Sunday, November 30

There Go The Damned Liberal Media Reporting On Unhappy Republicans

From the hardly-liberal USA Today. That was quick:

Afterglow fading on Bush's PR coup in Iraq

WASHINGTON — A triumphant trip to Baghdad doesn't guarantee President Bush soaring poll ratings, the permanent defanging of his opponents or an end to his problems.

Bush's stealthy visit to spend Thanksgiving with U.S. troops generated front-page headlines and positive reviews. Even Democrats running for their party's presidential nomination praised him. "I thought it was terrific," Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry said.

But by Sunday, the afterglow had started to fade. The news from Iraq was grim. Two U.S. soldiers were killed. A total of 79 Americans died in combat in Iraq in November, making it the bloodiest month of the war. Criticism resumed.

Bush's visit highlighted his concern for troops there. But his quick, secret trip to Baghdad's airport also underscored the lack of security. "Iraq is very unsafe, very insecure," Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN on Sunday.

[S]ome Republicans worried that the 10-year, $400 billion Medicare bill was a betrayal of their party's traditional commitment to fiscal discipline. "Congress is now spending money like a drunken sailor," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told Fox. Nine Republicans voted against the legislation, including McCain.

Coalition Of The Worried

Here now the news...

U.S.: Iraq Ambushes Won't Stop Coalition

At the end of the bloodiest month for coalition forces since the war began, U.S. officials said Sunday that the coalition won't be cowed by roadside ambushes that increasingly targeted U.S. allies.
Wait...this just in:

Iraq deaths prompt S Korea review

On Saturday, two Japanese diplomats and their Iraqi driver were shot dead on Saturday, also near Tikrit, an anti-coalition centre.

President Roh is holding a meeting of his National Security Council to discuss policy after Sunday's ambush, which left two more South Koreans seriously wounded. An official said that the meeting of the NSC would try to decide whether the attack was specifically targeted against South Koreans.

He has committed South Korea to sending a 3,000-strong contingent of troops to Iraq, building on the 675 South Korean medical and engineering troops already deployed since May in the south, around Nasiriya. However, he has yet to decide whether to include combat troops in the deployment and correspondents say Sunday's killings could have major political ramifications.

Contrasts In Reporting the Samarra Attack

AP in the Boston Globe:

Rebel attack turns into massive firefight in northern Iraq; insurgents target U.S. allies

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) In the deadliest reported firefight since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, U.S. soldiers fought back coordinated attacks Sunday using tanks, cannons and small arms in running battles throughout the northern city of Samarra. The troops killed 46 Iraqi fighters, and five Americans were wounded.
Al Jazeera:

Innocents killed in Samarra bloodbath

US troops in the Iraqi town of Samarra have admitted to perpetrating a bloodbath, with one occupation spokesman confirming nearly four dozen people were killed. Lieutenant Colonel Bill MacDonald told journalists on Sunday that all the 46 were killed when troops fought off multiple attacks on military convoys.

But local residents said US troops killed innocent bystanders when they opened fire on anything that moved around midday. Workers at a nearby pharmaceutical plant said at least two colleagues were killed and many wounded as they walked out of the factory gates at the end of their shift, downed by a US tank shooting randomly in all directions.
We report, you decide.

Take The Kids To Disney's New Attraction - Rancorland


Roy Disney resigns, urges Eisner to follow suit

The vice chairman of the Walt Disney Co., Roy E. Disney, resigned from the board of directors Sunday, citing his "serious differences of opinion" with the chairman, Michael D. Eisner, "about the direction and style of management in the company."
Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney, also called for Eisner's resignation. In addition, Disney stepped down from his position as chairman of the feature animation division.

The resignation lays bare a sharp conflict in an entertainment and media company that has called its theme parks "the happiest place on earth."

"You well know that you and I have had serious differences of opinion about the direction and style of management in the company in recent years," Disney wrote to Eisner. "For whatever reason, you have driven a wedge between me and those I work with even to the extent of requiring some of my associates to report my conversations and activities to you. I find this intolerable."

If Dean Is "Another McGovern," Why Is The GOP Doing THIS?

In case you've seen the term "Astroturf" when it comes to a campaign, here's the genesis of the term:

If it's genuine public consensus-gathering and support, it's "grassroots."
If it's launched by the White House, the Republican National Committee and its principals, it's phony grassroots: "Astroturf."

This is Astroturf, and it's interesting they're anticipating a close election:

President Bush's reelection team, anticipating another close election, has begun to assemble one of the largest grass-roots organizations of any modern presidential campaign, using enormous financial resources and lack of primary opposition to seize an early advantage over the Democrats in the battle to mobilize voters in 2004.

Bush's campaign has an e-mail list totaling 6 million people, 10 times the number that Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has, and the Bush operation is in the middle of an unprecedented drive to register 3 million new Republican voters. The campaign has set county vote targets in some states and has begun training thousands of volunteers who will recruit an army of door-to-door canvassers for the final days of the election next November.

The entire project, which includes complementary efforts by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and state Republican parties, is designed to tip the balance in a dozen-and-a-half states that both sides believe will determine the winner in 2004.

"I've never seen grass roots like this," said a veteran GOP operative in one of the battleground states.

Dean, a former governor of Vermont, has made major strides in organizing a grass roots-based campaign in a bid for his party's nomination. His advisers say it is the largest in the history of presidential politics.
And here's the proof that they don't know the difference between grassroots and Astroturf:

While saying he is not familiar with all the details of Dean's grass-roots and Internet efforts, Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman said, "Our goal is for the largest grass-roots effort ever."
Three words: Pa. The. Tic.

The GOP Wins And We Get The Bill Shoved Up Our Butts

Aren't you glad you and your kids are going to pay out the nose for these little Republican victories? More lies by the right, folks, and even they're noticing...

GOP Puts Its Mark on Congress and Deficit
By Janet Hook
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 30, 2003

A full year of Republican dominance of government has left a legacy rich in conservative triumphs: cutting taxes, building a muscular defense, restricting abortion.

But the year has also brought an extraordinary expansion of government power and spending that showed Republicans were willing to deep-six their party's traditional commitment to fiscal conservatism and limited government.

The Republican-controlled Congress has passed the third tax cut in as many years, an enormous Pentagon budget, a costly experiment in nation-building in Iraq and a vast expansion of Medicare — all at the request of President Bush. Their actions have left the federal budget swimming in the largest deficits in history.

As one lawmaker heard from a Republican friend, "Democrats are the party of 'tax and spend'; Republicans are the party of 'don't tax — and spend.' " That is the ironic product of the first full year since 1954 that Republicans have controlled the White House and Congress.

This Is Not Good For The Freedom Thing

How British charity was silenced on Iraq
Kevin Maguire
Friday November 28, 2003
The Guardian

One of Britain's most high-profile charities was ordered to end criticism of military action in Iraq by its powerful US wing to avoid jeopardising financial support from Washington and corporate donors, a Guardian investigation has discovered.
Internal emails reveal how Save the Children UK came under enormous pressure after it accused coalition forces of breaching the Geneva convention by blocking humanitarian aid.

Senior figures at Save the Children US, based in Westport, Connecticut, demanded the withdrawal of the criticism and an effective veto on any future statements blaming the invasion for the plight of Iraqi civilians suffering malnourishment and shortages of medical supplies.

Uncovered documents expose tensions within an alliance that describes itself as "the world's largest independent global organisation for children" but which is heavily reliant on governments and big business for cash. (continued)
Land of the insane and home of the heavy-handed. That's how we're being seen these days. Ya proud?

Saturday, November 29

Ouch. Double Ouch.

