Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scary Republicans: Happy Halloween! (Video)

This is pretty scary stuff. Happy Halloween!

The Scariest Republican

via - Vote for the scariest Republican here.

Biden: Rudy Giuliani is the Most Under Qualified Man Since George Bush (Video)

Senator Joe Biden had the best line of the night at the Philadelphia Democratic Presidential Debate: 'Rudy Giuliani, probably the most under-qualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency. . . Rudy Giuliani! I mean think about it! There's only three things he mentions in a sentence, a noun, a verb, and 9/11. There's nothing else. . . He is genuinely not qualified to be president.'

Joe Biden: Rudy Giuliani's Three Words

The debate was barely over before the Rudy Giuliani camp fired off a snarky attack in retalliation. Joe Biden wasted no time in responding:

"We are well aware that former Mayor Giuliani will attempt to drag this race into the mud where the Republicans like to wage their campaigns. It’s pretty obvious that they can’t defend themselves on the real charge that Mr. Giuliani walked away from the cops and firefighters who were waiting for the 9/11 Commission to be enacted and the Biden crime bill to be restored."

Debate: All Guns Fire at Hillary (Video)

Democrats opened fire on Hillary at the Philadelphia Democratic debate last night. Just as the recent Republican debate was all about Hillary, so too was this Democratic debate.

As Senator Clinton's rivals accused her of "double-speak", she stumbled and seemed to prove it true in her response to the query about New York Governor Spitzer's plan to give drivers' licenses to undocumented immigrants. Rightwingers and the media will be talking about this for days. Somehow I doubt that it will hurt her. She may have stumbled, but she did not lose her cool. Hillary appears to be invincible.

Hillary at the Philadelphia Democratic Presidential Debate

It was John Edwards who took the lead in the attacks. He said: "Voters deserve a president of the United States that they know will tell them the truth, and won't say one thing one time and something different at a different time."

Edwards hammered Hillary: "on her war stance, her decision to take campaign contributions from lobbyists and her recent vote on a Senate resolution that branded Iran's Republican Guard army as a foreign terrorist organization."

As promised, Obama was also in attack mode, but compared to Edwards, he was pretty damn lame, or nice about it. I wonder if any of the men would have performed as well as Hillary did in the face of such withering criticism. I doubt it. (Biden would definitely have lost his temper!) I can't think of anyone more practiced at the art of withstanding this sort of blistering attack than Hillary Clinton.

BTW - Edwards has picked up the New Hampshire SEIU endorsement. Despite Hillary's air of invincibility, John Edwards is not out yet!

Related Post: Gov. Spitzer Blasts Lou Dobbs and Et tu CNN

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

All Eyes on Obama at Philadelphia Debate

All eyes will be on Barack Obama tonight at the Democratic presidential debate on the campus of Drexel University in Philadelphia. Obama has finally responded to liberal criticism of his campaign by vowing that he will now go on the offensive, or begin to "confront Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton more directly and forcefully."

With characteristic nonchalance, the Hillary campaign responds:

"It’s unfortunate that Senators Obama and Edwards have decided to revive their campaigns by abandoning the politics of hope. But Senator Clinton isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary to get ready for this debate." via

There's also the very grim fact that Obama has had a rough week, and he has lost the support of many progressives. Yep, running a campaign that bashes gays in order to win votes from homophobes will lose progressive votes everytime!

See: The Audacity of Homophobia and Obama issues 3-page memo defending gay-basher spokesman, explaining that McClurkin has no problem with "happy" gays.

Democratic hopefuls sure to target Clinton
Hillary launches preemptive debate strike
Will He??? Or Won't He??? — Obama's Hamlet act continues.

Gov. Spitzer Blasts Lou Dobbs and Et tu CNN

Quote of the Day

"Look, I’m not going to demean myself by getting into a back and forth with somebody who on TV spews venom, hate and fundamental misinformation. . . As I said, it’s beneath me, it’s beneath my office, to, in any way, involve myself with Lou Dobbs. And I think his knowing spread of venom is beneath CNN as well."

-- New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, on American Morning

Ever since Governor Spitzer proposed a plan to give drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants, the ever-furious and always-enraged Lou Dobbs has been directing his nightly blood-vessel-bursting tirades at the New York Governor:

Dobbs has made Spitzer an almost daily target over his recent plan to ease restrictions on illegal immigrants seeking New York state driver's licenses, mixing vitriol with sarcasm while endlessly lambasting the governor's decision.

