Saturday, October 30, 2004

NRA == Nice Ridiculous Assertions

Get the non-partisan facts for yourself, from the invaluable, in their new article NRA Ad Falsely Accuses Kerry:
It says he's sponsoring a proposal to ban "every pump shotgun" and voted "to ban deer-hunting ammunition." Don't believe either claim.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Scary Costumes

Via jwz, how-to instructions for the absolutely scariest Halloween costumes for this year:
  • Florida's Electronic Touch-Screen Voting Machines
  • Arrested Protester
  • Nancy Reagan
  • Western Hostage in Iraq
  • The Littlest Prisoner at Abu Ghraib
  • Ralph Nader
  • Lyndie England
  • Shoe Bomber Richard Reid
  • Jenna Bush's Liver

The Name of Bush

Via Kos, the catchiest anti-Bush ad ever, currently running in Florida. In Spanish, with English subtitles - and set to a rhythm that needs no translation!
Be aware of the name of Bush
Its like jumping from the frying pan to the fire
Be aware of the name of Bush
If you've lost your job and are losing your dreams!

Phun with Photoshop

Salon has the story NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate, in which a NASA engineer, whose job it is to study detailed surface topologies in pictures, has studied the pictures of Bush's back from the presidential debates.
"I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate," he says.

What I think is weird is that Rove Inc. didn't just acknowledge there's something there, and make up some bullshit about medical telemetry or something.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Itchy Trigger Finger

It seems I've heard this sentiment at least anecdotally before, but now from a former biographer of Bush himself: Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq If Elected in 2000
He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it.

Wonder what excuse he'd have used if it hadn't been for 9/11? Not that 9/11 really gave him much excuse...

Truth Is Stranger Than Science-Fiction Comedy

In a post a few days ago, I quoted Ron Suskind's story about the Bush aide describing to him their view of the "reality-based community". Thinking about it since reminds me of the description of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy given in chapter 6 of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an indispensable companion to all those who are keen to make sense of life in an infinitely complex and confusing Universe, for though it cannot hope to be useful or informative on all matters, it does at least make the reassuring claim, that where it is inaccurate it is at least definitively inaccurate. In cases of major discrepancy it's alway's reality that's got it wrong.
This was the gist of the notice. It said "The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate."

No Votes For the Dumb Liar

Okay, in the Iconoclast endorsement post the other day, I pointed out some of the reasons I can't vote for Bush. In an article on today's NYT about how Florida is already having voting disputes, there's another choice quote that sums it up for me.
"Bush is a liar," Gene Conrad, a 65-year-old teacher from Jupiter, said after hearing Mr. Kerry deliver a speech on religion the other day. "He lied us into war. And I cannot vote for anyone who is dumber than I am."

A friend told me yesterday that he was talking to a Bush supporter, and asked, 'doesn't it bother you that he can't even correctly pronounce "nuclear"?' The Bush supporter shrugged it off, saying that his father also mispronounces it that way.

WTF?! Okay, that's fine if your dad or your uncle or your brother mispronounces things, or even if they say "begs the question" when they should say "raises the question." But the individual who is the President of the United States should be about the smartest damn person we can find. But for all the things that Bush's supporters think he is, I doubt even they would claim "smartest damn person we can find".

Is John Kerry the smartest damn person we can find? No. But he sure as hell doesn't go around broadcasting his ignorance by saying "nucular"!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Begs the Question

Found in a Slashdot post, a link to Common Errors in English. This ridiculously cool site, which appears to be one of the first five or six ever online, is
concerned only with deviations from the standard use of English as judged by sophisticated users such as professional writers, editors, teachers, and literate executives and personnel officers. The aim of this site is to help you avoid low grades, lost employment opportunities, lost business, and titters of amusement at the way you write or speak.

For example, the entry linked from Slashdot was for the phrase "begs the question", in which the error-corrector says
Since we never use “begs” with this odd meaning ("to improperly take for granted” ) in any other phrase, many people mistakenly suppose the phrase implies something quite different: that the argument demands that a question about it be asked—raises the question.

I now feel fully armed, and ready for my daily battle against titters of amusement.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Onion Issue #43

Bush Campaign Paints Kerry
As Pre-Raphaelite Contessa

This week's Onion is out, and it's got some good just-before-the-election stuff:

Get Your War On #42

New today.

