May 30, 2005

"Praise Bravery, Seek Forgiveness"

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune gets it:
Nothing young Americans can do in life is more honorable than offering themselves for the defense of their nation. It requires great selflessness and sacrifice, and quite possibly the forfeiture of life itself. On Memorial Day 2005, we gather to remember all those who gave us that ultimate gift. Because they are so fresh in our minds, those who have died in Iraq make a special claim on our thoughts and our prayers.

In exchange for our uniformed young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives, civilian Americans owe them something important: It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country. In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.

The "smoking gun," as some call it, surfaced on May 1 in the London Times. It is a highly classified document containing the minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting at 10 Downing Street in which Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair on talks he'd just held in Washington. His mission was to determine the Bush administration's intentions toward Iraq.

At a time when the White House was saying it had "no plans" for an invasion, the British document says Dearlove reported that there had been "a perceptible shift in attitude" in Washington. "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The (National Security Council) had no patience with the U.N. route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

It turns out that former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill were right. Both have been pilloried for writing that by summer 2002 Bush had already decided to invade.

Walter Pincus, writing in the Washington Post on May 22, provides further evidence that the administration did, indeed, fix the intelligence on Iraq to fit a policy it had already embraced: invasion and regime change. Just four days before Bush's State of the Union address in January 2003, Pincus writes, the National Security Council staff "put out a call for new intelligence to bolster claims" about Saddam Hussein's WMD programs. The call went out because the NSC staff believed the case was weak. Moreover, Pincus says, "as the war approached, many U.S. intelligence analysts were internally questioning almost every major piece of prewar intelligence about Hussein's alleged weapons programs." But no one at high ranks in the administration would listen to them.

On the day before Bush's speech, the CIA's Berlin station chief warned that the source for some of what Bush would say was untrustworthy. Bush said it anyway. He based part of his most important annual speech to the American people on a single, dubious, unnamed source. The source was later found to have fabricated his information.

Also comes word, from the May 19 New York Times, that senior U.S. military leaders are not encouraged about prospects in Iraq. Yes, they think the United States can prevail, but as one said, it may take "many years."

As this bloody month of car bombs and American deaths -- the most since January -- comes to a close, as we gather in groups small and large to honor our war dead, let us all sing of their bravery and sacrifice. But let us also ask their forgiveness for sending them to a war that should never have happened. In the 1960s it was Vietnam. Today it is Iraq. Let us resolve to never, ever make this mistake again. Our young people are simply too precious.

May 29, 2005

What A Lovely Day To Play Dress-Up

Look At Me!

"U.S. President George W. Bush shows off his new Navy jacket, a gift from the graduating class of 2005, at the U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremony in Anapolis, May 27, 2005. President Bush shook the hands of each of the 976 graduates as they came to the stage for their diplomas" and apologized in advance for not being able to attend their military funerals.


As of Saturday, May 28, 2005, at least 1,655 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,264 died as a result of hostile action, according to the Defense Department. The figures include four military civilians.

The AP count is eight higher than the Defense Department's tally, last updated at 11 a.m. EDT Friday.

The British military has reported 88 deaths; Italy, 21; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 17; Spain, 11; Bulgaria, 10; Slovakia, three; Estonia, Thailand and the Netherlands, two each; and Denmark, El Salvador, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Latvia one death each.

Since May 1, 2003, when President Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, 1,517 U.S. military members have died, according to AP's count. That includes at least 1,155 deaths resulting from hostile action, according to the military's numbers.


May 28, 2005

Support the Troops

Join Rep. John Conyers' efforts to expose President Fraud as the liar we all know him to be and help run him and his gang of thieves out of town. Then maybe we can finally get our men and women who were sent to Iraq on a bunch lies out of harm's way.


Click on the pic (lovingly stolen from and sign Conyers' letter to The White House. You can also donate to Conyers' re-election campaign and receive an autographed copy of What Went Wrong in Ohio? The Conyers Report on the 2004 Presidential Election by clicking on the book:


And remember, as Bush acts all presidentable this weekend and talks about the kind of sacrifice he knows nothing about, that the lying sack of shit STILL hasn't attended a single military funeral.

