"How long do you have to get hit in the head before you start asking who's hitting you in the head?"

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Today’s Guardian has an exclusive interview with Al Gore entitled “Born Again.” They also have an article about actual “born agains” entitled “Wing and a Prayer.” In context, the Gore article’s title makes sense. After reading “Wing and a Prayer,” though, I think it should have been entitled “An Inconvenient Truth: Religious People are Batscat.”

Here’s a quotation from an anonymous “Washington lobbyist,” on why he considers global warming a non-issue:
There may be a debate to be had but ... people can only sustain so many moral movements in their lifetime. Is God really going to let the Earth burn up?
Oh, dear. And here’s “Brother Emmett,” sagely opining about child safety:
I would rather put my .38 pistol in a child's room than put a computer or a television set there. The devil's crowd is working how to get to your children.
Wow. Just…wow.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ah, The Simple Past!

According to Bush, “Coalition forces drove the Taliban from power, liberated Afghanistan, and brought freedom to 25 million people.” *

Use of the past tense makes all the difference in the world, doesn’t it? Of course, mainstream media outlets such as Radio Free Afghanistan and the Guardian love to thumb their noses at our president by refusing to use it in their liberal, anti-American, fact-based reports:
Lotfullah Mashal, a former spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, says Taliban fighters no longer rely solely on hit-and-run tactics by small groups of guerrillas. Instead, the Taliban have been concentrating into groups of more than 100 fighters to carry out frontal assaults on government security posts. Mashal says that development explains why deaths in Afghanistan during the past week have topped the number of reported deaths in Iraq in the same period.

After four years and $12bn, £6.5bn, in foreign aid, the majority of Afghans still scrape through life without electricity or clean water. More than seven million people are chronically hungry, according to the UN, and 53% live on less than a dollar, or 54p, a day. The sight of foreigners earning large salaries and driving large vehicles protected by private security companies has focused frustrations.
No, no, no ! Repeat after me: Coalition forces drove the Taliban from power, liberated Afghanistan, and brought freedom to 25 million people!

*Read the entire transcript: Apparently, Bush is just like Harry Truman—minus all of that crazy “Fair Deal” bullshit, of course. Oh—and Truman actually fought in a war.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Support Our Troops

It’s actually a pretty simple thing to do. Mr. olio and I got into the care-package habit when olioboy was deployed, and now that he’s home it’s impossible to forget about the other kids still in harm's way—many on their second and third tours.

There are several non-profits to choose from—a fairly comprehensive list can be found here, or you can visit Any Soldier from the link in my sidebar.

Whichever organization you choose, please take the time to send our troops some coffee, a pair of socks, or even just a letter of encouragement. It’s easy to send stuff—the USPS offers a flat-rate box that only costs $8.10 to mail, no matter what it weighs.

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone. See you tomorrow.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

“Extraordinary Circumstances,” Indeed!

George Bush, to students at Gulf Coast Community College:
You continued your studies in classrooms with crumbling walls. You lost homes, and slept in tents near campus to finish courses. You cleared debris during the day and you went to class at night. You worked past exhaustion to catch up.

Did Bush, quoted as saying he’s “never lived around poor people” and therefore doesn’t “know what they think,” wonder to himself why some of these students didn’t choose an easier path to academic and financial success? I mean, honestly, didn’t they realize they could have simply parlayed dog-walking or breath-mint-carrying into a coveted slot at Harvard Business School? (h/t TPM)

Who wants to tote these bad boys fer me?
I’ll make it worth your while…heh heh…

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Crisis Averted: Poland Shields Pope from Satan's Soft Cotton Fingers!

Thank goodness, the Pope won’t be exposed to “advertisements for lingerie, beer or tampons” while visiting Poland—such wicked images could have a negative effect on his delicate psyche. Apparently, though, state-sanctioned anti-Semitism and gay-hating can continue openly with no ill effect…

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bush to Iraqis: Eventually Convince Suiciders to Stop Suiciding!