"What he's doing is an outrageous, arrogant abuse of power," Dobbs said in an interview before a recent show. "He's pandering to a constituency aligned directly against the interests of U.S. and New York state citizens."

Dobbs' ire boiled over Tuesday night when he ripped Spitzer as an idiot — and then offered an on-air mea culpa.

"I'm the idiot," Dobbs said. "Governor, I apologize for calling you one. Your policies are idiotic. But I have to apologize for calling you an idiot."

…..And sure enough, 24 hours after his "idiot" apology, Dobbs was again taking shots at Spitzer. "This governor is irresponsible," Dobbs told his audience. "It's clear arrogance. ... He has declared himself to be what people hoped he would not be — and that is an arrogant tool of special interests."

The "Lou Dobbs Hates Immigrants" show is on as I write and guess what? Lou Dobbs is enraged. The red-faced Republican promises to respond to, or scream at, "Prince Elliot" before the show ends. And they say we have a problem with civility here on the Internets. But seriously, the constant rage of Lou Dobbs scares me. If he doesn't calm down, I fear he's going to have a heart attack on the air.

Transcript and video at Crooks and Liars

Fred Thompson Confuses Civil Unions with Soviet Unions

Freddie's trouble started when he was asked if he would support a federal civil unions law. (Does that sound like a trick question to you?)

The comical candidate responded: "Soviet Union?"

"No, civil unions," replied the New Hampshire resident.

"Oh. No, I would not be in support of that," said Grandpa Fred.

Freddie's trouble continued when he elaborated. The clownish candidate did not appear to understand the difference between civil unions and same-sex marriage. Thompson answered the question as if the two are one and the same. Fred's response also indicated that he had no knowledge of the legal status of civil unions in New Hampshire, or anywhere else for that matter.

In short, the 'aw shucks' candidate confused soviet unions, er, I mean civil unions with same-sex marriage and proceeded to get it all wrong.

Concord Monitor:

[Fred Thompson] stumbled over a question about a federal civil unions bill, which he said he would not support.

He blamed courts for compelling states to allow same-sex marriage or civil unions and criticized judges' interpretations that the constitutions in those states required it.

"The controversy that is before us is basically, so far, a judge-made controversy," he said. "No state governor has signed off and introduced legislation on the state level that has endorsed marriage between two people of the same sex."

Actually, New Hampshire passed a bill legalizing civil unions earlier this year, without a court ruling requiring lawmakers to do so. Gov. John Lynch signed the bill June 1, giving same-sex couples the same "rights, responsibilities and obligations" as married couples. The law will go into effect Jan. 1.

Edward Paul, who asked the question, said Thompson gave a "Republican answer" that didn't surprise him, but he doubted whether the candidate's stance will earn him votes in a state that just passed a civil unions law.

"He's given his answer on discrimination, loud and clear," Paul said.

Graphic via Down with Tyranny

What Breed of Liberal Are You?

Take the liberal quiz and also say hello to Tennessee's new liberal blog -- TennViews -- where you can check out the 'liberal breed' of some of Tennessee's most dedicated liberal bloggers.

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a New Left Hipster, also known as a liberal, a Netroots activist, or a Daily Show fanatic. You believe that if we really want to defend American values, conservatives must be exposed, mocked, and assailed for every fanatical, puritanical, warmongering, Constitution-shredding ideal for which they stand.

Gay Ad Campaign Stirs Passion in Italy

Is it just me? Or is it true that wherever you find discrimination, you find people who call themselves Christian?

We need an anti-homophobia ad campaign like this in country singer and homophobe John Rich's town. That would be here in Nashville.

ROME (AFP) - An ad campaign to counter discrimination against gays has stirred up passions in Italy, using a poster that shows a newborn with the word "homosexual" written on his wristband.

"Sexual orientation is not a choice," reads the slogan on the poster that was going up all across the central-northern Tuscany region and was published in national newspapers Wednesday.

"Using newborns to make people believe that homosexual impulses are an innate characteristic is dishonest and a disgrace," said Christian Democratic lawmaker Luca Volonte. . .

