As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, February 25, 2005

Single White Wingnut ISO...

That's right, it's Hannidate! Where you can hopefully find someone as smarmy and full of crap as Sparklin' Sean himself! Why, just look at these gene pool winners:

Name: Nick Schifani
I'm a Criminal Justice major with aspirations of being, you may want to sit down, a lawyer. CRIMINAL PROSECUTION ONLY!

Name: Eric Christian Smith
Another favorite pastime is dissecting Pravda,OOPS, The New York Times on a daily basis! I'm looking for that special someone to share the good times with and to help me spread political pornography and the vast right-wing conspiracy across the globe.

Name: Kathy
Most important about me? I'm a liberal feminist tree-hugging (READ ON!), freedom-loving, hippie-wanna-be (when i was young and stupid) TURNED conservative, (largely) anti-feminism, America/capitalism/freedom-loving, people-hugging, ADULT (something, I've learned, it's impossible to be as the former).

Name: Dave Smith
My name is Dave, 40 years old, 6-1, 200 lbs, single, I live and work in Junction City, Oregon... yes there are nice, smart... red people that live around Eugene Oregon! All I want from this is to kill deer with Ann Coulter someday...

Name: Alton
I'm divorced and starting over. I'm a cargo pilot and I love my job. I'm not home at night but I do get my sleep when I'm on duty and I come home early in the morning and rested.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a sampling of your 59-million-strong "mandate".

I'm sure you're impressed.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

This Is The Matter With Kansas

They have lost all respect for privacy and the rule of law:

WICHITA, Kan. The attorney general of Kansas wants to know the detailed history of the sex lives of nearly 90 women who received late-term abortions.

Court documents show that Phill Kline wants to search the documents for evidence of crimes under laws that limit late-term abortions and require mandatory reporting of suspected child sexual abuse.

Under the order signed by a judge, the attorney general would get records that would include each patient's name, medical history, details of her sex life, birth control practices and psychological profile.

The Wichita Eagle says two medical clinics have asked the Kansas Supreme Court to intercede.

Why is it that the fundamentalist conservatives who want sex out of the schools, off of TV, and out of the bedroom (out of wedlock) want it on paper for them to read? Have we gone that far back into the Victorian Age that we have an unquenchable desire for salacious reading material that we can pore over again and again and again?

Never mind the fact that this actually reaches further back into our shared history, into the late 17th-century predilection for attaching scarlet A's to the bosoms of nubile young sinner women.

This Phill Kline, a former Limbaugh clone from Kansas City, has similarly intervened in cases involving the age of consent and homosexual rape. Talk about sex on the brain.


Work Rushes In

Where bloggers fear to tread...

Open thread, for the most part. I will add one thing. You should find the Chris Bowers video of the Drexel University College Republicans chanting "Hey hey, ho ho, Social Security has got to go." Nothing like watching Republicans hang themselves for a chuckle or two. That's a situation where you don't even have to step in and criticize it. It speaks for itself.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Thanks to the AARP Blog

For linking to yesterday's story on Bill Bennett and USA Next. Here's a link back at ya.

This New York Times story shows just how lame and transparent these hacks are:

Officials at USA Next said the advertisement was a test, but maintained that they planned to attack AARP, the powerhouse lobby for older Americans, on the issue of same-sex marriage...

"We are going to be revealing areas where the AARP is out of touch with a large number of their members, including the issue of marriage," Charlie Jarvis, the group's chief executive, said in a statement. "We will engage AARP with an aggressive campaign to educate the people about where they really stand on the issues and how out of touch they are with the large majority of their own members."

That is the worst kind of backtracking I've ever heard. Oh, it was just a test? Test hating. Test homophobic bigotry. I get it. Yeah, never mind, sorry for all the commotion.

Isn't it instructive to know that gay-bashing is the ONLY issue on which Republicans can beat their opponents with supposed impunity?


Free the Truth!

Senator Durbin has called for a full investigation into the "Jefff Gannon" controversy, so it appears the Hill has gotten the message. We need to support him fully in this effort.

