Dissento's (Culture) War Journal
Sometimes I think I should just point to Eric Alterman's blog and be done with it. Altercation is one of the best lefty blogs around.
Today, he was kind enough to point to this petition to ESPN
in response to their appalling hiring decision.
Why haven't we invaded Saudi Arabia? How can the the administration sleep at night letting them get away with 9/11? Whenever I start to settle down about the Bushies I'm reminded that they are coddling the very people who killed 2000 of us. Goddammit. Fuck, I hate them all. Don't read this nausea inducing shit about the White House and the Saudis on a full stomach.
If you lost someone on 9/11, you deserve better. If you didn't, you still deserve better. And, Pete
, if there's a heaven and they have internet access, just know that some of us still remember and are fighting for real justice.
Anyway, 100 point to Bob Graham for pointing the finger directly at Saudi Arabia. Minus 5 points for Lieberman's apologism for Bush's lies.
SECDEF Gecko: Sometimes my friends, I think our civilization is beyond hope:
"Dorgan described it as useless, offensive and 'unbelievably stupid.' " My god, "the market" has practically been deified by the right. I think this kind of madness is our best chance to swing the pendulum in our direction. But still, that's some crazy F****d Up S**t.
A fantastic Doonesbury
yesterday. GBT is still the man.
Of course the big news of the day (uh, Wednesday), is the deaths of Saddam's two sons. Or, as The Daily Show put it, "Ixnay on Qusay and Uday." Despite my opinions of the president and our decision to go to war, this is, without a doubt, a Good Thing (as fellow megalomaniac Martha Stewart would say). I know some think it bad form to celebrate death, but these fuckers were the architects of their own demise. And they were lowest of the low, right down there with serial killers and Nazis. Fuck'em.
But why can't we find the old man?
He must attract a crowd, right? Plus he's older and probably wounded. A slippery fuck. Hopefully, they're closing in and we'll eventually be able to bring our folks home.
Of course THIS should be the big news, but naturally it gets buried: La, la, la. I Can't hear you.
History will describe this administration as impervious to facts, opinion, sentiment, reason, and reality. They are apparently ignoring the 9/11 report. And worse:
But House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said the congressional investigation was incomplete because of the administration's deliberate effort to withhold some information.
I know the families of the victims have been vociferous in their efforts to get a complete accounting of the tragedy. It looks like they've more work ahead of them.
Republicans stick it to the powerful pre-schooler interest group:
"Changes." That's what they call it. Can't a single Republican stand up and admit that these "changes" are going to defund Head Start.
A staggeringly short sighted move. Awful.
"Get your medal off me, you damn dirty ape!"
More proof that Republicans don't trust your vote.
Dirty tricks. This one might bite them in the ass, though. There are a lot
of GOP governors across the country facing budget crises. Line 'em up, say I. I've got an itchy recall finger, too. And this guy
wins my Guy Who Could Use a Punch in the Face Award
for the week.
So who's watching Queer Eye?
C'mon. You can admit it. I didn't want
to like it, but it's actually pretty funny.
Had a wicked pisser of a time at the Red Sox game (even though they got beat), but got absolutely fried by the sun. Pity me!
Iraq continues to 'bring it on' to our troops. US soldier killed in ambush.
And another wounded. Wouldn't it have been preferable to share this awful burden with more than just one country? Maybe next time (but I doubt it).
Part of me wants to pull for Gephardt. He is a whore to the big unions, but you know what? The unions are past due to have there day again (with less mob influence hopefully). Anyway, Here's three things he'd make priority.
I've been talking about about an international minimum wage (combined with int'l child labor laws) for a few years now, so gets 50 points for that. However, I'm deducting 49 points because the proposal has a snowball's chance in hell of happening in my lifetime.
Documents of Mass Destruction
To combat the blistering attacks this week from democrats, the media, and his own damn soldiers, bush unleashes this defense. A friggin' memo!
Hey, George if you want to convince us that you're not a fool or liar, quit it with the paperwork and empty trailers and show us the GODDAMN WMDs. Oh, and you know what? The case isn't "closed" just because you keep saying it is. It won't be over until you take some real responsibility.