Man, this isn't pretty. From the UAE Gulf News...

Bush's panic visit is like of a thief that comes in the night
(May take a little while to load)

The head of state of the strongest nation on earth will normally not make a sneaky and panicky visit to a country which is wholly occupied by his troops, unless he is terrified and unsure of his own safety.

That was what US President George W. Bush did when he sneaked into Baghdad to try and lift the morale of his soldiers there by sharing their celebrations on Thanksgiving Day as claimed by the US Administration.

But the trip was counter-productive because Bush appears to have demoralised his troops, as the visit was surrounded by lies from the Administration. In doing so, Bush has confirmed the Arab saying: "Trying to improve it, he spoilt it."

Lied to the public

According to news reports, Bush flew 27 hours non-stop to spend just two and a half hours with his troops. His Administration, like the previous ones, lied when it said two days before the trip that Bush planned to spend Thanksgiving Day with his family and that he would send a telephone message to his troops in Iraq.

Instead, all of the sudden, he turned up in Baghdad. It means that the American people are being lied to by their own Administration and government. This of course had nothing to do with security arrangements for the trip because there is a difference between lying and keeping something secret.

But let us now forget about the lying issue because we already know the US habitually lies through Bush himself, his defence secretary, national security adviser and the rest of the Likudish gang in the Departments of State, Defence and other institutions.

We tasted their lies as they prepared for the war against Iraq and as they launched that war. Our focus here will be the scared President's trip to a country which is entirely occupied by his forces. (continued)
Again we say...ouch.

Can You Say "Daschle"?

And They Won't Have The Lights Off On The Plane

Courage defined: Winning friends with handshakes and not guns.

Troop Families Go to Iraq on Peace Mission
Relatives of Service Members Embark on Peace Mission to Iraq to Bring Message of Friendship

SAN DIEGO Nov. 29 — Relatives of U.S. service members said they were nervous but hopeful Saturday as they embarked on a private peace mission to Iraq, where they will bring their message of friendship and doubts about the war.

The leader of the 10-member group, Fernando Suarez del Solar, said it is important for Iraqis to realize that not all Americans support the U.S. military presence in Iraq. His son, Marine Lance Cpl. Jesus Suarez del Solar, 20, was killed in Iraq eight months ago when he stepped on an unexploded American cluster bomb.

"The regular Americans like peace," Suarez del Solar, 48, said in a telephone interview a few hours before the group's scheduled departure. "The enemy is not the people from America.

Friday, November 28

Smackdown Alert

Keep your eyes peeled for anyone who will accuse Sens. Clinton and Reed of trying to upstage Bush in their visit to Baghdad today. Hillary and Jack didn't just decide "Hey, let's do this!" This is a trip which took them through Afghanistan then Iraq - planned before Bush's secret eat-and-retreat was even known. If you read anything to the contrary, let 'em have it.

Now if Bush made the trip to upstage Clinton and Reed, well...that's believable.

Yeah, I'm impossible. Deal with it.

Look At All Those Smiling...


From the Pen of: Jeff Danziger

Finally, My Long-Running Rhetorical Question Is Answered

"What does Iraq have to do with the war on terror (al-Qaida)?"


Experts: Iraq war taking resources from terror war
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - A growing number of counter-terrorism experts are challenging President Bush's assertion that Iraq is a major battle in the war against terrorism and are questioning whether the U.S. invasion of Iraq has hurt rather than helped the global battle against al-Qaida and its affiliates.

Experts who have served in top positions in both Republican and Democratic administrations are increasingly suggesting that the Iraq war has diverted momentum, troops and intelligence resources from the worldwide campaign to destroy the remnants of al-Qaida.

They note that the presence of U.S. troops in an Arab homeland is serving as a major recruiting tool for signing up and motivating new jihadis, or Islamic holy warriors.
Maybe Bush needs to fly into Afghanistan and boost THEIR morale...

Okay. Now The Trip Becomes Worrisome

We now have something a little more problematic. We know another soldier was killed since Bush's morale-booster, but now comes the spin:

After surprise visit, Bush says troops' morale is high in Iraq

"I'm pleased to report back from the front lines that our troops are strong, morale is high and our military is confident we will prevail," he said in his weekly radio address, taped today at his ranch near this tiny Texas town.

"My message to the troops was clear: your country is thankful for your service, we are proud of you, and America stands with you in all that you are doing to defend America," he said.
Okay. He's getting his political mileage out of this. Time to question this deal.

How is he able to make this blanket assessment about their morale from a two-hour visit? Just hours before Bush's trip hit the wires, there were stories like this one:

I am proud to serve in the Army, not because I agree with the reasons we came over, but because we're doing what we have been ordered to do...You may hear that morale is low, and that we complain about being over here instead of home. This perception is accurate.
And this one from Reuters:

In Senate testimony last week, Pentagon officials acknowledged reports of morale problems in some units serving in Iraq, and said the Army Reserve had fallen short of its goals for re-enlisting existing members.
Beyond the morale talk, I'm having a problem with the bravado factor. The more the White House brags about this - and they are - the more they're rubbing the faces of the Iraqi anti-Americans into the fact that they got away with pulling this off.

The boasting which will come in the days ahead by FoxNews' pundits, as well as using the other nets as conduits, is not going to blow a hole in the morale of those who are killing our soldiers. It can only piss them off more.

Let's hope we haven't whacked that hornet's nest one time too many.

Tragedy Plus Time Equals...

...creepy profiteering.

"We are very excited to bring such a historically significant piece to the market", said Bob Zafian, spokesman for Moments in Time and agent for the seller. "I have never come across a piece with such provenance; police reports, fingerprint documentation, letters from the District Attorney, it goes on and on."

They're More Cynical Than I Am

Of course they have good reason to be.

Many Iraqis on Friday angrily dismissed President Bush's brief cloak-and-dagger Thanksgiving Day visit as a political stunt to boost his ratings at home, and others said he squandered an opportunity to meet with Iraqis and see first hand the problems they face.

"He came for only two hours. He didn't see how the Iraqis are living and suffering," said Fatima Star, 38, a housewife. "He doesn't care about the Iraqi people. He only cares about his troops."

"He wants to gain political favor from people in the United States before the elections," said Mathil Aziz, 26, a teacher. "He cares more about his own personal interest than the Iraqi people."

Thursday, November 27

No Separation Of Church And Stadium

Jim Nance ended CBS' NFL pre-game show with "God bless you and God bless America."

Commercial Worth TiVo'ing Today

Target's Two-Day Sale starring Cheap Trick's Bun E. Carlos and Donna C. (or F.) of the Donnas wailing for a 'way-too short (but incredible) 30 seconds. Post a link here in the comments if you see it online somewhere.

California Republicans Are Collectively Doing A Spit Take Over Their Thanksgiving Dinners Today

Gov. Paroles Second Killer

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger agreed Wednesday to parole a woman who killed her husband's mistress in 1987 — marking the second case in a week in which the newly elected governor has granted parole to a convicted murderer and a notable departure from the policy of his predecessor, Gray Davis.

One of the hallmarks of Davis' five years as governor was his repeated refusal to grant paroles approved by the state's Board of Prison Terms.

Of 294 paroles agreed to by the board in murder cases, Davis blocked all but eight, following his professed belief that extenuating circumstances should not be used to justify homicide. He twice rejected parole for Rosario Muñoz, the woman Schwarzenegger has now agreed to free.

Schwarzenegger appears to be taking a more liberal stance and providing an early indication of his overall attitude toward criminal justice issues.

Aides to Schwarzenegger have also said the governor is considering cuts in the state prison budget, which Davis protected against reductions.

