Saturday, February 28, 2004

Another 'Bush Friday'! 

Bush Ejects Two From Bioethics Council
Changes Renew Criticism That the President Puts Politics Ahead of Science

President Bush yesterday dismissed two members of his handpicked Council on Bioethics -- a scientist and a moral philosopher who had been among the more outspoken advocates for research on human embryo cells.

In their places he appointed three new members, including a doctor who has called for more religion in public life, a political scientist who has spoken out precisely against the research that the dismissed members supported, and another who has written about the immorality of abortion and the "threats of biotechnology."
More awesome news.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Fat Fuck: 'I Guess The Country's Not As Stupid As I Thought' 

Hastert u-turns on Commission

Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has dropped his opposition to a 60-day extension requested by a national commission to write a report analyzing the causes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Hastert unexpectedly reversed himself after Sens. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) threatened to delay crucial legislation to continue funding for the nation’s transportation system by attaching a proposal to extend the commission’s deadline.
I guess that Joe-mentum forced Hestert to "re-think" his "position"!
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said it is a “silly, silly idea,” that the White House pressured Hastert to do its bidding to oppose an extension.
Ha--HA! [gag...]

He Said It, Not Me 

Veteran Activist Blasts Powell As Traitor

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Veteran activist Randall Robinson said Friday that Secretary of State Colin Powell has become "an immoral traitor to his race" based on his policies toward Haiti and other black majority countries.

Cretinous, Bespectacled Oaf Does Bush's Dirty Work; Says 'Fuck You' to Families of 9/11 Victims, All Americans 

Hastert to block 9/11 commission extension

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congress appears unlikely to grant a two-month extension requested by the commission investigating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to finish its report.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert told President Bush on Wednesday he would not bring up any legislation to authorize the 60-day extension proposed by the commission and endorsed by the White House, according to Hastert spokesman John Feehery.
Why, you ask?
"[H]e does not want this to be delayed any further and become a political football in the middle of the campaign."
Isn't that charming? An old wrestler using a sports metaphor!

[Vomit; self-soiling; catalepsy.]

Bush, Cheney, Rice to Stage Melville's "Bartleby" Before 9/11 Panel 

Rice declines to testify

Earlier Wednesday, the commission said national security adviser Condoleezza Rice had declined its request to testify at a public hearing next month.
Oh, OK. She "declines." Well, that's it, then. She is the National Security Advisor to the President of the United States. But she "declines."
"We are disappointed by this decision," commission members said in a statement. "We believe the nation would be well served by the contribution she can make to public understanding of the intelligence and policy issues being examined by the commission."
What sort of contribution could she make, really? She was only the National Security Advisor before, during, and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country.
The statement also asked Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to reconsider their decision to be questioned only by the commission's chairman, former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, a Republican, and its vice chairman, former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, a Democrat. ( Full story )

The statement said Bush and Cheney "prefer not to meet with all members of the commission."
Get it? They would prefer not to.
Former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore have agreed to meet privately with all members of the commission, the statement said.

Rice's predecessor in the Clinton administration, Sandy Berger, has expressed a willingness to testify, according to Felzenberg.
Well, they must have something to hide, then.
Secretary of State Colin Powell and his predecessor, Madeleine Albright, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his predecessor, William Cohen, all have agreed to appear at the public hearing, Felzenberg said.

NY State to Ban Republican National Convention 

Albany Ready to Reinstate Vendor Laws

Under the proposed legislation, the basic outlines of the law that expired last spring would remain intact, with new restrictions that would make the area around ground zero off limits to vendors and prohibit any peddling within five feet of a street corner, officials said.
Does this mean Marc Racicot can still peddle his vials of ash in midtown?

WNYC Radio Host Brian Lehrer Takes His Whoredom National 

NYC's own "thoughtful," "evenhanded" public-radio talk show host appeared as a commentator on CNN's Newsnight with Aaron Brown following tonight's Dem Debate in CA. So does Brian enrich the CNN program with his brainy, "highbrow" mode of political discussion? No! Of course not! He parrots months-old RNC talking points about how Dems can only "carp" and "attack" because they don't stand for any clear positions themselves!
LEHRER: I think that the president had a very effective political play against the Democrats this week in one of his speeches, when he said, all they do is show carping, partisan bitterness. They don't have any solutions.

