Sunday, April 30, 2006

United 93

Dean Esmay, my favorite HIV-denying crackpot, is miffed that someone didn't praise the 9/11 movie "United 93" high enough for his taste. He links to a smirking review of the Salon review by someone called "Cranky Insomniac," who calls Salon "smug and French-sounding."

No doubt these people were captains of the debate team in high school.

Salon's Stephanie Zacharek feels pretty much like I do about the movie (which I haven't seen yet) - no matter how well-made it is, I wonder what the *point* of it is. Why does it exist? Clearly 9/11 is one of the most important historical moments any of us will ever experience, and as such I think it's more than fair game for dramatizations and discussions of all kinds. I even defended the film to a friend, who also hasn't seen it, who proclaimed it was "in bad taste" by definition. I disagree.

But unfortunately the project reminds me of "The Passion of the Christ," Mel Gibson's tragically wrongheaded version of Christ's crucifixion. If all we're shown is two hours of bloody torture, what do we learn about Christ's death? Similarly, what is the point of immersing us in the terror that those passengers felt?

Of course for Bush cultists, who wrap themselves in the fuzzy blanket of 9/11 on a nightly basis, that *is* the point of this movie. Because if it were up to them, we would all be watching footage of the twin towers exploding 24/7, our eyes propped open Clockwork-Orange-style so we couldn't look away, ever. No amount of outrage, and the reliving of outrage, is enough for them.

Well I have a message for those people: get the hell out of my mind. How dare you say that what I feel about 9/11 isn't enough. How dare you presume to tell me how I should interpret that event.

The tragedy of 9/11 is that it changed everything, and changed nothing. And no movie, no pundit, no stupid country song on the radio is going to erase that truth. Ever.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

So true it hurts

Neal Gabler, who has the distinction of having Bill O'Reilly wanting him canned, had this to say about apparently true rumors that Fox News' Tony Snow will become the new White House Press Secretary:

"It would be a change in job title, but not description."

Saturday, April 22, 2006

War with Iran

Is anyone else getting just a little sense of deja vu over the Iran war drumbeat? As Jon Stewart has said, it's only one letter away from Iraq. And the tactics seem identical - hype the threat, compare their leaders to Hitler, and try to pretend to be considering anything other than war while the war plans are being drawn up.

As Kevin Drum has said, this administration doesn't actually want to talk to Iran. Just as in Iraq, when they didn't want inspectors because it might remove their rationale for war, they don't want diplomacy in Iran for the same reason.

I believe the war is already set. The only thing we don't know is exactly what form it will take.

Well, actually, there's another thing we don't know about the War in Iran - who will it be blamed on? The press? Cindy Sheehan? Bill Clinton? (Blaming it on "the gays" is so 2001.) I've got one - illegal Mexicans! Brilliant!

And the world rolls on. For now.

The line is a dot

Digby says something I've been saying for a while now - are there any taboos left?

"You're so far over the line, you can't see the line. The line is a dot to you."
-Joey Tribbiani, "Friends"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Winston Smith puts it well

"I do not think [Bush and his administration] are evil and I do not think they are idiots. But I am fairly sure that they are fairly bad, and fairly sure that they are unwilling to consider even the possibility that they might be wrong. And at least as much harm has been done to the world by men such as these as has been done by history's pure villains.
OBL is a psychopath, but he has little power. Bush is merely a not-very-good man. But a psychopath with a pointy stick is nowhere near as dangerous as a not-very-good man with a wing of B-52s."


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Assimilate this, bitch

Now that the right wingers have settled on "throw the brown people out" as their chosen wedge issue for the 2006 midterm elections, we're seeing the return of a great code word: assimilation.

Why can't those brown people just stop speaking Spanish, stop waving flags around and get back to their jobs picking fruit and cleaning our toilets?

Frankly, the rhetoric surrounding "assimilation" and the brown peoples' resistance to it reminds me a little too much of the right-wing rhetoric about gay people. Why can't those gays just shut up about what they do in the bedroom? Why do they have to shove it in my face all the time? Why do they have to show up at the White House Easter Egg Roll and disrupt everything with their perverted desires?

There is a racist angle to all this. After all, Michelle Malkin isn't writing columns about how the St. Patrick's Day Parade is a rejection of American values.

But in the end, I think, the "assimilation" gambit is less about racism and more about the right wing's insistence that they and only they know the "proper" way to live, the "proper" way to be an American. How dare they think they can decide for anyone else what it means to be an American? How dare they decide that they are the final arbiter of what American culture should look like?

How dare they.