"Happy" Memorial Day Weekend.

May 27, 2005


Untitled, Will McRobb (2005)

New site for all your Transistor Widow needs: The Transistor Widow

May 25, 2005

Arianna Huffington Points Out the Obvious:

Tim Russert is a Joey Nichols:
"...when Howard Dean raised the specter of Iraq...Tim Russert quickly took him back to his hot-headed rhetoric and style:
DEAN: Because of the president's actions, I would argue that we are in greater danger now because of what's going on in Iraq than we were before. Now there are terrorists in Iraq. They have migrated there since our troops were there.

RUSSERT: Let me stay on your rhetoric...

Nice pivot, Tim. Yes, by all means, let's stay on Dean's rhetoric rather than on the insignificant fact that our country is less safe as a result of our invasion of Iraq."
For the rest of her post, go here.

Signs of Spine

Rep. Pete Stark, D-California, in response to this gem from Tom Delay...
The embryonic research bill would force taxpayers to finance "the dismemberment of living, distinct human beings"
...had this to say:
"I don't need a lecture from the majority leader on moral and ethical leadership."

May 23, 2005

Sign the Petition

"The Senate must oppose the "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibuster, and preserve the checks and balances that have kept our courts fair and independent for centuries."
Go here.

May 22, 2005

"Break me a f*cking give."

Anthony Lane's review of the final (!) Star Wars film is priceless (at least for those of us who cannot fathom how anyone over the age of 9 could possibly still care about a franchise that clearly should have had an expiration date decades ago). Here's a sampling:
The general opinion of “Revenge of the Sith” seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.” True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion...

...the one who gets me is Yoda. May I take the opportunity to enter a brief plea in favor of his extermination? Any educated moviegoer would know what to do, having watched that helpful sequence in “Gremlins” when a small, sage-colored beastie is fed into an electric blender. A fittingly frantic end, I feel, for the faux-pensive stillness on which the Yoda legend has hung. At one point in the new film, he assumes the role of cosmic shrink—squatting opposite Anakin in a noirish room, where the light bleeds sideways through slatted blinds. Anakin keeps having problems with his dark side, in the way that you or I might suffer from tennis elbow, but Yoda, whose reptilian smugness we have been encouraged to mistake for wisdom, has the answer. “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose,” he says. Hold on, Kermit, run that past me one more time. If you ever got laid (admittedly a long shot, unless we can dig you up some undiscerning alien hottie with a name like Jar Jar Gabor), and spawned a brood of Yodettes, are you saying that you’d leave them behind at the first sniff of danger? Also, while we’re here, what’s with the screwy syntax? Deepest mind in the galaxy, apparently, and you still express yourself like a day-tripper with a dog-eared phrase book. “I hope right you are.” Break me a fucking give.

May 21, 2005


I'll Say It Again: Bush Lied, People Died

Read this brilliant post by the always-brilliant Digby.

The only thing I disagreed with was this sentence:
"Both Bush and Blair were re-elected despite the fact that they invaded a country to "disarm" it and found out that the country didn't have any arms in the first place."
Bush was not re-elected.

May 18, 2005

Note to Democrats:

This is how you deal with your opponents: You pummel them with the truth.

Gentleman George Galloway vs. Stormin' Norman Coleman
"Senator, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader. and neither has anyone on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one - and neither has anyone on my behalf.

"Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice. I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever written to me or telephoned me, without any attempt to contact me whatsoever. And you call that justice.

"Now I want to deal with the pages that relate to me in this dossier and I want to point out areas where there are - let's be charitable and say errors. Then I want to put this in the context where I believe it ought to be. On the very first page of your document about me you assert that I have had 'many meetings' with Saddam Hussein. This is false.

"I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as "many meetings" with Saddam Hussein.

"As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war...

"Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life's blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.

I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

"Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

"If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to President Chirac who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth.
Video is here.

