Leaving Las Vegas; On Hiatus

Greenlee Gazette is on hiatus until the first week of February. New stories may appear, but I'll be mostly offline. Please come back and see me after I make the transition!

Monday, August 31, 2009

South Carolina's Lt. Governor Has the Gay?


Image from source, BlogActive

Welllllll now! First, South Carolina's Governor Mark Sanford has his Appalachian Trail/Argentinian Tail scandal. Then, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer demands that Sanford resign (Sanford has steadfastly refused). Now, prominent blogger Mike Rogers--who has a 100% accuracy for this sort of thing--has announced that Bauer has the gay!

Now, I have a mixed feeling about "outing." I think that most gay people should be allowed to determine a time that is right for themselves to come out. Optimally, it should be a time of their choosing, in a way they wish to reveal it. My policy, and Rogers' as well, is to only push a person out if they have actively harmed the gay community by their actions, and from the safety of the closet. In that case? All bets are off.

[Excerpt]

Rumors confirmed

. . .I am now able to confirm a rumor that has circulated in South Carolina for years. South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer is a closeted anti-gay politician who stands to replace Mark Sanford should Sanford resign or be impeached (a real possibility as Sanford is caught in his own sex scandal.). . .

Read more at: BlogActive


Glenn Beck's Word of the Day: Oligarhy?

While I'm on a conservative crazy-train roll, might as well throw lead wignut Glenn Beck into the mix. Glenn deciphers several clues in key Obama era words, to spell out oligarhy. His spelling, not mine. FAIL!

Don't Mess With Texas: If At First You Don't Secede

To my friends in Texas: If these nutjobs are successful, and The Republic of Texas becomes an instant third-world nation, you're free to bunk with us in Las Vegas. And to the members of this movement: There's no better way to show your patriotism than to claim you hate America! Or something. . .

What Happens in Vegas: Tea Party Express Comes to Town


Heh. Heh, heh, heh. . .HA! I'm sorry, but every time I read about one of these wing-nutty tea parties, I envision a dainty little girl's back yard tea party. That leads me to think of a grown-up, English tea party. And that leads me to think of Little Britain's Emily Howard, a laaaady!

It doesn't help that these little affairs had their genesis in a faux-grass roots, corporatocracy. And that they've been hotbeds of crazy. Unfocused, frothing, batshit, raving looney-toons, railing about a dozen different topics, all boiling down to them really being pissed off that a (black) Democrat took the White House. So, could they really get any more crazed to see themselves represented as a British transvestite? Oh, probably, but I just couldn't help it.

[Excerpt]

Hundreds (not a typo) attend protest against big government




Read all about it at: Las Vegas Review-Journal










Disney Buys Marvel Comics


DC Comics, always my favorite, has been owned by Warner Brothers for years and years. This hasn't really hurt the comics aspect as far as I know. And it allowed them to use their characters across Warner's other properties. But I believe it hurt them in the live-action movies and television realm. Many, many proposed theatrical adaptations, such as Superman and Batman (together), Wonder Woman and The Justice League have languished for years. Superman Returns was in development hell forever, and was dubbed a failure mostly because of the up-front cost of all the false starts.

Now, Marvel Comics, home of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and X-Men will have to deal with the plusses and minuses of being owned by a giant media company. And it comes at a time when Marvel has been doing quite well with their adaptations, though fans have dissed many of them. From my point of view, since Disney already has extensive experience turning established characters into huge event movies, it's probably a good thing. But I really don't care, I'm a DC guy. Heh.

[Excerpt]

Disney to Acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion!

A huge announcement this morning - Disney is going to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion!

Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today. . .

Read more at: Bam! Kapow!


Townhall Gun Carrier Wants Obama to Die


Image from source, TPM Muckraker

We're officially done with August, which--for whatever reason--is always called the "silly season" in politics. It may have to be re-dubbed the "scary season" after this summer of continuously creepier activities by President Obama's detractors. Whatever a person might think of Obama personally, or his policies, he simply hasn't been in office long enough to justify this nutty, off-the-deep-end right-wing frothing.

Take this guy, for example. He's the guy who brought an automatic weapon to a health care reform Town Hall meeting. And he happens to have a whack-job preacher that makes Reverend Wright look like the Snuggle bear.