UPDATE: I have to say, with all the caterwauling about the "loss of American culture" (translation: too many brown people speaking gibberish), I get a little rush of pleasure thinking about Rick Santorum or Tom Tancredo waking up one morning and realizing that *he* was the minority.

It's not as pleasurable as the phrase "The Vice President shot an old man in the face," but it's close.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Bunker busters

Well, now according to Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker, Bush is planning to initiate nuclear war with Iran.

Great idea! I want to be one of the first to get behind this plan. After all, the only thing that can make our silk purse of a world even better would be to allow a President with a self-acknowledged messianic complex to initiate unprovoked nuclear war. It's the big prize we've all been waiting for. "Canticle for Leibowitz," here we come.

Sweet merciful Jesus.

Apparently the administration has already been briefing some members of Congress on the plan, and true to form, they've basically shrugged their shoulders and gone back to taking bribes from lobbyists. Reminds me of Tyler Durden's description of the people on airline safety cards: "Calm as Hindu cows."

I've said it before and I'll say it again: we richly deserve everything that's coming to us.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I'm not making this up

Ann Coulter's new book is coming out on 6/6/06.


Thursday, April 06, 2006


So Scooter Libby's testimony in the Plame leak case says that Bush authorized leaking classified information in the effort to discredit Plame's husband, Joe Wilson. Then, of course, came months and months of posturing. Of course leaking is bad, says the President. Of course I'm going to get to the bottom of this, says the President. Anyone caught leaking will be shown the door, says the President.

But like so much else coming out of his mouth since he took office, that was a lie.

But hey, it's OK. These days, we can't even agree what a lie is. We can't agree what torture is, or what treason is. Hell, we don't even know what "war" is. Until Bush took office, I thought these were pretty easy concepts to understand. But no more. 9/11 changed everything, didn't you hear? Christians are now the persecuted ones. Up is down and green is blue. War is, literally, peace. Unless we say otherwise. And if you even start thinking that the Emperor has no clothes, we're going to drag you into the town square and set you on fire, you dirty terrorist-lover!

Does anyone care? Is anyone even listening anymore? (This morning, the day after Libby's testimony became public, the infamous "liberal press" didn't ask Scottie McClellan a single question about the Plame case. Not a single one.)

Not much else to say.

OMFG Quote of the Week

"It is simply amazing how some people will take the silk purse that is Iraq and try to mangle it into a sow's ear, based on nothing but press accounts and pessimistic analysts."

-Dean Esmay
Bonus bugfuck insane comment on Dean's "silk purse" post:
"If this is Vietnam, it's Vietnam done right."
Call McMann and Tate! We have a winner!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I wish I'd written this, Part Infinity

From Eschaton:
Kudos to Feingold for supporting gay marriage. It's the right thing to do, and we're the party of the gay anyway so we might as well be right on the morality. It's not as if we're gonna capture the hate the gay vote anyway, so it's time we had some political leaders who, you know, lead.

The endless waffling on these issues trying to find some incoherent middle ground makes politicians look bad.
I would add, it shames us all.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ho, Ho, Hos

Rush Limbaugh, after calling an alleged rape victim a 'ho', said this by way of apology:

"I regret that you heard me say it."

Yes, Rush, we all regret every day that you don't keep most of your thoughts to yourself. Work on that and get back to us, OK? Thanks.


As part of his remarks today announcing his resignation from Congress (yay!) Tom DeLay said that Democrats are "drunk with power."

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Bush lied! Bonus

While I'm waiting for some video of Feingold on FNS this morning, here's a bonus link where Salon's Joe Conason discusses the "Saddam wouldn't let the inspectors in" lie that Bush told repeatedly.

Of course looking at it now, it's weird to call it a lie. Usually a lie is something told when the real truth, one way or another, isn't known by the people being told the lie. This is more like your next door neighbor meeting you on the sidewalk in a torrential downpour and exclaiming, "I love this sunny weather." It's a strange denial of a reality we all understand.

Still, in this Through the Looking Glass world we live in, we are surrounded by this sort of stuff. "Who you gonna believe - me or your lying eyes?" We don't torture. Saddam and Osama were friends. The war will be swift and cheap. Global warming is junk science. Gays are destroying marriage. Terri Schiavo is conscious.

We should be used to it by now.


That's the word for Russ Feingold's performance in the lion's den of Fox News Sunday earlier today. Here are some other words: forceful, strong, clear, commanding, ethical. He destroyed Chris Wallace's barrage of right-wing talking points on the censure, one by one.

This isn't about spying on terrorists. It's about whether we will require the President to act within the law.

I'm desperately hoping that someone like Crooks & Liars puts up video of Feingold's appearance, so I can link to it. If this man isn't the country's next President, we will all be the poorer for it.