Giving The Devil His Due

Bush made a secret fly-in to and fly-out of Baghdad to visit the troops for Thanksgiving. I'll give the guy complete kudos if it was a genuine gesture of kindheartedness.

(Okay, at what part of this post does the evil me take over?)

Right here: If one foot of video of that trip ends up in a campaign ad, the kudos are revoked.

Wednesday, November 26

Is Bush Bringing Back The Draft?

Reader Donna brings to our attention a site which is chronicling the Bush administration's supposed move to bring back the draft in 2005 and require all 18-25 year olds to enlist for military service.

We don't know if it's true, but we're sure as hell not ruling it out - seeing as how we're sending our kids anywhere Bush damn well pleases. Check out and decide for yourself.

If It Were The Remains Of Howard Dean's Brother, Drudge Would Be Writing About How The Military Is FUMING Over This

But it's President Bush's brother. So, la la la de dah de doo...

Neil Bush deals detailed in divorce records

Neil Bush, younger brother of President Bush, detailed lucrative business deals and admitted to engaging in sex romps with women in Asia in a deposition taken in March as part of his divorce from now ex-wife Sharon Bush.

According to legal documents disclosed today, Sharon Bush's lawyers questioned Neil Bush closely about the deals, especially a contract with Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., a firm backed by Jiang Mianheng, the son of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, that would pay him $2 million in stock over five years.

Marshall Davis Brown, lawyer for Sharon Bush, expressed bewilderment at why Grace would want Bush and at such a high price since he knew little about the semiconductor business.

The Bush divorce, completed in April, was prompted in part by Bush's relationship with another woman. He admitted in the deposition that he previously had sex with several other women while on trips to Thailand and Hong Kong at least five years ago.

The women, he said, simply knocked on the door of his hotel room, entered and engaged in sex with him. He said he did not know if they were prostitutes because they never asked for money and he did not pay them.

Drudge Writes About What He Does Not Know - Again

Here we go again into Fairy Tale Land. In a Drudge "exclusive," he tells us that U.S. soldiers are "FUMING" over Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command's honors given to the remains of Howard Dean's brother which have been recovered in Laos. They supposedly have their shorts in a wad over the remains being placed in an aluminum case and draped with an American flag. Natch, none of the fumers are being named or placed, but here's the unspoken part:

It's a written part of JPAC's normal procedure.

Yup. Eschaton points out that JPAC does in fact do this for anyone who's been missing as a result of the Southeast Asia (Vietnam) conflict. In JPAC's words:

Repatriation ceremonies are conducted to honor the sacrifice made by those individuals whose remains have been recovered. As a sign of respect, the remains are placed into an aluminum transfer case and draped with a U.S. flag. Veterans, community members and local active-duty military often attend the ceremonies to pay their respects as the remains are transported from a U.S. military plane to JPAC's CIL.
So either Drudge's military sources are completely ill-informed, or in a desperate attention-getting act, Drudge fabricated this whole "scandal."

Either way - it seems death with dignity doesn't apply to liberals or their families. Even American liberals.

Tax Cut And Spend

One step forward, $373 billion steps back...

GOP Hopes to Pass Massive Spending Bill
Republicans Hope Congress Will Approve $373 Billion Spending Bill When Lawmakers Return Next Month

...Limits on how large television networks can grow were raised even though lawmakers had agreed last week not to do that. The administration which had threatened vetoes on at least three issues also prevailed in fights on overtime pay, federally financed private school vouchers for District of Columbia students, food labels, gun background checks and other issues.

The measure has increases for Bush's plan to aid countries embracing democratic reforms and for helping states update local election systems.

In the last hours before the bill was approved, GOP bargainers accepted language sought by the National Rifle Association to shorten to 24 hours the time the government keeps background check records on gun buyers. The period is now 90 days.

The bill would let networks own television stations viewed by up to 39 percent of Americans, up from the current 35 percent but below the 45 percent ceiling the administration wanted. This will help Viacom Inc., which owns CBS and UPN, and News Corp., owner of Fox, which both exceed the current 35 percent limit because of mergers and acquisitions.
It's a new majority in Washington: Socially conservative, fiscally liberal. Welcome to the Bizarro-er World.

"Reality": Digitally Edited To Simulate Articulate

It turns out the RNC doctored President Sputterlips to make him seem like he knew what he was talking about in that state of the union address. Kicking Ass, the official DNC blog, shows what was said in the RNC commercial titled "Reality" - and how it was originally delivered that lie-filled night. Not only did President Puddingmouth mangle the word "vial" - but the preceding sentence wondered what horror the 9/11 hijackers could have done if they were "armed by Saddam Hussein."


No, George - they were armed by Home Depot. And they were funded by Osama bin Laden. Not Saddam Hussein.

But thanks for giving Saddam a reason to get in on the action, you frightening jerk.

HI! I'm...


(Click the pic if you don't know who it is)


That's the name of the audacious TV commercial the RNC is running - the one with President Pre-emption speaking about the chilling horror of terror from his lie-filled state of the union address. Here's the alleged "reality" in this propaganda piece:

CHYRON: Some are now attacking the President for attacking the terrorists.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?"
CHYRON: Some call for us to retreat, putting our national security in the hands of others.
CHYRON: Call Congress Now
CHYRON: Tell them to support the President's policy of preemptive self-defense.
(RAISING HAND HERE) Uh...under whose watch did the terrorists attack us? And can someone -ANYONE - tell us what attacking Iraq has to do with it?

The message is that Democrats are soft on terror. Bullcrap. Clinton was relentless in trying to stop al Qaeda. And the supposed "offering of bin Laden on a silver platter" is more bullcrap - the offer came from some guy with little or no cred. Democrats are soft on terror? So THAT'S why they attacked us under Bush's watch. I see.

Reality: At least half of this country doesn't want him anymore.
Reality: Half of America thinks he's not doing a good job.
Reality: This commercial is a lie. But the RNC produced it. Enough said.

Tuesday, November 25

The Economy's Up

Yay. That's wonderful. Meanwhile, George W. Bush is still:
- A liar when selling the war to America
- Putting soldiers in harm's way for his little Iraq project
- Putting Iraqi citizens in harm's way for his little Iraq project
- Pre-emptive and dangerous
- Disliked and distrusted by the rest of the world
- Governing by fear
- Letting Afghanistan slip away - again
- Looking for bin Laden
- Looking for Saddam
- A fake in a flight suit
- Sending the bill for his tax cuts to future generations
- Putting the lives of seniors at risk with "Medicare reform"
- In office

I guess I'm just too critical when it comes to my partisan views on human life, respect and dignity.

Monday, November 24

The GOP Is Benefitting From Drugs: The Ones Used To Write Columns Like This

Another expert who doesn't check facts speaks up. CNN's Mark Shields:

The AARP and the GOP

This time, leading Democrats on Capitol Hill (who had gratefully welcomed the organization's endorsement of the1994 Clinton health care plan) condemned the AARP for "being in the pocket of the House Republican leadership," and much worse, because the AARP endorsed and went to work in behalf of the GOP-crafted Medicare prescription drug bill.

Forget all the purple prose comparing the AARP, unfavorably, to Benedict Arnold or Judas Iscariot. As John Feehry, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., put it, "The AARP is the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval when it comes to seniors' issues."

This is also a major political coup for the Bush administration, congressional Republicans and for Hastert, who according to colleagues, has for two years been courting the seniors' organization.


As the president of the AARP said in explaining his organization's support for the GOP drug legislation, "Our interests are what is best for our members and all older Americans." Sorry, no room in there for anybody else but old number one.