[Excerpt]

Gun-Toter From Obama Event: I, Like My Pastor, Want The President To Die

The violent anti-Obama sentiment coming out of central Arizona managed to get still more toxic over the weekend.

Chris Broughton, the man who brought an AR-15 rifle and a handgun to an Arizona Obama rally earlier this month, says he "concurs" with his fundamentalist pastor's prayer for President Obama "to die and go to hell. . ."

Read more at: TPM Muckraker


Chris Wallace of FOX "News" Gets Snotty

I covered this before, but I've found the video. FOX "News" and its rabid fan base will often try to say that only their "opinion" shows like Hannity and The O'Reilly Factor are rightward biased. The rest is Fair and Balanced™ don'tcha know? Vaguely creepy Chris Wallace anchors the FOX version of a hard-news Sunday morning show. Wallace occasionally asks a probing question or two of his conservative guests, but the agenda is not hard to spot.

Then, when they get to the "opinion" part of the show (the ludicrously named "Power Panel") all pretense of objectivity goes right out the window, with a couple of fringy nut neo-cons, two milquetoasty barely liberals, and Wallace as a moderator. But check out which side of the argument Wallace comes down on here.

[Excerpt]

Wallace defends torture, snidely says it’s ‘purely coincidental’ U.S. hasn’t been attacked since 9/11.



In an interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace that aired on Fox News Sunday this morning, Vice President Cheney adamantly defended the Bush administration’s torture policies. “The thing I keep coming back to, time and time again Chris, is the fact that we’ve gone for eight years without another attack,” Cheney argued. During the panel discussion later in the program, NPR’s Juan Williams ridiculed the entire debate. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Jenna Bush Hired by NBC


Image from source, RawStory

I don't have anything against the Bush girls, really. They were good for some comedic fodder when they went through their rebellious teen phase, but that's really all I know about either of them. But, really. Do we have to have a prominent Bush around? Shouldn't we be moving forward and not back?

[Excerpt]

Bush daughter Jenna Hager becomes 'Today' reporter

NBC's "Today" show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent — former first daughter Jenna Hager. . .

Read more at: RawStory


Sunday, August 30, 2009

What is the True Story of Torture and its Effectiveness?


Image from source, Wikipedia

Everything I've heard and read about the use of tourture on terrorism suspects says that it doesn't work. When it comes to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, my understanding is, that he gave up information while we were dealing humanely with him, and then clammed up once the torture started.

But the Dick Cheney/right-wing argument is that torture works, so it doesn't matter that it's illegal. Also, things long regarded as torture, such as water boarding, sleep deprivation, stress positions, isolation, etc. are not really torture at all, because they don't permanently maim or kill you. Usually.

Today on FOX "News" Sunday, I saw for the first time the outright claim that KSM gave up all of his information only after he was water boarded one hundred and eighty something times. I don't believe this is the case, but they said it plain as day. I really, really want to see a rebuttal to this.

Oh, and the stinger that Chris Wallace delivered after Juan Williams said it is not OK for the US to torture? "I just want to point out to the audience that it is purely coincidental that the US has not been attacked again since 9/11." What a colossal dick. Seriously.

Dick Cheney on FOX "News" Sunday

I cannot watch three seconds of this man speaking, without feeling a combination of hatred, fear, loathing, discomfort, revulsion, queasiness and rage. He's a hideous, horrible man. No candy coating from me. Dick Cheney is VILE.

By the way, the apparent talking point du jour from the right wing, is that the whole issue of torture has already been settled by "career prosecutors." Heard it from Dick, Liz and William Kristol. Same exact wording. Who issues these talking points?

Liz Cheney Frantically Tries to Cover for Dad, Dick


Image from ProgressivePuppy

Didja watch This Week with George Stephanopoulos? Liz Cheney, daughter of satan Darth Vader Dick Cheney was on the roundtable panel. And she had to go into hyper overdrive to defend dear old Dad on torture. I'll give her this, she's tenacious, and seems to believe what she's saying. How much effort did this girl have to put her conscience through these past eight years? That's a long time to over-rationalize.

Roundtable: ObamaCare and CIA Investigation

What Happens in Vegas: Michael Jackson Birthday Bash


Last night, I attended a real Las Vegas show, something I've done very little of during my 15 years living here. The show was Las Vegas Celebrates the Music of Michael Jackson, and it occurred on what would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday. Yeah, I know many are on Michael overload, but I'm really glad I went.

