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
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
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
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.
Crazy People Beat
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
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 Ansarnet.ws,
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
But for some quick thinking internet folks things also looked,
well, wrong somehow. As posters on Fark.com
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.
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
Deserving of Wider Recognition category.
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.
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
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
Electric are suddenly pulling the hell out of Iran.
I mean, that bodes well for the future, right?
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