Still, if these strange political bedfellows -- the AARP and George Bush's GOP -- can in collaboration produce a long-sought law to provide prescription drug coverage to senior citizens, the political fallout will be profound. And any way you look at it, the immediate and inescapable verdict will be a Republican victory and a Democratic defeat.
For the fifth time here - if what's being said by AARP's members at their official message board or the outing of AARP's polling procedures have any merit, I wouldn't paint the country red just yet, Mark. America's seniors are more than just a little pissed at this affair.

Ann Coulter: Wingnut. Anti-Semite. Heartless Ass.

This is just so over-the-top that I have to keep it near the top of today's blog...

It's time to fight the right's new (and weird) battle cry that liberals and Democrats are the standard-bearers of hatred, intolerance and name-calling.

There are quite a few loudmouths on the right who simply cannot, will not or (by their own values) should not declare ANYTHING off-limits if it means diminishing ANYTHING that doesn't align with their twisted world.

Ann Coulter is a screaming example of this. Here are some gems from her latest column. This is the kind of crap which must be outed and fought tooth and nail in the streets of the new "discourse." It can't be ignored anymore - this hideous protein-based life form is considered a legitimate pundit by CNN, Fox, MSNBC and just about every national talkshow. Put on your brass knuckles, because this is what we're fighting.

...the Democrats have discovered a surprise campaign issue: It turns out that several of them have had a death in the family. Not only that, but many Democrats have cracker-barrel humble origins stories and a Jew or lesbian in the family. Dick Gephardt's campaign platform is that his father was a milkman, his son almost died and his daughter is a lesbian. Vote for me!


In the current campaign, Gephardt has taken to spinning out a long, pitiful tale of his son's near-death three decades ago. If a lingering family medical tragedy is the main qualification for becoming a Democratic presidential candidate, what's Michael Schiavo waiting for?


John Edwards injects his son's fatal car accident into his campaign by demanding that everyone notice how he refuses to inject his son's fatal car accident into his campaign.

If you want points for not using your son's death politically, don't you have to take down all those "Ask me about my son's death in a horrific car accident" bumper stickers? Edwards is like a politician who keeps announcing that he will not use his opponent's criminal record for partisan political advantage. I absolutely refuse to mention the name of my dearly beloved and recently departed son killed horribly in a car accident, which affected me deeply, to score cheap political points.


Howard Dean talks about his brother Charlie's murder at the hands of North Vietnamese communists. Bizarrely, after working on the failed George McGovern campaign, Charlie Dean went to Indochina in 1974 to witness the ravages of the war he had opposed. Not long after he arrived, the apparently ungrateful communists captured and killed him. Hey fellas! I'm on your s-- CLUNK!


In addition to having a number of family deaths among them, the Democrats' other big idea - too nuanced for a bumper sticker - is that many of them have Jewish ancestry. There's Joe Lieberman: Always Jewish. Wesley Clark: Found Out His Father Was Jewish in College. John Kerry: Jewish Since He Began Presidential Fund-Raising. Howard Dean: Married to a Jew. Al Sharpton: Circumcised. Even Hillary Clinton claimed to have unearthed some evidence that she was a Jew - along with the long lost evidence that she was a Yankees fan. And that, boys and girls, is how the Jews survived thousands of years of persecution: by being susceptible to pandering.
There's punditry. Then there's just being an asshole. Coulter has taken the low road enough times to put her fairly and squarely into chronic, and this latest affront to decency seals the deal. Shameless. Disgusting. Obnoxious.

And sadly, all too typical.

Dianne Feinstein: What The Hell?

The senior senator from California is actually supporting the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, which the AARP has endorsed with the overwhelming majority of its membership's disapproval. The GOP-sponsored bill is - simply put - an abomination which the wingnuts are cramming down the throats of our elders by bum-rushing it through the House and now the Senate. There's so much wrong with this bill, and you can check out the deal here. (My mom pays out almost $2000 every six months for secondary coverage right now. With a diminished Medicare, that will certainly get jacked up.)

Here's Feinstein's number: 202-224-3841. Here's her e-mail link. Here are her branch offices throughout California if you'd like a door to bang on. Here's her snail-mail address:

Senator Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

It's amazing that well-paid politicians really have no perspective when it comes to dangerous bills such a this one. They don't even want to walk a yard in their constituents' shoes.

TBTM Radio's First Anniversary

And we're proud to be a part of it. Hoffmania! joined with Randi "The Goddess" Rhodes, Buzzflash, Mike Malloy and more to help celebrate Take Back The Media's live-in-front-of-an-audience anniversary show. Check it out here.

Wouldn't It Be Great If You Could...

...wait! Now you can!

New government rules will let America's 152 million cell phone users take their current cell numbers with them to a new carrier. They must, however, switch to a carrier also serving their local area. The rule goes into effect for consumers in the top 100 markets.

Saturday, November 22

They Better Not DARE...

33 Years Later, Draft Becomes Topic for Dean

In the winter of 1970, a 21-year-old student from Yale walked into his armed services physical in New York carrying X-rays and a letter from his orthopedist, eager to know whether a back condition might keep him out of the military draft.

This was not an uncommon scene in 1970, when medical deferments were a frequently used avenue for those reluctant to take part in the unpopular war in Vietnam. And this story would have little interest save that Howard Dean was the name of the young man. Now, 33 years later, he finds himself a leading Democrat in the quest for the party's nomination to be president of the United States.
Know this: Drudge is pushing this NY Times story on his site, meaning that it's being fed into the wingnut media machine as we speak. We say the Repubs better not make any - ANY deal out of this. Not with the AWOL thug as their leader. Watch this one carefully, readers. And strike them hard if they go there.

TiVo Alert

Okay, so DirecTV is going to be sold to Stupert Rupert. Every once in a while you have to do business with the devil to get cool stuff.

If you have the NHL package here in the U.S., it's about the only way you can watch the first outdoor NHL regular season game. I posted this too late to remind you of the legends game, but you can see Edmonton and Montreal in front of 56,000 fans freezing their butts off at about 7:30 ET on channel 742. Worth watching and keeping.

UPDATE 4:37 PT - It's kinda cool...but the camera work is kinda awkward. They have a crane handling the usual center ice elevated shot, but for some reason they're shooting it too tight and you can't see very much away from the puck. The CBC guys made the observation that since they're wearing gloves under their gloves, they'll need to call a timeout to get them off if they want to fight. Heh.

UPDATE 5:21 PT - :39 into the 2nd period, the first NHL outdoor goal is scored by Richard Zednik of the Habs. No small feat just playing this game - they're announcing a field temperature of -25C (about -13F). Ouch.

And The World Says, "Thank You For Stopping bin Laden By Invading Iraq"

Screw goodwill. Spreading fear over the planet is now America's biggest strength. How any American cannot feel even the slightest pang of shame and embarrassment over the White House's ineptitude is beyond me.

US warns more Qaeda attacks worldwide

Highlighting the "recent terrorist attacks" in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the US state department has issued a worldwide warning that the Al Qaeda network may stage new attacks, designed to be more "devastating" than the September 11 strikes.

In a "worldwide caution" against attacks and plane hijackings, the state department has warned that "US citizens may be a target of terrorist actions." Deeply concerned about the security of American citizens overseas, the alert, issued yesterday, cautioned them to "maintain a high level of vigilance, to remain alert and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness".

"We expect Al Qaeda will strive for new attacks designed to be more devastating than the September 11 attack, possibly involving non-conventional weapons such as chemical or biological agents. We also cannot rule out that Al Qaeda will attempt a second catastrophic attack within the US", the alert said.

But We Can Still Share Porn, Right?

