Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Well, my darlings, I hope you’re enjoying our first evah Carnival of the Elitist Bastards. I do believe we have achieved what you might call a success. A heartfelt thank you! to all who contributed, and all our readers, without whom such enterprises are worse than useless.

And now, on to our regularly scheduled Discurso, because the stupid never sleeps.

Some of you may wonder just how divorced from reality our nation’s right-wing media is. Judging from what Glenn Greenwald has to say, they’ve never been more than perfect strangers:

Speaking of Politico’s sycophantic service to the GOP, Allen’s colleague, David Paul Kuhn, today has an article about how gay marriage is going to help McCain win the election and doom Obama among independents and working class voters. Last week, Kuhn wrote an article reporting that GOP operatives were excited about the prospects of McCain winning in a “blowout.” Several weeks before that, Kuhn wrote an article about how the Iraq War’s growing popularity among Americans would be a huge asset for McCain and doom the Democratic candidate. Not even the most shameless GOP hack makes such absurdly optimistic claims about the GOP’s electoral chances — at least not out in the open. They just have Kuhn and Politico do it for them.

When you have silly fuckers claiming the Iraq War is gaining in popularity and that the GOP’s excited about McCain’s stellar prospects, you know that no divorce from reality has taken place. You can’t get a divorce from something you’ve never been married to.

Lest you think it’s confined to the avowed right-wing insaniacs, observe our Mainstream Media in action:

The central excuse offered by self-defending “journalists” is that they didn’t present an anti-war case because nobody was making that case, and it’s not their job to create debate. This unbelievably rotted view found its most darkly hilarious expression in a 2007 David Ignatius column in The Washington Post. After explaining how proud he is of his support for the attack on Iraq, Igantius explains why there wasn’t much challenge made to the Administration’s case for war (h/t Ivan Carterr):

In a sense, the media were victims of their own professionalism. Because there was little criticism of the war from prominent Democrats and foreign policy analysts, journalistic rules meant we shouldn’t create a debate on
our own
. And because major news organizations knew the war was coming, we spent a lot of energy in the last three months before the war preparing to cover it.

They were “victims of their own professionalism.” It’s not up to them to create a debate where none exists. That’s the same thing Charlie Gibson, David Gregory, and Tim Russert — among others — have all said in defending themselves.

That’s odious enough – supposed “journalists” merely parroting what they’re told without digging up facts to verify that what they’re repeating is true. Even if it were the case that “there was little criticism of the war,” real journalists don’t take a politician’s word on faith: they do actual reporting and try to confirm or debunk what’s being claimed. I think we’re all grown up enough to understand that politicians lie. Our MSM, however, is not. Still, let’s grant them the “it’s our job to report what people are saying, and nobody important was speaking out against the war” defense, just for the fun of watching what happens next:


But beyond that, this claim is just categorically, demonstrably false. As Eric Boehlert and Atrios both demonstrated yesterday, Ted Kennedy in September, 2002 “delivered a passionate, provocative, and newsworthy speech raising all sorts of doubts about a possible invasion.” Moreover, Al Gore (the prior presidential nominee of the Democratic Party) and Howard Dean (the 2003 Democratic presidential frontrunner) were both emphatically speaking out against the war.

Thus, three of the most influential voices in the Democratic Party — arguably the three most influential at the time — were vehemently opposing the war. People were protesting in the streets by the hundreds of thousands inside the U.S. and around the world. In the world as perceived by the insulated, out-of-touch and establishment-worshiping likes of David Ignatius, Brian Williams, David Gregory, and Charlie Gibson, there may not have been a debate over whether we should attack Iraq. But there nonetheless was a debate. They ignored it and silenced it because their jobs didn’t permit them to highlight those questions.


Question for our “journalists:” in what universe, exactly, was there “little criticism of the war”? I’m just curious.

Does anybody else get the impression it’s high time for a Carnival of the Media Clowns?

Using The Bible as an Elitist Bastard Weapon

by Karen Simon, special to En Tequila Es Verdad

Editor’s Note: Karen Simon is one of our regular commenters here, and she’s proven to be wise and wonderful and a boon to thought-provoking conversation. Alas, she hasn’t a blog of her own. But she wanted to join the rest of us Elitist Bastards, and so I post her submission here. How could I resist after that title? Enjoy!