I love this from that article: "The president of the United States is not a fact-checker." No shit! And he's not a fact-teller either!
Another piece to the puzzle: OK, no shock to anyone, but worth remembering.
The Sixteen "Million Dollar" Questions
Howard Dean puts it to the president concisely and directly with these 16 questions:
Mr. President, beyond the NSC and CIA officials who have been identified, we need to know who else at the White House was involved in the decision to include the discredited uranium evidence in your speech, and, if they knew it was false, why did they permit it to be included in the speech
Mr. President, we need to know why anyone in your Administration would have contemplated using the evidence in the State of the Union after George Tenet personally intervened in October 2002, to have the same evidence removed from the President's October 7th speech. (The Washington Post, Walter Pincus and Mike Allen, 7/13/2003
Mr. President, we need to know why you claimed this very week that the CIA objected to the Niger uranium sentence "subsequent" to the State of the Union address, contradicting everything else we have heard from your administration and the intelligence community on the matter. (Washington Post, Priest, Dana and Dana Milbank, 7/15/2003)
Mr. President, we urgently need an explanation about the very serious charge that senior officials in your Administration may have retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson by illegally disclosing that his wife is an undercover CIA officer. (The Nation, Corn, David, 7/16/2003)
Mr. President, we need to know why your Administration persisted in using the intercepted aluminum tubes to show that Iraq was pursuing a nuclear program and why your National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, claimed categorically that the tubes were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs," when in fact our own government experts flatly rejected such claims. (CNN, 9/08/2002, Knight Ridder News Service, 10/04/2002)
Mr. President, we need to know why Secretary Rumsfeld created a secret intelligence unit at the Pentagon that selectively identified questionable intelligence to support the case for war including the supposed link to al-Qaeda while ignoring, burying or rejecting any evidence to the contrary. (New Yorker, Seymour Hersh, 5/12/03)
Mr. President, we need to know what the basis was for Secretary Rumsfeld's assertion that the US had bulletproof evidence linking Al Qaeda to Iraq, despite the fact that U.S. intelligence analysts have consistently agreed that Saddam did not have a "meaningful connection" to Al Qaeda. (NY Times, Schmitt, Eric, 9/28/2002, NY Times, Krugman, Paul, 7/15/2003)
Mr. President, we need to know why Vice President Cheney claimed last September to have "irrefutable evidence" that Saddam Hussein had reconstituted his nuclear weapons program, an assertion he repeated in March, on the eve of war. (AP, 9/20/2002, NBC 3/16/2003)
Mr. President, we need to know why Secretary Powell claimed with confidence and virtual certainty in February before the UN Security Council that, "Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets." (UN Address, 2/05/2003)
Mr. President, we need to know why Secretary Rumsfeld claimed on March 30th in reference to weapons of mass destruction, "We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." (The Guardian, Whitaker, Brian and Rory McCarthy, 5/30/2003)
Mr. President, we need an explanation of the unconfirmed report that your Administration is dishonoring the life of a soldier who died in Iraq as a result of hostile action by misclassifying his death as an accident. (Time, Gibbs, Nancy and Mark Thompson, 7/13/2003)
Mr. President, we need to know why your Administration has never told the truth about the costs and long-term commitment of the war, has consistently downplayed what those would be, and now continues to try keep the projected costs hidden from the American people.
Mr. President, we need to know why you said on May 1, 2003 , that the war was over, when US troops have fought and one or two have died nearly every day since then and your generals have admitted that we are fighting a guerrilla war in Iraq. (Abizaid, Gen. John, 7/16/2003)
Mr. President, we need to know why your Administration had no plan to build the peace in post-war Iraq and seems to be resisting calls to include NATO, the United Nations and our allies in the stabilization and reconstruction effort.