RIAA smells victory

A federal judge in San Francisco said Friday she is leaning toward a ruling that would give the recording industry a key victory in its quest to seek out and sue individuals who allegedly are illegally sharing music on the Internet.

Friday, November 21

Turkey Fryers: The Hidden Killer

Underwriters' Labs has a website that Beavis and Butthead can love. Turns out that turkey fryers can cause an enormous conflagration. Check out the movie to see the improper use of a turkey fryer (along with the proper outfit to wear when using one). It's a much more entertaining film than "The Cat In The Hat."

WHOA. Did You Feel That?

That bump you felt was the country roaring off the tracks with the worst numbers since this question was first posed in 1998:

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. Nov. 18-19, 2003. N=900 registered voters nationwide. MoE ± 3.

"Considering how things are today, would you say that the U.S. is generally headed in the right direction, or is it off on the wrong track?"

Right Direction: 40% (down from 54% in June)
Wrong Track: 47% (up from 33%)
Not Sure: 13% (same)

Bush Ends U.K. Trip At Dun Cow Pub

I'm exhausted. You write the caption.

Bush Begins The TV Campaign

Besides FoxNews, that is. If what Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi says is true, this Bush TV spot is proof positive they're pushing our faces in bullcrap to prove they can get away with anything. Here's the lowdown:

The ad shows George W. Bush giving his last State of the Union address, and then the screen flashes with the words that “some are now attacking the president for attacking the terrorists.”

This is the same State of the Union address in which Bush misled Congress and the American people with the false claim that Iraq had attempted to buy uranium in Africa -- the famous sixteen words that helped drive our country into an unnecessary war. And the war with Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorists who attacked the United States on 9/11.

The ad urges viewers to tell Congress “to support the president's policy of pre-emptive self defense."

From the Pen of: Jeff Danziger


The Crap In The Hat, Part 3

Okay! There's one good review of "The Cat In The Hat" - by Good Morning America's Joel "I Love To See My Name In Movie Ads" Siegel, whose orgasm is splattered all over the film's ads today. Speaking of seeing your name in print, Sixty Second Preview's Jeff Craig still hasn't chimed in with a big wet one over "Cat." If Jeff doesn't like it, you KNOW you're a loser.

It's Official - AARP Has Abondoned Its Members

So says CNN's Bill Schneider:

Seniors have become swing voters. Swinging seniors! Who knew?

You know what happens to swingers. Their partners leave them. This week, the AARP endorsed the Republicans' Medicare reform bill.


Back in 1989, the AARP supported catastrophic insurance coverage under Medicare.

Seniors objected to paying a new tax for something most of them already had. They went into revolt. Remember the famous photo of angry seniors attacking House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dan Rostenkowski in his car?

That's the risk the AARP is taking by endorsing this bill.
The revolution has begun at the AARP message board. And Consumers Union says the bill "falls embarrassingly short of giving seniors a real drug benefit, it likely will threaten Medicare’s viability." Let's take care of our elders and drive them to the polls next November.

Okay. Okay. So He's The Terminator.

More compassion by our new governor in Colliefoonya. Steve Lopez in the LA Times:

"Go out there. Buy cars," Schwarzenegger implored a few hundred disciples at Galpin Ford on Roscoe Boulevard in North Hills.

New car, used car, any car. Just buy a car, said the governor, and enjoy the benefit of the vehicle tax reduction he enacted Monday, his first day in office.

It was a swell show, but it was a curious way to put an end to special-interest politics, a Schwarzenegger mantra.

Galpin owner H.F. Boeckmann and his wife, Jane, pumped $42,400 into Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign, and Mr. Boeckmann kicked in an additional $10,000 for his inaugural.

Auto dealers statewide funneled roughly half a million dollars to Schwarzenegger. Then, on his first day in office, Schwarzenegger dumped DMV chief Steve Gourley, who had a reputation for cracking down hard on auto financing scams.

"I got a call at about 3:10 in the afternoon" from a Schwarzenegger staffer, said Gourley, who was asked to clear out his office by the end of the day. Gourley, who was having throat surgery the next day, said he didn't know if he could get his things together on such short notice.

"Stay late," he was told. Then make yourself history.

Gourley, a lawyer and former Culver City mayor, told me he expected to get dumped at some point, as gubernatorial appointees usually are after a change in command. But he had offered to help with the transition through December, and had no clue he'd be sent packing just hours after the inauguration.

"I'm buying trash bags to put my belongings into," he said when I reached him by cell phone Thursday, the day he moved out of his Sacramento apartment.
Voted for Arnold because you were sick of politicians beholden to special interests? Your new governor just gave you the finger. Hasta la vista, chumps.

The Crap In The Hat, Continued

The search for a good review of "The Cat In The Hat" continues (see two posts down)...

The Boston Globe: "If the producers had dug up Ted ["Dr. Seuss"] Geisel's body and hung it from a tree, they couldn't have desecrated the man more."

The Rocky Mountain News: "...if the author of the Dr. Seuss books (Theodor S. Geisel) isn't turning over in his grave, he's at least stirring."

The Contra Costa Times: "...a gross corruption of the 1957 original, painfully padded with crude, humorless humor, a multitude of piercing shrieks from child actors and the tired antics of Mike Myers, who characterizes the Cat in the Hat as a cross between the Cowardly Lion and Fat Bastard."

The Denver Post: "I do not like 'The Cat in the Hat,' I did not like it one bit."

The New York Post: "...this atrocious hairball of a film, a nauseating splat of gaudy production design with a distasteful central performance by Mike Myers..."

Dayton Daily News: "The Cat in the Hat promises mischief and fun / but you’ll be wishing him gone well before the film is done / Yet another attempt to cash in on Dr. Seuss’ verse / it’s like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, except much, much worse."

Times-Picayune: "Dr. Seuss surely is spinning in his grave over the latest insult to his memory..."

Toronto Star: "...tasteless and unfunny ."

Boston Herald: "...the comedy in "Cat'' is either lewd, tasteless or mirthless. As Dr. Seuss might say, I would not see it with a friend. I could not stand it to the end."
I guess I should avoid the observation that if you swing a dead cat over your head, you'll hit a bad review. So I will.

Thursday, November 20

Testicular Fortitude - Right Here

Eschaton hails Max Cleland as "Not A Chickenhawk." He can also be hailed as a hero. The triple-amputee Vietnam War vet and Georgia senator can kick the crap out of the Crackhead administration - and he does in a interview. A portion:

What's your take on the situation in Iraq?

One word: Disaster. And when the secretary of defense puts out a memo to his top staff and says we don't have the metrics to determine whether we're winning or losing the war on terrorism? If the secretary of defense does not understand that we're losing our rear end in Iraq in order to save our face, he ought quit being secretary of defense. Because all you have to do is ask any Pfc. out there. They're sitting ducks with targets on their backs; they're getting blown up. The question more and more is, for what? And, when are we coming home?

The president is trying to find a reason, now that there's no weapons of mass destruction, no yellow cake coming from Niger, no connection with al-Qaida and no immediate threat to the United States, we now have a war of choice. I'm telling you we're in a mess. It's a disaster.

Do you regret your vote last fall in favor of the resolution authorizing war?

I do. Because I sensed it was a political ploy rather than a ploy to genuinely protect the United States. It was just an attempt to get any resolution passed so the administration could say, just like Lyndon Johnson [with Vietnam], 'We got the approval of Congress.' And then, just like Lyndon Johnson, they went ahead and did whatever they wanted to do; massive buildup, putting the military on thin political ice, getting a bunch of kids killed.

Want To Punish Your Kids This Weekend? Here's How!

The Cat In The Hat is getting - uh - tepid reviews? Lukewarm? Less-than-entusiastic? Maybe I'm not using the right description here. Check out these reviews while I think of it...

