Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Zippedy Doo Dah, Zippedy Ay, My Oh My, What A Wonderful Day

This is the kind of thing that would normally send me into a rage. Not today.

See, the surest evidence that we do not have a free press is that they don't act like it in any way. This morning's primary exhibit: an opinion piece in the Washington Post by that well-known nonpartisan sage, Liz "Fifth Deferment" Cheney.

I won't bother quoting any of it here because it is, literally, a rehash of many of the same arguments used to keep the US in Vietnam about forty years ago. It is NeoCon Worldview 101. It is complete and utter bullshit. And it is intended to, among other things, slander anyone (and especially Hillary Clinton and Chuck Hagel) who doesn't think this is just the gosh-darnedest best ol' war.


There is one glorious, blazing bright spot. One that redeems the whole thing, and actually makes it one of the nicer pick-me-ups a day could have.

The comments on the piece.

Over two dozen pages, at the time of this post, pretty much unanimously slamming Liz Cheney, her family, her bosses, her words, her take on Iraq, her take on history, her rank cowardice. Hundreds and hundreds of Americans who are offended and angry at the WaPo for even publishing her. Who note that the WaPo identifies her as "former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs", leaving out that "daughter of the Vice President of the United States" part. Who correct her many misstatements and lies. Who ask why the hell she hasn't signed up if it's so important. Who rage at her and revile her and snarl at her and laugh at her.

Bush, Cheney, and their poisonous, murderous crime family have lost everybody, except for the True Believers. And they're running out of those, too.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Smiles, Everyone, Smiles

I have mentioned (well, okay, screamed) on numerous occasions that The Mainstream Press Is The Enemy. The Corporate Media are part of the problem, because they shape the conversation for so much of the country. They do not do their job, which is to report the news. Foremost among their chosen duties is to report on political figures, in particular the President of the United States, in such a way that We, The People, may know what's going on, or at least have a clue to the proper direction of what's going on.

They're not supposed to buddy up to the guy.

They certainly didn't during the Clinton administration.

But Boy Howdy, they loves them some Dubya:
[Comedian Rich] Little said organizers of the event made it clear they don't want a repeat of last year's controversial appearance by Stephen Colbert, whose searing satire of President Bush and the White House press corps fell flat and apparently touched too many nerves.

"They got a lot of letters," Little said Tuesday. "I won't even mention the word 'Iraq.'"

Little, who hasn't been to the White House since he was a favorite of the Reagan administration, said he'll stick with his usual schtick -- the impersonations of the past six presidents.

"They don't want anyone knocking the president. He's really over the coals right now, and he's worried about his legacy," added Little, a longtime Las Vegas resident.
Awww. Don't you feel sorry for the man who lied our country into war, trashed the economy, destroyed our reputation around the world, tortures people in secret prisons, shreds our civil rights, ignores laws and the Constitution, and is about to escalate a war the country wants him to get out of?

Gee. I don't. And the loathsome Press Corps is more worried about his feelings than his actions, or our country, or their chosen responsibility.

I guess they've chosen another responsibility. Which makes it imperative that we never let up on calling them the cohorts, the enablers... what's that term from criminal law...? Accomplices, yeah, that's it. As in, just as fucking guilty. Just as culpable in all those deaths, all that suffering.

You lied, you covered up the lies, you changed the conversation, you worried about missing white women, you debated celebrity break-ups and pregnancies, you did everything you possibly could to change the subject whenever somebody tried to call BushCo on their unspeakable actions... and now you're worried about hurting his feelings.

I hope Cronkite slaps your faces, one at a time. No. I hope he hires The Rock or Bill Goldberg or at least Patrick Warburton to slap your faces, one at a time.

And I really hope that, when Dubya and Cheney and Condi and Rummy and all of your other good pals get sent to the Hague, they've got your names on the indictments as well.

Update: Wait, it gets better. Now the WHCA says they didn't give Little any guidelines. Which doesn't explain how Little knew they'd got a lot of letters....

Monday, January 15, 2007

"Where Am I?" "On The Disney Channel -- At Least There, I Know You Won't Catch Anything"

Okay, this is ludicrous:

In a ruling sure to make philandering spouses squirm, Michigan's second-highest court says that anyone involved in an extramarital fling can be prosecuted for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony punishable by up to life in prison.