My naughty little indulgence is to disarm intolerant fundies with their own weapon , the Bible.

When I hear someone spouting intolerance in the name of God and a verse from the Bible to support said intolerance I can quickly come up with at least three or four verses that not only refute their argument but also condemns them as the bigoted assholes they are.

The beauty of the Bible is that the the authorship is so vast and the opinions expressed so varied that you can justify almost anything.

Why it is so useful for my purposes is that as a Christian I am not trying to tell them not to believe in God so they trust me. They can’t call me a liar because I just quoted their divinely inspired owners manual, but I just trumped them.

What to do? Usually they just walk away stunned , angry and confused because they don’t have the critical thinking tools necessary for a legitimate argument because they are taught never to search and never to question. It would be a much more tolerant and happy world if we allowed ourselves and others to be questioners and searchers.

Friends, Americans, countrymen, lend me your dictionaries!

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nicole Palmby. You killed grammar. Prepare to die.

Okay, not really. But I needed some sort of introduction for my first post as sub-blogger of Dana’s Wonderful World of Snark. I am Nicole Palmby. And while you may not have killed grammar, it certainly is on its deathbed, and, as grammar is my mama, I plan to avenge its impending death.

I wrote this article late last week and edited it earlier this week, but I was a little reluctant to post it following Kaden‘s beautiful piece on grade inflation. I think, though, that what I have to say needs to be said, and I look forward to what you have to say about it, as well. Enjoy.

—–

My current day gig is shaping the literary, grammatical, and writing minds of the future leaders of your local Target team.

Okay. Maybe that’s an unfair assumption. I could be shaping the minds of future political leaders. For example, I could be grading the vocabulary assignments of the next George W. Bush! Some days I feel like I am.

Regardless of the future endeavors of the attitude-wielding, SMS-ing, bleary-eyed nodes of apathy, I am entrusted to ensure each pile of flip-flops and hoodie is able to identify the theme of classic but boring novel title here> and write a competent, even if uninteresting, five-paragraph essay.

Anyone who knows me might smile and mutter some comment about the ease of my vocation–“You mean you get to talk about books and writing all day and get paid for it? Man! Your life is rough, innit?”–but let me assure you that getting paid to talk about books and writing is not what it once was.

There was a time during which schools valued the education gifted to their students (because education really is a gift) and parents cared about what their children were doing all day. It wasn’t so long ago that students went to school because they knew they had to, and the community was proud if it was the custodian of a “good district.”

It seems that while the days of the “good school districts” still exist (I teach in one), much of what makes a school “good” has morphed into something wholly unrecognizable.

It used to be that, upon graduation, students were not only capable of writing a five-paragraph essay, but an 8- to 10-page research paper in MLA style with print sources. They understood the mechanics of the English language. They were able to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively within those mechanics.

However, I have received numerous essays this year completed–grudgingly, mind you–in what is known as text-speak. Yes, that’s right: English Honors students turned in formal essays that used the number 2 instead of “to” (and in place of “two” AND “too,” for that matter), used “ur” for “you’re” and “yr” for “your.”

While I love the ease technology gives my workload, I can’t help but shake my head at the price American children are paying for the conveniences they have. My junior students–also Honors–have difficulty placing apostrophes properly. They can’t tell me the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re.”

Programs that proofread, while I admit they can be helpful, have created a dependency. Students have no accountability for their own writing skills. After all, why should they remember that it should be “all right” not “alright” when Microsoft Word in its infinite wisdom makes the correction for them as soon as they strike the next key?

When I was younger and still taking math classes, my teachers usually allowed us to use calculators to check our work–after we had done the problems ourselves. Their logic was simple: you have to know the long way before you can use the shortcut. I think the same logic should follow in writing. Yes, you do need to know to correct the spelling of “there” to “their” so that when, later, the computer does it for you, you’ll know why.

Students today put no value on their education.

Although perhaps I shouldn’t put all the blame on the students. If they could they’d text and watch Flavor of Love all day. They don’t know enough to value their education.

Besides, it isn’t only students who devalue education in the United States. Some parents have a decreasing amount of involvement in their (not they’re) children’s educations. They blindly trust that the school is taking care of things.