And that's been the Democrats' problem for a few years. It hurt them in the 2002 midterm elections and it is going to be very tough for them, after blaming the president for all the country's problems, that are complex problems, terrorism and job loss, all these things, to now turn around and say, I have a position that's as clear as my criticism. So far, they don't.
How "thoughtful"! How public radio!

Incidentally, props to Aaron Brown for opening tonight's program with a comment expressing personal outrage at Dennis Hastert's latest insult to America and the victims of 9/11.
We admit we don't do causes very well on the program. And I don't do outrage well at all, yet, tonight, a cause and an outrage. The decision by the speaker of the House to deny the independent commission investigating the 9/11 attack on America a 60-day extension -- that's all, 60 days -- to complete its work is unconscionable and indefensible, which, no doubt, explains why neither the speaker, nor any member of the House leadership, nor none of their press secretaries would come on the program to talk about it, despite repeated requests.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

George Will: Anti-Semite 

speakingcorpse writes:

Dear Anti-Semite,

In your article in the Washington Post today ("The Left's Anti-Semitic Chic"), the following paragraph appears:
The term anti-Semitism is used to denote people who dislike Jews. These people include those who say: We do not dislike Jews, we only dislike Zionists -- although to live in Israel is to endorse the Zionist enterprise, and all Jews are implicated, as sympathizers, in the crime that is Israel.
As I understand it, the part of the last sentence that appears after the dash is your analysis of the implicit anti-Semitic logic of those of us who are "anti-Israel." Those who criticize "the crime that is Israel" are, you say, also critical of Jews per se, because only Jews (no Palestinians) live in Israel and all Jews worldwide are "sympathetic" to Israel. If you change the last phrase of the last sentence from "the crime that is Israel" to "the crimes of Israel," you have--as you must know--a clear condemnation of all critics of Israel as anti-Semites: all critics of Israel's crimes are critical also of the Jews who are, by definition, "sympathetic" to Israel (and, presumably, to those who perpetrate crimes in its name). No doubt you mean to make this smear: critics of Israel's crimes are, you seem to be sure, really just critics of "the crime that is Israel."

I am concerned less with your assertion that all critics of Israel are really people who are opposed to its existence, than I am concerned with your inverse assertion--that all Jews are "sympathetic" to Israel, and don't believe it to be a crime (or to be guilty of any crimes). It seems to me that you are guilty here of attributing a political position to all members of an ethnic group (Jews). All Jews are "sympathetic" to Israel, you say. You imply, moreover, that to be "sympathetic" to Israel is to be opposed to the critics of Israel's crimes, who are really only critics of the "crime that is Israel." Thus, you are clearly saying that no Jew is a critic of Israel (for to be a critic of Israel is to be an anti-Semitic critic of the crime that is Israel, and no Jew, except a self-hating one who has disavowed his own identity, could be a critic of Israel or its founding crimes).

So: all Jews are supporters of Israel like yourself. You are just joining the natural cause of, and stating the natural position of, the Jews.

Put aside for a moment the fact that there WERE crimes involved in Israel's founding (a fact that does not make Israel itself a "crime," but a fact nonetheless--a difficult fact that has been denied by SOME Jews for too long (though for partially understandable reasons)). Put all of that aside.

Simply note that you, Anti-Semite, have made the absolute claim that ALL Jews naturally take your position, a radical position that insists that most or all criticism of Israeli crimes is really criticism of the "crime that is Israel." I take this to be a slur against the ethnic group to which I belong--the Jews. I know many Jews, and Israeli Jews (not the same), who are critical of Israel's crimes, even of the crimes that are inseparable from Israel's founding, who nonetheless do not believe that Israel is itself a "crime." In fact, MOST Jews worldwide, and many in America, are reluctant to associate themselves with many aspects of Israeli policy. You would deny the existence of such Jews--of a diversity of positions within the tenacious and admirable ethnic group that has piqued your concern and "sympathy"--and would instead insist that all Jews are blind, unquestioning supporters of policies undertaken by demagogues in the name of a flattened, caricatured ethnic identity. You, Anti-Semite, are casting aspersions against Jews.