Hollywood Reporter
USA Today
The New York Times
Toronto Eye Weekly
OC Weekly
The Sun-Sentinel
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By now, we all agree that "crap-in-a-cat-suit" is the phrase that comes to mind. Mark this moment down - we may very well be in the dawn of another cinematic disaster. Ishtar meets Gigli if you will.

And The Pills Are Still Talking

From the Native American Times:

Rush Limbaugh apparently still suffering from the effects of his addiction to painkillers chose to talk today about the going-ons at NCAI. Limbaugh adjusted his chair to stimulate his brain waves and then his lips moved. Rush theorized that Democratic Presidential candidates got down on their knees to ask for casino money from rich tribes. Limbaugh needs to go to a 12 step program on lying.
And Mary Mitchell of the Sun-Times chimes in:

Now that he's been in the valley, would he use his power to help pull others out?

Of course not.

Why should he? He's doing just fine. He still has his radio show. He still has his $24 million oceanfront mansion. He still ranks right up there with 1 percent of the wage earners in this country.

Is he a hypocrite? Probably not, because addicts don't see themselves as addicts.

As any addict would tell you, when people are abusing drugs, they are always hiding their real selves. How would I know that? Well, to be honest, I've dealt with enough addicts in my own family to know their moves. There's not much difference between addicts who snort, shoot up or pop pills, although many of us would like to see it that way.

All addicts are notorious liars. They have to be in order to hide their sickness from people who care about them -- not to mention those who don't give a darn.

Accusers claim Limbaugh used his former maid as a drug mule to make his buys. If that's true, he should be treated like other small-time drug dealers. Maybe after he gets out of prison, listeners would really see a changed man.

Palm Beach County officials have said that Limbaugh's drug use is still under investigation, and fair-minded people in that town ought to make sure those officials don't flush the toilet on this one.

I don't expect Limbaugh to come clean about how he acquired illegal drugs for eight years, but police officials should go after this drug conspiracy as aggressively as they go after other drug conspiracies.

And I don't expect Limbaugh to change his tune. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's daughter was arrested for obtaining anti-anxiety drugs, and the governor didn't jump on the reform bandwagon, either. When it comes to narcotics, the punishment never seems to be as harsh for the rich and prominent as it is for the poor and powerless.


All the local channels here in LA have helicopters following the white Lincoln Navigator in Santa Barbara and now the black Lincoln Navigator in Nevada supposedly transporting Michael Jackson to wherever he's going. He might be going back to his video shoot. He might be going to his room. He might be telling the driver to take him to Pizza Hut.

Wherever he's going, it's blatantly someone waiting for an O.J.-like escape. It ain't happening. But the coverage continues.

And somewhere in Britain, President Cokespoon is pleased that CNN isn't showing the hundreds of thousands of angry Brits protesting his visit, because the nets are busy covering this "news."

So here. Let's show you what's NOT being shown on the news - the love the U.K. is displaying toward President Pilotpackage:

And this one showing the magnitude of the mob:

Oh wait...that's the Michael Jackson press conference. Sorry.

It Would Have Been Worse If He Answered

Dead man's phone rings inside coffin

ANTWERP - The family of a dead motorcyclist are pressing charges against bungling Antwerp undertakers after the man's mobile phone began ringing in his coffin as they sat beside it in a chapel of rest.

Marc Marchal, 32, was killed when his motorbike collided with a tractor near his home town of Rochefort. Mr. Marchal was so badly mutilated in the accident that undertakers advised his family that the coffin should remain closed as they said their last farewells.

The family gathered for a private remembrance service in the undertakers' premises the night before Mr. Marchal's funeral and were horrified when his mobile phone began ringing from within the coffin.

Some of the relatives were so shocked they ran into the street, while undertaker staff rushed to remove the cell phone from the dead man's clothing, the Gazet van Antwerpen reported.

The family are pressing charges against the undertakers firm for negligence in their preparation of Mr. Marchal's body for burial.

Let's All Count The Seconds Before The First Crackpot Radio Station Bans Radiohead

The Clear Channel radio programmers are bumping into the walls and flailing papers as we speak.

Radiohead Frontman Protests Bush Visit To London

Radiohead vocalist Thom Yorke is at the forefront of protests surrounding President George Bush's visit to London this week, with Yorke calling Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair "liars," according to The singer emailed NME after learning that London police were planning to create a three-mile "exclusion zone" to keep protesters away from Bush, because of concerns over alleged threats of terror attacks against the American leader.

When asked why he chose to speak out, Yorke said, "To make Blair squirm over his decision to take us into a illegitimate war (in Iraq) and follow this religious lunatic (Bush) toward a dangerous future for the whole planet...both of these men are liars. We have the right to call them such, they are putting our children's future in jeopardy. They are not controlling the terrorist threat, they are escalating it.."

There Will Be No Michael Jackson Coverage On This Blog

Except for this.
And this.
And we have to have this (as if he was getting tons of radio play these days).
And this picture of Ric Peterson of CJAD Radio just because it's a very happy picture.

Another Military Heavyweight Jumps The Fence


Former Air Force chief backs Dean candidacy
Retired Gen. Merrill "Tony" McPeak of Lake Oswego helps bolster the presidential hopeful's military credentials

Retired Gen. Merrill "Tony" McPeak, the former Air Force chief of staff who endorsed George W. Bush in 2000, has left the Republican fold and is backing Democrat Howard Dean in the 2004 race for president.

McPeak, who lives in Lake Oswego, joins a small but growing list of top military veterans who have parted ways with the president at least partly because of the war in Iraq. McPeak's decision could be an important boost for Dean because critics have accused the former Vermont governor of lacking the experience and knowledge needed to be the nation's commander-in-chief.

McPeak, who headed the Air Force during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, criticized the Bush administration's policy toward Iraq before the invasion in March. He also said he has become disenchanted with the president's economic policies.

"I don't think the younger Bush has put a foot right since he entered the White House," said McPeak, who changed his registration from Republican to independent in April.

The Emerging AARP Scandal

We need to bring up Buzzflash's outstanding coverage of the simmering AARP outrage over chief executive William Novelli's whole-hearted backing of the Republican-sponsored Medicare reform bill. The reaction by AARP's members has been explosive.

Having to care for a family member without going broke is very near and dear to us at this blog, and therefore, so is this issue. Read up on it, and do something positive with your outrage.

I Guess That Memory-Erasing Gas Missed Me

I don't get it. I just don't get it. First, the message from the Crackhead Twins...

Bush, Blair Condemn Bombing in Turkey

President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair stood united Thursday on the war on terror and condemned a bombing in Turkey that killed more than two dozen people.

Blair, speaking after a meeting between the two leaders, called the blasts that shattered the British consulate and the London-based HSBC bank in downtown Istanbul "the latest terrorist outrage."

Blair said the attacks should not lessen "in any way" the two countries' commitment in Iraq.

With the attacks sure to refocus attention on the continuing danger of terrorism, Bush and Blair warned against complacency and used the bombings to justify their troops' continued presence in Iraq despite rising death tolls there.

Blair, who has seen his approval ratings sink amid broad opposition here to the war, called the process of ensuring a stable, democratic Iraq "an essential part in defeating this fanaticism and extremism" that is killing innocents in attacks around the world.
Now the question: What the HELL does Iraq have to do with this? America's - and now the world's - NUMBER ONE terror threat is al Qaeda. And to this day, we still haven't done squat about Osama bin Laden.

