May 28, 2006
May 26, 2006
May 25, 2006
May 21, 2006
May 19, 2006
May 14, 2006
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to Wolf Blitzer:
"Every time (the Bush) administration screws up, whether it's with homeland security, after Katrina, a massive failure even though they spent billions of dollars to make sure that thing wouldn't happen, when they screw up along the border, when they get caught doing illegal surveillance of Americans, they say, well, but 9/11, 9/11.
Well, I'd remind them 9/11 happened on their watch. I think Americans are getting fed up with simply using an excuse for your mistakes and classify everything else so that you can't talk about it.
I want us to be safe. I don't think that this administration is doing it the right way..."
May 13, 2006
That's the sentiment expressed by Tom Tomorrow over at This Modern World and I couldn't agree more. I've been knee-deep in editing a very cool project and haven't had any time to blog (writing mine OR reading others). When I came up for air at the end of yesterday I was just too overwhelmed by the amount of news to put anything together. So, I'm going to cheat (like I usually do, anyway) and borrow a cartoon from Tom Tomorrow which deals with what I think is obviously the nation's top story (I hope to get back into my blogging groove soon). Be seeing you...
P.S. - In non-news:
Plus: Drunk Monkeys!!!
at May 13, 2006
May 11, 2006
May 10, 2006
Maureen Dowd on "the lowest approval rating for any president in the last half-century, other than Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter":
One Bush did it by staying out of Baghdad, raising taxes and driving down the deficit.
The other Bush did it by going into Baghdad, cutting taxes and driving up the deficit.
But, perhaps inevitably, the father and son ended up in an Oedipal tango at the same spot: 31 percent.
After trying not to emulate his father's presidency in any way, W. emulated it in the worst possible way. He came out of a conflict with Saddam as a towering figure with soaring approval ratings and ended up as a shrunken figure with scalding approval ratings.
In the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll, W.'s stunning implosion landed him in a tie with his dad's low point in July 1992, four months before the public traded in Poppy for Bill Clinton. As Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee noted in their Times article today, that is the lowest approval rating for any president in the last half-century, other than Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter.
Even Hillary Clinton has a more favorable rating than W. — 34 percent. The president can draw some solace: John Kerry's at 26 and Al Gore's at 28 percent. And Dick Cheney is in the bunker at 20.
But in the new poll, even many of the party faithful are glum. Only 45 percent of evangelical Christians, 69 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of conservatives like the way W. is taking care of bidness. A whopping 70 percent deem the country pretty seriously on the wrong track, and two-thirds consider the nation in worse shape now than when W. took over.
On the issues that earned Karl Rove his nickname, Boy Genius — values and national security — the shift was notable. Fifty percent of respondents said Democrats came closer to sharing their moral values, compared with 37 percent who said Republicans did. And the G.O.P. retains a tenuous advantage on being seen as stronger on terrorism. The numbers for those who think we did the right thing by invading Iraq are steadily dropping, and the numbers are rising for those who believe we should have stayed out.
Many Americans have simply lost faith in the administration's ingenuity. Only a quarter of those polled had much confidence in W.'s ability to handle a crisis; a mere 9 percent are sure he can successfully end the Iraq war, and a paltry 4 percent think the administration has a clear plan to keep gas prices down. (But can triumphalist Nancy Pelosi lift their spirits?)
The Bush presidency has devolved into an assertion of empty will.
The White House blew off warnings from Republicans in Congress about appointing Gen. Michael Hayden as C.I.A. chief. You know you're in trouble when conservatives fret that the military is getting too much power.
If W. really cared about getting good intelligence for his war on terror, he would never have appointed Porter Goss. That wasted more than 18 months that could have been used fixing the dysfunctional agency, and drove out some good officials.
Mr. Goss, the Cheney toadie, was appointed because W. and Vice wanted him to do a hostile takeover at Langley to clear out suspected leakers (especially Kerry contributors), malcontents, critics of the war or anyone else who wasn't with the program.
Before the Iraq invasion, it was about fixing the intelligence around the policy. Now it's about appointing yes men and enforcing loyalty. The Bush warriors didn't want good intelligence in the first place because it would have told them they were wrong about Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda and W.M.D. And now they're still more concerned with turf battles than with truth-tellers and finding someone — anyone — who can tell us where Osama is. (Osama who?)
Even Denny Hastert, the Republican speaker, scoffed at the Hayden move as a Negroponte "power grab."
The general is a Cheney pal who stood up for the White House's right to be unconstitutional, going along with the heinous warrantless snooping. That makes him one of the team and ready for a promotion, or a Medal of Freedom. He will no doubt be accommodating when Darth Cheney comes over to Langley to lurk around the analysts and oversee the evidence building a case for sending bombs, rather than diplomats, to Iran.
