famous by an attack ad, featuring a menacing mugshot, that played into racial fears. Many believe that the ad played an important role in George H.W. Bush’s victory over Michael Dukakis.

Now some Republicans are trying to make similar use of the recent murder of three college students in Newark, a crime in which two of the suspects are Hispanic illegal immigrants. Tom Tancredo flew into Newark to accuse the city’s leaders of inviting the crime by failing to enforce immigration laws, while Newt Gingrich declared that the “war here at home” against illegal immigrants is “even more deadly than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

And Mr. Romney, who pretends to be whatever he thinks the G.O.P. base wants him to be, is running a radio ad denouncing New York as a “sanctuary city” for illegal immigrants, an implicit attack on Mr. Giuliani. . .

Read more. . .

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bush is Imploding


Is the pResident Imploding? The New Statesman asks the question on the cover of its latest issue, and then proceeds to answer the question with a very emphatic, YES!

His aides are jumping ship, his inner circle is torn apart by feuds and his orders are being ignored. Bush has 17 months left in the White House, but he is now a rudderless leader. . .

[I]n Texas, America's president is furiously biking away while Iraq and Afghanistan burn.

Tennessee's Bush Dog Democrats



On the little project of cleaning up the Democratic Party, Matt Stoller has a list of Bush Dog Democrats posted over at dkos. (This is a project of OpenLeft.)

Obviously, Bush Dog Democrats are those who betray the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party by voting with Bush on the most crucial issues.

Naturally, Tennessee has its fair share of Bush Dog Democrats:

Lincoln Davis, TN-04
John Tanner, TN-08
Bart Gordon, TN-06
Jim Cooper, TN-05

Matt is asking for volunteers to write up profiles on the Bush Dog Democrats in order to better defeat them. If you'd like to volunteer, head on over there.

CQ (pdf) has the latest (6/30/07) cash-on-hand figures for these DINOs:

Tennessee 4 Lincoln Davis Democratic $84,376
Tennessee 8 John Tanner Democratic $1,004,426
Tennessee 6 Bart Gordon Democratic $746,692
Tennessee 5 Jim Cooper Democratic $74,136
[via Political Wire]

Hat tip to the Volunteer Voter

IRAQ LIKE VIETNAM... BUSH'S NEW TALKING POINT AS 14 AMERICANS DIE



How's that for a nuanced ABC News Headline?

My thanks to Ace over at the rightwing Ace of Spades HQ for capturing it. For some reason Ace doesn't appreciate what he calls the "nuance" of it, prefering to view the absolutely spot on headline as "unhinged partisanship."

Go figure.

IRAQ LIKE VIETNAM... BUSH'S NEW TALKING POINT AS 14 AMERICANS DIE

Chávez’s Clocks: The Great Clock Plot


By GAIL COLLINS

This week, The Times reported that President Hugo Chávez is planning to move Venezuela’s clocks ahead by half an hour. The story created one of those wonderful moments of newspaper community, as readers around the nation suddenly shared an identical thought:

Say what?

Chávez unveiled his plans on his regular Sunday television show, in what several other news reports referred to as a “rambling” address. Reaction was swift, with many people recalling the scene in Woody Allen’s “Bananas” when a revolutionary hero becomes president of a Latin American country and announces that from now on, “underwear will be worn on the outside.”

The other popular comment was that Americans are in no position to make fun of countries whose leaders make incoherent speeches.

Read more . .

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pink Punishment

If you're a really bad man in a South Carolina prison, they'll make you wear pink. Because there's something worse than being in prison, and it's being a 'sissy' -- according to South Carolina prisons director Jon Ozmint.

Sissy: 1) A girl. 2) A sister. 3) A boy or man regarded as effeminate. 4) A person regarded as timid or cowardly. 5) A fag.

As Ozmint clearly knows, being called 'a girl' is the worst insult a manly man can receive. Some manly men on the receiving end of this 'insult' like to turn around and get their kicks by calling women girls.

If you aren't a sexist or homophobic prick when you enter a South Carolina prison, the chances are great that you'll be one by the time you get out. South Carolina might want to get a jump start and implement its 'sexist prick indoctrination' in the public schools.

Ironically, a recent study finds that women prefer "effeminate guys" for long term relationships. Something tells me that prisons director Jon Ozmint is not the kind of man that most women prefer.

Ozmint is a hunter, a Baptist Church Deacon and, yes, Ozmint is a manly Republican. All that and a sexist prick too!

The Guardian:

South Carolina's prisons director on Tuesday defended a policy of punishing inmates who perform sex acts by dressing them in pink, despite a lawsuit claiming the rule subjects prisoners to ridicule.

State Corrections Department John (sic) Ozmint said the two-year-old punishment deters inmates and protects female officers. His agency has asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

``We don't believe the United States Constitution protects an inmate's right to publicly gratify himself,'' Ozmint said. ``We're hopeful federal courts won't look into our Constitution and create such a right.''

via Feministing

Ten Hours In Iraq and Sens. Corker And Alexander See Success!



Tennessee's Chickenhawk Iraq War experts, Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker spent ten whole hours on the ground in Iraq and came back to spread the good news: We're winning! we're winning!