The fact that many (though certainly not all) Jews make arguments similar to yours does not make them any less anti-Semitic. The complicity of oppressed groups of all kinds with their oppressors has a long and sad history. But that does mean that you are not also an oppressor. (Just as the complicity of Yasser Arafat, and certain unscrupulous organizers of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, in the suffering of the Palestinians does not absolve Israelis of responsibility for this suffering.) You, Anti-Semite would aggrandize your own patronizing sense of goodness by taking it upon yourself to "help" the Jews, all of whom you define only by their historical victimhood and all of whom are susceptible, you assume, to the crudest sort of group-based appeals. You would reduce all of us to JEWS--Jews who look out for each other, who need our own special state, who are always delighted to find another Christian benefactor, and who are unable to conceive that our dignity might depend upon the dignity of other ethnic groups.

Well, I refuse your "help."

In fact, your "help" is a crude insult. I shouldn't be responding to you with a reasoned argument designed to persuade you to stop insulting me. I should respond to it by telling you to fuck off or, better, to eat shit. Anti-Semite, you deserve to rot in hell, under a huge pile of flaming, excrement-based tar.

You should suicide bomb yourself.


The "Base" 

To the Editor of the New York Times:

I just noticed that the article at the top of your website ("By Backing a Gay Marriage Ban, Bush Keeps Faith With His Base," 2/25) makes reference to President Bush's "base." In fact, all day today, amid the coverage of the President's announcement of his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions, news organizations (in print, on the Web, and on the radio) repeatedly made reference to President Bush's "base."

Now, I think most people infer that in this context "base" refers to "conservative Christians" or "conservative Christian groups." Yet, it is quite difficult to understand the motivations for the president's decision without understanding the nature of this "base" for whose approval this decision was evidently made.

Indeed, aside from scattered vague generalizations about "conservative Christian groups" (and the occasional appearance of Reverend Jerry Falwell on cable news programs) I have seen very little detailed reporting about this "base" which seems so influential in the Bush administration's policy-making decisions.

We are now in the midst of a presidential campaign. Millions of voters will be looking to your newspaper for information about the candidates--information they need in order to make informed choices at the ballot box this November. Don't you agree that an essential component of this information must be an in-depth accounting of the agendas, motives, beliefs and desires of the candidates' respective "bases"?

As a registered voter who turns to the New York Times for information, I would personally like to see some reporting on the following questions regarding President Bush's "base":

First of all, what persons, organizations or companies comprise this "base," and what has been the nature of their influence (through lobbying, campaign donations, advertising campaigns, or personal/social interaction) on the president?

What is the view of the "base" on gay people and homosexuality? Obviously I know they are against gay marriage--but what are their other positions? Do they think institutional discrimination against gays and lesbians should be legal or illegal? Do they think gays and lesbians ought to be afforded the same civil protections, and the same freedom to participate in civic and community life, enjoyed by other citizens of our country? If not, why not?

What are their views about protections for women? Do they recognize and accept established law with regard to a woman's right to have an abortion, or do they seek to obstruct or even overturn such laws? What is their opinion on a woman's role in the family? Do they believe that women should have the same opportunity as men to pursue careers outside of the home? Do they believe we should have stronger or weaker laws to protect women from discrimination in the workplace and in educational institutions? Ought we to have stronger or weaker laws to protect women who suffer from domestic abuse? What about single women raising children? Poor women? Ought we as a society to do more or less to give these women a fair shake? And what about women in developing countries? Does President Bush's "base" support more aid or less aid to provide these women with birth control, medical attention during pregnancy (including abortion, if that is what the women want), education, and protection from physical abuse by spouses, communities, and governments? Does this "base" believe women should be paid more, the same as, or less than men who do the same work as they do?

How about taxes? I am aware that the president's base favors "less taxes"--but do they agree or disagree that our country should tax its individual citizens' and corporations' income and capital to the extent necessary to pay for the schools, health care, physical infrastructure, energy grid, food and water supply, and military and civic defenses (including the military, intelligence, the national guard, federal, state and local police, firefighters, Coast Guard, immigration services, port inspectors, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff and apparatus necessary to prevent terrorist attacks and respond to them effectively when they do occur) demanded by our citizens? If not, who do they propose will pay for these institutions, infrastructure and services? If they favor the withdrawal or discontinuation of such, will they explain this position to the American people?