Now that we're dealing with a crazed Iranian president, dreaming of nukes and writing an 18-page letter that sounds like an Israel-hating Islamic version of the Rapture, wouldn't it be great if our spooks could stop fighting and go spy on somebody?
at May 10, 2006
May 09, 2006
May 08, 2006
May 07, 2006
From The New York Daily News:
CIA Director Porter Goss abruptly resigned yesterday amid allegations that he and a top aide may have attended Watergate poker parties where bribes and prostitutes were provided to a corrupt congressman.
Kyle (Dusty) Foggo, the No. 3 official at the CIA, could soon be indicted in a widening FBI investigation of the parties thrown by defense contractor Brent Wilkes, named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the bribery conviction of former Rep. Randall (Duke) Cunningham, law enforcement sources said.
A CIA spokeswoman said Foggo went to the lavish weekly hospitality-suite parties at the Watergate and Westin Grand hotels but "just for poker."
Intelligence and law enforcement sources said solid evidence had yet to emerge that Goss also went to the parties, but Goss and Foggo share a fondness for poker and expensive cigars, and the FBI investigation was continuing...
It's a beautiful Sunday. And I'm at work. So I felt it was time for some enforced happiness.
May 06, 2006
May 05, 2006
WFMU's Beware of the Blog has posted 37 (!) different versions of Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven (here). Missing from the list? An incredible backwards version sung by Dutchman Jeroen Offerman who explains:
"My parents are Jehovah's Witnesses and so I had a very strict Christian upbringing. There was a suspicion of rock and pop music, and some music, Led Zeppelin in particular, was branded downright evil. The rumor was that if you played Stairway to Heaven in reverse you could hear messages that would urge you to follow the devil's path. Supposedly even if you listened to the music in a normal manner you would subconsciously pick up these messages and act accordingly. In my early teens, I destroyed some music that I thought I shouldn't listen to or have at home. Stairway to Heaven was a difficult one for my friends and me. We thought the song and the lyrics were so utterly beautiful and yet we couldn't listen to it out of fear of what could happen to us if we did. That's the tension I felt by listening to this record: a teenage attraction to something dangerously beautiful. I am still intrigued how these myths are created and the effect they can have. So I started to learn to sing the song and its lyrics in reverse. After three months the job was done. I went up to the steps outside Saint Paul's Cathedral in London and performed it for an audience of confused passers-by, pigeons, and a video camera. Back home I reversed the tape and put a karaoke track underneath."
UPDATE: I've been asked to remove this video by it's creator:
Although I appreciate you liking my video, I definetely do not appreciate the fact that you put it out there on the web. So could you please remove it from your blog. If you would like to show something of it then please show a 30seconds clip only, like I did on my own website.Here's the link to his clip:Wholphin:Yours, Jeroen Offerman
Watch George squirm, grind his teeth and look really pissed off (especially at the 3:04 mark) during Stephen Colbert's White House press secretary audition video from last Saturday night. This, of course, followed 20 minutes of Colbert puncturing the Bush balloon so it can be safely assumed that George already wanted Colbert dead by the time the video started rolling.
May 04, 2006
"Many who value the separation of religion and government have sought an appropriate response to the federally-supported National Day of Prayer, an annual abuse of the constitution. Nontheistic Americans (including freethinkers, humanists, atheists, agnostics, and deists), along with many traditionally religious allies, view such government-sanctioned sectarianism as unduly exclusionary.For more information, go here.
A consortium of leaders from within the community of reason endorsed the idea of a National Day of Reason. This observance is held in parallel with the National Day of Prayer, on the first Thursday in May (4 May 2006). The goal of this effort is to celebrate reason - a concept all Americans can support - and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship."
at May 04, 2006
May 03, 2006
...and radio talk show host Martha Zoller (of WDUNce-Atlanta) just may be one of the biggest of all. Watch and be amazed at what she said in response to the following joke from Stephen Colbert's White House Correspondents Dinner speech:
Colbert: "The greatest thing about (George W. Bush) is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change, this man's beliefs never will."
The NY Times has finally acknowledged that Stephen Colbert was, in fact, present at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Sadly, the once mighty giant of news had to follow the lead of the blogosphere:
After Press Dinner, the Blogosphere Is Alive With the Sound of Colbert ChatterOne person's "not funny" is another's ballsilicious. In case you missed Colbert's performance you can click the pic below for an edited version...At issue was a heavily nuanced, often ironic performance by Mr. Colbert, who got in many licks at the president — on the invasion of Iraq, on the administration's penchant for secrecy, on domestic eavesdropping — with lines that sounded supportive of Mr. Bush but were quickly revealed to be anything but. And all this after Mr. Colbert tried, at the outset, to soften up the president by mocking his intelligence, saying that he and Mr. Bush were "not so different," by which he meant, he explained, "we're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol."
