Friday, September 03, 2004

The wronger you are, the crazier you have to act. 

Krugman makes a great point: the reason those Republicans inside the convention were putting "Purple Heart band-aids" on themselves is because they are wounded; and they are thrilled to have been able to scream for several days inside a bubble where there's no shame in showing just how ashamed of your wounds you really are.

All I Needed to Hear 

"Let me tell you in no uncertain terms what makes someone unfit for office and unfit for duty," Mr. Kerry said, turning to Mr. Bush. "Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead our country. Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this country. Letting 45 million Americans go without health care for four years makes you unfit to lead this country.

"Letting the Saudi royal family control the price of oil for Americans makes you unfit to lead this country. Handing out billions of dollars in government contracts without a bid to Halliburton while you're still on the payroll makes you unfit lead this country.

"That, my friends, is the record of George Bush and Dick Cheney - and that only begins to scratch the surface."

Scratch, scratch, scratch.

Beady-Eyed Vulture Nervously Perched Atop Mt. of Corpses 

Never found a big centralized demonstration tonight; people proceeded toward Madison Square Garden and sort of agglomerated around the many police fortifications engirding the MSG area. Spontaneous sidewalk demonstrations occurred here.

Obviously there wasn't much to see...and so the occasional delegates (or credentialed, delegate-looking people) who popped out of a car and proceeded briskly along the avenue on the police-protected side of the barriers had to assume the entire burden of the crowd's jeers, boos, laughter, and chants of "shame." Would not have wanted to be in those delegates' shoes.

Every path toward the Garden was sealed off for many blocks in every direction...except for one, apparently, which led directly back to that dumb-ass "CNN Diner" from yesterday:

So we watched Shitface through the diner's windows--the sound was being broadcast on the sidewalk. This would have been a great location for a demonstration (right next to the Garden), if everyone else had found it. As it was, the location made for surreal and unsettling convention-watching. All the CNN whores inside the diner scarcely paying attention, and the folks on the sidewalk outside a pretty thin mixture of protestors, convention supporters, and indeterminate onlookers. There was a girl with wild purple hair (wig?) and a punkish outfit right up against the glass watching raptly and waving a little flag (unironically, as I gradually learned) whenever Turdeater said something that pleased her. I developed quite a rapport with this lady:

She was gentle, insane, and cheerful. As I heckled Bush out loud ("Vote Bush! Kill Gays!" etc.) all of my sarcasm was lost on her, and she increasingly wanted to give me high-fives. Even when she recognized my preterite, fallen, Bushless condition, she was still friendly. We managed to both agree that God would sort us--and Bush--out, however He saw fit.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

"I don't know that." 

Cracker Zell cracks up.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Judy, speaking of Zell Miller, he is here with us. Zell Miller, who delivered the keynote speech. We want to talk to you later. We'll be speaking with Tad Divine, a senior Democratic strategist for the Democratic political ticket.

But Senator Miller, you have accused the Democratic presidential nominee of being a flip-flopper, but remember, as you pointed out yourself, 12-years-ago you were here endorsing Bill Clinton and going after the first President Bush. The Democrats are saying, you've become a flip-flopper.

SEN. ZELL MILLER (D), GEORGIA: They've said a lot of things worse than that. I don't think I've ever used the term flip-flopper of John Kerry. I've talked about this atrocious record that he's had for 20 years in the United States Senate. What a weak record it is on national defense and what a terrible record it is on raising taxes.

BLITZER: But as you well know, they're been many times over the years, you've worked very closely with him and praised him. The Democrats are circulating information that as recently as three years ago, you were praising him.

SEN. ZELL MILLER (D), GEORGIA: That was before 9/11. That was along about maybe 2001, and I'd come to the Senate, been there for about five or six months. This man was a war hero, and I honor war heroes, and I honor John Kerry's service.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Senator Miller, the Democrats are pointing out that John Kerry voted for 16 of 19 defense budgets that came through Congress while he was in the Senate, and many of these votes that you cited, Dick Cheney also voted against, that they were specific weapons systems.

