Wednesday, November 05, 2008

To Quote Our Good Friend Rev. Joe . . . 

"God DAMN, America!"

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some People Call You Batshit Crazy. John McCain Calls You His Base 

Via Zemblan patriot J.D.: A Mr. Jim Bramlett of the online community site InJesus.com has been calling for all-out "spiritual warfare" since he received the extremely disturbing missive excerpted below. He describes the author, Flo Ellers, as a credentialed member of "the International Fellowship of Ministries which is based in Washington State. She is also a member of EndTime Handmaidens and Servants of Jasper, Arkansas" -- so we think it is safe to conclude that Ms. Ellers knows a thing or two about chicken sacrifice:
Two days ago, I listened to a 9-6-08 message by Bree Keyton, a young woman evangelist who had just traveled to Kenya and visited Obama's home village and what she found out about his relations with his tribal people was chilling. And his "cousin" Odinga was dreadful. She said the witches, warlocks and those involved in satanism and the occult get up daily at 3 a.m. to release curses against McCain and Palin so B. Hussein Obama is elected.

Bree Keyton told the tribal "Christians" you are NOT Christian if you practice "tribalism" where they do voodoo to conjure up a goddess spirit or a "genie" and then come to church on Sunday to worship Jesus! What she discovered there is apparent in most churches around the world; namely, mixture in the church. Some renounced their devilish practices of blood covenant by killing sheep, goats, humans to be inducted into the tribe or to get a wife or to get revenge.

She said the current president of Kenya is a Christian. However, Obama's cousin Odinga ran aganist him and said he rigged the election and stirred up the masses to rape woman and boys, kill and burn and torture Christians, etc. until Obama contacted Condeleeza Rice and she granted Obama the right to contact Odinga and other ruling elders and he "convinced" them to stop terrorizing the Christians. Bree Keyton said the current Christian President was forced by our government (!) to "create" an office for Odinga (to make "peace") so he was made the Prime Minister (!) to make peace between the Christians and Odinga's Muslim religion!

Bree Keyton went and visited Obama's tribal people and she found out Obama is 75% Arab and his family are Muslims. Odinga is strill trying to become the President of Kenya. If he does, he will make a law forbidding all public preaching and institute Sharia Law. Bree K. said Odinga has made a pact with satan.

Bree K. also said when Obama visited his tribe in '06 and as late as Jan. '08 he went to every elder's home which has a "shrine" inside to worship the genie and asked for their blessing. She was told Obama and Odinga were both "destined" before they were born to be president/leader of their nation. They say "he is the chosen one". She said Obama's grandmother sacrificed a black and a white chicken to the "goddess of the river" so both whites and blacks will vote for Obama. All Islam loves and worships Obama. The world is mesmerized by him. Oprah's 200 million followers are out to elect Obama. Also, Dick Morris of Fox News was sent to Kenya to help Odinga run his campaign! I find that unbelievable.

The occultists are "weaving lazy 8's around McCain's mind to make him look confused and like an idiot". Bree K. said we need to break these curses off of him that are being sent from Kenya.

I read a portion of "Obama Nation" book and looked at several websites and found most of this information to be true, all except the curses part, of course....
First off, we'd like to apologize for our earlier, constant, and may we say, in retrospect, tasteless, mockery of candidate McCain's consistenly vapid, disjointed ramblings (you will find a typical example here). There is of course a world of difference between an idiot and a man who is compelled by warlocks (or genies) to act like an idiot, and believe us, we would never knowingly make fun of the latter. As far as we're concerned, voodoo-induced inanity is a type of, well . . . disease, we guess, or handicap . . . you know, like being a cripple. Disability, that's the word! Call it what you will, but the victims of this Satanic scourge deserve our respect, our sympathy, and -- for having the remarkable courage to appear before large crowds of people in a state of utter, stupefied bewilderment -- our admiration.

And secondly, we don't know how much Gov. Sarah Palin paid this wanker to rebuke every form of witchcraft against her, but we surely do hope she had a money-back guarantee:

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Give Us $700 Billion in Small Bills or We Turn the Whole Country Over to Ollie North 

Perhaps you think we're joking:

See also this (courtesy of our funkalicious colleague Avedon Carol).

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ripe Pimple 

(Thanks to Zemblan patriot B.K. for the unpalatable metaphor.)

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

In a Week of Profoundly Scary Items . . . 

. . . we initially thought this one, by Mark Crispin Miller, the most profoundly scary:
To understand how Team McCain intends to get away with stealing this election, we must recall how Team Bush got away with it four years ago. (Those aren't two different teams.)

The plan for stealing this contest has everything to do with the ostensibly surprising choice of Sarah Palin as McCain's VP.