What about the environment? Is President Bush's "base" for stronger or weaker controls on pollution in the ground, the air, and the water? If they are for weaker controls, whose families and children do they propose should live in and near the polluted or contaminated sites? What remedies for damages to the health and quality of life of such people would they propose?

How does the "base" feel about legal protections for citizens and consumers? Do they believe individuals, families and communities who have been injured by the actions of companies, corporations, or local, state and federal government agencies should have recourse to seek damages in our courts? If not, to whom or what ought the injured parties to apply for remediation?

Does the "base" think that a U.S. corporation should enjoy the same rights as an individual human being who is a U.S. citizen? If so, will they explain this position to the American people?

What are the views of President Bush's "base" on the religion of Islam? Do they believe that people of the Islamic faith living in our country should have the same or different rights to practice their faith and engage freely in civic and community life as people of other faiths?

On the question of religion and government: does President Bush's "base" respect the separation of church and state as set forth in the U.S. constitution? Do they believe that our elected leaders should make policy decisions (both domestic and international) based on religious beliefs? If so, what happens when the leader(s)'s religious beliefs are in conflict with U.S. law as set forth in our constitution and in laws enacted by the government? Which body of law does the president's "base" think should be the authoritative reference for policy-making decisions: the laws set forth in sacred scripture (including the Judeo-Christian Bible) or the laws of the United States?

How does the president's "base" feel about individual privacy? Do they respect the rights of U.S. citizens to engage in behaviors they may find objectionable, but that are legal according to U.S. law, free of monitoring or intrusion by local, state, and federal governments and law enforcement agencies?

What, overall, is the "base"'s vision for America? What would they like to see changed, and what would they like to see remain unchanged?

In conclusion, I think it would not be difficult for your journalists to discover and report on the answers to these questions. In doing so, they would provide invaluable information to our citizens, who need to understand the presidential candidates' motives for the decisions they make and have made. After all, a president (and a presidential candidate) is not an "island"--he comes with a "base." Now, let's find out what these "bases" are all about.



P.S. One additional question: If an Arabic-language speaker wanted to refer to "the [Republican] base," would he use the term "al qaeda"?

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


A reader email posted at Andrew Sullivan's blog:
"I am an independent voter who was supporting Bush for re-election, primarily due to his actions in the war on terror. But no longer. His disgraceful support for altering the nation's constitution, in order to enshrine bigotry, division and scorn is the last straw. I was willing to overlook so many of his deficiencies: fiscal irresponsibilty, enlarging the size and scope of the federal government, inability to communicate effectively, etc., due to his determined pursuit of those terrorists and fanatics attempting to harm America and the West. However, I am now going to support the Democratic nominee and rely on the public to vociferously support and demand that a newly-elected Democratic president continue the war on terror. I do not believe the public will allow a Democratic president to be soft on the terror war. Simply, I can no longer in good conscience support President Bush. He has gone too far."
There are many, many more such emails. They're really intense, and pretty much erased the schadenfreude I was feeling over Sullivan's naivete w/r/t the wages of loyalty in Bushworld.

Brain-Damaged Puppet of Theo-Corporatist Slavemasters Seeks Legitimacy Through Dehumanization of Minority Group 

While acknowledging that it might take a lifetime to sort through all of the stupid, ignorant, malicious, and straight-up false things Bush has said in his "presidential" career and life, I think a strong case could be made that this pronouncement:
After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization. Their actions have created confusion on an issue that requires clarity. On a matter of such importance, the voice of the people must be heard.
stands among the most pompous, arrogant, patently absurd, and fundamentally wrong nuggets of foul-smelling human shit ever to pass out from the slit-shaped hole in the lower portion of Bush's simian mask/"face."

'Nail' pendants 

Giuseppe Abote writes:

Check out this e-mail prayer for the success of Mel Gibson's movie.
Back in the late 1980's, I was on staff at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, WA primarily working with athletes at the University of Washington. Among the athletes I discipled included two young JV basketball players, Erik Carlson and Jim Caviezel.
The farther down you read, the creepier and sadder it gets.