MILLER: What I was talking about was a period of 19 years in the Senate. I've been in the Senate for four years. There's quite a few years' difference there. I have gotten documentation on every single one of those votes that I talked about here today. I've got more documentation here than the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library put together on that.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: You also were, I would say, almost indignant that anyone would possibly call America military occupiers, not liberators, on at least four occasions. President Bush has referred to the presence of American forces in Iraq as an occupation, and the question is: Are you not selectively choosing words to describe the same situation the president of the United States is describing?

MILLER: I don't know if the president of the United States uses those words, but I know Senator Kennedy and Senator Kerry have used them on several occasions.

GREENFIELD: Yes. So has President Bush.

MILLER: Well, I don't know about that.

GREENFIELD: Well, we'll...

BLITZER: You know that when the secretary -- when the vice president was the secretary of defense he proposed cutting back on the B-2 Bomber, the F-14 Tomcat as well. I covered him at the Pentagon during those years when he was raising serious concerns about those two weapons systems.

MILLER: Look, the record is, as I stated, he voted against, he opposed all of those weapons systems. That, to me, I think shows the kind of priority he has as far as national defense.

Look, John Kerry came back from Vietnam as a young man unsure of whether America was a force for good or evil in the world. He still has that uncertainty about him.

WOODRUFF: You praised him...

GREENFIELD: Then why did you say in 2001 that he strengthened the military? You said that three years ago.

MILLER: Because that was the biographical sketch that they gave me. This young senator -- not young senator, but new senator had come up there, and all I knew was that this man had won the Purple Heart three times and won the Silver Star and...

Look, I went back and researched the records, and I looked at these, and I -- when I was putting that speech together, I wanted to make sure, whenever I sat down with people like you who would take these talking points from the Democrats and who also have covered politics for years, that I would know exactly what I was talking about, and we don't have time to go through it on the air, but I can go through every one of those things that were mentioned about where he voted.

He voted against the B-1 Bomber...

BLITZER: A lot of...

MILLER: ... on October the 15th, '90, and on and on.

WOODRUFF: But do you simply reject the idea that Vice President Cheney, as Wolf said and as we know from the record, also voted against some of these systems?

MILLER: I don't think Cheney voted against these.

BLITZER: No, but he opposed some of them when he was the defense secretary, and sometimes he was overruled by the Congress because he was concerned, he was worried that the defense of the United States could be better served by some other weapons systems, not specifically those. I'm specifically referring to the B-2 and the F-14 Tomcat.

MILLER: I'm talking about John Kerry's record. I'll let Dick Cheney, the vice president, answer those charges. He knows what happened in the Department of Defense years ago. I don't know that.

Umbric Objection 

From: Giuseppe Abote
To: letters@MSNBC.com

Dear editors,

Your story on Wednesday night's speeches at the RNC carries this headline: "Cheney, Miller take the fight to Kerry." Obviously, you are echoing the president's oft-repeated claim made in defense of the Iraq war that he is "taking the fight to the terrorists" "over there" so we do not have to face him "here at home." The inescapable conclusion is that you believe that New York City is a foreign country in need of invasion and, more importantly, that John Kerry is a terrorist.

Two days before that, after Rudy Giuliani addressed the convention, you posted a "Question of the Day" online poll in which readers could offer their reactions to the many questionable claims in the former mayor's speech by choosing from the following options:

"Did Rudy Giuliani's speech reassure you or move you to support the Bush-Cheney ticket?"

Now, come on! That is just Orwellian.

I am not even going to humor you by asking if you really intended to come off as unabashedly partisan and cruel as you have. Obviously you intended it. But I would like to ask: What are you thinking? And also: Have you no shame?

I have watched your channel and read your site for years now. But not anymore. You have gone from being a non-partisan outlet for harmless sensationalism to a clumsy and creepy propaganda mill. Best of luck in the future. I'll be over at Fox, where at least they are open about their biases.