Here's why:

1. Election Day, 2004: The Myth of Bush's Christian "Surge"

First, let's recall that, after the 2004 election, everybody said that Bush had won because the true believers of the Christian right had come out--or, rather, poured forth--in unprecedented numbers, often at the last minute, to support him. Of course, by "everybody," I'm referring to the entire commentariate, both mainstream and left/liberal. On TV and in print, in news analyses and op-ed articles, they all said that Bush/Cheney had been re-elected by America's "values voters."

And they said it with a certain awe--as well they should, since Bush's victory was a sort of miracle. He had disapproval ratings in the upper 40's: higher than LBJ's in 1968, higher than Jimmy Carter's in 1980. Nor was he very popular in his own party, as many top Republicans came out against him--including moderates like John Eisenhower, rightists like Bob Barr, and many others such as William Crowe (chair of the Joint Chiefs under Ronald Reagan), General Tony McPeak (former Air Force chief of staff and erstwhile Veteran for Bush), libertarian Doug Bandow, neocon Francis Fukuyama, Lee Iacocca and Jack Matlock, Jr. (Reagan's ambassador to the USSR); and many other, lesser figures in his party also publicly rejected him.

And so did sixty (60) newspapers--all in "red" states--that had endorsed Bush four years earlier: two thirds of them now going for Kerry, the others none of the above. American Conservative, Pat Buchanan's own magazine, ran endorsements of five different candidates, only one of them for Bush. And 169 tenured and emeritus professors from the world's top business schools all signed a full-page ad decrying his economic policies, adducing them as reasons not to vote for him. (The ad was written by top faculty at his own alma mater, Harvard Business School.) The ad ran in the Financial Times, which, like The Economist, endorsed John Kerry.

And still Bush won, despite such big defections, thanks to that enormous turnout by the Christian right, as everybody kept on saying--even though there were good reasons to be very skeptical about that notion.

2. Election Day, 2004: There Was No Christian "Surge"

First of all, that talking point came from the Christian right itself, whose members certainly had every reason to exaggerate their clout. That they thus credited themselves, and that the claim was duly amplified by their own party and its propaganda organs (Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, et al.), should have been enough to make all non-believers doubtful.

And non-believers should have been especially suspicious of that claim because there's not a shred of evidence to back it up. On the other hand, there's solid evidence that that immense, last-minute vote for Bush was nothing but a propaganda fiction, cooked up by Karl Rove to mask his party's theft of that election.

To begin with, that fiction is preposterous on its face, since there were nowhere near enough of such right-wing believers to account for the incumbent's staggering advance, as Bush reportedly received 11.5 million more votes than he had won four years before. And how many evangelicals did that surge include? According to Karl Rove himself (among others), there were 4 million evangelicals who had not voted for Bush/Cheney in 2000. So, even if Rove managed to get every single one of them to vote for Bush this time around (and it's unlikely that he did), they could not possibly have made so big a difference--unless, of course, their numbers somehow
magically increased inside the polls, like Jesus's loaves and fishes.

In any case, Bush seems to have done worse with evangelicals than he had four years before. Consider how his "base" performed, in fact, on that Election Day, as measured by the National Exit Poll (and scrupulously analyzed by Michael Collins, whose essay, "The Urban Legend," is included in Loser Take All). Close study of the numbers in 2004 reveals that there was no big national surge of "values voters": on the contrary.

First of all, the nation's rural vote declined, dropping from 23% to just 16% of the overall national vote; and Bush's total rural vote went down from 14 million to just under 12 million. And while the nation's small town vote increased substantially--by 88%--those voters did not favor Bush as they had done four years before, but opted in near equal numbers for John Kerry. Of those 9.5 million votes, Bush got 4.9 million, while Kerry got 4.7 million. (In 2000, Bush had won 3.1 million small town votes, to Gore's 2 million.) And then there were the voters in the suburbs, who did come out for Bush in greater numbers than four years before--but hardly by enough to make for a decisive jump of any kind, as Bush won 28.3 million of those votes, to Kerry's 25.6 million.

Thus was there no elevated turnout in those regions where most "values voters" live--nor did the post-election polls suggest that "moral values" drove Bush/Cheney's startling re-election. On Nov. 11, Pew published the results of their most precise survey of the electorate. Having asked Americans to name the issue that most concerned them as they cast their ballots, Pew found that Iraq was Number One, noted by 25 percent, followed by "jobs and the economy," noted by 12 percent, with 9 percent invoking "terrorism." Only 9 percent named "moral values" as their main concern--with only 3 percent of them referring specifically to "gay marriage" (and another 2 percent referring to the candidates' own private lives).

Those numbers tell a very different story from the one hyped proudly by the men atop the Christianist machine. In particular, they said that they helped Bush prevail through their well-managed opposition to gay marriage--which Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, called "the hood ornament on the family values wagon that carried the president to a second term." That there was evidently no such wagon did not blunt the impact of such theocratic propaganda, which quickly resonated all throughout "the liberal media," so that it now stands as the truth.