I shit you not. From yesterday’s joint press appearance:

Q The U.S. has the most powerful military in the world, and they have been unable to bring down the violence in any substantial way in several of the provinces. So how can you expect the Iraqis to do that?
Good question…now behold the dazzling response:
PRESIDENT BUSH: If one were to measure progress on the number of suiciders, if that's your definition of success, I think it gives -- I think it will -- I think it obscures the steady, incremental march toward democracy we're seeing. In other words, it's very difficult -- you can have the most powerful army of the world -- ask the Israelis what it's like to try to stop suiciders -- it is a difficult task to stop suicide bombers. That's the -- but that's one of the main -- that's the main weapon of the enemy, the capacity to destroy innocent life with a suicider.

And so I view progress as, is there a political process going forward that's convincing disaffected Sunnis, for example, to participate? [Sure, if “the Sunni people will reject this new government and will turn their hatred toward those Sunnis in the government” counts as “participation.”] Is there a unity government that says it's best for all of us to work together to achieve a common objective which is democracy? [Not quite: In fact, the “divisions among Iraqis are more pronounced than ever.”] Are we able to meet the needs of the 12 million people that defied the car bombers? [Nope: Baghdad only gets 4 hours of power and 1 hour of running water per day.] To me, that's success. [!?!] Trying to stop suiciders -- which we're doing a pretty good job of on occasion [That's encouraging, eh?] -- is difficult to do. And what the Iraqis are going to have to eventually do is convince those who are conducting suiciders [huh?] who are not inspired by al Qaeda, for example, to realize there's a peaceful tomorrow. And those who are being inspired by al Qaeda, we're just going to have to stay on the hunt and bring al Qaeda to justice. And our Army can do that, and is doing that right now.
Simply. Fucking. Brilliant.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen, the War President!

Another nugget of wisdom from our Commander in Chief:
In Iraq, the enemy has made it clear -- this is their words, not mine; I quoted the man -- the al Qaeda guy in Iraq -- those weren't my -- I didn't make up those quotes. That's that [sic] he said.
And speaking of quotations, Bush has been making frequent and enthusiastic references to “the political thinker guy in France” (aka de Tocqueville) lately, which I found odd until I read this. Check it out; you might find it very illuminating…

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Monday, May 22, 2006

A Tale of Two “Tenants”

Yes, Bush actually said “tenants of thought” during his recent speech at Northern Kentucky University. What an ignorant ass!

But I digress—he also said that the Taliban is “totalitarian in nature” and “akin to dealing with fascism and communism.” Boy howdy, do I ever agree! “Totalitarian” is certainly an apt way to describe them, especially in light of such alarming statements as this one:
[W]e are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.
Oh—wait. Sorry, that quotation isn’t from the Taliban. My mistake…

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Frivolous Friday: Fun with Quotations

File this one under “No Shit”:
''Right here we're at a place where we're using fencing," Bush told Fox News in an interview with a Border Patrol truck and fencing in the background.

Say what you will about the man, but he sure has a fine sense of the obvious…

File this one under “Huh?”
We want to know who is coming in the country, and who is not coming in the country.

Gee, I figured the NSA database was big, but I had no idea it was that big…

And, from the same speech, a twofer:
First, it's important for the law to distinguish between someone who has crossed the border illegally recently and someone who has worked here for many years and has a home and raised a family and has a clean record. For that person, the person who has got roots in our country, I believe that person should pay a meaningful fine, pay their taxes, learn English, prove they've worked in a job for a number of years, and then that person should be able to apply for citizenship, but would not be granted an automatic citizenship, but instead would be at the end of the citizenship line.
In other words, people have been here legally, somebody who pays their dues, pays their taxes, pays a fine, proven to be a good citizen, they get at the end of the line. Someone said, well, that's amnesty -- that's not amnesty. Amnesty is automatic citizenship. This is a rational way to deal with people who are God-fearing, decent people, and respect their dignity at the same time.

No, George, they haven’t “been here legally”—that’s why they’re called illegal immigrants…and don’t you just love the way he uses “rational” and “God-fearing” in the same sentence?

File this one under "Like, Whatev":
…we want to thank all the dudes and dudesses of the snowboarders who are here.

Have a great weekend, readers and readeresses of the olio! See you on Monday.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

If We Stigmatize Aural Hallucinations, Will Only Stigmatics Hallucinate Aurally?