M. Abote

Two Images 

Life in Death (Eyes Wide Shut demonstration for Iraq dead in Union Square):

Death in Life (demonstration of murder near Herald Square):

Whores, etc. 

Across the street from the Garden was the CNN media bus, parked next to some restaurant which had been set up as a CNN "Diner."

CNN has had kids working on streetcorners handing out little cardboard "CNN" signs, CNN magnets and CNN buttons. You'd think it'd be the most useless and miserable job imaginable--but the passersby loved this shit. The kids couldn't dispense the magnets fast enough. I guess people just like to get shit. Weird.

Candy Crowley ducks through Garden security, presumably after having been stuffing her fat face in the "CNN Diner." (Or probably she made them carry the food from the diner to the bus.)

I told Begala we were counting on him to do a good job. He concurred (i.e., that he should do a good job). This is just before he slipped into the Garden practically arm-in-arm with Tucker Carlson.

Not related, but last night as I was arriving at The Tank Joe Trippi was leaving. Later, after the Zell/Cheney corpse-a-thon, The Tank hosted an open-mic rant session. I gave two rants. The first was a kind of stilted version of my old "GOP to Celebrate Life" post. This fell pretty flat; only a few people seemed to get the Bush-is-a-partial-birth-abortion joke. My second rant--a more authentic, ranty rant--focused on the convention's corpsophagia, Schwarzenegger's fuck-devour-and-kill-you thing, and Bush's tautological claim-to-power-via-sheer-stupidity dynamic. It was a pretty big hit.

Afterward I talked to Kos. He (and evidently Atrios) are promoting the idea that tonight's baby-eating performances by Zell and Cheney will be seen transparently as the bloodthirsty, protofascist, swing-voter-averse assaults they were. I expressed my doubts.

AmCop Exclusive: The Faces of the GOP 

As seen in Union Square...

...and across the street from Madison Square Garden:

These people just can't conceal their joy at being here at the nomination of their "president," can they?

I looked closely at the button to see if it (and thus the sign) was a parody. It wasn't. The reverse said "Invade North Korea Now!" No joke.

And those weren't even the best. No, no. They were just slow and/or demented enough to allow me to photograph them at close range.

Fwd to Kerry Camp 

Giuseppe Abote writes:

Jesus Christ, who writes these headlines?

"Cheney, Miller take the fight to Kerry"

I suppose we're fighting Kerry in New York now so we don't have to face him at home in Kansas. And undoubtedly America and the world will be safer with Kerry out of power.

Obviously Kerry needs to get media coverage back around to the important questions of this election, e.g., who is competent to win the war against al Qaeda, who can restore America's respect in the world, who understands the struggles of middle-class workers, and so on. This has to happen soon. We are entering Bush-Gore territory here--that locker-room mentality is setting in among many journalists who are bored and pent-up and looking for someone to haze.

Perhaps what Kerry should do is turn his boat into the fire, as he often says. But it is crucial here to recognize that the enemy fire is actually the MEDIA now and not, as it may seem, the Bush campaign. Bush is just doing the nasty shit he always does and will always do; why isn't the media calling him on it? Do they know no shame? Well, in fact, the good news is that the media knows shame intimately. Today's television personality is an insecure, lazy, attention-hound who is forever torn between sucking up to the people he covers and destroying them.

What I propose is this. Tomorrow morning Kerry announces that he is very disappointed that MSNBC persists in likening him to a terrorist in its headlines (and in putting up Stalinist polls in which respondents can choose between feeling "reassured" or "moved to support Bush" by Giuliani's speech full of lies). Thus, no more access for MSNBC. Indeed, no more press access for NBC and CNBC and Univision, either. And then he will reward those media outlets (if any) who correctly point out the steady stream of falsehoods issuing from the death-altar in Madison Square Garden. Would it work? Would the major media somehow shape up their act in order to maintain their access? It's a thought, at least.