Indeed, it was accepted as the truth so quickly that it went unquestioned even after the dramatic mass reaction to the Terri Schiavo case a few months later, when Bush and the Republicans in Congress intervened in that domestic tragedy, trying to force the very outcome that the Christianists were calling for: "Americans broadly and strongly disapprove of federal intervention in the Terri Schiavo case," ABC News reported. The public supportedthe removal of Schiavo's feeding tube by 63% to 28%, according to the network's polls.

And so it was throughout the media. According to USA Today, 76% disapproved of Congress's handling of the case, while only 20% approved. CBS News found that 82% believed that Bush and Congress should have stayed out of it. And so it went, with poll after poll confirming that the Bush Republicans' attempt to force their "moral values" on the situation was appealing only to a small minority, a/k/a the fringe. "When nearly 70 percent of the American public disagrees with you," wrote Eric Boehlert at the time, "you're out of step with the mainstream."

That strong reaction by (at least) two-thirds of us was far more telling than the press, and most top Democrats, were willing to perceive, and so they couldn't, wouldn't see the awful truth: Either We the People had abruptly given up our "moral values" since Election Day, or our apparent vote for Bush was a deception, based on vote suppression and election fraud committed in Ohio and elsewhere throughout the nation.

Thus the myth of that immense, last-minute Christian turn-out was a rationale concocted to "explain" Bush/Cheney's re-election--and the US press immediately bought it, out of a clear eagerness to close the book on that election right away, and thereby black out all the glaring signs of fraud throughout Ohio (and Florida, and elsewhere). Indeed, the press at once laughed off the "theory" of widespread election fraud, dismissing all the facts as fantasy; and in their place it offered fantasy as fact (as they had done before, and have done since).
Last night we felt reasonably certain that we would be able to count Mr. Miller's piece the most disturbing of the fortnight. Then, earlier today, right on cue, along came Scott Horton.

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Meanwhile, in a Kingdom Far, Far Away . . . 

. . . just across the border from Zembla:

It was brief, two minutes. His brow was furrowed, and his words were careful: “The American people can be sure we will continue to act to strengthen and stabilize our financial markets and improve investor confidence.” Then, having imparted no specifics, he once again slipped out of sight.

In the increasingly surreal world of the White House, the appearance was a sign that all pretense of normalcy is gone. All week long, with Wall Street engulfed by what analysts are calling the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, President Bush had mostly stayed out of sight, except when trying to maintain the façade of business as usual . . . .

On Monday, as Americans absorbed the news that the venerable investment bank Lehman Brothers had been forced into bankruptcy, Mr. Bush received John Kufuor, the president of Ghana, at the White House. The sun-dappled South Lawn was awash in color that morning, as a full military honor guard and a fife and drum band marched across the grass, entertaining the leaders before they exchanged the customary pleasantries.

“Your tenure has been full of events and challenges, some very mind-boggling and hair-raising,” Mr. Kufuor told Mr. Bush, raising more than a few eyebrows. “You are a survivor,” the Ghanaian leader told the American president. “And my hope is that history would prove kinder to you.”

That evening, after the stock market had nose-dived, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling more than 500 points, Mr. Bush, his wife Laura and more than 100 of their guests dined on Maine lobster and ginger-scented lamb during a state dinner in the African leader’s honor. Then, in their tuxedoes and ball gowns they repaired to the Rose Garden to watch actors from Disney’s musical “The Lion King” perform a medley of songs under the cool, dark Washington sky.
(Photo links courtesy of Zemblan patriot J.M.)

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Remedial English: the Metaphor 

She's the lipstick. He's the pig.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

However, if Felony Convictions Are Going to Be the Topic of Discussion . . . . 

Mitt Romney, would-be second banana to presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, discussing the elderly former P.O.W.'s bewildering array of primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, quinary, senary, septenary, and octonary residences:
Speaking to reporters at a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Romney said that while McCain deserved his houses because of the "hard work" of himself and his family, "Barack Obama got a special deal from a convicted felon."

"I think it was a strange thing for Barack Obama to seize upon," Romney said. "If homes is going to be the topic of discussion that Barack Obama is going to end up on the short end of that one."

But Romney's attack stretches the truth. He was referring to Tony Rezko, a political fixer in Chicago and former Obama fund-raiser who was convicted by a federal jury earlier this year on corruption charges. It's true that Obama bought a piece of land from Rezko's wife to expand the yard of his $1.65 million Chicago home while Rezko was under federal investigation; Obama has since said the deal was a "bone-headed move," given the cloud that was already surrounding his former patron.