There are a few reasons I decided to attend. Number one, I'm a friend (and former roommate) of the man who ran Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch amusement park for around 15 years. Secondly, one of the performers, Nick Kenkel, is a cousin-by-marriage, and he not only danced but choreographed the Peepshow segment of the show. Otherwise, I may not have gone. But having had the privilege of having worked at Neverland myself, and Jackson's impact on my generation (class of 1984), I had extra incentive.

The show was plagued by some audio-visual problems, and even a prop failure at the beginning. The sound system was super heavy on the low range, with sub woofers threatening to overwhelm the performances (particularly the bass drum). But outside of the technical problems, the show was simply fantastic.

One standout was Terry Fator (America's Got Talent) doing a great Jackson/Paul McCartney duet with a puppet, concluding with a spot-on Ben performance. There were wonderful tributes by cast members of Zumanity, The Jersey Boys, Human Nature, The Sirens of TI, Clint Holmes, Holly Madison of Peepshow and especially Erich Bergen, one of The Jersey Boys, who was the host of the show.

I'm not much of a theater guy, especially of the musical variety. But I had a great time. It was also a treat to see Kenkel's Peepshow cast dancing to his moves, and the man himself among a bevvy of beauties. Way to go, Nick! I'm so impressed.

Sadly, though I got to attend the VIP after party, most of the casts were already gone. Clearly, on a Saturday night, they had their usual shows to do. It was fun being in the company of my Neverland friend, who is something of a celebrity himself, at least among the fandom. Thanks to him, I got to see one of the producers of the show, journalist Steve Friess; as well as Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Norm Clarke. Oh, and Robin Leach, but. . .whatever.

Afterward, we attended a special screening of Moonwalker at the Brenden Theater at the Palms. The movie is something of a rarity, never having been screened in US theaters, and only available thus far on VHS videotape. The movie starts out as something of a retrospective musical documentary, and segues into a surreal storyline of sorts. It's tremendously entertaining, but completely surreal. It works in the videos for Leave Me Alone, Smooth Criminal and a cover of the Beatles song Come Together. But the storyline (once it starts) is rather meandering. It reminds me of a dream, where a person exits one scenario, and then enters a related but vastly different one. Still, it was a treat to see. A question-and-answer session followed, with Friess, Vincent Paterson (longtime choreographer and dancer) and co-star Kellie Parker.

All-in-all, it was a tremendous night out on the town, with the added benefit of having a slight "in" with the whole subject. I'm very glad I didn't pass on the opportunity. I sneaked a few cell-phone videos, but sadly all of them fail to upload to anything tolerable. Soundtracks gone, pictures fuzzy. I tried, but I failed. Serves me right for trying to be a pirate.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

There Isn't a Health Care Reform Bill. There Are Several.


Democrats are notoriously bad at staying on message. They are equally bad about naming things that they try to sell to the public. Which is why there is no catchy name for health care reform. If this were a Republican issue, it Frank Luntz would have called it the Good Health Act, or the American Health Plan, or even better: America is Number One in Health! Act. But I've covered some of this in my previous post, How Obama Can Get Control of Health Care: Talk Down to Us.

There is another problem with health care reform: there are too many bills. There are several floating around, each with different provisions, some good and some not. So when Gertrude the shrieking wingnut gets up and screams that "death panels!" are in "the bill," not only is she lying, she doesn't even know that there isn't any single bill. If Democrats cannot unify around a bill, cannot unify around a message, I wonder what hope they have. Even with the numbers to do it, and with an issue that should be a winner, they are stacking the deck against themselves, and letting the stupid side win.
[Excerpt]
The Democrats' Problem: There's No Health Care Plan to Sell

. . .Will there be mandatory insurance? Who pays? How much? What about small businesses?
He knew what each bill had to say but he couldn't say for certain what will be in the final proposal because there isn't a unified bill.

So how are Democrats supposed to convince the public that their plan is a good one when there isn't a plan? . . .