At any rate something needs to be done directly about what MSNBC is doing here, which is absolutely unacceptable. No doubt lots of other major journalists need to be publicly called out as whores, as well. Gore should have done this. Part of what made his performances in 2000 so painful was the way he acted as though the media didn't quite exist, or at least existed at a sober, deliberative remove from public opinion and the events of the campaign. Of course, as was obvious, they were actively shaping public opinion and altering the course of the campaign. And there was no accountability! Bottom line, the media beat Gore, not Bush. (Well, yeah, I know nobody actually beat Gore.) Kerry cannot allow this to happen again.

"Regurgitating old controversies" 

Austin Wolfe writes:

It looks like the Barnes story is finally about to take off. Salon reports that "Barnes has already sat down for a '60 Minutes' interview that will air a week from Sunday."

Throughout his political career Bush has adamantly denied that he got a Guard pilot spot through preferential treatment. That, despite the fact Bush was jumped ahead of a nationwide waiting list of 100,000 Guard applicants, while achieving the lowest possible passing grade on his pilot aptitude test for would-be fliers, and listing 'none' as his background qualifications.

Barnes, once a rising star in Texas politics, insists strings were pulled on Bush's behalf, and he helped pull them. Speaking to Kerry supporters in Austin, Texas, in May, he said, 'I got a young man named George W. Bush into the Texas National Guard' ... Recalling a recent visit to the Vietnam Memorial, Barnes added, 'I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I have ever been, because it was the worst thing I ever did, was help a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry about that, and I'm very ashamed.'

Although Barnes' comments were made in May, they only became widely circulated last Friday. Even in light of the Liars for Truth smear campaign, a Washington Post reporter "suggested Barnes' comments didn't qualify as 'fresh information,' and consequently he wasn't interested in 'simply regurgitating old controversies." Liberal bias, indeed.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


This is Pat Peale, a convention delegate from Texas and nasty old bag, wearing an adhesive bandage emblazoned with a Purple Heart.

Why is she wearing an adhesive bandage with a Purple Heart on it?

Because she’s joining hundreds of other delegates on the floor of the convention to mock John Kerry and to belittle the wounds he received while fighting to defend freedom in Vietnam.

Why would Republicans mock the wounds of someone who fought on their behalf to safeguard the freedoms they cherish?

I don’t know. You should ask Pat Peale.

So where did she get her funny Purple Heart bandage?

It turns out the bandages -- which came with a message that read, "It was just a self-inflicted scratch, but you see I got a Purple Heart for it" -- were distributed by delegate Morton Blackwell of Arlington, Va.

Who’s Morton Blackwell?

He’s a guy who just happens to be an old friend of Karl Rove who helped get Rove started in politics when he trained him as a Republican organizer back when little Karl was still in high school.

Neat coincidence, huh?

And did everyone enjoy the joke as much as Pat Peale did? Well, not exactly. In fact, the national commander of the Military Order of The Purple Heart, an organization that represents wounded veterans, said his 38,000 members were "outraged that an award that has been earned by them for shedding blood on the battlefields of the world would be so denigrated by using it for the purpose of political advantage."

So what did the Bush campaign have to say about the bandages?

"It was inappropriate," Karl said of the bandages on CNN. But, he added, "I understand why some people who were in Vietnam feel very strongly about what Senator Kerry did and said when he came back."

I see. So it was inappropriate… but also kind of not so inappropriate, too!

Thanks Karl, Morton, and Pat!

Dead Heroes 

Remember: I fuck horses. I numb my brain with drugs, slather paint on my face, and then fuck horses. Why shouldn't I? I don't know what language is, so nothing matters.

I bite the heads off of babies and stuff them into my gullet. I pull the innards out of children, then strangle other children with those innards. I rape. I stomp. I smash my metal head into things. I'll fuck everything, kill everything, and destroy everything I can grasp. I'm so dazzling my mere presence kills, rapes, and plunders. That's why everyone loves me, and my "smile." I'll break you apart, "dazzle" you to death, eat you, shit you out, and stomp the shit until it glitters. Then I'll rape and plunder the glittering shit.