Unfortunately, when a school budget is dangled by a thread of standardized test scores, many schools find themselves focusing the curriculum on test-taking skills rather than academic skills. I don’t agree with the practice, but when it comes down to teaching “real” curriculum or not having to eliminate instructional positions, I can’t say I’d act any differently.

I have my opinions about standardized testing, but that’s for another carnival.

Regardless, there is still a significant decline in the emphasis put on education in our nation. And yet, college enrollment (and graduation) is higher than ever. What kind of message are we sending to our children when they barely graduate high school and are admitted to colleges and universities once thought of as prestigious?

The result is a nation of employees who rely on the automatic proofreader in their word processors, and who are unable to be accountable for what they write.

The written word is a powerful weapon. Writers wield whole worlds with their pens, and, unlike surgeons, lawyers, and real estate agents, there is no examination that must be passed in order to become certified. Anyone can become a writer with just an idea, paper, and pen.

And instead of sanctifying this power, we reduce it to busywork assignments, let students take it for granted, and eventually, take it for granted ourselves. In fact, a colleague of mine suggested encouraging students to take their notes in text-speak in order to practice summarizing and resist the urge to write every single word. What an optimistic way of ensuring students are incapable of doing what every employee must do at one time or another: write intelligently, following general writing standards.

Unfortunately, this travesty has become so widespread as to be seen in every media outlet all over the world. Just today, in fact, while watching TV, the closed captioning on the television clearly read “presidentsy” instead of “presidency.” Really? I mean, really?

As what often feels like a single, tiny voice shouting into the wind, I fear there will be no end to the apathy toward the English language. Today prepositions are generally accepted at the ends of sentences. (I’m guilty of this myself when the “proper” grammatical construction reads/sounds awkward.) What happens tomorrow? “You’re” and “your” become one interchangeable word? Come on. (Oops! Preposition!)

Are Americans really so lazy that we’ve gone from omitting the “u” in various words—color, honor, etc.—to accepting English essays that use “yr” in place of “your,” which should really be “you’re”? I’m curious what Lynne
Truss
would say about American students (and adults, for that matter) English education and writing styles.

As a writer, as a teacher, as an American, I urge citizens and political leaders to work to effect (and that’s effect, not affect) a change in the state of English education in the United States. Write to your senators, representatives, school board presidents, governors…whoever will listen! We need to act fast or No Fear Shakespeare will become Shakespeare for Americans, and the Bard’s famous line, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” (Julius Caesar III.ii.74) will quickly become “Peeps, lstn ↑!!1!”

Submissions!

(Repost from the official Carnival of the Elitist Bastards site)

Just a few hours left! If you’re planning to sail with us, time to jump on board.

Gmail’s acting strangely. To be safe, cc me on your submissions: dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com.

Here’s the list of contributors so far:

Brian
Ames
Etha
Lirone
Blake
Mike
Efrique
Cousinavi
Bitter
John Pieret
George W.
Paul
NP

If you don’t see your name on the list, and it should be there, please do resubmit your link to me at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com.

Paul’s got some new badges up in the sidebar – WE HAZ ELITUST BASTARDETTES!! Grab a badge, show your Elitist Bastard pride, and have your grog ready for the maiden voyage on Saturday!

Kaden: A few quick updates

Hey bloggers!

Well, our wonderful hostess should be picking from the dozen or so options for a banner for the Carnival right about now. In the meantime, a few orders of business.

I wanted to post the fourth segment in the Academia series, but I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to bore everyone with accounts of my experience that has no valuable insights. Perhaps if there is anything in particular that people would like to hear more about? I’m not sure what an eighteen year old would know that would interest the general population but I got a few comments on my earlier posts, so there must be someone other than Dana slogging through all this crap I write.

Next, before the Carnival gets right under way, I wanted to invite you all to a preliminary round of applause for our wonderful Dana, for being the flag carrier and putting this carnival together! I figure that my hoorah’s might go buried beneath the various contributions, so I’m abusing my godly powers of co-blogger and taking the initiative! Ha!

In addition to Dana, thank you to those who helped out with suggestions for the banner, names for the celebrated egg heads, and our awesome badge-maker.

So as preparations come to their close, I hope everyone has fun. This carnival could have some implications for me; see, with the people I know, the high school and virtual environment I saunter through, and the generation I’m growing up in, Dana hit the nail on the head when she explained how elitism is seen in a negative light. At first I thought that this carnival was supposed to be mocking elitists, because the idea of celebrating them was entirely foreign to me, so this should be quite an experience! I look forward to everyone’s contributions.