There is no evidence, however, that the Obamas got any "special deal" engineered by Rezko. Obama was able to buy the place thanks to two best-selling books and the six-figure salaries he and his wife were both earning.
Writing a best-seller can't be all that hard; in fact, we are at a loss to understand why more people don't do it more often. But what of the genuine "hard work" Mr. Romney mentions, by McCain "and his family"? McCain's own work consisted of dropkicking his first, poorer, crippled wife in favor of a good-looking beer heiress, which sounds on any number of counts like an easy call to us. The beer heiress's work consisted of being born into a rich family, which we are here to tell you can be quite trying, especially if there are hereditary obligations involved -- but we cannot in good conscience call it labor-intensive.

That leaves the beer heiress's father:
From Day 1, Hensley money has enabled McCain to be a full-time politician, free from financial concerns.

This story examines the roots of the Hensley fortune and John McCain's implacable bond to the liquor industry -- how it has enriched him personally and as a politician, and how those ties have dictated his actions on questions of public policy.

John McCain's political allegiances to liquor purveyors and his father-in-law's interests are subtle. That narrative is marked by a pattern of patronage.

The Hensley saga, meanwhile, swirls with bygone accounts of illicit booze, gambling, horse racing, deceit and crime. James Hensley embarked on his road to riches as a bootlegger . . . .

What is certain is that what occurred that December day was standard operating procedure for the Hensley brothers between April 1945 and January 1947. During this period, a 1948 federal criminal indictment charged, the Hensleys made approximately 1,284 false entries related to the sale of thousands of cases of liquor by their two companies -- United Sales Company in Phoenix and United Distributors in Tucson.

Ratliff's testimony eventually led to James and Eugene Hensley's conviction on federal conspiracy charges "with the intent and design to hide and conceal from the United States of America, the names and addresses of the person or persons to whom the said distilled spirits were sent, and the prices obtained from the sale thereof."

A federal jury in U.S. District Court of Arizona in March 1948 convicted James Hensley on seven counts of filing false liquor records in addition to the conspiracy charge. Eugene was convicted on 23 counts of filing false statements and the conspiracy count. Eugene was sentenced to one year in prison, and James to six months. Neither brother testified during the trial, relying instead on their lawyers, who included Louis B. Whitney, a prominent attorney who served as mayor of Phoenix from 1923 through 1925.

After a two-week stint in the Maricopa County jail, the men were released on bond on May 17, 1948, pending an appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit. The appeals court affirmed the conviction on February 8, 1949.

Two weeks later, a judge sentenced Eugene to one year in a federal prison camp near Tucson, but suspended James' sentence, placing him on probation instead. Both men were fined $2,000. United Sales and United Distributors were also convicted and fined $2,000.

The criminal convictions had little immediate impact on the brothers' fortunes . . . .

Although Hensley wealth has helped propel McCain's political career, the senator will never get his hands directly on the Hensley fortune because of an antenuptial agreement he signed before his 1980 marriage.

A centerpiece in McCain's remarkable and sudden rise to national prominence is his promise of campaign-finance reform.

Yet McCain has relied heavily on the financial contributions from big corporate donors -- with the liquor and beer industry near the top of the list. McCain won -- one could say bought -- his first election to the House of Representatives in 1982 with lavish sums of Hensley beer money.
Far be it from us to suggest that felons are not hard workers. After his initial conviction, Mr. Hensley continued to show great entrepreneurial zeal:
[O]ld newspaper clips . . . showed Jim Hensley had been an underling to well-known power broker Kemper Marley Sr., a rich rancher and wholesale liquor baron with suspected links to the 1976 car-bomb murder of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles . . . .

In 1953, Jim Hensley was again charged with falsifying records at Marley's liquor firms.
The companies were defended by William Rehnquist, who would go on to become chief justice of the Supreme Court. Hensley was found not guilty.
The Hensley Bros. subsequently invested some of their profits in the Ruidoso Downs racetrack. Yet, in a hearing before the New Mexico Racing Commission, they mysteriously omitted to mention a third, silent partner, bookmaker Clarence Baldwin:
At a May 1953 commission hearing in Albuquerque records show the Hensley brothers readily told of their connections with the Arizona wholesale liquor business and Marley in the 1930s and 1940s and the federal convictions in 1948 for making false entires on government records regarding ???? liquor sales.

However, the Henleys denied at the same hearing that Baldwin their old croney in Phoenix, had any stock interest in Ruidoso Downs.

But two years later, at another hearing records reflect Baldwin did have stock interest in the track.
We do hope that Mr. Romney secures his party's vice-presidential nomination, because we are always eager to learn more about the value of hard, extralegal work, and the difficulty of inheriting its fruits.

(Thanks to our eminent colleagues Josh Marshall and Jon Schwarz for the links.)

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Headlines That Do Not Inspire Us to Continue Reading, Pt. XXVII 

From the AP feature "Entertainment Report," as seen in this morning's S.F. Chronicle:
Dick Partially Cleared

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