Mr. President, we need to know what you were referring to in Poland on May 30, 2003, when you said, "For those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them." (Washington Post, Mike Allen, 5/31/2003)
Mr. President, we need to know why you incorrectly claimed this very week that the war began because Iraq would not admit UN inspectors, when in fact Iraq had admitted the inspectors and you opposed extending their work. (Washington Post, Priest, Dana and Dana Milbank, 7/15/2003)
Read more at Dean for America.
What's in YOUR Wallet?
The Bush Administration's policy must be derived from his own personal childhood experiences. Who else would run up this kind of debt, but a spoiled rich kid who knows Poppy will pick up the tab?
Only this time, that nasty VISA bill is going end up in our
mailboxes, long after shrub has gone back to Texas.
One more thing in the long list of reasons to despise Tom DeLay (the most evil man in American Politics): He's denying abuse of power in the Texas democrat search.
The "It's About Time the Mainstream Media Woke Up" Image of the Year: If the consequences weren't so dire, I'd say this was sweet.
Missle defense DOES NOT WORK.
Next, scientists will prove to the republicans that the sky really is blue, that 2+2=4, and that pigs can't fly.
Hey, the All-Star Game was actually good! None of my Mets played of course, but is was still an entertaining contest.
Oh, why-oh-why are the powers that be out to remove every last pleasure in my life? The lastest offense to all that is good and holy was unleashed today when it was announced that Rush-Freaking-Limbaugh will join ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown.
First Dennis Miller, now this. Why the obsession with have these dittoheads befoul a great American tradition? And what does the Fat One* have to say: "Football is like life and I know life." PUKE!
Please, I beseech you, gentle reader; voice your displeasure to ESPN in no uncertain terms.
*By "fat," I'm referring to his fat head and fatter mouth. I got nothin' against big people.
Amongst the many injustices being perpetuated by the Bushies, the rape of the environment has been one of the most agressive. The EPA is a complete an utter joke.
But I suppose the environment was "asking for it," huh?
Naderites repent! The end is nigh!
Bar Graph of the Week:
If nothing else, this administration may finally dispell the myth that the Republicans are the more fiscally responsible party. Check out the projection on the deficits.
That graph is dropping faster that dubya on a Segway.
Holy shit, we're screwed.
What are Lieberman, Gephart, and Kucinich thinking? They all skipped the NAACP convention.
Right here in my backyard (Massachusetts), we're playing our gay marriage card. It the decision goes the right way, it could be a good one.
I have no idea what the long term consequences might be. Is it too early? Will it spur a backlash in the form of a constitutional amendment? Who knows, but I certainly don't blame these folks for trying. Good luck.
Book stuff: Mormons declare jihad on Krakauer book.
I'll have to pick this up. Krakauer always writes good stuff.
184,000 Americans face losing crucial housing assistance because the administration screwed up on their numbers.
Forty percent of these people are elderly or disabled. I have to wonder if it was really a mistake though. I would be surprised if the White House claims that George Tenet checked their math.
Smackdown at the Young Republicans convention!
What a wild bunch of characters, whoo-wee! The report doesn't mention that after lunch, the young republican meeting devolved into fisticuffs as the young dandies clashed over whose suspenders were snazzier.
More Bush coverups, and this time on economic reports.
I don't think it's too stong to call these tactics "Nixonian" (despite the fact that I loathe Maureen Dowd, she right on this score). Russ Baker contends for quote of the week: "We've seen the future, and it's been deleted."
F***ed Up S**t: This is just strange: "amputee wannabes" by Slate.
I was sorry to see that League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
turned out to be such a disaster.
I highly recommend the comic series it was based by Alan Moore. The first collection is well worthwhile.
Put me out of my misery...
I'm too sick for a full entry today. My daughter came how from day care this week with mutant hybrid form of SARS, monkeypox, spanish influenza, and mad cow disease. Or maybe it's just a bad cold (I'm such a baby). I just want to try to get this to work:
If I did this right you should be able to leave comments now.