But since Lorena Bobbitt's favorite senator, David Vitter accompanied the Tennessee Republican duo, I'm thinking maybe the guys were, um, a wee bit distracted?

Think Progress:

Returning from a trip to Iraq, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) “gave an upbeat report on progress in Iraq” to reporters this morning, saying they saw “clear success, province by province“:

Alexander said a strategy devised by Petraeus to work with local leaders and win them over to the U.S. cause has shown “clear success, province by province.”

“There are probably seven provinces where enough progress has been made to involve Iraqis in their own security,” claimed Alexander during the call with reporters.

Seven provinces? These guys must have been traveling at the speed of light, at least when they weren't stuffing their faces:

The senators had lunch with a number of Tennessee soldiers, Marines and airmen in the Green Zone and later flew by helicopter outside the Green Zone to the U.S. Combat Outpost (COP) near Taji, where they were able to see a street-level view of life for Iraqi citizens. . . They had dinner at the Outpost with 70 U.S. soldiers and four Iraqi sheiks who are working with the U.S. military to help secure their villages.

Fox News: Fred Thompson Bombs at Veterans Convention (Video)

I'm still reeling from the negative coverage Fox News gave Fred Thompson at the Iowa State Fair. And here's yet more unflattering Fox News coverage of Thompson at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention. I don't get it. Why does Fox News hate Fred Thompson?


Canadians Tell Bush to Go Home

Go Home Bush! (19 sec)

"Upwards of 1,500 protesters from Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, and Hamilton marched on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday to protest the arrival of U.S. President George W. Bush."

Gawker Mocks Rep. Stacey 'X' Campfield


Tennessee's attention-whore lawmaker is getting some again. Gawker has picked up the crazed Republican lawmaker's blog post that we wrote about a few days ago.

That was the post where Rep. Stacey Campfield (R) proposed that Michael Vick should have held some fetus fights instead of dog fights. Some lawmakers actually pass bills for a living, while Stacey X gets paid by tax-payers for being a certifiable moron.

As they say over at Gawker:

"Fetus deathmatches? Extract and dilate the cash from our wallets for season tickets, please. And put our money on the second-trimester gladiators; everyone knows they fight the dirtiest."

Gawker: Michael Vick Should Have Killed Him Some Babies

Hat tip to Music City Bloggers and KnoxViews

Previous TGW post: Rep. Campfield (R): Vick's Crime Pales Beside Abortion

Welcome Jesus' General Readers

And if you didn't get here from the esteemed General's blog, you should check out his letter to George "Macaca" Allen congratulating the racist for his presumed gubernatorial run.

Feminist Herstory Video (Equality Day is August 26!)

Women’s Equality Day, August 26th, is the day designated to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment -- also known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment -- to the Constitution. And that's my excuse for posting this little video celebrating herstory!

"Sisters in the Revolution showcased here include: Mary Wollstonecraft, godmother of feminism; Victoria Woodhull; Sojourner Truth; Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Susan B. Anthony; the British suffragist movement, including Mary Pankhurst; the American suffragists movement, including Alice Paul (like the British women, tortured in prison for her beliefs); the women of World War II who ran the country while the men fought; William Moulton Marston's paragon of progress for humanity, Wonder Woman; Rosa Parks, the modern catalyst; Betty Friedan; Yoko Ono, conceptual artist and first Rock'n'Roll feminist (hence the haters); Germaine Greer; Kate Millet; the grand Gloria Steinem; Shirley Chisolm, the first woman to run for President; Angela Davis of the Black Panthers; Vivienne Westwood, co-instigator of the Sex Pistols and Punk fashion; Linder (Sterling), Punk artist and musician; Judy Chicago; the E.R.A.; Jenny Holzer; Barbara Kruger; the best journalist in America, Pulitzer Prize winner Susan Faludi; Dr. Anita Hill; Kathleen Hanna, instigator of Riot Grrrls, and leader of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre; The Guerilla Girls, saving Art from stupidity; and the brave women of the world who stand up against the slaver's mindset." (Found at the YouTube site, see link below.)

"About Sweet Linda Divine: As part of the San Francisco rock scene of the late 1960's, Linda Tillery was the powerhouse voice for the soulful rock group, the Loading Zone."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

War’s Chilling Reality


Real Iraq War
By BOB HERBERT

Bryan Anderson, a 25-year-old Army sergeant who was wounded in Iraq, was explaining, on camera — to James Gandolfini, of all people — what happened immediately after a roadside bomb blew up the Humvee that he was driving.

“I was like, ‘Oh, we got hit. We got hit.’ And then I had blood on my face and the flies were landing all over my face. So I wiped my face to get rid of the flies. And that is when I noticed that my fingertip was gone. So I was like, ‘Oh. O.K.’

“So that is when I started really assessing myself. I was like, ‘That’s not bad.’ And then I turned my hand over, and I noticed that this chunk of my hand was gone. So I was like, ‘O.K., still not bad. I can live with that.’

“And then when I went to wipe the flies on my face with my left hand, there was nothing there. So I was like, ‘Uh, that’s gone.’ And then I looked down and I saw that my legs were gone. And then they had kind of forced my head back down to the ground, hoping that I wouldn’t see.”

HBO’s contribution to an expanded awareness of the awful realities of war continues with a new documentary, “Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq.”

Read more. . .