Molly Ivins thinks Bush may be a lunatic. I tend to agree, but for a reason she failed to mention: Let’s not forget, the BBC* reported that Bush said God told him to invade Iraq. And he did, in fact, invade Iraq.

It has also been reported that Andrea Yates said God told her to kill her children. And she did, in fact, kill her children.

Why is it that, as a society, we consider her insane, but not him? After all, they both heard—and obeyed—disembodied commands to violence from a supernatural being.

*Curiously, this story wasn’t widely reported in the US (although the Onion did cover it), while the Yates saga made national headlines for weeks.

(Image: Landover Baptist)

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

“A Matter of National Importance”

I watched Bush’s speech last night, but all I kept thinking about was another time he was on TV: March 19, 2003. That’s when he started a war that has, to date, caused the deaths of “at least 2,448” US troops. And I thought about why he told us the war was so necessary: It was to save us from “an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.” And, of course, that got me to thinking about the findings of the Iraq Survey Group:
Nuclear: Saddam Husayn ended the nuclear program in 1991 following the Gulf war. ISG found no evidence to suggest concerted efforts to restart the program (p. 11).

Chemical: While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered (p. 13).

Biological: In practical terms, with the destruction of the Al Hakam facility, Iraq abandoned its ambition to obtain advanced BW weapons quickly. ISG found no direct evidence that Iraq, after 1996, had plans for a new BW program or was conducting BW-specific work for military purposes (p. 18).

And then I thought: Immigration reform?!?! Fuck that. George Bush can claim that the subject is “a matter of national importance” all he wants, but I think his lying—or, if it makes anyone feel better, his being horribly, tragically, undeniably wrong—is a matter far, far more worthy of our national concern.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Grasping at Straws

Will Bush’s plander* to send “thousands” of Guard troops to the Mexican border supplant mismanaged war, a still supremely fucked Gulf Coast, Stasi-like domestic spying, and mind-boggling national debt in America’s consciousness?

I’ll give the guy credit for trying, but surely no one except the most obstinate dead-enders and Bush loyalists will allow themselves to be so easily distracted...

* Plander (n.) A political strategy catering to the lower tastes and desires/exploiting the weaknesses of others.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Snow Day!

And so it begins:

TONY SNOW: I'm not going to answer questions about credibility…

Have a great weekend, everyone! See you on Monday.


The Latest Poll: An Indirect Tribute to Karl Rove

Oh, my: Now that “the architect” has been distracted, the house is falling down.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Relax! Don’t Do It, When You Want to Go to It…

I found this link at Feministing yesterday: 101 Fun Things to Do (Besides Having Sex). A dozen of the suggestions are for the preparation/consumption of food. Hmm…paging Dr. Freud…

Does anyone have any other suggestions to add to the list?

And if you haven’t already, check out the Iron Hymen and Sex is for Fags parody campaigns over at whitehouse.org.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Bush Administration: Incompetent, Utterly Incompetent, or Dangerously Incompetent?

I got up at 4:30 this morning, and I’ve been on the road all day. This is the first time I’ve looked at the news today, and I almost wish I hadn’t. The first story I saw? Some genius threw Bush’s agenda “on the floor next to a big trash truck.”

The documents offer the exact arrival and departure time for Air Force One, Marine One and the back up choppers, Nighthawk 2 and 3. [. . .] The documents also list every passenger on board each aircraft, from President Bush to the military attaché with the nuclear football. A spokesman traveling with Mr. Bush in Florida confirms the report and says officials are still trying to learn more about the papers.
Oh, Sweet Jebus !


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sure It’s Fiction, but It’s Evil Fiction!

Moslem Does Not Convert

I was listening to a radio announcer tell the story of a young girl who started to date a Moslem young man. She convinced him to see a priest for instructions about entering the Catholic Church. He did wonderfully until someone gave him a copy of The DaVinci Code. Upon reading it, he said: "The Bible is a hoax and this story proves it." This ended his relationship and his faith in God.

From M.B. Cleveland, Ohio

—From the fine folks over at The Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (!), a Catholic group that truly understands the power of the apocryphal tale.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

At Last: I Agree with W!

