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Blog Box

February 4, 2005
Compiled by Bucky Rea, The Brown Bag Blogger

When I Woke Up, She Was Gone

The inimitable Wonkette is sloughing off all of February to write a book. Taking over her political blog this month will be a chap named Choire Sicha, whom she promises is completely uninformed about politics and never checks his facts. Choire Sicha, by the way is an ancient Hindu word meaning "Condoleezza."

But before everybody's favorite Internet lush stumbled off bow-legged to her writing sabbatical, she managed to hunt-and-peck out a memorable review (I won't say blow-by-blow account) of the president's January 26th press conference during which the Wonkette found an astounding four inspirations for sexual innuendo from the words of George W Bush. Four!

10:20 "Third rail of politics means you touch it and you die." Ah. see I thought it was a euphamsism for large penis.
10:44 The firmly planted the flag of liberty! Hey, is that a firmly planted flag of liberty in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

And so on.

For us mere mortals, of course, the president's voice acts like a sort of aural saltpeter, shriveling all resolve and gag reflexes within the sound of his bad-Will-Ferrell-impression voice. But the Wonkette managed to live-blog her way through 45 minutes of Junior talking and still managed to think about sex. Four times!

That woman must have a libido of steel. Wonkette, I salute you. Twice.

Crazy People Beat

Orcinus is back on the Crazy People beat, documenting the increasing contacts between the Republican Party and the extremist Right. Most recently Arkansas Republican legislators have started to get all chummy with a group called Project Arkansas Now (gosh that name sounds familiar!) which, the big whale shows, is just another front for the Council of Conservative Citizens, successor organization to the Ku Klux Klan.

Morale of this story: "take you sheet off and put on a tie, boy, and then I'll take your check."

It's the first week in February, but already we've already seen the official stupidest story of the year. And frankly, "stupid" is putting it mildly.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Associated Press wire service reported that Iraqi militants had taken another US soldier hostage and had posted an image of the captive on, an Islamic religious discussion board website (based in Samoa), of that "real American hero" propped against a wall beneath a black Arabic language banner and with a gun pointed at his head. Things looked grim.

But for some quick thinking internet folks things also looked, well, wrong somehow. As posters on noted, the GI's head looked too small. His pose was awkward. The banner behind him looked like it was only a few inches wide (note where the paint gathers at the bottom of the Arabic letters). Was the figure PhotoShopped? Nope, better than that.

It turned out that the hapless hostage was not literally a "real American hero," but actually a knock-off of the GI Joe action figure line, a "special ops" doll from Dragon Models USA designed for the armchair war fetishists who like to go into their back yards and play "war" (or, in this case, go out and play "hostage killer").

From Fark, the word first spread thru the blogoverse that, no, the US Army has not started sending toys into Iraq to fight for whatever it is we're fighting for this week. Some dork with too much time on his hands had posted this picture and hoodwinked the Associated Press into thinking it was a real hostage. Paid reporters were in a tizz; it was a real live hostage situation - the stuff headlines are made of. Stop the presses! Interrupt the 24-hour news channels for this special news bulletin! Bloggers were in a guffaw. Some wag posted this "graphic" image of a suicide bomber's latest attack, as seen by Fox News.

Enveloped Expectations

The nominations are finally in for Wampum's Sandy Koufax Awards. The voting will continue in all eleven categories until this Monday, the 7th of February, so you have a lot of reading to do over the weekend.

Aaron Brown of CNN is often cited as being the most thoughtful, balanced, and preternaturally serene news craniums on your television screen (which is, of course, a lot like saying he's got the cleanest sheets in the brothel, but I digress). However DUer Left I wants to point out that Brown is also a smug panderer, after watching CNN's idea of a class act help midwife into everybody's living room the demonstrably silly idea that the Democrats are moving as far to the left as Republicans are veering off to the right. El Eye writes:

...on what planet are the Democrats proposing much of anything, much less anything as radical on the "left" as what Republicans are proposing (and doing) on the right? For example, in today's news, we have Republicans proposing to ratify an Attorney General who believes that the President of the United States is above the law and can ignore any law he chooses, and Democrats who... don't. Well, jeez, how far "left" can they go?

We have Republicans proposing to radically change Social Security, a program which has worked well for 70 years, and Democrats proposing to... leave it alone. God, the radicalism of it all.

El Eye has been blogging away in the trenches for 18 months now. I mention this only because Left I on the News has been nominated for a Sandy Award in the Most Deserving of Wider Recognition category.

A Scrivener's Lament is officially your go-to scrivener for the next big electoral college showdown. In this case Scrivener (and DUer) Delilah Boyd is keeping an eye on the Electoral College of Cardinals, who Scriv thinks may at any moment be called upon to fly off to Rome (that's as in fly by airplane; only nuns can fly for real) and pick a new pope.

But his Holiness is doing better, you must be thinking. Well, the Scriv ain't so sure and even has actual photographs (you'll have to scroll down a bit) of the Holy Father getting viciously attacked by (assumes Scriv) the Lord's messengers of vengeance - apparently to the delight of little children.

Anyhoo, the Lament has been keeping files on top candidates for the next Bishop of Rome so that when the sad day comes, you'll know where to turn for all the horserace action. I mention this only because A Scrivener's Lament has been nominated for a Sandy Award in the Most Humorous Blog category.

Bar None

Legal blog Talk Left was suitably unimpressed with the president's State of the Union reading, particularly as concerns Bush's seeming endorsement of using DNA testing to exonerate the wrongly accused. The Talker points out that, while in its presentation the expanded use of DNA testing is a good thing, the law that the president was actually referring to, the Justice for All Act, is "primarily a crime victim's bill, not an innocence bill."

And apparently the original version of the bill introduced four years ago sought to test people in prison to make sure none were wrongfully convicted. For some reason Mr Bush doesn't so much mind letting the wrongfully convicted rot away. The bill authorizes $1.2 billion to upgrade crime labs and deal with the horrendous national backlog of 300,000 untested rape kits, but only $25 million for "post conviction" DNA testing. For you math majors out there, that's a 48-to-1 ratio.

As a former writing teacher, I always like to give props to a good online Compare and Contrast essay when I see it. As a Democrat I like to point out that Republicans are hypocritical lying opportunists. Today I get to do both with just one little link. Sarah Posner of Gadflyer stuns us with the news that Jesse Helms is still alive (note to self: "next time rub garlic on the stake") and is out there fundraising by scaring direct mail recipients into believing that Bill Clinton is plotting to take over the UN. Then Posner holds this idiocy up to the light cast by the Republicans' clumsy efforts to race-bait away the debate over the Gonzales nomination.

The Omen II

And let it not be said that this space is only going to dwell on bad news - when good news happens, I'm glad to pass it along. And there is some really good news out there on the War on Terror front. From the California Democratic Party's Bob's Blog, we learn that Dick Cheney's old Halliburton buds have decided they're going to quit helping axis-powered Iran arm itself against us Great Satanites. Yay! Both Halliburton and General Electric are suddenly pulling the hell out of Iran.

I mean, that bodes well for the future, right?

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