"News" Week

"People lost their lives. People are dead. People need to be very careful about what they say, just as they need to be careful about what they do." - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (May 17, 2005)
"Bring 'em on." - George W. Bush (July 3, 2003)
"Newsweek Lied. People Died." - Conservative Pundit and Member of The Joey Nichols Club, Michelle Malkin (May 15, 2005)
The Downing Street Memo, recently leaked, reveals that President George W. Bush decided to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in summer 2002 and, determined to ensure that U.S. intelligence data supported his policies, "fixed" the intelligence and facts relevent to WMD.
1,804 - Current number of Iraq Coalition Casualties
21,707 to 24, 628 - Number of civilians reported killed by military intervention in Iraq
"I do think (the Newsweek article has) done a lot of harm," (Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice said. "Of course, 16 people died but it's also done a lot of harm to America's efforts" to demonstrate tolerance and breed goodwill in the Muslim world."
Here's an example of how the ultra-conservative NY Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, demonstrates tolerance toward Muslim Shites: With a cheap joke.


And by the way:
Q: Do either one of you have anything about the demonstrations in Afghanistan, which were apparently sparked by reports that there was a lack of respect by some interrogators at Guantanamo for the Koran. Do either one of you have anything to say about that?

GEN. MYERS: It's the -- it's a judgment of our commander in Afghanistan, General Eikenberry, that in fact the violence that we saw in Jalalabad was not necessarily the result of the allegations about disrespect for the Koran -- and I'll get to that in just a minute -- but more tied up in the political process and the reconciliation process that President Karzai and his Cabinet is conducting in Afghanistan. So that's -- that was his judgment today in an after- action of that violence. He didn't -- he thought it was not at all tied to the article in the magazine.

General Craddock, our commander of Southern Command, has been in Guantanamo for the last couple of days digging into this issue to see if there was a time when the Koran was not respected. I can tell you that the version of the Koran that we provide to detainees is approved by the ICRC. So we're very careful about that. They have looked through the logs, the interrogation logs, and they cannot confirm yet that there were ever the case of the toilet incident, except for one case, a log entry, which they still have to confirm, where a detainee was reported by a guard to be ripping pages out of a Koran and putting in the toilet to stop it up as a protest. But not where the U.S. did it.

Now, there -- so it's something we're going to look at. That's still unconfirmed; it's a log entry that has to be confirmed. There are several log entries that show that the Koran may have been moved to -- and the detainees became irritated about it, but never an incident where it was thrown in the toilet.

- U.S. Department of Defense briefing, May 12, 2005

May 17, 2005

The Greatest Nickelodeon Show...Ever!

It's not Ren & Stimpy (a close second) and it's certainly not my two lame contributions (although I am proud that Nick Rocks literally world-premiered the very first They Might Be Giants video and that my last act as producer of Don't Just Sit There! was to help book the band Fishbone). No, the greatest Nickelodeon show ever was (and now is, thanks to the miracle of DVD):

pete and pete

It's out today. Do yourself a favor and pick it up. It will make you smile.

May 16, 2005

The Patriot Act? Satan? or just a little technical glitch...

Some of you may have noticed that my blog was missing in action the last few days. Or maybe not. But I sure did and it was, I have to admit, very distressing. For those of you who blog, you probably know how I felt: Blogging is pretty addictive and losing my blog felt like losing a vital organ. Sad, huh?

Fortunately, my blogger friend freakgirl came to the rescue and helped me fix the problem. It appears I was not a victim of our government or Beelzebub (who I called fictional in my last post before the blog broke).

Anyway, it's good to be back. And since you're here, check out my pal Will's latest installment of The Transistor Widow below...

Be seeing you,


May 11, 2005

We Apparently Live In Fictional Times

Actual headline and story from Reuters :
Satan unleashes evil energy but God will win - Pope
Satan is still at work in the world unleashing "evil energy" but God will be the final arbiter of history, Pope Benedict said on Wednesday...

"History, in fact, is not in the hands of dark forces, left to chance or just human choices," he told thousands of people in St. Peter's Square.

"Above the unleashing of evil energy, above the vehement interruptions of Satan, above the so many scourges of evil, rises the Lord, supreme arbiter of history," the Pope said in an address reflecting on the Book of Revelation in the Bible.
Book of Revelation? Sounds more like Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith to me...