"don't crap in a candy box unless you own it"

From the Filthy Critic's I Heart Huckabees review:
I recently learned something I want to share. You know those boxes of "liqueur-filled" chocolates they sell in Hallmark? Well, you can't get drunk off those things no matter how many you eat. They are engineered to contain less alcohol than you'll use just eating the damn things. Probably you already knew that, because most folks seem to figure out life's lessons faster than me. And then lord it over me like I'm a retard. Which I'm not, and I have the certificate from the Department of Education saying so. Anyway, so you know that, but what you may not know is that when you eat 14 boxes of those things in the storeroom of a Hallmark store, it's pretty fucking hard to hide the evidence. You can't trash the boxes or Glee will see them. If you just reseal the boxes, people know they don't feel right.

I know what you're thinking and I'm way ahead of you: shit in the boxes. With a little sphincter control you can get each box the right weight, and after eating all that candy, you're ready to produce. But, shit stinks, and even if you move the crap boxes to the bottom of the inventory, they get sold to some smelly lady who buys everything the store has as thank yous for her best Mary Kay customers. And ladies who buy Mary Kay love shitty chocolate. They tear open those boxes as soon as they're alone. And when they find shit, they overreact.

Old News: The Iconoclast Endorsement

I really don't think it's important in and of itself that the newspaper of the teeny-tiny town of Crawford, TX endorses the Democratic challenger for president, despite the current incumbent calling that same teeny-tiny town "home". I mean it's funny, don't get me wrong, but not Significant.

That said, I think the endorsement article is well-written. There's lots of good little zings in there:
Rather than using the billions of dollars expended on the invasion of Iraq to shore up our boundaries and go after Osama bin Laden and the Saudi Arabian terrorists, the funds were used to initiate a war with what Bush called a more immediate menace, Saddam Hussein, in oil-rich Iraq.

America is in service 365 days a year. We don’t need a part-time President who does not show up for duty as Commander-In-Chief until he is forced to, and who is in a constant state of blameless denial when things don’t get done.

But one paragrah in particular summarizes very compactly why not to vote for Bush. These four items, the last two especially, are showstoppers. Political orientation aside, I'd vote against any President that had Bush's record. At the very least, I'd abstain rather than support him.
Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding terrorism and Iraq.

I don't mean to agree with and/or defend every statement and assertion in the article, and it ignores or gives short shrift to other key issues such as environmental protection (or lack thereof) - but these are some of the Big Points To Me.

This week's Modern World

Your (first) weekly installment of This Modern World, brought conveniently to you by me without having to register at Salon or wade through Working For Change yourself.

You're welcome!

Blindfolds for Bush.

The last little quote-thingy in the comic refers to an article by Ron Suskind from the NYT Magazine, but it's offline unless you're a subscriber, so I'll also point you to Tom Tomorrow's own blog entry that quotes it.

Last, but not least, I'll quote part of that quote myself, in case you're lazy.
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

You're welcome, again.

Looted explosives? Or not?

Some right-winger commented on yesterday's story about missing explosives in Iraq, saying that NBC had already debunked this, sarcastically thanking the NYT for their unbiased reporting. Silly NYT, believing any little drug-addled informant that whispers lies and half-truths to them! Oh, plus the International Atomic Energy Agency. And, the Iraqi government (from CNN):

Earlier Monday, the IAEA revealed it had been told two weeks ago by the Iraqi government that 380 tons of HMX and RDX had disappeared from Al Qaqaa after Hussein's government fell.

In a letter dated October 10, the Iraqi government told the IAEA the material disappeared sometime after Hussein's regime fell in April 2003 "throughout the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security."

"Therefore, we feel an urgent updating of the registered materials is required," Iraq's director of planning, Mohammed Abbas, wrote.

Okay, I'll admit that just because those organizations should know what they're talking about doesn't prove that they actually do. But this still doesn't look like an open-and-shut case to me. How about this, from the AP via ABC:

At the Pentagon, an official who monitors developments in Iraq said U.S.-led coalition troops had searched Al Qaqaa in the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion and confirmed that the explosives were intact. Thereafter the site was not secured by U.S. forces, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Pirates & Emperors

For the record, a soon-to-be classic; Schoolhouse Rock for the 21st century: Pirates & Emperors.