"We cannot help but question whether the Legislature actually intended the result we reach here today," Judge William Murphy wrote in November for a unanimous Court of Appeals panel, "but we are curtailed by the language of the statute from reaching any other conclusion."

"Technically," he added, "any time a person engages in sexual penetration in an adulterous relationship, he or she is guilty of CSC I," the most serious sexual assault charge in Michigan's criminal code.


The judges said they recognized their ruling could have sweeping consequences, "considering the voluminous number of felonious acts that can be found in the penal code." Among the many crimes Michigan still recognizes as felonies, they noted pointedly, is adultery -- although the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan notes that no one has been convicted of that offense since 1971.

The problem here, of course, is not the newer ruling, but the older law. Adultery is a bad thing -- but it's not the business of the state or the legal system to get involved in it. And certainly not to theoretically throw people in prison for life for it.

Read the whole article -- there's way more to this than I could do justice to, but the short form is: Everyone knows it's silly, but it's enough of a tweak of the Legislature by the Court that it might affect things for awhile. Ideally, it will at least get that stupid adultery law off the books.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Most of what I've been doing politically lately has been on the LiveJournal. I'm gonna try to focus all that stuff over here again. And this is just a lovely one:

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) made headlines last month after complaining about Congress’ new schedule that requires members to work five days a week:

“Keeping us up here eats away at families,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. “Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families — that’s what this says.”

Last night, Kingston offered some advice for Americans living in poverty: work longer hours. During House debate over the minimum wage, Kingston said raising the minimum wage would do nothing for poor Americans. Instead, if people marry and work longer hours, “they would be out of poverty,” he said. “It’s an economic fact.”

Kingston is wrong. The annual salary for full-time workers earning the federal minimum wage “still leaves a family of three about $6,000 short of the poverty threshold.”

Full transcript:

KINGSTON: If the Democrat Party truly wanted to take on poverty, they would have to say what is the relationship between marriage and the poverty level and between hours worked and the poverty level, because the truth of the matter is, if people end poverty, many of them would marry and work 40 hours a week, they would be out of poverty. … It’s not something I have the knowledge of or the information of, but it’s an economic fact that I hope we could have committee hearings on and discuss this. If we want to attack poverty, that’s where we need to go. With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

Spoken like someone who has never had to, y'know, work for a living.

See, this is a beautiful example of the fake "moralism" in this country: Poor people are poor because it's their own fault. They're lazy.

I truly believe it might never have occurred to Rep. Kingston that, for instance, a person might not be able to get 40 hours because the business cannot sustain it. Or because an employer might not want to, or be able to, pay for health care for that employee (usually based on an hours-per-week threshhold), or for a number of employees. (Wal*Mart, anyone?) Or because the employee can't pay for child care, or at least not full-time child care. Or because of public transportation schedules. Or any of a slew of other reasons.

And what does marriage have to do with it? Married people only make more money if both of them have jobs. If one of them stays home to raise children, that's a whole income missing from the equation -- you slackers!

John Tierney and David Brooks had some columns in the New York Times to this same effect last year. The gist was that you had to work your ass off to get anywhere in this country, unless of course you were a pundit for the New York Times. They seemed especially determined to convince people that women had to get a job, keep house, and have babies, foregoing any education or career until their forties if necessary. No, I'm not kidding.

In the spirit of Bill Maher, I propose a New Rule: Nobody can make asinine comments on how easy it is for people to just buckle down and overwork themselves out of poverty, let alone asinine laws about it, until they have lived for at least a calendar quarter by working at McDonald's. Pay your rent, your phone bill, your car payment and gas, clothes for the kids, oh yeah, food, heat and water if they're not part of the rent, electricity, cable TV if you have it, and any emergency that might pop up. And, in particular, anyone who's bitched about his own five-day work week has no business suggesting a longer one for anybody.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Blogger Culpa

I apologize profoundly to anyone who's subscribed to the RSS feed and just got blasted. I switched over to the New And Improved Blogger this morning, and it reposted damn near everything. This is a "known issue" that they apparently aren't going to fix, because, hey, it'll only happen to you once. Gaaaaaaaah.

And, I'm sorry I haven't posted here much. I've done most of my politicking on my LiveJournal lately, and the past few weeks I've been too busy working on music to even do that. I'll get rolling again soon. After all, today we finally have a new Congress. I hope.

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