Resignation Superman, Another Bush Defect, and Gay Chihuahuas
Hearing a prominent democrat "talk tough" has been so rare these days this is welcome
. Part of me is irked by the fact that Kerry is jumping on the bandwagon now, and not when it counted. But anyway, sing out John:
"One of the reasons I'm running for president ... is to hold this president accountable for the lack of planning, lack of diplomacy, lack of strategy."
And from that same article, it's now apparent that Sen. Graham is a student of Dissento's CWJ! Check out this quote from Graham about Iraq:
Graham charged that leading the country into war "without revealing the true cost of the operation ... was an abdication of President Bush's responsibility."
And now check this quote from yours truly, on Monday, right here:
But seriously, it's just another gross abdication of responsibility for this debacle.
OK, so he was talking about Bush, and I was talking about Gen. Franks. But so what; it's all good.
And guess what, Howard Dean one-ups them all again on this issue
by calling for resignations in the administration. Fifty points for Kerry, twenty points for Graham, and one hundred and fifty points for Dean today.
One of my favorite enemies in the culture war has decided that his $8 million is more important than his so-called Christian values. Pat Robertson defends the Liberian thug on the record!
Now that's chutzpah.
Two different stories point back to an interesting theory about the president. He is physically incapable of apologizing or accepting blame. I think Slate did an article about this back when he mangled the quote, "Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." He couldn't bring himself to say, "shame on me." There's two recent examples. First, there's that bizarre we he danced around how horrible slavery was, without offering an apology. Even when asked point blank. And he can't even bring himself to regret his State of the Union speech (y'know, the one where he made all the stuff up about uranium). Instead he dodges with:
The first question is, look, there is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the world peace. And there's no doubt in my mind that the United States, along with allies and friends, did the right thing in removing him from power. And there's no doubt in my mind, when it's all said and done, the facts will show the world the truth. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind. And so there's going to be a lot of attempts to try to rewrite history, and I can understand that. But I am absolutely confident in the decision I made.
He just can't do it! It's astounding. And the by the way, saying "no doubt in my mind" and "absolutely" over and over again is a dead giveway that he's covering up. It's a classic tell.
While it's good to see that the Iraqi archery team will be competing in the US,
Dissento wonders what happened the rifle team. Odds are that while trying get through a Marine checkpoint, they were all mistaken for baathist guerillas and killed.
If you're ever in need of a laugh, check out the movie reviews on www.family.org (the site run by Focus on the Family). Here's part of their criticism on Legally Blond 2:
The movie's biggest spoiler comes in its endorsement of homosexuality via Bruiser. The male Chihuahua "falls in love" with an equally male Rottweiler. The two owners are alerted to the fact when a kennel employee finds the canines "humping." As the Rottweiler's owner (a conservative congressman) laments his pooch's sexual orientation, Elle concludes the situation is okay "as long as they're happy." Later, even the congressman accepts his furry friend's predilections and "outs" the dog to a legislative subcommittee. "My Rottweiler is of the homosexual persuasion," he declares. "I couldn't be prouder of the little flamer." At one point Elle campaigns for the "Gay Dogs of America" association. When Elle states she "feels like the luckiest girl in the world," an effeminate coworker replies, "Me too!"
The CWJ received it's first e-mail today; an encouraging note from Franklin. Thanks!
It's All a Matter of Priorities
I think it's about time we took a look at where we are with our aims in Iraq:
Did we capture or kill Saddam? No.
Did we find the Weapons of Mass Destruction? No.
Did we win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people? No.
Did we make the region a safer place? Hell, no.
Did we make sure we started draining that place of oil down to last drop before anyone else could move in?
Well, at least we've got a handle on the most important part, right?
It takes a village to put Hillary on the bestseller list. A million freakin' books sold
. Nicely done. On a related note, lots of booksellers have been reporting that whenever someone looks for Ann Coulter's
book and can't find it (because it's sold out, or not yet arrived), they assail the staff with charges that "you librul booksellers are trying to suppress it, blah, blah, blah." It probably pains these folks to have to stock such garbage (most of them really are liberals), but to have to put up with these clowns is beyond the pale. I've made an open suggestion to booksellers that post a little sign under the Slander displays that reads, "A portion of the proceeds from Slander will be donating to the Hillary Clinton Election Fund and the United Atheist-French-Socialists for Gay Welfare and Drug Legalization Organization." No takers yet, but I'll keep you posted.