Read more at: Huffington Post


How Obama Can Get Control of Health Care: Talk Down to Us


I'm watching a recording of last night's Real Time with Bill Maher. It is another "shake up the format" episode, where Bill has one-on-one interviews instead of a round-table. Which is fine, but it almost feels like the show ought to have a different name. Anyway, after the Jay-Z segment (surprisingly interesting, given that I'm not a rap music fan), Bill interviewed Bill Moyers, with the chief topic being health care.

Moyers was of the opinion (not that he's wrong) that President Obama hasn't been forceful enough, or clear enough with his health care reform message. Moyers thinks that Obama has been too wonky, and not talking in plain enough English for the American people to understand. He later says "we're not less intelligent than other people." Uh, as even Bill Maher would say, Americans are stupid. Or, to be less general, the stupid rise to the top.

I'm not sure what percentage of our population would fit into the stupid/willfully ignorant/intellectually incurious category. But whatever topic is being discussed--unless it's unusually one-sided, like our patriotism right after 9/11, and arguably then too--it is this category of dummies that seem to carry the banner for the "conventional wisdom" of the day. You know who understands this? FOX "News," Rush Limbaugh (et al.), and Republican politicians.

Look at how successful they've been lately, with health care reform. Democrats, understandably, are by-and-large for the idea. Being the party of we rather than me, of Constitutionally supporting the "general welfare." You know: helping people. But Republicans seem to be more of a "I got mine; you get yours. Or don't, I don't care" party. Definitely a party of me. And increasingly, they're a party of being viscerally against anything that comes from a Democrat, whether it is in their best interest or not.

So, when Rush Limbaugh spews forth the reason they are to be against something, they bite, whatever the bait is. That's why (unemployed) Sarah Palin was able to take a fake issue invented by a lesser-known conservative--death panels--and inflate it into a bona fide issue. The rhetoric keeps getting dumber and dumber. The protests and anger gets frothier and more mindless. So now we're at the point where the crowds of conservatives are little more than a pack of zombies in a George Romero movie. And those things never end well.

So maybe it's time to fight stupid with stupid. Maybe President Obama needs to start talking to us like second graders instead of adults. Democrats always try to talk to America like it is educated, rational and logical. BORING! We are not. We live in a culture where a comparison between the intelligence of Palin and Obama can actually be treated like apples-to-apples. Where Joe the Plumber can be raised to the level of political scientist. We like bullet points, sound bites, and catchy names.

So, Mr. President, enough with "public option" or "single payer." Too complicated. Talk to us more on the level of "fire bad, tree pretty." Death bad! Health good! Goodness knows the radio-talkers, FOX-bots and the GOP have no respect for the public, maybe you shouldn't either.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't Mess With Texas? OK. Don't Let the Door Hit Ya.


Is anybody else disturbed by the vagueness of the political theatre going on in right-wing world? They are all riled up, frothing and toting guns. They're sputtering about "socialism" and saying that their rights are being violated. They pretend to care about the Constitution (which was being trampled on during the past eight years) now that a hateful (black) liberal occupies the White House. Thought they are really going over-the-top, some of that might be all right, if they had any grounds.

But they don't seem to. In all of the disjointed, unfocused protesting, there have been generalities, untruths and out-and-out delusion. What Constitutional rights have been denied or removed? What liberties are threatened? I'm not sure they have any idea. They're just pissed in general. Wave a flag, rile 'em up, and they'll be there with pitchforks (or automatic weapons). If the issue wasn't health care (of all things) right now, does anybody doubt that they'd still be acting like this over something else?

And when you throw Texas into the mix, you seem to get a whole 'nother level of crazy. They love America so much down there, they're determined to leave it! And they have a million signatures? If that's the case kids, have at it. Who's stopping you? Just remember, Texas has a lot of military and governmental ties. You're going to be losing a lot that you aren't considering.

[Excerpt]

Texas ‘tenthers’ plan pro-secession rally tomorrow.

A organization calling itself the “Texas Nationalist Movement” plans to march on the Texas capitol tomorrow to demand “Sovereignty or Secession”. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Rachel Maddow Exposes the FACES of "Grassroots" Coal Group

My previous post is about FOX "News" and their naked, transparent agenda to support the conservative--even right-wing fringe--agenda, not just choice of topics, but by brazenly lying. Compare and contrast to this show from MSNBC (often maligned for being the left-wing FOX).

