Tuesday, August 31, 2004

"Just a little more budonkadunk, and then I would be good"

I've noticed that in the last few weeks the NYTimes has gone all what I can only call onomatopeic, utilizing vocabularly like budonkadunk and declarations of the ability to "straight up, ping-on, ting-on, ping-on, ting-on, ping-tong-tong-ping-tong-pong" that I might have imagined taking the starch out of the founding Misters Jones and Raymonds' shirts. This is, after all, the paper that refers to all persons as Mr. or Ms. or Mrs., even if they are L'il Kim or P Diddy. Maybe they are lightening up a bit.

I know the convention is the big news of the week, but it seems like such a yawn of an affair- even if they insist on introducing everyone as though they are a guest on Saturday Night Live. There was a minor stir as Michael Moore arrived at the convention ready to cover the gala affair for USAToday. Senator McCain sniped at the jolly documentarian, calling him "disingenuous." One wonders what the definition of "disingenuous" is at the RNC, where many of the more conservative voices of the party, and many of the big drivers behind the anti-gay fever and other big steps to the right have been asked to zip it and sit on their hands. Is that being genuine?

Some of the convention "news" has bordered on (or into) the insipid, such as the headlines that Laura Bush "hails Bush on his leadership." As if we were expecting her to stand up and say he's dumb as rocks and couldn't lead a boy scout troop. Now if she's said that...

Actually, I think one of the bigger news points was when our fearless leader declared that the war on terror could not be won. Has the veil fallen away? But within mere hours he was assuring veterans that "we will win... the war on terror." Wait a second, why do only veterans get assurances? What about the rest of us??? Ah, but then he recanted for us all, declaring that the cowboy in the white hat would indeed save the day. Why do I suddenly have images in my head of pancakes? And, and, and summer by the diving board? And, and, and... beach wear?
P
hew, don't know what brought that on...

On a final note, David Brooks, Washington-based op-ed writer for the NYTimes, posted an encomium to the GOP's "courageous conservatives" in today's edition entitled "The Courage Factor." He appears to be attempting to counter the view that the conservatives are being asked to stay quiet and let the "moderates" speak so that they can lull undecideds into thinking they aren't really all that bad. (Pwah!). In doing so he declares that Giuliani, Schwarzenegger and McCain aren't being given prime time slots because they are "moderates," but "because they are brave."

Uhhhh... I will grant you McCain. But Schwartzeneggar? I think someone has been watching too many Terminator movies. He goes on to say that their being "obsessed with character" and "self-conficen(ce) in their beliefs" equals "courage." So apparently Ahhhnold is brave for marrying a woman from a famously Democratic family, stating in magazine interviews that he had had group sex with other men, and then coming out of the closet as a Republican. (roll eyes here).

Monday, August 30, 2004

Beware the Soviet Bats

Well, of course the big story of the weekend is the protests in New York. The unbiased media reported numbers are slowly growing, from the 'tens of thousands' reported by Fox, to the 200,000 reported this morning in the NYTimes and in the Washington Post, to numbers that are now creeping up towards 400,000. I was glad to see there were a whole lotta folks out and about, and that arrests were low in number.

This was not, however, the only news item up today, for Wonkette had a collection of protestors of a different ilk, all with reference to the recent brouhaha stirred up by the Flip-Flopping and Not-so-Swift Veterans for Re-Electing A Guy Who Wasn't There At All. My vote for best of the bunch are the Cheerleaders for Truth.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, the erstwhile high school wrestling coach, publicly stated yesterday that George Soros could have gotten his money from "drug groups," implying that the deep pockets of the Open Society Institute is eastern Europe's answer to the Cali drug cartel's Gilberto Rodriguez. I mean I'm sure George has a lawyer on staff that he could ask, but is it not possible that this is, you know, libel or something? Remember, this is the Speaker of the House making these statements. I think he might be a war or two behing: the war on drugs was so 1980s (and so Reagan/Oliver North). Uh, Speaker Hastert, we're less worried about narco-terrorists now (even if we are the major source of funds for the Columbian military)- now it's Muslim fundamentalist terrorists. Guess somebody forgot to call in for the talking points today.... I hear it's even a toll free call. To be fair, George Soros does appear to have gained $1bn of his fortune from currency speculation on the British pound. But it's a hell of a lot nicer than bilking little old ladies. You know, like a certain "publisher" who donates heaps of dollars to the GOP and their nomimee. For an explanation check out this handy chart.

There was an article in the WP with the headline "Bush's Leadership style: Decisive or simplistic?" Hmmm, now that's a tough one.... Please add your subtitles for this article into the comments below.

Finally, there is a great posting on Crooked Timber from yesterday entitled Load the Flying Bats, which begs, asks and only sort of answers the question of what life must be like if you seem to believe armed simulated Soviet bats with homosexual tendancies are "the closest thing to reality that I’ve ever experienced." Apparently they make your feet wet. Yuck. If you want to see what he's seeing with that VR helmet on, you can either enter the fine senator's brain, or just eat a lot of mushrooms.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I was reading the Washington Post this morning and came across this startling headline:

Conservatives for Kerry? Here's your man An Old Nixon Hand Smacks the Bushes.

What? old hands smacking bush? Kiddie porn and spanking? What is going on here? I was only slightly disappointed to discover that there was no leather involved, but it does have Kevin Phillips, the former Nixon aide, saying he would like to "put Bush on a slow boat to China with all full warning to the Chinese submarine fleet." He does, however, "pucker like he has inhaled a pickle," which is almost as good as S&M.

There is also an article entitled Pakistan Losing Grip on Extremists, which to me begs the question of when, exactly, the Pakistanis had a grip on extremists. The WP explains this by saying that:

The development is a disquieting one, foreign diplomats said, because it suggests that Pakistan's security services may be losing control over home-grown militants they once embraced as allies, first in the struggle against the Soviets in Afghanistan and more recently against Indian forces in Kashmir.

So the "grip" in question is the "embrace" of allies? So are we supposed to happy or scared that Pakistan is no longer embracing extremists or gripping their allies? Is that what you are supposed to do with allies? Maybe this explains that picture of Rummy gripping paws with the erstwhile King of the Spider Hole. Wait a second, was that having a grip on extremists, or embracing an ally? Wait a second, is it possible that an unelected, undemocratic and cruel dictator was once an ally? Pshaw, never happen- we don't support dictators! Especially ones that come into power by military coups! Except for Musharraf. Wait a second, how did he become an ally? Well, whatever, we must embrace our allies! The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the friend of my friend is, uh, my friend, too! So the anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan (the enemy of my enemy) were my embraced allies, and the friend of my friend (the embraced ally friend of my friend Pakistan) are also my friends. But wait, those friends are running shadowy organizations in the hills of Afghanistan, and I'm now friends with the Soviets, er, Russians, so they are the enemy of the friend and the friend of my friend, who has lost his grip. Uh, down with shadowy organizations, they are bastions of extremists! And you will see by my clear and concise logic that Pakistan has lost its grip on the White House lawyers.