Italy's main gay rights association ArciGay, for its part, praised the initiative, saying homosexuality is an "unchangeable fact that should be respected."

via Jezebel

Giuliani Lies About Health Care in Radio Ad - Media Yawns

Rudy Giuliani is not just campaigning for the presidency; he is also campaigning against universal health care. Rudy will apparently do anything to win, and that includes telling lies.

Fortunately for Rudy Giuliani and unfortunately for everybody else, the Washington Post is aiding Rudy by spreading his campaign lies: "The WaPo piece simply passes along the claim as if it were true. . ."

Kevin Drum reports:

GIULIANI'S LATEST....The Washington Post notes that Rudy Giuliani will be running a new radio ad in New Hampshire starting today:

In the radio spot, Giuliani mentions his battle with prostate cancer and notes that his chances of surviving the disease in America were 82 percent, while in England his chances would have been 44 percent.

"You and I should be making the decisions about what kind of health care we get with our doctors, not with a government bureaucrat," Giuliani says in the ad.

You will be unsurprised to learn that Giuliani is full of shit. As you can see from the chart on the right, Britain and the United States have virtually identical mortality rates from prostate cancer. . . not only is Giuliani's statistic bogus, but it might actually reflect poorly on U.S. practices.

"Embarrassing," writes the rightwing blogger over at Hot Air: "You’re going to put out an ad on one of the two or three hottest domestic issues of the campaign and have your numbers be off by 30%? I fact-checked this stuff in five minutes of googling. The Democrats will have a field day with it."

A test case for the media
Rudy lies -- and the press takes it lying down
Breaking: Rudy Makes Shit Up In His New Ad
Why Can’t We Have a Better Press Corp – Rudy’s Battle with the Truth Over Prostate Cancer

Monday, October 29, 2007

GOP Sex Scandal Imminent Says Larry Flynt

Larry Flynt recently informed FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto that a "huge" sex scandal is on the horizon. Flynt said the next Republican sex scandal will arrive within one to two weeks and involves a U.S. Senator.

Flynt suggests that this one will "stand Washington and the country on its head."

Possibly some GOP Senator has been having private meetings with Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) in the luxurious U.S. Senate bathroom.

Mitch McConnell? Senator Inhofe? Lindsey Graham?

Laura Bush to Vote for a Woman President in the Year 2099 or Maybe Later

Laura Bush says she votes Republican no matter what. So even though she’d really love to vote for a woman president, Laura’s going to wait for the Republicans to nominate one.

Yeah, right, the Republican Party of Women’s Rights! That’ll be the year 2099 or maybe later.

What Laura Bush is really going to wait for is for George Bush to develop the later stages of senile dementia.

Fake FEMA News Conference Director Gets Promotion (Medal of Freedom to Follow?)

So the dimwit in charge of staging FEMA's fake news conference is getting a promotion. You can't make this stuff up!

There may be another explanation, but surely the most logical explanation is that Bush is once again giving America the finger.

Heckuva job, Pat Philbin!

Raw Story (video available):

CNN reports that John "Pat" Philbin, the Director of Public Affairs responsible for FEMA's recent faked news conference, is effectively receiving a promotion. PRNewser was notified by an email which said that Philbin's new job was an "amazing opportunity to head the communications shop at ODNI."

Philbin is slated to become Director of Public Affairs for the Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell.

Cause making stuff up is what they do over at the office of National Intelligence?

FEMA Plays Pravda - Stages Fake Press Conference with Fake Reporters!

Krugman: Fearing Fear Itself

Paul Krugman sums up the neocon fantasy so popular with the deranged GOP presidential candidates, especially Rudy Giuliani: Iran is on a quest to dominate the world, be afraid!!! But the real wannabe world dominators are here in the USA, and they expect us to believe anything, including that a country with a G.D.P. the size of Connecticut and a military budget the size of Sweden is out to conquer the world! Oooh, I'm so scared. Scared, of the wannabe world dominators in Washington, yeah.

by Paul Krugman

In America’s darkest hour, Franklin Delano Roosevelt urged the nation not to succumb to “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror.” But that was then.

Today, many of the men who hope to be the next president — including all of the candidates with a significant chance of receiving the Republican nomination — have made unreasoning, unjustified terror the centerpiece of their campaigns.

Consider, for a moment, the implications of the fact that Rudy Giuliani is taking foreign policy advice from Norman Podhoretz, who wants us to start bombing Iran “as soon as it is logistically possible.”