Of course, this isn't the first time I've posted a clip from The Rachel Maddow Show. But it is a particularly good example of the difference between it and, say Hannity. Notice that Rachel does pick topics that skew to her demographic: Bush era torture and a coal lobbying group. But watch what she does with the stories. Along with snarky humor, she lays out her case. She isn't trying to scare you with rhetoric. You can tell, this is Rachel's (and her staff's) opinions, not some bit that's been sketched out from a Democratic Party talking points.

As a listener of progressive talk radio, a regular viewer of both Rachel and Countdown with Keith Olbermann and as a liberal blogger, I can attest that while all liberals will pick and choose what stories to focus on, it is rare to find them all on the same page, using the same terminology. And while they may be wrong sometimes--maybe a lot--they do not unify to spread a lie.

FOX "News" Lies (With Gusto) About Death Panels

This video is a nice encapsulation of exactly what FOX "News" is, and shows why I put the quotes into their name. They are not a news channel. They are propagandists for the Republican party. Worse than that, they shamelessly lie across the board, on their opinion shows and their alleged "news" shows.

Check this video out, and remember while you are watching: there are no death panels. There is no "death book." It's debunked clap-trap. Part of the wildly scatter shot noise machine against the Democratic agenda. Nothing wrong with being in opposition to such an agenda, but when the effort consists almost entirely of lies, you have to wonder if there is a rational counterpoint. People who believe this garbage might want to consider if they enjoy being spoon-fed lies. They might also ponder what the people at FOX "News" really think of their audience's intelligence level.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Young Turks on Guns at Townhalls (Plus "The Gay")

It was only a matter of time before "the gay" was linked to the whole tea bagger/birther/deather/townhall mob scene. I'm actually surprised it took this long. Here's a clip from The Young Turks, about a crazy pastor and his passionate hatred (and death wish) for President Obama.



So where is the gay part of the issue? Well, here is that same pastor of "the best church in the world" on that very topic.

[Excerpt]

God Commands You To Kill Gays

I spend a lot of time here mocking Religious Right groups and activists for their views of homosexuality, but as Jeremy says about these audio clips he posted the other day, "this 'culture war' is all fun and games until someone wants to execute you."

And he's not joking. Just listen to these rants from
Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, AZ, explaining to his audience how gays are out to rape their children in order to recruit them and says that the only way to stop them is to kill them. . .

Read more at: Right Wing Watch

Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck Form an Army of the Stupid & Crazy!

Was Jesus Gay?

I'm not seriously considering the matter, because I'm not religious in the slightest. But the very notion does tend to squick some people out. I wonder why that is? In any event, this guy is very interesting to listen to (the accent doesn't hurt), and makes some very valid points. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Frivolity Break: Talking Animals

Well, the news is all-Kennedy, all the time, which is sort of expected. Though I hope it doesn't last quite as long as and Michael-palooza. And everything else I've turned up has been rehashed to death. So, I went looking for something silly to post after all the seriousness on the blog lately. So, if you like groundhogs or sharks, this is pretty amusing. Alan! Allen! Alllennnn!



Michael Jackson Lives?

Well, if the King of Pop is actually still alive (presumably hanging out with ex-father-in-law Elvis Presley), why am I going to the big Michael Jackson tribute show in Las Vegas on Saturday? Seriously, if all the dead celebrities who are really alive faked their own deaths, wouldn't they have staged more flattering death scenes?



Found at: d-listed

Rush Limbaugh Uses Kennedy Death to Push Nonsense

I knew that when Ted Kennedy ultimately died, the people in right-wing world would be unkind. From conservative FaceBook "friends" to FreeRepublic, to right-wing talk radio, and even here on my own blog (in reply to a mere death announcement), I've heard astounding negativity without even having to look very hard. Yes, we all know what happened 40-plus years ago. But mere hours had gone by after the Senator's death, before some people reduced the man to that solitary event.

As I said before, I've never felt the allure of "Camelot," having been too young to experience it, and wasn't particularly a fan or follower of Kennedy. Or any Kennedy. But I am aware of many of the good things the man did, and of his place in our history. It's a milestone--some would say end of an era--that deserves notice. Maybe not as much notice as will undoubtedly ensue, I'll grant. And unless something genuinely newsworthy or interesting should arise from the situation, it is doubtful I'll write much more about it. But the dancing on the grave that has been going on is just tasteless.