Secondly, we were told leading up to this Iraq fustercluck that the mission was to "DISARM SADDAM" - using the exact words of President Flightsuit. So far, there's been nothing to disarm. Hate to bring up this old inquiry, but uh...where in God's name are those weapons of mass destruction? And since our mission there, things have been blowing up all around Iraq. The disarming doesn't seem to be going very well.

So we used all these resources and armour to invade Iraq to "disarm Saddam" which we haven't done. In the process, we tried to GET Saddam which we haven't done. And this mission was supposed to be greeted by joy and flowers with all the goodwill we were going to bring which we haven't done. And all this was after we tried to go after bin Laden in Afghanistan which we haven't done.

Some are saying that the Crackhead Administration might be craftily waiting to reveal the news of Saddam's and bin Laden's respective demises for the 2004 elections. If that's true, a whole lot of people in the Middle East (and oh yeah, our own soldiers) are being maimed and killed in the process by SOMEONE - if not these guys and their followers. So if they pull that rabbit out of their hat, the outrage should be overwhelming.

But that would take America stepping outside the box and looking at ourselves as objectively as we scrutinize the behavior of other countries. Which we haven't done.

Wednesday, November 19

Jamaica: Get Your Scratch On

Each time you go to Jamaica, you're awestruck by the beauty, the people and the bloodthirsty ferocity of the mosquitos. And each time you go, you think you have the proper arsenal against these guys. Let me show you what you're up against in the insect world down there. This is a Jamaican moth.

If you're looking at this on a plasma wall screen, it might be close to actual size. The wingspan on this critter was about 7". And yes, that's redeye from the flash you see in his eyes.

So you see that Jamaica's mosquitos have learned from the best as far as bravado goes. How do you fight them? There are many products you can buy - all of which are as effective as coating your body in bacon fat:

Mosquito coils: The ability to separate mosquito coils is in direct proportion to the number of times you've visted the tropics. These flat spiral incense-like deals are supposed to repel bugs if you hold the burning part of the coil directly on the mosquito's thorax. But this only pisses them off. I stopped using them on the fourth day when - swear to God - a mosquito was relaxing on the coil waiting for me - living, breathing, laughing. Mosquito coils also are now found to have a lovely side effect. Next.

The VapeMat: This is a fairly new item which plugs into the wall. You place a little blue tablet on a little silver heating element and the little vapors are supposed to kill every little thing in the room. This is chillingly demonstrated by the illustration on the VapeMat box (Caution: contains extremely graphic death):

So I tried this one night, fully expecting to walk into the room and wade through a lake of mosquito corpses. The only thing that died was the VapeMat which turned white after the active ingredient is used up. The mosquitos were still circling, possibly hoping the VapeMat would kill me and they could swoop in for the feast. We were both disappointed.

The No-Mosquito Candle: This citronella-based product came out on the Jamaica market in the last few years. It comes in a little paint can and burns for about 60 hours. We noticed that the light attracted mosquitos and they tried to land in the hot wax to enjoy the view only to meet their doom. It gets about 3 points for that alone. Unfortunately, since the product is supposed to repel mosquitos, we'll take back those three points and go home. It's our game.

100% Deet: The old standby which we tried the last few trips. Sort of effective but really toxic-smelling. We decided there were other ways of passing out using less poisonous methods in Jamaica, so deet is off the list.

Which (because of time constraints) brings us to the winner:

Avon Bug Guard Expedition: This stuff kicks serious mosquito ass for 8 hours, and it doesn't reek of chemicals. Previously untested by us, we brought 8 cans of this stuff. At $12 a can at, it ain't cheap, but we snagged them when they had one of their random half-price sales, so look for it. We now know that one can takes care of two people head-to-toe for one full day. Unfortunately, we were there for ten days, so we spent our last 48 hours there getting our remaining blood drained by the little bastards. That's where Benadryl Extra-Strength Anti Itch Spray took over (our Miss Congeniality of the mosquito battle pageant).

To close this pest control segment of our travelogue, we bring you a lovely local Jamaican rat trap product as displayed at D.J.'s Convenience Store on the Negril cliffs. See ya next time!

From the Pen of: Jeff Danziger

Another home run. It took even myself a few seconds to get it...

( gotta see this one, too...)

One Thing About The GOP - They're Great Winners!

Remember when the Republicans finally "won" the 2000 election - how gracious they were in their victory by continually bashing the Clintons? Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger is govenuh of Colliefoonya, they're showing the same grace with these lovely comments heard on talk radio in LA yesterday:

CALLER: "I hope Gray Davis has a good proctologist! He'll need it after we take all the problems he created and put 'em where the sun don't shine!"

My knee is bruised from slapping it so much.

Because The Wedgewood Feels So Good On The Hands

Just look at the headline and move along here.

No, This Article Isn't In The Sun...

From The Scotsman:

Fourteen thousand police on the streets, God knows how many gun-toting Yanks and a mass demonstration yelling insults at the United States President is stark admission that Blair has blundered over this state visit.

The only happy chappies in and around London will be the criminal fraternity. With all those policemen looking after Dubya, it will be paradise for the car jackers, muggers, drug dealers, burglars and pickpockets.

Why should it be that the head of state of a leading democracy, to whom we owed a great deal in and after the Second World War, gets the raspberry while others, tyrants, have been met on state occasions with no protests, or fairly low-key activity?

There is more than a touch of anti-Americanism around, which would be there even if Bush had not captured Blair after 9/11, and then led him by the nose into an illegal war.

Spammers Finally Run Out Of Names

If you're a lightning rod for spam, you'll notice they're not using names anymore - just seemingly random dictionary words as their user name. Here are some real names on spam I got in the last couple of days:

Persuading F. Cruller
Young T. Numbers
Storm L. Matchbook
Adamant G. Polevault
Tricky T. Sportscar

This obviously has to do with getting around spam filters. The question I have is, when will spammers realize that nobody really gives a rat's ass about anything they have to sell? A simple question, but one that needed ask...

Wait! Look! An erection patch/smallest digital camera! Oooo...

Tuesday, November 18

From the Pen of: Jeff Danziger

Danz has been outstanding over the last couple of weeks. Check out his site.

Just In From Al-Jazeera

75-year rodent plague continues.

Yay! Mob Rule!

Schwarzenegger challenges Legislature to pass plan

SACRAMENTO — Arnold Schwarzenegger took command of his first full day as governor Tuesday and exhorted Californians to demand that the Legislature take no more than three weeks to pass his plan to solve the state's budget crisis.
While you've got their attention, also threaten to beat them senseless if they don't buy the T3 DVD, and make them eat Play-Doh or you won't be their best friend.

The Wingnuts Are Still Spinning Doubt All Over The Democrats

The right is still on their campaign to keep Howard Dean from being the guy by throwing more fear into the Dems. First it was Karl Rove, now it's the Christian Science Monitor:

...there is a growing sense of inevitability among many political observers that, barring some unforeseen event or revelation, Dr. Dean will win the Democratic nomination. The former governor of Vermont got a boost last week from two major union endorsements, and from his announcement that he will forgo the federal limits on fundraising and try to go head to head financially against President Bush - a show of confidence that his supporters will write more checks and push the send button on more Internet donations.

In the wider Democratic universe, however, the prospect of a Dean nomination has sent some party members into paroxysms of private hand-wringing. Not only do they see him losing badly to Bush, they also see Dean hurting Democratic candidates further down on the ticket...
If the Democrats buy this bag of bullcrap, then they deserve the flatliner candidate that they're so good at putting out there. We call your attention to an outstanding Ward Sutton cartoon brought to our attention by Scott Moore at Points West:

Click to see it.

Now shut up and start kicking some ass out there.