May 10, 2005

The Bush Legacy

Torture is the new black:

Torture FashionTorture Fashion

That's hot...

May 09, 2005

My Two Favorite Non-Horse Related Moments of the 131st Running of the Kentucky Derby

Paris & Nicky Hilton's visit from the future:

Paris & Nicky

& PunkRock BobCostas. Click here to watch Bob rock.

May 08, 2005

Pick Hit


I'm amazed that Elvis Costello has never released a live album other than 1978's "official bootleg" Live at the El Mocambo. As great as that album is nostalgically, it's a far cry, performance-wise, from the kind of shows the now-consummate showman EC can put together.

I've been fortunate enough to see Elvis in almost every incarnation: From 1978's "Good Evening" - an hour of blistering performances, no talking, lots of sneering - "Thank You, Goodnight" assault with The Attractions to the green and red "Armed Funk" show, the "TKO Horns" tour, "The Spinning Songbook" Broadway extravaganza, with his band from his "bearded years," the classical music "recital" with The Brodsky Quartet, the Burt Bacharach-thang, solo with a boombox, with his keyboardist Steve Nieve and with his latest band, The Imposters.

As good as Elvis was in 1978, he's just one of those performers who has truly gotten better with age. I thought he peeked with The Attractions in 1986 (captured beautifully on This Is Tomorrow, a BBC bootleg of their last concert ever...before their next last concert ever a decade later) but at age 51 Elvis appears to be peeking yet again. If you weren't lucky enough to catch Elvis Costello & The Imposters on their current tour, they'll be back in the summer with "the vocal stylings" of Emmylou Harris.

In the meantime, go out and buy the Live in Memphis DVD which serves double-duty as a video document and an almost perfect live album. Admittedly, I have a little trouble with EC in close-up these days (I know it's wrong of me; people get older and, um, larger) but ultimately it's the music that matters: The 1-2-3 punch of the set's opening numbers ("Waiting for the End of the World," "Radio Radio" and "Mystery Dance;" the sprinkling of songs from their great new album The Delivery Man; the guest appearance of Miss Emmylou (maybe the set's weakest moments; somehow Elvis' voice has never quite worked that well with women; however, this is the best he's sounded with Harris); and the 1-2-3 punch of the set's closers ("Alison," "Peace Love & Understanding" and "Pump It Up."). Never does it feel like, "Hey, watch me rock...I'm over 50" because Elvis has nothing to prove; he's simply a talented songwriter and musician who obviously loves, loves, loves music (check out his cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Hidden Charms" and his ironic-yet-not-ironic inclusion of "Suspicious Minds" at the end of "Alison").

And, as a bonus, the DVD has a very cool doc: "Off The Beaten Path" - A Road Trip With Elvis & Pete (Thomas, Elvis' drummer) in which the two musicians tour some old Southern Blues stamping grounds in a 1955 Cadillac ("a year younger" than the two of them). Final word: If you don't like this DVD then I guess I don't like you. I'm joking...sort of.

Soy un perdedor

Pretzel Logic

No need to apologize Harry:
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid called President Bush "a loser" during a civics discussion with a group of teenagers at a high school on Friday.

"The man's father is a wonderful human being," Reid, D-Nev., told students at Del Sol High School when asked about the president's policies. "I think this guy is a loser."

Shortly after the event Reid called the White House to apologize, his spokeswoman Tessa Hafen said...

RNC spokesman Brian Jones called Reid's statement "a sad development but not surprising from the leader of a party devoid of optimism, ideas or solutions to the issues people care about most."
Damn, they are good at reciting talking points...

May 06, 2005


Introducing yet another new feature on I'm Just Sayin' ('cause The Joey Nichols Club was sooooo darn successful):

The Transistor Widow, a weekly (I hope) photo contribution from my pal Will. Hope you like...

ak47"Cassius" by Will McRobb (2005)

Random iPod Song That Caught My Attention And Rocked My World

Like a lot of people, I mostly listen to music in shuffle mode, whether at work, in the car, at home or at the gym. I no longer have the luxury of my youth when I would buy a new album, place side one on my turntable (how quaint), listen all the way through, flip it over to side two and do the same.