Rush Limbaugh may have done some of that dancing, I haven't looked too deeply to find out. And I don't intend to. What I did find was Limbaugh using Kennedy's passing to continue selling out-and-out lies. Ridiculous, already discredited "death books" and "death panels." He must have utter contempt for his audience. How could he not? His meal ticket is a group of people who will believe any story, no what orifice he pulls it from.

Anti-Health Care Reform Move from Stupid to Crazy to Tasteless

If this video doesn't display the idiotic depths this "discussion" has devolved to, I don't know what will. Honestly, dressing in a President Obama mask, and whipping taxpayers? Oh, and the fact that one is elderly and sick is an added bonus. The bizarre juxtaposition of a black man holding the whip is--to them, I'm sure--just icing on the cake.

It became clear a long time ago that this is not an argument against health care reform. That is just an excuse to get all jacked up and crazy. Were it not this, it would be anti-gay demonstrations, or anti-credit card regulation, or whatever issue was front and center. It's obvious that the movement is just against anything Obama might have on the agenda. If there's no obvious reason to be against it, it doesn't matter. The opposition will just invent crap like this. Sickening.



Found at: Joe.My.God.

Breaking News: Ted Kennedy has Passed Away.


Image from source, ABC News

Sigh. Wow. Two Kennedys in the same month. I am too young to remember the idealized "Camelot" Kennedy mystique. By the time I was old enough to know what was going on, Jackie was an "O" and Edward Kennedy was fodder for jokes on Saturday Night Live. Still, despite his faults, I know that he did a lot of good in his life.

The timing of course couldn't be worse for health care reform, which was ironically Ted Kennedy's pet project. Will this give Democrats added drive to get it done, or will the whole thing just unravel? Time will tell. RIP, Teddy.

[Excerpt]

Ted Kennedy Dies of Brain Cancer at Age 77

Sen. Ted Kennedy died shortly before midnight Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 77.

The man known as the "liberal lion of the Senate" had fought a more than year-long battle with brain cancer, and according to his son had lived longer with the disease than his doctors expected him to. . .

Read more at:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sudden Ominous Music Heard Across U.S., Nation Panicking

We're doomed. We're all dooooomed!

John McCain Tries to Sooth His Crazy "Friends"

My friends, I think it's time to admit--as John McCain seems nearly ready to do in the clip below--to concede that active Republicans are simply certifiable. Their alleged concern. . .no wait, outright allegation that President Obama is somehow ignoring the Constitution is an underlying theme to all of the nuttiness that has gone on in "Birthistan" all summer. I have a few questions for any right-wingers out there reading this (and please be succinct with your answers):

First, what part of the Constitution is Obama guilty of ignoring? Second, assuming you've already answered the first question, is this violation something that our previous President is also guilty of? Third, if you've answered the first two, where the hell were you the last eight years? A quick Google search can turn up many, many convincing and well-documented cases of Bush-era Constitution trampling. And finally, if I remember correctly, anyone who dared criticize George W. Bush was declared an unpatriotic, "blame America first," treasonous, America hater. What makes you any different for criticizing Obama?

The Birthers (and FReepers) Officially Off the Deep End


Image from source, Crooks and Liars

I wanted to come up with a cute double-entendre for this amazingly dumb story. And I'm still not happy with the one I chose. I mean, of course the Birthers, and their home base FreeRepublic.com are off the deep end. This is not news.

But please forgive me for my lack of words. It's just that this has to be seen to be believed. . .

[Excerpt]

Now the Birthers are demanding to know: Was Obama circumcised?

The fine Real Americans at the Free Republic have found Obama's Achilles heel: his Long Dark Staff of White Insecurity. . .

(Really, you've got to) Read more at: Crooks and Liars

And by the way, if those FReepers are really curious whether or not some men under 48 are uncircumsized, there are plenty of "research" tools available on the 'net. Nobody ever has to know. . .

Monday, August 24, 2009

Robin Williams as Susan Boyle?


This just made me giggle. . .

[Excerpt]

Susan Boyle 'could be played by Robin Williams' in film

Williams dressed up as a woman to play Mrs Doubtfire in the hit 1993 film of the same name.

He played a divorced dad who loses custody of his children and disguises himself as a Scottish housekeeper so he can see them again. . .