Okay, NOW The Pills Are Talking

"I've not been phony here. I've not been artificial on the program. I was all of that elsewhere. I was all that other places, but not here. And all of this will reveal itself."

- Rush Limbaugh trying to structure a thought during his return yesterday

"Love" Defined

Love this.

"LOVE?" pondered British actor Hugh Grant yesterday, is "loving someone no matter what their faults in a blind and unconditional way, such as the love Tony Blair has for George Bush."

Dean Dean Dean Dean Dean

Ain't it grand?

Howard Dean continued his long walk from the "who's he?" candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination to the choice of party insiders yesterday when he picked up the formal endorsement of two of the nation's most politically savvy and powerful labor unions.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) joined forces to back Dean, arguing that he is best positioned — financially and organizationally — to defeat President Bush in 2004.

Seems The Iraqis Have Been Doing Just That By Blowing Our Guys Up

Read the headline.

Fox/NewsCorp Pays Off An IOU

From the New York Daily News:

New York Post publisher Lachlan Murdoch has dug into his own pocket to support President Bush.

In a move that many other publishers might shy away from, Murdoch has given $2,000 - the maximum for an individual - to Bush's reelection campaign, Federal Election Commission records reveal.
Probably written off as a media consulting fee for content-providing in the Post and on FoxNews. Liberal media indeed.

Jamaica: Obligatory First Entry

While I was there, I said to myself, "Gee whillikers it would be peachy and cool if I did a journal of this trip for my readers to see, wouldn't it?" It's damned easy to think that when you're spending the entire day doing absolutely NOTHING. Now that I'm back, I now realize this sort of thing means carving out enough time to do it while living your real life which takes up 23 hours and 17 minutes of each day. So with the 43 minutes I have to make blog entries, I'll do one of these a day until I run out of the 514 (really) pictures we took. Don't worry. Only about 13 of them are worth posting here. Like this one. seen from the water. This is the house where we lived for almost two weeks. And this is the view we had to look at every night.

And still, some people still feel you need rum and ganja to make this appear even better. Even if that were true, I just couldn't bring myself to do that until an entire 2 minutes after I took the picture, so don't tell ME I have no willpower.

Stories and more pictures to come. Just don't hold your breath. Unless you're trying to make that sunset picture appear even better.

Focus Group I'd Have Paid To See

The one which tested this tasty new beverage.

Monday, November 17

Random Mindfarts While I Take Care Of More Real Life

With 25 minutes before the Schwarzenegger regime takes over my state, just a few things I have to sweep out of the corners...

1) Rush is back and he's calling liberals self-hating generally unhappy people. Well, that's what I THOUGHT he said, what with all the joking, laughter and happiness he's oozing today. Of course Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, Ingraham, and all the other wacky right-wing entertainers are just wall-to-wall FUN, hah? Hey, now we have the option of wondering if it's really Rush or the pills that are doing his talking.

2) DFW Airport not only has the distinction of being the worst in America, but they also have the worst pizza in the WORLD at a place that has the nerve to call itself "East Side Mario's." Seriously, even the Blue Water Ice Cream and Pizza place in Negril, Jamaica had good pizza. Mario's is a notch below the English-muffin-ketchup-American-cheese "pizza" you made as a kid.

3) I thought I was taking a lot of time off these last two weeks until I saw this.

4) Everyone on the planet thinks this is a PR nightmare except us.

5) I didn't see the entire Iowa party on CSPAN Saturday night (I had to wake up at 1:30am PT to catch my baggage-pilfering flight), but Dennis Kucinich's volume was stuck at 11. Hillary's was at 10.8. I love these folks, but their screaming really doesn't help to win anyone over to our side. After watching the webcast this morning, I'm still a Dean guy.

6) Speaking of Dean, I'm still hearing the Dean-Is-Gonna-Be-Like-McGovern crap. Please. Read this for the billionth time.

More detailed nitpicking is on the way. Let's all get some stuff done.

Before We Get To The Jamaica Portion Of Our Show, This Message From Homeland Security

We're back in LA, and yes, we're just a little pissed off here. This didn't happen between Jamaica and Florida. It was from Florida to LA. The TSA ripped open everything in one huge piece of luggage and threw it all back in...because we were one butane lighter over our limit of two. So what did they do? They confiscated all of 'em. And in the process, ripped open every bag, looked in every toiletry case, and unwrapped just about everything inside. For one lighter.

I'm all for safety, and if they did what they do at LAX - rummage through your luggage under your supervision - I'd be okay with this. But this was done after we checked our luggage and it disappeared into whatever caverns the conveyor belts take 'em. When we got home, the piece of luggage had a TSA twist tie on the zipper and the contents were slapdash re-packed with the above little courtesy note stuffed in the mess.

There's something really wrong and creepy about this, but I don't want to seem unpatriotic, so I'll do nothing.

Except show it to the hundreds who check Hoffmania! regularly. Hey, I got a blog and I'm not afraid to use it.

Friday, November 14

A Breath Of Fresh Freakin' Air

Whenever I come to South Florida, I get the chance to listen to the brilliant Randi Rhodes on WJNO. Tonight, she railed heavily against the very company who owns her station, Clear Channel - rightfully wondering why they refuse to acknowledge the 50% of America who are, y'know - DEMOCRATS - by narrowcasting their radio stations to the wingnuts and crackheads (my words).

What makes Randi such a hoot to listen to is that she takes a LOT of callers who disagree with her instead of stacking the lines with sycophants. She shaggy-dogs and finesses 'em so beautifully until she can't take it anymore, then unloads on them so passionately that they're left speechless. No, she doesn't unceremoniously dump the call - they're left out there on the air sputtering and gasping, unable to argue with her (gird your loins for this radical concept) factual slam-dunks. MUCH more fun to hear than the O'Reilly/Hannity/Limbaugh/Et Al hammering the last word long after they quietly dismiss the caller.

She's got the highest ratings in this area - generally considered Jeb Bush territory. It works. And it's great radio. Get this lady into syndication. Now.

Go Right Wing - Open Your Fly

I actually worked with this guy too many years ago when he was a radio newsman. He never showed me anything, but I was over 18 at the time anyway. It really makes you proud when someone you know makes a career move like this...

Iron Hammers And Mosquito Coils - We're Almost Back In Business

Back in the USA for the first day. I'm in Florida and will return to LA over the weekend. I was in Jamaica for most of the last two weeks, and I'll talk about it at a later date. But not now. Not according to the agreement I made with both governments.

Just kidding. I'll post notes and pictures from this wonderful country (Jamaica, I mean) in the days ahead. But now that I'm home free, I can tell you that I did in fact smuggled a pound's worth of the island's finest. Yessir, I got Blue Mountain coffee beans past the feds. Heh heh. Screws. Come and get me.

In the short time I've been back, a few random observations:

- Lou Dobbs' Grecian Formula program is just not working. Spring for a few bucks, Lou. Get the real tinting from a pro.

- There are 12,905 mosquito products on the market. Only one works. I'll tell you later. But not now.

- Who the HELL invents these catchy names for our operations in Iraq? "Iron Hammer." Someone missed out on creating a 70's dramatic series.

- It's really weird walking into a restaurant in Florida and not seeing a spliff in front of me.

- I left LA while it was on fire. Now it's snowing. Earthquakes seem so mundane now.

- Jamaicans are amazing people...and no, I didn't find a single one who would vote for Bush if we took over the island and made them all citizens under Operation: Mango Storm.

I'm forgetting some, but I'm sure you understand why. I'll go over my notes to try to remember what happened over the last 11 days. But it's time to brew some coffee. Heh heh.

No, seriously. It's really honestly coffee. I'm really honestly that lame in my old age.