And, oh yeah, in case you were wondering where you might be able to purhcase an officially licensed memento of the blood-spattering crucifixion of the Lord Host, you can visit:


"The 'Nail' pendants come in two sizes and feature Isaiah 53:5 inscribed on the side."

"The Passion ceramic mugs feature Bible verses and dramatic images from the movie. Each 10 oz. mug comes in a matching gift box and makes a perfect gift to share your passion for Christ."

None of this is a joke. This is the film's official merchandising site.

French Civil War? 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- Tapes attributed to Osama bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, have warned that more terror attacks are coming and criticized France's push to ban Islamic head scarves in schools.

The speaker described Bush as spreading false information in the United States, promoting fear and frustration in the Middle Eastern region, and appointing corrupt leaders.
Wait, I'm confused...so the 'speaker' on the tape was Terry McAuliffe?
In the audiotape broadcast on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite TV channel, the speaker described the French government efforts to ban head scarves in schools as "part of the West's campaign of hatred against Islam."

"The decision of the French president (Jacques Chirac) to issue a law to prevent Muslim girls from covering their heads in schools is another example of the Crusader and envy that the Westerners have against Muslims," said the voice.
So the terrorists are attacking the French for religious discrimination? But how can the French be attacking themselves? Is this civil war?

And but wait: the Bush administration and its supporters are passionate about the right of schoolchildren to conspicuous religious expression in their schools. So are the Al-Quaeda terrorists. Now help me sort this out...


Rep. Dingell Nominates Mayor McCheese 

Dr. Gregory Mankiw
Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
Executive Office of the President
Washington, DC 20502

Dear Dr. Mankiw:

I noticed in the recently released Economic Report of the President that there was some consternation in the defining of manufacturing. It could be inferred from your report that the administration is willing to recognize drink mixing, hamburger garnishing, French/freedom fry cooking, and milk shake mixing to be vital components of our manufacturing sector. I am sure the 163,000 factory workers who have lost their jobs in Michigan will find it heartening to know that a world of opportunity awaits them in high growth manufacturing careers like spatula operator, napkin restocking, and lunch tray removal. I do have some questions of this new policy and I hope you will help me provide answers for my constituents:

Will federal student loans and Trade Adjustment Assistance grants be applied to tuition costs at Burger College?
Will the administration commit to allowing the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to fund cutting edge burger research such as new nugget ingredients or keeping the hot and cold sides of burgers separate until consumption?
Will special sauce now be counted as a durable good?
Do you want fries with that?

Finally, at a speech he gave in Michigan this past September, Secretary Evans announced the creation of a new Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing. While I understand that it takes a while to find the right candidate to fill these positions, I am concerned that five months after the announcement no Assistant Secretary has yet been named. I do, however, know of a public official who would be perfect for the job. He has over thirty years of administrative and media experience, has a remarkable record of working with diverse constituencies, and is extraordinarily well qualified to understand this emerging manufacturing sector: the Hon. Mayor McCheese.

With every good wish,



Monday, February 23, 2004

In Stunning Policy Reversal, Bush Embraces Euthenasia  

Presidential Dog Dies

WASHINGTON — President Bush's dog Spot, the 15-year-old English springer spaniel who had remained eager to please despite increasing health troubles, died Saturday.

Bush and his wife, Laura, went along with a veterinarian's recommendation to put Spotty, as the longtime Bush family pet was known, to sleep, according to White House spokesman Allen Abney. She had suffered a series of strokes recently, including one this week, he said.
"Dogs who suffer--much like blacks and Latinos who cause suffering--ought to receive the merciful Christian justice of a lethal injection," the President added.

A Shout-Out to Our AmCop Brothers and Sisters 

Note that number, Sagehens!

speakingcorpse: "A racist lurks in all of our hearts" 

speakingcorpse writes:

Today Juan Williams, "one of America's leading journalists," according to his biographical entry on the NPR website, interviewed Marc Racicot, chair of the Bush-Cheney reelection effort. During the interview Racicot made the interesting claim that Bush "volunteered to serve in Vietnam. He was not selected to go..." Williams showed great tact by choosing not to question this claim, even though, as Josh Marshall points out, Bush specifically checked the "do not volunteer" box in response to the question on the Guard application that asked new members whether or not they would "volunteer" to go to Vietnam.