And everything changes
And nothing is truly lost
-Neil Gaiman

(I have got to get my own sign-off phrase…)

Carnival Business #5

Postdated to stay up until the bitter end.

Just a few short days left to get your submissions in for the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards! Email your links to elitistbastardscarnival@gmail.com by the end of day, Friday. Our maiden voyage launches Saturday, May 31st. Don’t miss the boat!

Kaden’s working on a title bar. If you want to be part of the creative process, or just an opinionated bastard as well as an elitist one, get your suggestions in asap.

All aboard! Eggheads, Unite!

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Usually, I try to go a bit further afield than The Carpetbagger Report on Fridays, because I can spend more than 20 minutes hunting down political fuckwittery for your reading pleasure. However. Today is the last day before the first ever Carnival of the Elitist Bastards launches.

I have a boatload of entries to sort through and organize.

I haven’t even written my bloody entry.

Carpetbagger it is! Thank you, Steve, for finding all the tasty tidbits so I don’t have to. What do you have for us today, sir?

Oh, now, this could get interesting:


WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Friday he would be willing to comply with a rumored Congressional subpoena to discuss the administration’s handling of pre-war intelligence, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he’d be “glad to share my views” if asked to testify.


Steve Benen asks the important question: “And what about the White House?”


In today’s press briefing, Dana Perino suggested the White House could put a stop to this.


QUESTION: Could the White House block him from testifying, if he wanted to testify? Or how does that work?

PERINO: Conceivably?

QUESTION: Yes.

PERINO: Hypothetically, which I’m not supposed to answer a hypothetical, yes, I think so. The law would allow for that. But by saying that, I’m not suggesting that that’s what would happen or not happen.


Not surprisingly, this isn’t about classified information, but rather, executive privilege — which might apply, even if McClellan were willing to appear voluntarily.


There you have it, my darlings. The White House is desperate to shut Scottie up. You should really skip over and have a look at the amazing batch of fuckery Steve’s collected on this – the Right Wing Noise Machine (patent pending) has been kicked into overdrive trying to discredit dear ol’ Scottie. They’re terrified.

I’m amused. Wexler & Co. seem delighted – the actual watchdogs in Congress are salivating. If they were cats, they’d be purring. They’ve got a claw hooked gently in their victim, and they’re just waiting for the right moment to reel in and bite. This should prove a very interesting summer indeed.

And it only gets worse for the White House:


Twenty former U.S. attorneys, both Republicans and Democrats, urged a federal judge Thursday to intervene in a constitutional battle over whether two White House officials should be forced to testify before Congress about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. The former top prosecutors, including two who served under President Bush, argue in court papers that the judge should reject the Bush administration’s assertion of blanket immunity for presidential chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers in the congressional investigation.


Struggle, little White House. Try to flee. But the cat always wins over the mouse, and every dog will have its day.

I feel a change coming. I feel a drumbeat. Do you? I think the people are finally fed up with the lies, obfuscation, manipulation and stupidity. McCain, on the other hand, can’t seem to get enough of it.

He’s spectacularly wrong about Iraq – again.

He’s moving goalposts to cover up his stupidity – again.

He’s using the United States military for political gain – again.

He’s not practicing what he’s preaching – again and again and again.

This is all from just the last week, my darlings.

If there’s anyone in the cantina who still thought McCain wouldn’t be such a bad choice, who bought into his straight-talkin’ maverick marlarkey, I do believe it’s time for you to think again.

Moderate Christians: If You Wanted to Clean Your Own House, You’d Best Fetch Your Brooms Now

It’s time to sweep the cockroaches off the public stage and back into the cracks where they belong.

Coral Ridge Ministries hosted the Reclaiming America for Christ conference in March of this year. The conference didn’t gain the media scrutiny it should – after all, there was no angry black man ranting from the pulpit. It’s stocked to overflowing with rich white fuckers spewing venom, hate and ignorance, and we all know the media has bags full of free passes they hand out for rich white fuckers who spew venom et al, at least until an outraged blogging community forces so much attention on matters that a few of them end up treated sarcastically on ABC so that the media can claim its independence from… well, you know.