Mr. Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary and a founding neoconservative, tells us that Iran is the “main center of the Islamofascist ideology against which we have been fighting since 9/11.” The Islamofascists, he tells us, are well on their way toward creating a world “shaped by their will and tailored to their wishes.” Indeed, “Already, some observers are warning that by the end of the 21st century the whole of Europe will be transformed into a place to which they give the name Eurabia.”

Do I have to point out that none of this makes a bit of sense?

For one thing, there isn’t actually any such thing as Islamofascism — it’s not an ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination. The term came into vogue only because it was a way for Iraq hawks to gloss over the awkward transition from pursuing Osama bin Laden, who attacked America, to Saddam Hussein, who didn’t. And Iran had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 — in fact, the Iranian regime was quite helpful to the United States when it went after Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan.

Beyond that, the claim that Iran is on the path to global domination is beyond ludicrous.

Read more. . .

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Country Singer John Rich is Homophobic - Compares Gay Marriage to Incest

Country singer John Rich of Big and Rich has created an uproar of outrage here in Nashville and beyond by exposing himself as a bigot. After making his fame off the backs of gay and gay friendly folks, the homophobe announced on Nashville shock jock Steve Gill's radio show (listen here) that he is against gay marriage because it is "unnatural"-- like incest:

"I think if you legalize that, you've got to legalize some other things that are pretty unsavory. You can call me a radical, but how can you tell an aunt that she can't marry her nephew if they are really in love and sharing the bills? How can you tell them they can't get married, but something else that's unnatural can happen?"

"Unnatural" is one of the favorite words of homophobes and misogynists alike, and John Rich appears to be both. Guess what, Big Rich John? Nothing is more unnatural than raking in fame and fortune via unnatural MTV videos, not to mention those distressingly unnatural CD thingies. But see below for the "cure" some folks have in mind for you.

John Rich also revealed that he is more than a bigot; he is also a pro-lifer who supports Fred Thompson.

Big and Rich is a Warner Bros Records production. Howie Klein, formerly of Warner Bros has the story about the uproar created by the Big and Rich homophobe up at both Huffington Post (shorter version) and Down with Tyranny. Here's an excerpt:

Thursday I started getting barraged with e-mails from distraught former employees of mine all complaining about Big & Rich being homophobic.

It stems from half the duo, John Rich, going on a gay-bashing, Santorum-like jag for his political hero, Frederick of Hollywood. Rich is a regular commentator on Steve Gill's radio show in Nashville, where he spouts his Limbaughesque nonsense to an audience where marrying one's cousins and aunts is a lot more common than gay marriage. After a thorough tequila-fueled search for the most backward of the pathetic pygmies™ vying to personify a third George W Bush term, Rich has endorsed Thompson. And in a slap at the cousin-marrying Rudy Giuliani and at gay-Americans, he spouted off about gay marriage . . .

I suppose far more "natural" would be Rich's own lifestyle as an embarrassing and philandering slob. He may be hysterical and obsessive about his irrational zombie-like hatred for Hillary Clinton but reports from the road are that when he's got enough substances in him there isn't a woman breathing he doesn't try to jump on.

Gay employees and straight non-bigots at Warner Bros, and that pretty much accounts for almost everyone who works there, are pretty disappointed, to put it mildly... and I'm not the only one getting complaints. One person who has worked on the Big & Rich projects wrote, "I tend to support all of our artists unconditionally even when some of their politics don't necessarily coincide with mine. I have been made aware of comments made by Big and Rich and I must say this is a real blatant slap in the face and it's somewhat scary to think that I'm helping to make artists' voices such as theirs heard out in the world."

Another WB employee, an out front gay men, is torn between his disapproval of censorship and his disapproval of bigotry. He feels it's the company's duty-- their moral responsibility-- to take a public stand against this denigration of a class of people. "Rich's comments are not a political position, they are words of hatred that denounce an entire community and are taken as a personal attack on many of our families. CBS did not tolerate Imus's racist remarks against Blacks nor should we with Rich's remarks about gay families." [...]