Hearing about this egregious breach in journalistic standards, I was enraged and began to wonder if Williams' negligence has anything to do with his role on Fox News' expert panel of political commentators. But my suspicion that Wiliams may be motivated by partisan goals was quickly dashed when I thought for a few moments about his name. You see, Juan Williams' first name is "Juan," which suggested to me that he may be of Hispanic background. If he has Hispanic ancestors, I reasoned, then he can't he be a traditional conservative Republican. He must be an open-minded, independent observer of events, one who perhaps early in life reflexively took liberal positions, but who quickly learned that the patronizing platitudes of liberals are just as harmful to minorities as traditional forms of racism, and that racial progress will only be achieved in America when all of us start "to think outside of the box." And that means being open to traditionally conservative positions, even if one is brown-skinned.

My line of reasoning was complicated, however, when I visited the NPR website to learn more about the evidently independent-minded and courageous Juan Williams. A look at his picture revealed to me that Williams, if he is of Hispanic descent, is nonetheless also an AFRICAN AMERICAN! What to say? I felt positively rebuked for my knee-jerk assumption that his kid-glove treatment of Mark Racicot had something to do with base partisanship. I began to learn that a racist lurks in all of our hearts, perhaps posing the most insidious threat when lodged in the hearts of white liberals like myself, who all too easily assume that pro-Bush positions reflect conservative political goals. How can Juan Williams be an advocate of old-line conservative GOP politics, as a black man? Well, he can't be such an advocate. My liberal complacencies were forever disrupted by the following new way of thinking: a black man can't be a conservative GOP hack; therefore, a conservative GOP hack who is black ISN'T a conservative GOP hack.

A few hours later, upon further reflection, I realized that this way of thinking helped me to understand my cruel tendency to prejudge the ideas of both Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, important officials on Bush's foreign policy team who are, in case you liberals had assumed otherwise, black.

But does all of this reflection help explain this?
Education Secretary Paige calls national teachers union a 'terrorist organization'

WASHINGTON - Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" Monday, taking on the 2.7-million-member National Education Association early in the presidential election year.

Paige's comments, made to the nation's governors at a private White House meeting, were denounced by union president Reg Weaver as well as prominent Democrats.

Paige said later in an Associated Press interview that his comment was "a bad joke; it was an inappropriate choice of words." President Bush was not present at the time he made the remark.

"As one who grew up on the receiving end of insensitive remarks, I should have chosen my words better," said Paige, the first black education secretary.
Blicero adds: Insensitive remarks no more awful in their viciousness and base malignity than the political "hate speech" endured every day by good Republicans of all races everywhere.

Coprophagia Strikes the Southwest 

An AmCop reader in Santa Fe, New Mexico writes:
American Coprophagia is a hit, by the way. My friends and I read it every day out here in the high desert. Great, funny, depressing stuff. Keep it up.
As long as they keep dishing it out, we'll keep shoveling it in!

Texas Needs Our Help 

From MoveOn.org:
While the Presidential race dominates headlines, Tom DeLay's underhanded plans for Texas are quietly moving forward. DeLay's goal has been clear from the start -- to eliminate key progressives, and at the same time ensure that the makeup of the U.S. Congress stays solidly Republican.

One of DeLay's prime targets is U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett. Lloyd has been one of the most progressive leaders in the House. He was a leader against the rush to war in Iraq and has consistently stood his ground against the extremist policies of the Republican leadership. Here’s what Republican staffer Joby Fortson had to say in an internal memo, upon seeing what they were able to do to Doggett’s district: "ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha".

Congressman Doggett is fighting to stay in office. He is running in the newly-drawn 25th district and has asked for our help in his primary bid. We encourage you to support his re-election campaign by making a donation, here:


Q of the Day: Why Can't Saxby "My Actual Name Is 'Saxby Chambliss'" Chambliss Keep His Fat, Slave-Driving Mouth Shut? 