Cute illusion, that, and useful as far as it goes, but an illusion only. When the right-wing fucktards can get a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial pulled over the terrorist-idolizing properties of a black-and-white paisley scarf, but no attention is paid to the terrorist-idolizing speeches of far right evangelicals, you know something’s rotten and the media’s refusing to admit it can smell.

Observe:


“I am not here to call the church to partisan action,” Perkins explained. “I am not here advocating for a political party. I am here advocating for Christian citizenship.”

Lest any of the assembled miss the point, Perkins offered up the story of Phineas, grandson of Moses’ brother Aaron, from Numbers 25. Phineas was rewarded by God with an “everlasting priesthood” for killing an Israelite and his Midian lover because God had forbidden the mixing of the men of Israel with the women of that tribe.

The story is, essentially, the vindication of the criminalization of “miscegenation” — a sentiment consistent with Perkins’ past courting of such racist groups as the Ku Klux Klan and the Council of Conservative Citizens, America’s largest white supremacist organization, according to journalist Max Blumenthal. (Perkins bought, on behalf of political client Senator Woody Jenkins, a phone-bank list from former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.)

[snip]

“We read that Phineas arose and he took action…,” Perkins said.

“Not only is prayer required…I warn you that if you begin to pray for our nation that, at some point in time, you’re gonna be prayin’ and you’re gonna feel a tap on your shoulder and hear, ‘Son, daughter, I’ve heard your prayer; now I want you to do something about it.’”

Just in case his message should be misconstrued, however, Perkins offered this caveat: “Now, let me be clear, in case the media’s here,” he said, “I’m not advocating you go home and get a pitchfork out of your storage shed and run into your neighbor’s house.” Phineas, the Bible tells us, used a javelin.


Stop. Let’s take note of several things here.

1. Tony Perkins believes that one day, God will literally tap these frothing haters on the shoulder and direct them to do something about their prayers. We know what the prayers of the theocons are, don’t we? Rid the world of non-believers, homosexuals, abortion providers, Muslims, and sundry other undesirables; bring about Armageddon; bring America back to their narrow brand of noxious Christianity. Can we guess what the “do something about their prayers” might be?

2. In case not, consider carefully the story he tells. A man murders two people for no greater crime than some intertribal nookie in the Tabernacle, and is granted “everlasting priesthood.” Seems like this “Thou shalt not kill” thing comes with a fuckload of exceptions.

3. Take especial note of that “in case the media’s here” line. What might he have said if there was no possibility of somewhat sane people with recording devices being present, I wonder?

Prup at The Reality-Based Community calls Perkins’ speech a “dog-whistle shout-out to Christian Identity terrorists.” And he has some nervous-making detail on the subtext of that speech that should have you feeling very thoughtful indeed after reading it.

Anne Coulter, another august speaker at the conference, has no such sense of subtlety:


In her remarks to those who pledged to reclaim the nation for Christ, Ann Coulter equated the lives of aborted fetuses with those of the doctors and abortion clinic workers who were murdered by anti-abortion
terrorists.

“Those few abortionists were shot or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure with a rifle performed on them,” Coulter told her audience, which responded with laughter.


Ah, yes, those perfect Christians. They do so lurves them a good, clean joke about murdering doctors.

And what does the media do with people who surreptitiously celebrate and encourage such acts of domestic terrorism? They invite them on to speak – over and over and over and over again. While a Dunkin’ Donuts gets booted for having Rachael Ray dressed in the wrong sort of scarf.

Let me be crystal clear: these fuckwits aren’t Christians. I know it, and you know it. They wallow in the darkest, filthiest verses of the Bible. To them, Christian love is something you administer with a rifle. They lambast divorce, but they happily divorced reality long ago. And they’re taken seriously in our political and spiritual arenas.

They want nothing less than a theocracy, dictated by them, with only their views aired and practiced. They’ll advocate any means to get there, up to and including violence and terrorism. Those things, they say, are righteous as long as they are the ones doing them.

They’re making Christianity look less like a religion and more like a dangerous pathology that must be quarantined every day.

So, moderate Christians: if you want to rescue a shred of your faith intact, I’d suggest you get busy now. Get up, get loud, and sweep these fuckers out of power before they pick up their javelins and their rifles and murder your faith.

Care to Take Some Action?