Not a full fledge battle in The War, but an interesting skirmish: No 'Choose Life' License Plates Allowed
. OK, it's not exactly Roe v. Wade,
but at least it's going to annoy all the right people.
Slate's Josh Levin captures this year's Mets
At least we know that little tramp Brittney Spears
is on our side in the Culture War. Yeah - screw abstinence! She had sex once -- what a total slut! Who cares if your music is piss, we love you, ya little ho.
Lies, Damn Lies, and State of the Union Addresses
Not really a shock, but some appallingly disgusting news about the Nigerian uranium
. Sen. Kennedy puts it well:
It's bad enough that such a glaring blunder became part of the president's case for war. It's far worse if the case for war was made by deliberate deception."
The utter disdain for the intelligence of the American public in building the case for war was astounding. But where is the outrage?! Yes, there's been a few harshly worded soundbites by top dems, but c'mon. It's time to get medieval on their ass. I want my goddamn hearings. I want to hear dubya himself utter those immortal words, "I'm sorry senator; I don't recall." In the meantime, maybe folks are starting to come around
And how is it that the Sengalese people figure out dubya before most Americans? George didn't make many friends there.
At least the fact that Michael Savage got shitcanned
has buoyed my spirits somewhat. But what the hell, MSNBC? Didn't you ever listen to his show. Now get that Scarborough clown off my screen too.
It's sounds like it's getting rough for our folks in Iraq.
My heart goes out to you. Some off us are doing what little we can to get you home safely. Keep your powder dry. We won't forget you.
In other news, this bemused Mets fan has a secret wish for the All-Star game. I hope Armando Benitez gets absolutely rocked and it costs the Braves home field advantage in October. Hey, my team's in last. I gotta get my jollies where I can.
Wow, thanks to my shameless self-promotion on Bartcop, some folks have actually read this stuff. Ninety-eight "unique users" just today. Thanks to Patricia LV and other Bartcoppers for the kind words. Send me some e-mail and let me know what you think!
Tommy Franks Pulls a Cartman
Gen. Tommy Franks, footsoldier of the Iraq fiasco, takes a page from Eric Cartman, telling those he's leaving behind in the quagmire "Screw you guys, I'm going home."
Dissento predicts Franks, fearing prosecution for war crimes, will go on the lam in one of those rogue nations that rejects the international war tribunal. Like the USA. But seriously, it's just another gross abdication of responsibility for this debacle.
Meanwhile, dubya heads to Africa to meet lots of leaders he's never heard of, but studiously ignoring those African nations that actually require attention. I know Liberia is dominating the news, but lets not forget the most horrible place on earth right now, The Congo
Scary poll of the week:
It's amazing what some people will allow themselves to believe. Half of us think the color coded terror alert system has prevented attacks.
I think that speaks for itself.
It's not like this was really in doubt, but Dennis "I haven't been funny since 1987" Miller has finally outed himself as a right-wing crank
. Hey, Dennis! Al Franken carried your ass on weekend update! That's right I said it.
I'm looking forward to the numerous democratic debates (yes, I know I'm sick). At some point, Dissento will give his definite endorsement to one of these guys (unless some surprising green, indy, etc. shows up). So if you're on one of the campaigns, drop me a line. I'm very impressionable.
Someone actually visited this site. I have the free webstats to prove it. Whomever you are, mystery visitor, thank you and send me and e-mail. I think will see some more action soon though, as we finally showed up in a google search today. Nice!
Now back to our friend Lawrence v. Kansas:
Gay rights supports are justifiably celebrating the decision, and some are already training their sights on the next prize: gay marriage. It's a logical progression, and one I strongly support, but Michael Kinsley says why bother?
It's interesting point, and I like how he frames it for conservatives ("Privatize Marriage"). He's out there in the stratosphere with this for now, but no law against that (I'm deducting points though for saying "think outside the box").