While I'm nostalgic for those good, good times (ah, side two of "Thick as a Brick"), I've had no problem adjusting to modern living. In fact, I enjoy the occassional surprise that comes with hearing a great song for the first time when it just pops into my head at random.

I've mentioned the great mp3 site emusic a number of times on this blog. Recently, I had to rush to download my 65 song quota before the month ran out (you pay for a certain number of songs per month and, unfortunately, if you don't use 'em, you lose 'em). Fortunately they had the new The Decemberists album and the entire back catalog of "my new favorite band", The Weakerthans. Yesterday, while waiting for the B Train, The Weakerthans' "Wellingtons Wednesdays" came on for the first time. I liked it. I liked it a lot.

Listen to it here:

(make sure you stick around for the great lift from New Order's "Temptation")

May 05, 2005

Do The Pony...
Boogety, Boogety, Boogety Shoo*

The only thing I found truly shocking about the comic styling's of Laura Bush was that some people actually thought her routine was funny (Jon Stewart included). Click the pic above to hear highlights from "both" of Laura's sets (be sure to hide the kids).

*From "It's Pony Time" by Chubby Checker. Sample lyric:
Do the pony with your partner,
With a big boss line,
Well anyway ya do it,
You're gonna look real fine,
So get with it,
Don't quit it,
Get up.

Now ya turn to the left when I say gee,
You turn to the right when I say haw,
Now gee, ya ya baby,
Now haw, ya oh baby, oh baby, pretty baby,
Do it baby, oh baby, oh baby,
Boogety, boogety, boogety, boogety shoo.

President Poop

President Poop

(Thanks to my good neighbor and friend Abbe for capturing this, um, gem)

Cash Money Millionaires, What Have You Done???

Somehow, we've gone from this:
cash money milliionaires to this:

(Click to watch the greatest TV commercial, ever)

Excellent Ted Rall Cartoon:

(Click cartoon for more Ted)

Perhaps It's A Good Thing Bush Doesn't Attend Military Funerals

Santy Pope

(thanks to "tinyfoo" for the image; unfortunately, I have no idea where foo stole it from so I can't give credit where credit is due)

May 04, 2005

This Is What Happens When You Have "Visions"

(Click to watch)

Some Cakewalk, huh?

Here, from February 2002, is "longtime Rumsfeld friend and lieutenant Kenneth Adelman, appointed by the secretary to the Defense Policy Board," on the "Cakewalk in Iraq":
Two knowledgeable Brookings Institution analysts, Philip H. Gordon and Michael E. O'Hanlon, concluded that the United States would "almost surely" need "at least 100,000 to 200,000" ground forces. Worse: "Historical precedents from Panama to Somalia to the Arab-Israeli wars suggest that . . . the United States could lose thousands of troops in the process."

I agree that taking down Hussein would differ from taking down the Taliban. And no one favors "a casual march to war." This is serious business, to be treated seriously.

In fact, we took it seriously the last time such fear-mongering was heard from military analysts -- when we considered war against Iraq 11 years ago. Edward N. Luttwak cautioned on the eve of Desert Storm: "All those precision weapons and gadgets and gizmos and stealth fighters . . . are not going to make it possible to re-conquer Kuwait without many thousands of casualties." As it happened, our gizmos worked wonders. Luttwak's estimate of casualties was off by "many thousands," just as the current estimates are likely to be.

I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps.
Here's what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress on Monday:
The U.S. military may not be able to win any new wars as quickly as planned because the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have strained its manpower and resources, the nation's top military officer told Congress in a classified report.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the U.S. military as in a period of increased risk, according to a senior defense official, who described the report Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.

"We will prevail," Myers said when asked about the report. "The timelines (to winning a new war) may have to be extended and we may have to use additional resources, but that doesn't matter because we're going to be successful in the end."
We currently have about 138,000 American troops in Iraq alone (close to the number of troops those "fear-mongering" military analysts predicted we'd need). And, of course, we have casualties in the thousands (1,593 U.S. soldiers dead; 11,664 wounded, "officially"). How many more need to be killed or crippled so we can be "successful in the end?"