In an online survey begun yesterday, the snarky Web site Gawker sought to boil down the matter to its essence by asking readers to vote on whether they thought Mr. Colbert's performance, broadcast live on C-Span and since then widely available on the Internet, was "one of the most patriotic acts I've witnessed of any individual" or "not really that funny."
Meanwhile, on its Web site, the trade journal Editor & Publisher posted more than a dozen letters from readers under a headline that reflected the broad range of electronic opinion: "Colbert Offensive, Colbert Mediocre, Colbert a Hero, Colbert Vicious, Colbert Brave." Mr. Colbert's employer, Comedy Central, said it had received nearly 2,000 e-mail messages by Monday morning — a response, it said, rivaled only by the contentious appearance nearly two years ago of Jon Stewart, Mr. Colbert's comedy patron, on the now-defunct CNN shout-fest "Crossfire."
Others chided the so-called mainstream media, including The New York Times, which ignored Mr. Colbert's remarks while writing about the opening act, a self-deprecating bit Mr. Bush did with a Bush impersonator.
Some, though, saw nothing more sinister in the silence of news organizations than a decision to ignore a routine that, to them, just was not funny.
May 02, 2006
Don't remember the show Fridays? Click the logo below and watch some clips from the would-be threat to Saturday Night Live which lasted only three seasons (and featured both Larry David and Michael "Kramer" Richards):
(mucho thanks to spikepriggen from Bedazzled for unearthing these Clash gems)
"Intelligence sources say Valerie Wilson was part of an operation three years ago tracking the proliferation of nuclear weapons material into Iran. And the sources allege that when Mrs. Wilson's cover was blown, the administration's ability to track Iran's nuclear ambitions was damaged as well."Story here.
The mainstream media continues to ignore Stephen Colbert's takedown of, well, the mainstream media (along with the Bush Administration, of course). Here's a typical example (from CNN's Showbiz Tonight, hosted by bubbling Brooke Anderson):
Oh really? Fortunately, Jon Stewart saw the same show. His take? Colbert was "ballsalicious." Onegoodmove has the video (which also includes Colbert's take on the speech). And Salon has a great article on Colbert:
ANDERSON: Well, the president doesn`t seem to be letting the criticism get to him. As a matter of fact, over the weekend you could have said "Live from Washington, it`s Saturday Night starring President Bush." The president put on a skit for the annual dinner for White House reporters over the weekend, and he brought along a look-alike, sound-alike sidekick to say what the president was really thinking. It`s the skit that everybody`s talking about! Take a look.
(Editor's Note: Watch this only if you enjoy pain)
ANDERSON: Nice to see that self-deprecating humor. The featured entertainer at the dinner was Comedy Central`s Steve Colbert, but I think it`s safe to say the president and the impersonator, Steve Bridges, really stole the show.
"...a master of the old-world art of irony. For Colbert, the punch line is just the addendum. The joke is in the setup. The meat of his act is not in his barbs but his character -- the dry idiot, 'Stephen Colbert,' God-fearing pitchman, patriotic American, red-blooded pundit and champion of 'truthiness.' 'I'm a simple man with a simple mind,' the deadpan Colbert announced at the dinner. 'I hold a simple set of beliefs that I live by. Number one, I believe in America. I believe it exists. My gut tells me I live there.'"Update: For some reason, onegoodmove cut off the tail end of Colbert's bit about Saturday night's White House Correspondents Dinner. So, I bring you not only the "ridiculous" tail end but also Colbert's thoughts on celebrities and their "proper" role in society:
May 01, 2006
(Click to watch)
Very inspiring. Especially hearing everyone chant "U.S.A."
Too bad Homer Simpson forgot to turn on his camera mic...
UPDATE: I added the hokey Spanish version of the National Anthem to this video in order to make up for my moment of D'oh -- even though George Bush isn't too pleased with this version of the anthem for reasons having nothing to do with hokiness:
(Click to watch)
Personally, I don't care what language "our" anthem is sung in or how it's performed. However, you've got to admit that this Spanish version is pretty darn awful (come to think of it, most versions of this nearly-impossible-to-sing "song" are pretty darn awful).
UPDATE UPDATE: National Anthem Sung In Spanish At First Bush Inaugural
Stephen Colbert had a very busy Saturday night. Not only was he the star attraction at the White House Correspondents Dinner (see post below), but he also co-hosted Saturday Night Live's The Best of TV Funhouse in the guise of Ace, the "top" half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo. Here are some highlights from a show full of highlights:
First up, let's join Ace & Gary in their quest to meet their favorite cast member, Jimmy Fallon:For more TV Funhouse Goodliness, go here.
Next, to help celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of Mission Accomplished Day we have a look back at some of Bush's photo ops, followed by Senator John McCain on the campaign trail with W:
And finally, Divertor!
(Click pics to watch)