Six lucky Gitmo residence have been hand selected by dubya himself
to play the kangaroo court game. Sooooo, 6 out 600? Well, I suppose a 1% conviction rate is better than nothing. What are doing with the other 594? Waiting for Columbo and Perry Mason to extract confessions? I can't believe they're actually trying to compile evidence for these sham trials.
Whoa. When did Dick Gephardt finally grow a set? In response to Dubya's "bring them on" blustering, DG says:
The president's tough talk was criticized by Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt who said the president should stop the "phony, macho rhetoric."
"I have a message for the president," Gephardt said in a statement. "We should be focused on a long-term security plan that reduces the danger to our military personnel."
"We need a clear plan to bring stability to Iraq and an honest discussion with the American people on the cost of that endeavor," Gephardt's statement continued. "We need a serious attempt to develop a postwar plan for Iraq and not more shoot-from-the-hip one-liners."
More on this buried in this article about the $25 million bounty on Saddam
And the beat goes on for the second Bush recession
. Did you hear talk about how he "inherited" the recession? Note only is that factually untrue, it would still mean that he's had it for two and half years
. Way past time to put up or shut up.
(Anyone notice the links on the right? We'll get this place into shape. Once I have some evidence that someone is actually reading this thing, I'll upgrade and get rid of the ads).
This is my first attempt at a "web presence." So, Naive Tom decides to look himself up on google. I quickly learned that it probably takes weeks to get listed in search assuming one does not want to pay (I don't). So, it appears that I'll mostly be talking to myself for awhile. And that's...OK.
Last week's decision in Lawrence v. Texas
is one of the most significant victories in the culture war. But the Enemy is trying to regroup
. There's some momentary chaos in the ranks, but Dubya's apparatus will bring them in line for a coordinated assault (the constitutional amendment).
NPR ran their interview with Howard Dean this morning. I like this guy more and more. I think it's going to be a tough call for me to pick between him and Massachusetts' own Kerry. Our primaries are late though, so it'll probably be sorted out by then. I just hope it's not Mr. Personality, Joe Lieberman. Dean would make for some interesting debates. He's being tough on Bush about Iraq, calling for investigation to determine which of the following are true:
1) Our intelligence sucks
2) Bush advisors omitted key pieces of intelligence in their briefings to Dubya
3) Bush lied (as did Cheney, Powell, and Rummy).
He set up a no-lose equation if the media picks it up. Alterman
has it right when he advises Dean to start kissing up to the media.
George says to bring it on!
Great. Because we just can't get enough of this.
Next thing you know, he'll be asking the Iraqis if they "want some of this
" or if he should "open up a can of whup ass" on them.
I'm cautiously encouraged by this news.
Irrelevant to anything, but I've got a fondness for sea monsters, so this
gets me jazzed.
By the way "Dissento" is, of course a pseudonym. It seemed to fit, and I was a big comic book junkie growing up, so I guess I'm influenced by the likes of Mysterio and Magneto and their ilk.
By the way, I thought we were in 'mission accomplished' mode
Guess not, huh?
Hello and welcome! I'm Tom Dissento and this is my new blog.
You may be wondering why you should read this. Well, all I can promise is that I will try to bring to your attention the stories that need telling and my opinions about them. We'll focus on Politics, Current Events, The Media, and the so-called "Culture Wars" but anything is game. I'm interested in reasoned feedback that goes beyond the normal empty rhetoric, so feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org whenever you agree or disagree with me, with questions, or if you just want to shoot the shit.
Who am I? Just your average guy, living in Massachusetts with a family and job who needs an outlet. Interests include books, film, sports, family crap, TV and pretty much a little of everything.
Who am I not? A politician, a lawyer, a doctor, a journalist, a writer, an artist, a philosopher, a scientist, an athlete, a rich man, a poor man, or a florist. So pretty much my opinions are worth the blog their printed on.
My inspirations for this blog are Altercation
. I hope to make Dissento's CWJ a blend between the two. Enjoy!