My inbox is filling up with fuckwittery. Would you do me the great good favor of helping me clear it out?


They Kill Kids.


Well, that certainly got my attention. Go on.


Dear friends,

Final negotiations are underway right now in Dublin, Ireland on a treaty to ban cluster bombs. Arms manufacturers are pushing governments to riddle the treaty with loopholes and delays — and the final text will be decided in the next 72 hours.

Cluster munitions don’t just kill during war. They scatter small, shiny, unexploded “bomblets” on the ground that hold their deadly charge for years. When children pick them up, they are often maimed or killed. Most governments agree that these weapons should be outlawed, but back-room pressure is rising to undercut a strong ban.

If enough of us act before the treaty is signed on Friday, we can drown out the weapons merchants and convince our governments to ban cluster bombs once and for all. Click below to send a message, and then forward this email to friends and family:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/ban_cluster_munitions/13.php?cl=92415442


Canadian Cynic has a great post up this. Don’t know about you, but I think we need to do a little something to let our governments know that maimed and murdered children are not an acceptable by-product of war.

Next message:


If Bush says it’s legal…


Oshit. No good can come of this. What’s the stupid fucker done now?


Dear ACLU Supporter,

It’s okay to break the law if the President tells you it’s okay.

That’s the outrageous proposition at the heart of a new FISA “compromise” that Republican Senator Kit Bond is pushing on
Capitol Hill.

His goal: to let off the hook telecommunications companies that willfully cooperated with illegal spying.

Senator Bond wants to bury lawsuits filed against telecom companies in a secret court. And, when they get there, he wants cases dismissed if the companies can show that the President gave them a note saying his request for customer information was legal.

Tell your representative: Just because the president says it’s legal doesn’t make it so!

Over and over, you and the ACLU have drawn a clear bottom line for Congress. We’re demanding:


Real accountability for telecommunications companies that broke the law.

No government spying on Americans without an individual warrant.

So far, we’ve persuaded Democratic leaders in the House to hold the line.

But now, some Democrats who want to look tough on national security are getting nervous, and they’re being tempted to support this flawed “compromise” spying bill.

Senator Bond’s proposal wouldn’t actually look at whether
telecom companies broke the law; it would just look at what the Bush administration told telecom companies was the law. Legitimate cases against telecom companies could be dismissed by a secret court, simply because the Bush
administration issued a sham certification.

Don’t let it happen. Your representative needs to hear
from you now before Congress comes back to work next week.


Tell your representative you demand accountability.

Thanks for all you do in defense of freedom.

Oh, for fuck’s sake, yet more FISA fuckery? It’s starting to look less like legislation and more like a zombie every day: it keeps coming back from the dead. How many more mutations are the Republicons and the fucktard Democrats who enjoy licking Republion balls going to force on this bill?

Let’s get something clear: in a democracy, breaking the law isn’t legal just because the President said so. That’s how dictatorships work. Are we dictatorship or democracy? Why the fuck do I have to ask this question in my own damned country?

Muster up your outrage and do some signing for me, would you, darlings? Thankee kindly.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Well, this is interesting. Looks like the authorization to leak Valerie Plame’s identity was given by none other than George W. Bush:


Scottie McC doesn’t know it yet. But that’s basically what he revealed this morning on the Today Show (h/t Rayne).

During the interview, Scottie revealed the two things that really pissed him off with the Bush Administration. First, being set up to lie by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. And second, learning that Bush had–himself–authorized the selective leaking of the NIE.

Scottie McC: But the other defining moment was in early April 2006, when I learned that the President had secretly declassified the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq for the Vice President and Scooter Libby to anonymously disclose to reporters. And we had been out there talking about how seriously the President took the selective leaking of classified information. And here we were, learning that the President had authorized the very same thing we had criticized.

Viera: Did you talk to the President and say why are you doing this?

Scottie McC: Actually, I did. I talked about the conversation we had. I walked onto Air Force One, it was right after an event we had, it was down in the south, I believe it was North Carolina. And I walk onto Air Force One and a reporter had yelled a question to the President trying to ask him a question about this revelation that had come out during the legal proceedings. The revelation was that it was the President who had authorized, or, enable Scooter Libby to go out there and talk about this information. And I told the President that that’s what the reporter was asking. He was saying that you, yourself, was the one that
authorized the leaking of this information. And he said “yeah, I did.” And I
was kinda taken aback.