Here's the thing: I feel like we're the parallel universe. We're the universe that other universes reference rhetorically. Like one guy on Earth-S starts talking about a $1,200-a-night male prostitute, and the other guy says, "You know, on a parallel universe that guy would be in the White House press corps." We are the parallel universe. And we have to figure out how we got to this point. It's crucial, if for nothing else than to restore faith in governance on both sides of the aisle.

The Kos community that has pushed this story from the beginning has some action items for you. Go and do them, particularly if you're a constituent.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Problem Into Opportunity

And he did a really good job, I think.  Judy Woodruff whored away, asking "how do you know?  Do you have any proof," but Hinchey used the controversy as an opportunity.  "We have to get to the bottom of this.  We need an investigation.  I'm suprised this has gotten all this attention, but I'm happy that it has."

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, this refers to the diary I wrote yesterday, about the fact that Representative Maurice Hinchey of New York suggested in a public town hall meeting that Karl Rove was the source of the disputed TANG documents used by CBS in the now-infamous "RatherGate" story.

"Some have said that it's irresponsible," said Judy, borrowing a line from Fox News.

"It is responsible to speculate and to look for answers to this," Hinchey answered, "and Congress is not doing its job.  They should be investigating this."

Now that's how you turn a potentially negative story right on its head.  Nobody can definitively say where the TANG documents came from, and Hinchey essentially said the same thing, and that it's important to get to the bottom of it.

Furthermore, Hinchey got to tie the Rove/TANG story into the Armstrong Williams/Gannon-Guckert/payola and propaganda issue. The overriding issue of Administration meddling with the media to portray his policies positively is the real problem. The possibility that Rove planted the TANG documents (and Hinchey did mention his past history of dirty tricks, which I've never heard on cable news before) is simply an extension of the issue.

LGF just gave this Congressman a national forum to spread his thoughts on the subject.  Congratulations, guys.  Unfortunately (for them), not everyone will back down when challenged or bullied.


I'll put Grandma's Check on Red

Do Republicans just have a great sense of humor, or are they that blind to the failings of their members that it doesn't matter? Either way, the appointment of William Bennett to head the hatchet job on the AARP (in support of the President's Social Security phase-out plan) is the funniest bit of strange bedfellows I've ever heard. So you mean the guy who gambled away millions of dollars on slots is the guy who'll make the case to privatize Social Security? How about an attack ad where Bennett turns away from a craps table to say "The AARP doesn't know what to do with your money. I do. COME ON, BABY NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SHOES!"

Meanwhile, "USANext," the GOP front group charged with beating up on the AARP, not only has hired former operatives from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads (because they know so much about price and wage indexing, I'm sure), they've posted their first Web ad. Wait, take a guess how they're going to take down a lobbying group for seniors:

That's right, by saying they're pro-gay marriage and anti-troop!

If the American people don't understand that this smear is a template, it's hopeless. By the way, they pulled the ad from the original site, the American Spectator. No matter, the free media is all they were going for. And they've got it. This is how these scumbags work. The point is to obfuscate, to whisper, to slime and then throw up one's hands, saying "What are you talking about?"

It's sad.


Monday, February 21, 2005

This is kind of interesting...

I don't know if Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) was just flapping his gums, or whether he has some real evidence. But at a town hall meeting with constituents yesterday, he apparently claimed that Karl Rove planted the CBS TANG documents that resulted in RatherGate.

This was originally reported at Little Green Footballs, which of course dismisses it at rampant Bush-hating moonbattery.

There's also audio of the claim, as well as a transcript.