Bush claims his “greatest triumph” was catching a fish. I’ll accept that statement as his tacit admission that nothing he’s done while actually in the Oval Office can be counted a success.

Fish and whistle, whistle and fish

Eat everything that they put on your dish

And when we get through, we'll make a big wish

That we never have to do this again…

*WPE image: Bartcop. "Fish and Whistle": John Prine.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Texas Ranch House

Last night was the final episode of Texas Ranch House on PBS. Did you see it? Oh, man—don’t you think Mr. and Mrs. Cooke were awful? I can’t believe he tried to rip off his ranch hands by inflating the value of those horses! Why would he try to screw the very people who made the drive a success?

And Mrs. Cooke let the garden bolt, even after the expert explained it needed tending. She also left those disgusting, food-laden, fly-infested dishes to rot in the sun for 8 days! And her excitement when Mr. Cooke threatened to “beat the shit out of” Jared—how fucked up was that?

I don’t watch an awful lot of TV, but I really enjoy these types of shows—so far, my all-time favorite is Manor House. Now that was a power struggle!

Have a great weekend, everyone. See you on Monday.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mary Cheney: Q is for Quisling

So Mary has finally decided to speak out. Now it’s her turn: Now that the campaign is safely over, now that her unapologetic lesbianism won’t confuse, enrage, and/or discourage the thousands of so-called “values voters” that helped to put her father in office.
If her father weren't vice president, would she still be a Republican? Cheney says she doesn't like to answer "hypothetical questions.”

Okay…no hypotheticals. Let’s get real, then. Why are you a Republican, Mary? What benefits can possibly outweigh the fact that the party shuns you? What basic ideological principles do you share with Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum? How do you rationalize your explicit agreement with James Dobson, whose Focus on the Family insists that “with the right information, the right strategy, and God's help, we can prevent homosexuality?”

I won’t link to FoF because I think they’re full of shit, but here’s a fairly representative statement:
Like many other adult problems, homosexuality begins at home. Mom and Dad are key players. Research from the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality states, ‘One hundred percent of the research participants stated their father/father figure was distant, uninvolved in their upbringing, frightening and unapproachable."

Wow…100%, huh? Perhaps your dad would like to respond to these rather damning statistics:

“Go fuck yourself, lee!”

Back at ya, big guy. And you can go fuck yourself too, Mary, for standing mute when it mattered. Good luck with the book sales, though. Really.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Does Anyone in the White House Read the Papers?

From today’s press briefing:

Q The Chicago Sun-Times has a story saying that many gang members are now in the army.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I haven't read the report that you're referring to. I think we have talked about the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces. There's been substantial progress made. And one of the areas they focused on was to make sure that you had a military that is committed to the country and not committed to any individual militia.

Sigh: Helen’s question was about gangs having infiltrated the US military. Obviously, McClellan thinks she’s talking about Iraqi soldiers—and he remains true to his talking points, although his answer is pure bullshit. Here’s a recent report from the WaPo concerning that “substantial progress”:
The graduation of nearly 1,000 new Iraqi army soldiers in restive Anbar province took a disorderly turn Sunday when dozens of the men declared that they would refuse to serve outside their home areas, according to U.S. and Iraqi military authorities.

[. . .]

Mohammad Abdulla Alawin, a recruit from Ramadi, said he wouldn't serve anywhere else; sectarian violence was one of his biggest worries. "We are afraid of the Shiite death squads which are found inside the Iraqi army, and who might kill us if we serve outside our province."

C’mon, Scotty! I know you’re a short-timer, but would it kill you to read a f*cking newspaper or two once in a while?

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Monday, May 01, 2006


Today is the 3rd anniversary of “Mission Accomplished.”

Here’s George Bush during a January 31, 2003 press conference with Tony Blair:
Q One question for you both. Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?

THE PRESIDENT: I can't make that claim.

And here’s George Bush during his May 1, 2003 speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln:
The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 -- and still goes on.

[. . .]

The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We've removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding.

[. . .]

We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th -- the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got.

In all fairness, though, Bush clearly stated he couldn’t make the claim, but he never said he couldn’t imply it…

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