You don’t say. That’s a pretty serious leak, mind. Seems the fuckers in office won’t stop at anything to strike at a political enemy, even if it means destroying that enemy’s wife’s CIA career out of spite. Scottie may be “pretty taken aback,” but myself, I’m pretty fucking pissed.

In light of that, I could use some good news. And this promises to provide endless entertainment:


Nothing about John McCain’s outreach to radical, evangelical preachers has gone well. After securing the support of right-wing televangelists like John Hagee and Rod Parsley, the Republican presidential candidate has faced a series of headaches, with one nutty revelation about the preachers after another. Were it not for the media largely giving McCain a pass for his radical associations, it might have been a total disaster.

Once reporters did start paying attention to this, McCain had a choice — stand by the extremists (and offend sensible people everywhere) or reject the extremists (and offend their rabid religious-right followers). McCain gambled, probably correctly, that it was worth the backlash from the GOP’s theocratic base, and decided to dump Hagee and Parsley last week.

Ever since, the evangelical grumbling has gotten louder.


The candidate’s abrupt turnabout brought criticism not only from secular viewers, who questioned why he had aligned himself with controversial religious voices, but also from evangelicals, who said he may have alienated a powerful bloc of potential Republican voters.

“He wants us to support him, but as soon as his back was against the wall, he overreacted. He is now less likely to get the evangelical vote and will have a difficult time getting strong endorsements from other ministers,” said Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., founder and chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, an evangelical group that advises ministers on political and policy issues.

“For McCain to have to repudiate these people is much worse than ever having their endorsement in the first place,” said Doug Wead, a political consultant who ranked 1,000 evangelical pastors for former president George H.W. Bush to court for endorsements. “If evangelical Christians feel this is an attack on them, even if they don’t agree with Parsley and Hagee or follow them, it could galvanize them against McCain.”


It’s the worst of both worlds. Sensible people are bothered by McCain reaching out and campaigning with certifiable lunatics in the first place, and unhinged religious-right activists are bothered by McCain throwing two of their high-profile leaders under the bus.


Gorgeous! Somebody pass the popcorn. And get me some lighter fluid: it’s time to set the evangelicals afire. I can’t wait to see how this election turns out with that segment all hot with rage.

And finally, I’ll leave you with a glimpse into the dark, twisted, fetid passageways of the neocon mind:


On Wednesday, Republicans collectively went completely berserk after Obama said a great-uncle had helped to liberate the Auschwitz death camp at the end of World War II. Once they realized Obama had a great-uncle who had actually helped to liberate Buchenwald, the first camp liberated by Americans, and Obama just misspoke about the Nazi camp in question, conservatives slinked away, waiting for the next manufactured outrage to come up.

But before we leave this non-story altogether, it’s worth pausing to consider what else Obama’s GOP detractors said about this.

Fox News, for example, was even more shameless than usual. One of the hosts of “Fox and Friends” said, “It wasn’t Auschwitz. It was a labor camp called Buchenwald.” As part of the same segment, Fox News ran this all-caps message on its bottom-of-the-scr
een ticker: “Ohrdruf was a work camp, rather than an extermination camp.”

In other words, Obama’s great-uncle may have served in the 89th Infantry Division, and may have played a part in the liberation of a Nazi camp, but let’s not suggest that this was too important. After all, Ohrdruf was only a Nazi slave labor camp.

It wasn’t just Fox News. John Cole highlighted a post from a far-right blogger, who argued:


Buchenwald, on the other hand, while atrocious beyond normal human understanding, was merely a slave labor camp, and not historically abnormal in a time of war. The people who died there did so under the stress of work and disease, rather than as a deliberate attempt to wipe them off the planet. [emphasis added]


I honestly can’t begin to relate to such a twisted worldview. I can appreciate the temptation to criticize politicians they disagree with, but how far gone does one have to be before they think it’s appropriate to diminish the atrocities at Buchenwald because Obama had a family member who helped liberate the camp? How rabidly partisan must one be to disrespect the bravery of U.S. troops in the 89th Infantry Division?


Very rabid, indeed. And what do we do with rabid dogs, my darlings? That’s right. Friends don’t let friends vote rabid fuckwits into power.