'Cause if it looks like a duck
And acts like a duck,
And quacks like a duck,
It probably is a duck.

MML: Milli Vanashlee

Definitely a moment that will be on the '05 Monday Morning Live collection: Ashlee Caught Lip Syncing on SNL.

More, from an article on Salon by Heather Havrilesky:

Like it or not, plenty of pop performers use pre-recorded tracks, and since Simpson's performance on MTV's Music Video Awards in August was roundly criticized as unimpressive and off-key, it's probably not surprising that Ashlee and her handlers would opt to lip-synch. It's also not surprising that Ashlee isn't the best live performer around; after all, she's hardly performed before. MTV captured her first live performance ever at The Knitting Factory in L.A., replete with promotional fraudience swooning enthusiastically for the cameras...

...Hours after the SNL incident, several Websites dug up an interview in Lucky Magazine, where Ashlee professed her disdain for pre-recorded vocals.

Lucky: What are your takes on lip-synching?

Simpson: I'm totally against it and offended by it. I'm going out to let my real talent show, not to just stand there and dance around. Personally, I'd never lip-synch. It's just not me.

As they say, "oops!" What's really a shame is that SNL will air musical guests like this, who are pure Music Industry Inc. creations, rather than some interesting, or at least talented, musicians. Maybe Ashlee just realized that that episode was in desparate need of something funny...

Bush Joke of the Day

Q: What's the difference between the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq?

A: Bush had a plan for getting out of the Vietnam War.

Weapons of Mass Fucked-up-edness

As reported in the article Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq on the New York Times today (also on Kos), the story of the botched and mismanaged (let alone unnecessary) invasion of Irag just keeps getting sadder and sadder.

To summarize: not only is my country breeding untold numbers of terrorists by being arrogant, aggressive and vicious dipshits, invading and occupying a country on patently false pretenses, but it's also stupid enough to allow those same proto-terrorists to steal 380 fucking tons of powerful explosives. Thanks, George. On behalf of my whole family, especially my 6 and 9 year old kids, thanks. Way to protect the Homeland.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Sex + Politics == Hilarity, part 3

Part 3 of how many, you ask? Only time will tell!

I give you Li_e Girls; be sure to watch the commercial.

Sex + Politics == Hilarity, part 2

NC-17 rated (at least): Votergasm.

Sex + Politics == Hilarity

From an article on good old Salon yesterday:, a Web site that encourages "sexy liberals" to seduce and have sex with conservatives in exchange for their partner's promise to vote against Bush... FTheVote also provides volunteers with a downloadable contract ("I, the undersigned, acknowledge that in exchange for physical affection ... from the cosignee, I will cast my vote for any candidate other than George W. Bush in the upcoming 2004 presidential election").

...Perhaps the most startling fact about FTheVote is that many people seem to be taking the site's challenge seriously... One such volunteer is Chad Vollrath, a 28-year-old English teacher in Pittsburg. Vollrath says that he was already platonic friends with the Bush-leaning voter he slept with, but the two had long been attracted to one another. "It was a way to, I guess, transgress a boundary in our relationship that hadn't been transgressed at that point," he says. But his interest wasn't only prurient. Vollrath is a fervent Kerry supporter, and wanted to score one more vote for his candidate. He feels confident that the woman -- who now has another boyfriend -- will stick to her promise.

Porn for Progress and just released their first movie, "Fahrenheit 69: The Porn for Kerry DVD." A hardcore skin flick that also strives for social commentary, "Fahrenheit 69" is described by its creators as "the world's first Pornlitical satire." The film features X-rated characters with familiar names, such as pundit "Ann Cunter," a greased-up, writhing blonde who so loves guns that she impales herself on one for the camera... Maybe college kids "who see the character Jorge Bush lubing himself up with Iraqi oil will look at that and think, yeah, what a schmuck, we just went to war for oil," [founder Dick Tater] says.

...FTheVote and its ilk may be capturing the attention of college-age voters, but can reducing the presidential election into a big, flirty, subterranean orgy really be considered progress?

Martin of FTheVote says yes. "How could we tarnish a system that's already so tarnished?" he asks.