I think this is going to get big play on the right (it's already on Instapundit), so we might as well get ready for it. I think where they'll slam Hinchey is for saying originally that he did have evidence, then backing down and saying he didn't. Here's the transcript:

Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY): Well, you know, they are manipulating the media, they did it in the very beginning through intimidation. They would intimidate the people in the, uh, in the press conference. And ... they would ask — they would allow questions to be asked only of people that they knew were going to ask the right kind of questions, from their point of view. And, you know, that has its effect, had, had its effect on people. People have been — people in the media have been intimidated. The media has changed in the last four years. People have changed in the last four years. They’ve had a very very direct, aggressive attack on the, on the media, and the way it’s handled. Probably the most flagrant example of that is the way they set up Dan Rather. Now, I mean, I have my own beliefs about how that happened: it originated with Karl Rove, in my belief, in the White House. They set that up with those false papers. Why did they do it? They knew that Bush was a draft dodger. They knew that he had run away from his responsibilties in the Air National Guard in Texas, gone out of the state intentionally for a long period of time. They knew that he had no defense for that period in his life. And so what they did was, expecting that that was going to come up, they accentuated it: they produced papers that made it look even worse. And they — and they distributed those out to elements of the media. And it was only — what, like was it CBS? Or whatever, whatever which one Rather works for. They — the people there — they finally bought into it, and they, and they aired it. And when they did, they had ’em. They didn’t care who did it! All they had to do is to get some element of the media to advance that issue. Based upon the false papers that they produced.

Audience Member: Do you have any evidence for that?

Congressman Hinchey: Yes I do. Once they did that —

Audience: [Murmuring]

Congressman Hinchey: ...once they did that, then it undermined everything else about Bush’s draft dodging. Once they were able to say, ‘This is false! These papers are not accurate, they’re, they’re, they’re false, they’ve been falsified.’ That had the effect of taking the whole issue away.

Audience Member: So you have evidence that the papers came from the Bush administration?

Congressman Hinchey: No. I — that’s my belief.

Audience Member: OK.

Congressman Hinchey: And I said that. In the very beginning. I said, ‘It’s my belief that those papers, and that setup, originated with Karl Rove and the White House.’

Audience Member: Don’t you think it’s irresponsible to make charges like that?

Congressman Hinchey: No I don’t. I think it’s very important to make charges like that. I think it’s very important to combat this kind of activity in every way that you can. And I’m willing — and most people are not — to step forward in situations like this and take risks.

Audience: [Clapping and cheering.]

Congressman Hinchey: I consider that to be part of my job, and I’m gonna continue to do it.

Seems to me that he wanted to finish his point, and he said "yes I do" without really paying attention to the question. You do have to admit that the Congressman is pretty brave to publicly come out and say this, given the expected avalanche of wingnut publicity he's inviting.

I don't think we'll ever have definitive proof about this claim, but there is an ally in Congress should anyone want to keep digging. The more we continue to track down the Gannon stuff, the more that all the other balls of yarn are going to unravel.


Developments in Israel

I don't see how you could be awake on this planet and not view attempts at peace in the Middle East with a little skepticism. But the death of Yassir Arafat has certainly brought a new era of rapprochement, and today's latest olive branch, the release of 500 Palestinian prisoners, is extremely encouraging, coupled with the Israeli cabinet approval of a Gaza and partial West Bank pullout, and the cessation of bulldozing the homes of the families of suicide attackers. Clearly, the death of Arafat has given Sharon the political cover he needed to work toward a peaceful solution. I wrote when Arafat died that it would take the death of Sharon and a new set of leadership from a new generation to get anything done in the region. That still may be the case, but at least for now, things are progressing. These are the easier developments, however. The bigger issues, like a two-state solution, drawing of borders, and refugee right of return, are where we'll see who is truly interested in peace.

Jonathan Chait (who, incidentally, I went to college with) writes in the LA Times that recent events have proven that Sharon's hard-line policies, like building a separation wall and refusing to negotiate with Arafat, have worked brilliantly. I don't know if that's completely true. I think this would have happened no matter when Arafat passed (or Sharon, for that matter; it was the passing of the torch that was the important thing). As an accident of history, President Bush will get credit for Middle East peace shuld it reach a more permanent solution, but really, this is an exhalation from both sides, a belief that enough is enough, and it's time to end the intifada. Much like the dissolution of the Cold War states in Eastern Europe, changes of this nature have more to do with popular will (or popular exhaustion) than geopolitical pressure, in my view. And Arafat's death is the spark that allowed this will to take root.