I spoke with one of Tennessee's most influential and respected radio programmers. He was still dismayed today and he said most everyone he knows in the music business is as well. This is what he told me:

"Much of the Nashville music scene is ashamed of John. We have felt betrayed because many of us had embraced him and his mantra of love everybody. John has made a career on the backs of many people, and a lot of them are gay. More than anything, his hateful comments have hurt them and they feel especially betrayed. John is entitled to his opinion. However, comparing gay marriage to incest was unforgivable. I have urged those who feel as I do to stop buying his records and songs that he writes."

Hat tip to Pam at Pam's House Blend
Graphic via Down with Tyranny

Update: John Rich has issued a statement claiming he believes that "intolerance, bigotry and hatred are wrong."

Hmm. Well, I Guess I Was Wrong
Homobigot eruption roils Nashville music scene
Country singer John Rich is homophobic
Rich to the Gays: “Suck It!”
John Rich of "Big and Rich" Voices his Opposition to Gay Marriage
An Endorsement Out of Nashville: Fred Thompson is Homophobic Enough for Big & Rich

Keel: John Rich is a Fred-like conservative
!Shocker! Country Singer Is Socially Conservative

Al Gore Praises Sarkozy's Green Policy

French President Sarkozy gets coveted praise from Al Gore for making "historic" strides toward combating global warming.

Eat your heart out Bush. Gore will never praise you.

Hmmm, I guess this means that in Europe you can be a conservative AND believe in science. Actually, European conservatives look a lot like American liberals. Don't ask me what American conservatives look like. This is a family blog.

Paris: President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has received warm praise from Nobel winning crusader Al Gore for his "historic" bid to spark a French "green revolution" after months of climate negotiations with green groups, unions and big business. . .

"Today you become known as a great friend of the people of this planet," said Mr Gore, 59, who won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change.

"I want to offer my congratulations to the French people. This is the beginning of an historic process."

Mr Gore said the French forum - dubbed the "Grenelle of the environment" after a Paris district - had given "a tremendous boost" to efforts to fight climate change. . .

Green campaigners appeared ecstatic.

Photo: Al Gore and President Sarkozy

Old Europe is Getting Hot for Rumsfeld

Pity poor Donald Rumsfeld. He is no longer free to travel undisturbed throughout 'Old Europe.' Rumsfeld's visit to France last week was marred when a coalition of Human Rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the former Secretary of Defense.

The charge is "ordering and authorizing torture."

Activists also managed to track down the Torture Czar on the streets of Paris and taunt him with cries of "murderer."

According to Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, France is obligated under international law to prosecute Rumsfeld: "If a torturer comes into your territory there's an obligation to either prosecute the person or return him to a place where he will be prosecuted."

The New York Times reports that Rummy is being hounded throughout Europe:

Similar legal complaints against Mr. Rumsfeld have been filed in other countries, including Sweden and Argentina. German prosecutors dismissed a case in April, saying it was up to the United States to investigate the accusations.

The French complaint accuses Mr. Rumsfeld of authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and says it violated the Convention Against Torture, which came into force in 1987.

Michael Ratner, the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said in a statement that the aim of this latest legal complaint was to demonstrate “that we will not rest until those U.S. officials involved in the torture program are brought to justice. Rumsfeld must understand that he has no place to hide.”

"We know that we can't get him into prison right now, but it would be great to make sure that he couldn't safely leave the U.S. anymore," said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Rumsfeld and The Taxi to the Darkside
Rumsfeld accosted in Paris photos

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lazy Fred Thompson Quote of the Day

"I’m not going to be the token chairman of a token campaign. I was told they were going to run a vigorous campaign and they haven’t. Fred Thompson would have been a good candidate but he doesn’t want to go out and campaign."
-- Dan Hughes, former Fred Thompson Campaign Staffer

Dan Hughes shocked Fredheads last week when he abandoned the Fred Thompson New Hampshire campaign in order to become vice-chairman of McCain’s state campaign.

"Against the advice of his staff, Thompson has barely bothered to show up in New Hampshire since launching his campaign on the Jay Leno television show last month, instead of appearing at a debate with the other Republican candidates in the state."

And see: Funny Fred Thompson Ad (Video & Links)

Funny Fred Thompson Ad (Video)

At last, a Fred Thompson campaign ad that holds your interest. And it gets bonus points because for once in his disaster campaign, Lazy Freddie Thompson is so NOT (harumph) clearing his throat. Hard to believe, I know.