Meanwhile, for some strange reason, there's not a helluva lot of kids who are rushing to sign up for this cakewalk:
The U.S. Army missed its April recruiting goal by a whopping 42 percent and the Army Reserve fell short by 37 percent, officials said on Tuesday, showing the depth of the military's wartime recruiting woes.

With the Iraq war straining the U.S. military, the active-duty Army has now missed its recruiting goals in three straight months, with April being by far the worst of the three, and officials are forecasting that it will fall short again in May.
So is anyone, ANYONE???, going to be held accountable for this mess we're in? Perhaps we should start with Captain America...

Rummy's Super Friends

May 03, 2005

No, Michael Jackson's Son Isn't All Grown Up...


It's this idiot: Jennifa

But it might as well be a representation of our so-called "News" Media which obviously has a blanket over it's head, preventing it from seeing and covering actual stories. I guess lying about the reasons for starting a war or downplaying and denying crucial intelligence information that could have prevented 9/11 just isn't as sexy as a juicy missing bride story.

May 01, 2005

Moe, Larry & Curly


There was a lot of anticipation (at least in Blog World) for this past Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, namely because a certain member of the White House Press Whores was scheduled for an appearance. Unfortunately, Maher tossed softballs at JimmyJeff and JimmyJeff (unsurprisingly) answered them with a lot of evasive nonsense accompanied by severe eye blinking. (If you must, you can watch the full interview over at Crooks and Liars or, to save your valuable time, you can watch my condensed highlights by clicking on Guckert/Gannon's studly picture above.)

The show did feature some genuine highlights: Click on Martin Short for the funniest one and click on Bill Maher for what I thought was the most interesting one. Because it's Sunday and I'm too lazy to write something new, I've included my comments about the segment along with a response, both of which were posted on AMERICAblog's open thread about Friday's Real Time show:
I'm amazed that no one commented on the one truly must-see moment of last night's Real Time: After "choking" on Gannon/Guckert, Maher switched the topic to why Bush received more votes from African-Americans in 2004 than he did in 2000. Maher's take (and I agree) was that there is a lot of homophobia in the African-American culture, especially with religious African-Americans. I thought Maher showed a lot of guts to say this, especially to two African-American panelists, Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (wanker), and writer Farai Chideya (who I liked except for when she shamelessly plugged her book). Steele at first tried to sidestep the issue and then pretty much admitted that it was true (he cited an example of Jesse Jackson talking about gay marriage in a church where apparently half the congregation walked out). Chideya, if I recall correctly was more forthright about the "accusation" if that's what you want to call it. It's pretty sad if anyone (black or white) chose their fear of two men doing it over losing their children in Iraq, seeing their personal incomes go down, living with unsecured ports and lax airport security, tax cuts for the rich, raping the environment...the list goes on and on. It makes me want to soil my magic underpants.

Thank you for making an excellent point. Bill showed a great deal of courage by addressing something that many liberals have been to afraid to mention, namely, the deep hatred of gays expressed by a significant percentage of African Americans. We seem to have a hierarchy of the oppressed in America with gays designated as scapegoats and African Americans as sacred cows. I know that sounds harsh but many on the liberal side of the political fence seem to be afraid to stand up to homophobes if the homophobe is a person of color. Why is it okay for some people to attack gays and lesbians? Why don't liberals mention that there are many gay and lesbian people of color?

There is a growing hypothesis that one reason African American women are 23 times more likely to contract HIV than white women is due to the fact that African American men are afraid to live openly as gay men due to the fear of this horrible hatred of gays within the African American Community.

Because of this pathological hatred of gays within the African American Community, gay men and women are largely invisible. Think of how much damage is being done to gay and lesbian people growing up in these hateful churches and homes. A large percentage of homeless youth represent sexual minorities who are thrown out of their homes by their families.

African American hatred of gays is hurting the most vulnerable members of their own community, their women and children. Pretty crappy family values if you ask me.

So Bill, thank you for mentioning what has remained unmentionable for such a long time.