ATLANTA - A leading Georgia Republican, speaking for President Bush's re-election campaign, predicted trouble for John Kerry in the state's primary next month.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss contended that Kerry, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has a weak voting record on military affairs.

'Ole Chickenhawk' Chambliss
Luckily there is a certain someone on hand to set the record straight:
Former Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam and was defeated by Chambliss in a bitter campaign Senate two years ago, slammed Chambliss for the attack:

"For Saxby Chambliss, who got out of going to Vietnam because of a trick knee, to attack John Kerry as weak on the defense of our nation is like a mackerel in the moonlight that both shines and stinks."
I love Max Cleland. Oh, and what do some other Georgians think of Sen. Kerry?
On Foray Into the South, Kerry Gets a Spirited Welcome

ATLANTA, Feb. 22 — Senator John Kerry wants to prove he can win in the South, and on Sunday hundreds of voters mobbed a theater here in the heart of a wealthy Republican neighborhood for a town hall session that quickly turned into a rollicking lovefest.

Nearly 1,000 people crowded inside, eavesdropped from the lobby or strained to hear from the sidewalk on Peachtree Street.

"We're here to mark the beginning of the end of the Bush presidency," Mr. Kerry said, a standard line from his stump speech, and the crowd went wild.

Shock and Awe in New York 

Some interesting (though vague) ideas from Peter Laarman of Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square:
When the Republican National Convention comes to town, the Rev. Peter Laarman hopes to greet it with a quiet, reserved defiance. He wants religious leaders to hold discussion groups on concerns about politicizing Sept. 11. He wants to have seminars to discuss lost jobs. And he wants to bring experts to New York to discuss national security.

What he does not want to do is take to the streets with huge protests. Instead, through a campaign he calls the Accountability Project, he hopes to offer a thoughtful counterpoint when the Republicans stage their nominating convention in New York, scheduled for Aug. 30 through Sept. 2.
"We all can see that it works very much to the advantage of the administration if the president strikes a heroic pose in New York, identifying with the tragedy of Sept. 11 yet again, and if the people who are registering displeasure are doing so in a violent and disruptive way," said Mr. Laarman, who left his post as senior minister at Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square in Greenwich Village to help plan anti-convention activities for the Accountability Project.

He added: "I am not in the business of predictions, but it is my guess a very significant number of people from New York and from around the world are going to take the position that the convention should be shut down or disrupted. There is a good likelihood of that."
Others, however, like Mr. Laarman, of the Accountability Project, were focusing on staying off the streets. His goal, he said, is to provide a "third narrative" to the convention - the first being the convention itself and the second direct confrontation. He said he is aiming his approach at people like his mother, whom he described as an independent voter living in Wisconsin.

Mr. Laarman and Carl Lipscombe, operating out of an office on the 24th floor at 50 Broadway, are trying to raise money and enlist help. Their goal, Mr. Laarman said, is to try to counter the convention's message without staging protests.

They plan to start later next month, when his group is the co-host of a town hall forum called "Shock and Awe in New York" - playing off the name the military gave for its opening offensive against Iraq - at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

A university brochure says, in part, that notable New Yorkers will examine the question of "what communities can do when political leaders appropriate emotionally charged icons for their own purposes."

Full story.
Q: Will the protests count as a "front in the War on Terror"?

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Camo Bibles 

Dawkins writes:

On George Stephanopoulos' show this morning, after the Kerry-Edwards "debate," there was a photo montage of US troops in Iraq set to the mellifluous sound of Paul Bremer's voice telling about the massive troop rotation underway, the troops' "ardruous" sacrifice, and the beautiful democracy they've brought to Iraq.

Meanwhile, one of the images onscreen was of a young soldier in stern contemplation of his camouflage-jacketed New International Version Bible.

And I thought: do Bibles really need to be camouflaged? Do soldiers actually carry them into battle? Are Bibles in Bush's army some sort of new tactical battlefield weapon...?

Of course, we all know to:

In any event, you too can send a "desert camo" Bible to one of our troops:


Meanwhile, view these other nice pictures of God's work occuring in the desert.

And please make special notice of "in the background, the bare feet of troops waiting to be baptized."


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