The following Jimmy Kimmel version of a Fred Thompson Ad is seen on Fox News cuz the Fox News guys just love to hate Tennessee's latest greatest embarrassment of a lazy rightwing presidential candidate.

And scroll down for the latest edition of 'Lazy Grandpa Freddie's Disaster Campaign Links.'

Fred Thompson for President, Or Not

Lazy Grandpa Freddie's Disaster Campaign Links:

Lazy Fred Thompson Quote of the Day
Fred Thompson Calls Iraqi Insurgents 'A Bunch Of Kids.'
Fred: “I Have Staffers?”
Anybody Seen Fred Thompson Lately?
Thompson Staffer Deems McCain Slightly Less Pathetic
Fred Thompson, Human Dynamo or Lazy Turd?
Fred Thompson doesn't know what's going on with his own campaign.
The swoon that was: Fred Thompson and the “values” of the Republican Party

Paul Wellstone, Progressive Hero (Video)

Paul Wellstone was a genuine progressive hero. It's been five years since his tragic death. I heard him speak and shook his hand back when many of us were fighting against the cruel welfare reform bill of 1996. Like Paul always used to say, he represented the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. We need more like him. The following video is a tribute to Wellstone prepared by the Senate Democrats.

Paul Wellstone, Progressive Hero

If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them. -- Paul Wellstone

So they flocked to him -- gays, lesbians, union members, hard-scrabble farmers, environmentalists, peace activists, Native Americans, blacks, Latinos, Scandinavians, Lutherans, seniors, students, students and students . . .

Paul Wellstone Spoke to Me from the Grave

Friday, October 26, 2007

FEMA Plays Pravda - Stages Fake Press Conference with Fake Reporters!

FEMA Staff pretend to be reporters in televised 'press conference' that "looked just like the real thing" --OR-- When you have fake elections, what's the big effing deal about fake press conferences?

And the moral of the story is: Never believe a freakin' word from your Bush's government. How I wish I could say, "This is too freaking weird even for the Bush Administration." But nothing is too fu*king weird for Planet Bush!!

In case you didn't hear, FEMA is wonderfully competent now and forever more. I know 'cause my government, er, I mean, my media told me so, and I am NOT talking about Fox News. If you happen to be caught in a catastrophic disaster and FEMA does not appear to you like a wonderfully competent super hero, just blame it on your lying eyes! And, yes, we're making progress in the Iraqi Occupation.

Al Kamen at the Washington Post describes FEMA's fake press conference:

He was apparently quite familiar with the reporters -- in one case, he appears to say "Mike" and points to a reporter -- and was asked an oddly in-house question . . .

But something didn't seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. No one asked about trailers with formaldehyde for those made homeless by the fires. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA's greatness.

Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. We're told the questions were asked by Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of external affairs, and by "Mike" Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs. Director of External Affairs John "Pat" Philbin asked a question, and another came, we understand, from someone who sounds like press aide Ali Kirin. . . the staff played reporters for what on TV looked just like the real thing.

FEMA holds a press conference with itself
FEMA’s fake Press conference: Are you surprised?
FEMA Questions FEMA
FEMA Answers FEMA's Questions
FEMA Meets the Press, Which Happens to Be ... FEMA
FEMA is Strong, Like Stalin
FEMA At It Again
FEMA Workers Masquerade As Reporters
FEMA Stages Press Conference: Staff Pose As Journalists And Ask ‘Softball’ Questions

Laura Bush Tries to Blend In

Laura Bush tours Saudi Arabia, breast cancer crusade

And I thought everyone loved Laura. Rightwing blogger Debbie Schlussel is annoyed with the First Lady:

Mrs. Bush's People Lied: To Readers Who Applauded Mrs. Bush's "Tough Stand" Against Muslim HeadScarves . . .

"When I first wrote about First Lady Laura Bush's latest Breast Cancer Awareness Tour of the Extremist Islamic World (redundant), I noted that Mrs. Bush's PR team told the press that she would not, under any circumstances, don an Islamic headscarf or anything of the sort . . . I didn't buy it. And, as usual, my instincts were correct. This is Sheikha Laura, yesterday, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. . .
One final pic from Mrs. Pander Claus' trip to the Islamist Gulf. Here's Laura Bush butt-kissing Saudi King Abdullah . . . "

UPDATE: Why can't Laura Bush be a cowboy? Think Progress finds yet more rightwing intolerance for the diplomatic ways of Laura Bush, or Right Wing Enraged: Laura Bush Is A ‘Butt-Kisser’ For Wearing Headscarf In Mideast: "The conservative blogosphere has released its seething intolerance, collectively rising up to denounce Laura Bush as “Ms. Pander Clause” for wearing the head cover."

via memeorandum

Stupid White House Quote of the Day

"There are public health benefits to climate change."