A couple CNN items I'm not going to click on, but be my guest:

1.) Bill Schneider reports on Schwarzenegger's appeal. PLAY VIDEO.


Whom does President Bush have most in common with politically?

John McCain

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Ronald Reagan


Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Giving water to people at a protest at the UN under the auspices of the Progressive Tourism Bureau; also handed out leaflets which evidently directed progressive tourists to The Tank on W. 42nd Street [see below] where they could receive more water and/or be recruited to go out and distribute more water/pamphlets to other protestors under the auspices of the Progressive Tourism Bureau...you get the idea.

The potential-water/pamphlet-recipient target-field, near the UN.

They're at every demonstration, God bless 'em.

Death's Head. As seen from The Tank, with vomit dribbling down my shirt. (Shouldn't have taken off that apron.) Markos of dailykos.com was in the back of the room blogging. Also other important-looking but unrecognizable bloggers.

After Giuliani had finished the first night's concluding prayer by slitting his own throat on stage, The Tank got fun. Kerry-oke began; here we have "No Scrub," dedicated to you know who.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Blood lusting missile fetishizers worship at orgy of destruction 

I turned on the Republican National Convention tonight at approximately 9pm.

Hollywood hack actor Ron Silver was shrieking from the podium about the awesome military might of the United States and the need to reelect the Maximum Leader in a vein-popping tone that would have embarrassed Mussolini.

Congresswoman/man Heather Wilson of New Mexico got up next and told a (truth be told, harrowing and heart-rending) story of the self-sacrifice of a military person, before introducing a clip of a veterans' event held earlier in the day at the Intrepid aircraft carrier museum on the West Side of Manhattan. A fake "RNC" news anchor on the scene at the carrier asked a veteran why honoring our veterans was important, and the old guy actually said, "We need to know our history, because if we don't understand our history, we're doomed to repeat it."

Both interviewer and interviewee paused for a quarter of a second in apparent shamed recognition of the soul-shattering irony of his insight.

I went away from the TV for a couple minutes to laugh/piss/puke/hurt myself, and I returned to see an utterly terrifying, Riefenstahlian, fast-cut photo montage of armed fighter planes slicing through the air, engorged nuclear submarines penetrating the seas, heavy artillery machines cocked and loaded and bulldozing across the land, interspersed with clips from those MTV-style Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard advertisements from TV, with the logos of those branches of the armed services whooshing and crashing headlong into the camera, while an African-American gospel chorus screamed out a soundtrack of martial ballads ("From the Halls of Montezuma", "Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder", etc.) and George H. W. Bush and his life's companion looked on in fanged glee.

This was all BEFORE the appearance by fascist cop Bernard Kerik, and well before the psychopathic war-chants of Giuliani and McCain. And this is only Monday night.

Any guesses as to what the continuing overriding theme of this convention might be?

As the C-SPAN cameras panned across the faces in the crowd while all this was going on, the people in the convention hall looked ecstatic, to be sure, but at the same time vaguely frightened....

And Back by Popular Demand... 


New York: "I'll Be Here (Hopefully) Long After Bush Is Dead" 

Some images from yesterday's march:

The keynote, in my opinion.

A simple statement of fact.

Two demonstrators show their signs.

I guess this guy didn't hear about the swift boats, and the truth?

A matter to be thoroughly looked into, one hopes.

The march moves very, very slowly up 7th Avenue.

The march passes Madison Square Garden, home of this week's shit/corpse/& ash fest.

"Republican Convention: 12-Year-Old to Cover RNC for 'Weekly Reader.'" Is that Candy Crowley on screen?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Shit Begins: Imagine Festival 

from the "Unofficial, Uncensored Welcome Party" at Crobar last night.

The Billionaires for Bush:

A guy with a pretty interesting T-shirt:

The Billionaires in their limo, waving "Bush/Cheney" and "Four More Wars" signs:

What $65 million of security looks like (part 1):


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