-- Dana Perino, White House Press Secretary

Gawd. Where's Al Gore?

From Think Progress:

Asked to explain what some of those benefits are, Perino said that climate change “would help those individuals” who “die from cold-related deaths every winter

Q: And one more. You mentioned that there are health benefits to climate change. Could you describe some of those?

MS. PERINO: Sure. In some cases, there are — look, this is an issue where I’m sure lots of people would love to ridicule me when I say this, but it is true that many people die from cold-related deaths every winter. And there are studies that say that climate change in certain areas of the world would help those individuals.

Meanwhile, in spite the White House's rosy assessment: UN issues 'final wake-up call' on population and environment.

KO: The March To War With Iran (Video)

Bad news Bush just never stops. The man is a war maniac. If the Democrats had done their job and dragged Bush and Cheney through impeachment proceedings, the madmen might not have found the time to be such belligerent asses and drag the world through yet another preemptive war. It sure looks bleak.

Countdown w/ David Shuster: The March to War

Reality Check:

Fareed Zakaria writes in Newsweek: "The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality. Norman Podhoretz, the neoconservative ideologist whom Bush has consulted on this topic, has written that Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is 'like Hitler . . . a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it in the fullness of time with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism.' For this staggering proposition Podhoretz provides not a scintilla of evidence.

"Here is the reality. Iran has an economy the size of Finland's and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on? . . .

"We're on a path to irreversible confrontation with a country we know almost nothing about. The United States government has had no diplomats in Iran for almost 30 years. American officials have barely met with any senior Iranian politicians or officials. We have no contact with the country's vibrant civil society. Iran is a black hole to us -- just as Iraq had become in 2003."

Putin Denounces `Madman' With Knife Approach to Iran
Oil Rises to Record Above $91 on Supply Drop, Iran Sanctions
Attack Iran and you attack Russia Asia Times Online
Rivals From Both Parties Spar Over Response to Iran
Edwards Raps Clinton, Romney on Iran

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rightwingers Vote Media Matters Most Dangerous American Organization

Media Matters has been judged by the Radical Right as the number one most dangerous organization in America. Media Matters should be proud. MoveOn, Code Pink, Think Progress, and the ACLU are also deemed dangerous. All are on the 10 most dangerous organizations list, sayeth conservative front group Family Security Matters (FSM).

Look who comes in 2nd - universities and colleges!

And Eve ate the apple, boo-fu*king-hoo.

10) ThinkProgress
9) Muslim Student Association
8) CodePINK
7) American Civil Liberties Union, National
6) Family Research Council
5) Center for American Progress
4) League of the South
2) Universities and Colleges
1) Media Matters for America

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Help Chris Dodd Defeat Telecom Amnesty

Click on the graphic to help Chris Dodd defeat Telecom Amnesty!

For more on Chris Dodd, see Big Tent Democrat's post at MyDD: What We Look For From Our Presidential Candidates

Poll: 41% of Americans Can't Name Even One GOP Candidate

There are Republicans running for president? It turns out that most everyone knows that there are Democratic presidential candidates, but a whopping 41 percent of Americans cannot name even one Republican candidate.

Eighty-one percent can name a Democratic candidate.

Democratic candidates are better known even among Republicans, according to the Pew Research Center's new poll:

Overall, 81% can name a Democratic candidate unprompted, with 78% volunteering Clinton's name and 62% Obama's. By contrast, 59% could name any Republican candidate. Giuliani is the best known Republican candidate, with 45% of the public naming him.

Even among Republicans, Clinton and Obama are much more visible than Giuliani or any other GOP presidential candidate. When asked to name any Democratic presidential candidate, 79% of Republicans named Clinton and 60% mentioned Obama. Asked for the name of a GOP candidate, 57% of Republicans named Giuliani. No other Republican candidate was mentioned by even half of Republicans.

Notably, the current GOP candidates as a group are about as well known as past Republican candidates, among Republicans and the public generally. . .

But the leading Democrats are far better known than their predecessors. At this point in the 2004 election cycle, just 41% of the public could name a Democratic candidate, compared with 81% currently.

Complete results, pdf

Hat tip to Raw Story

Senate Approves Anti-Gay & Racist Judge -- for Southern States

How bad can he be, you ask? Here's a clue, Bush called Judge Southwick's confirmation "a victory for . . the citizens of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas."

Nine Democrats crossed party lines to vote with Republicans and Lieberman for the homophobic and racist judge.

Isn't it funny how Bush gets everything he wants and Democrats get the blame?

Mississippi Judge Leslie Southwick was promoted to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with the Senate's vote of 59-38.

Barack Obama said: "Southwick has shown hostility toward civil rights and a disregard for equal rights for minorities, women, gays and lesbians."

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) crossed party lines to vote for the notorious judge because California and Nebraska are a long way from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

Democrats who voted to confirm Judge Southwick were Dianne Feinstein of California; Ben Nelson of Nebraska; Daniel Akaka of Hawaii; Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia; Tim Johnson of South Dakota; Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both of Arkansas; and Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, both of North Dakota.

Al Gore Considers Civil Disobedience

Does Al Gore belong in jail?

Remember when Al Gore said: "I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants"?

Rainforest Action Network does that. The group has issued an invitation asking Al Gore to join them "in civil disobedience against the construction of new coal-fired power plants."

According to Mr. Gore's office, he is considering doing just that.

This is from Mark Hertsgaard at The Nation, which, in case you don't know, is probably the longest-lived progressive publication in these disunited states:

Rainforest Action Network issued the invitation to the former Vice President, according to RAN executive director Michael Brune. The San Francisco-based group has a twenty-year history of protesting against destructive logging practices and other causes of climate change; it specializes in targeting corporations as much as governments. . .

RAN plans a national day of protest against coal on November 16 according to Brune.

If Gore did end up getting arrested during a protest against a coal-fired power plant, it would make front-page news throughout the world and put a spotlight on what some climate scientists and activists consider the single most important priority in the fight against climate change: halting the use of coal as the world's top source of electricity production. Coal is the most carbon-intensive of the three major fossil fuels (the others are oil and natural gas) whose combustion produces most of the carbon dioxide that is helping to raise temperatures and change climatic patterns on earth. . . The United States . . is responsible for three times as much of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere as any other nation. . .

Al Gore could launch this campaign with a bang if he joined activists in facing down the bulldozers.

Read more at The Nation

Sign the friendly petition asking Al Gore to get arrested on Nov. 16: Al Gore Belongs in Jail.

Al Gore
Current TV
Graphic from RAN

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dem Leadership Forces Stark to Apologize for Speaking Truth to Power

It seems pretty clear that the Democrats are planning to coast until the next election. I don't know about you, but I am getting really really annoyed. For starters, there were 13 Democrats who failed to vote against Pete Stark's censure, and one of them is from Tennessee.

Congressman Lincoln Davis "insultingly voted present."

And then there's Pete Stark's very uncharacteristic apology for speaking truth to power. Jane Hamsher at firedoglake reports that Congressman Stark apologized because he was told to apologize or else . . . the censor measure would pass:

A Firedoglake reader called Stark's office to complain about the apology. "The person answering the phone told me that Stark had no choice; Stark was told before the vote was taken that should he not apologize, the vote to censure would pass. According to his office, that is the only reason he apologized." Anyone want to guess who forced one of the best congressmen in America to humiliate himself and put himself on a level with someone like Mean Jean Schmidt? Was in Rahm? Hoyer? Madam Off the Table? I may have just seen a hint. CongressDaily: "Majority Leader Hoyer today said Stark's apology was 'appropriate.'"

Who says the Dems can't get anything done?

Send Speaker Pelosi an email!
Contact Lincoln Davis:

For the pResident's Amusement (video)
Bipartisan Bullying
Rep. Pete Stark apologizes for telling the truth
Hissy Fits For Fun & Profit
Stark Apologizes After Censure Bid Fails (Video)
Democrats Can’t Fight; can Liberals?
Don't Make Trouble If one political party is a complete failure
Pots, Kettles, And Foul Mouths
Rep. Stark Should Not Apologize -- Say 88% in CNN Poll
Rightwingers who are gloating