Read more at: Telegraph


Could Recently Released Torture Document Lead to Justice?


Image from source, TPM Muckraker

For those who like to whine, "Give it up, Bush isn't President anymore!" it is worth reminding you of something. While you may not believe it to be true, many people believe that the previous administration is guilty of breaking several laws. International laws. Serious stuff. While this blogger has nearly given up on any serious retribution, I still believe it is important that somebody try.

I feel sort of sorry for Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, actually. Look at the crap they went through for--by comparison--pretty dinky crap. I doubt we'll ever know the extent of Bush Era crimes. But I'm glad someone is looking into it. I'm just not going to hold my breath to see if it comes to anything.

[Excerpt]

Dems Urge Holder To Allow Torture Probe To Go Further

Some top Democrats are expressing disappointment with Eric Holder's announcement of a probe into Bush-era torture, and specifically with Holder's apparent decision to ensure the probe doesn't look at the Bush officials who authorized the policy. . .

Read more at: TPM Muckraker


FOX "News": Republicans Blocking Health Care Reform a "Conspiracy Theory"

Uhhh. . .right. We expect FOX "News" to lie. It's what they do. But you'd think they could be a little more realistic about it. How much respect can they really have for their viewers?

[Excerpt]

Fox News: The Notion That Republicans Are Trying To Block Health Care Reform Is A ‘Conspiracy Theory’



This morning on Fox and Friends, host Brian Kilmeade did a segment defending the Republican Party against accusations that it is trying to “sink” health care reform. “[D]oes this conspiracy theory really hold any water?” asked Kilmeade, adding that it was “a bit of a reach to blame the GOP.” The two Republican guests on the panel agreed. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Barney Frank Was Right: You Can't Argue With Crazy or Stupid

This video is a little noisy and low tech, but it is no less confused or confusing than the state of the political discourse on the right, right now. And after arguing a pointless argument, I needed it.

Top 10 Conservative Idiots, August 24, 2009


Aw, man, it's Monday again already? Oh well. At least there's a "Top 10" this week,* even if the format is a little different. Still, it's a fun read, so enjoy!

[Excerpt]

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 371
August 24, 2009
Hate Mailbag Special

It's been a weird couple of weeks. The Democrats are falling all over themselves to come up with a good health care reform bill, with the unfortunate but predictable consequence that they're, er, falling all over themselves. Meanwhile the wingnuts have gone completely overboard, to the point where elected Republican officials have been egging on armed protesters at town hall meetings. And let's not forget the guy who recently identified himself as a "proud right-wing terrorist" to a cheering crowd, whereupon his Republican congressman said, "There is a great American." WTF? . . .

Read more at: Democratic Underground

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Greenlee Gazette does not contend that all conservatives are idiots. Merely that many prominent conservatives are idiots, as this column regularly confirms. So, please, no offense is intended to those of my friends and family who are themselves conservative. In other words, present company excluded!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sean Hannity for President?


Image from source, World Net Daily

Hahahaha! The story is from World Nut Net Daily, so consider the source. But I'd find such an effort hilarious. Especially if they pair him with Sarah Palin or Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurtzelbacher. Ooo! Or Michelle Bachmann!

[Excerpt]

President Hannity? Talker drops hint

Talk-show host Sean Hannity, a vocal opponent of Barack Obama's policies, said today he would not rule out a bid for the presidency in 2012.

Egged on by radio colleague Bill Cunningham, Hannity said he would consider entering the front lines of the political fray if God directs him. . .

Read more (if you dare) at: World Net Daily


The Future of Remote Control

Coooooooooooooooooool!

Health Care Reform. . .Isn't This Kind of NUTS?


Almost everybody has a story about health care. Whether it's the problems of getting our insurance companies to pay for clearly covered procedures, or getting denied for "pre-existing conditons" almost everybody has had to deal with the health care maze. So why is it that half of the populace is against health-care reform?

Seriously, everybody. Do half of you really believe that the staus quo is working? Really?

[Excerpt]

Health Care Reform

For more than 75 years, Democrats have dreamed of creating a comprehensive national health insurance program. With the election of President Obama, it appeared that they had the best chance in a generation to accomplish that goal. As drafting of the legislation began, the difficulties of what started as a pair of gargantuan tasks -- expanding coverage and reining in spiraling costs -- became ever more evident. . .


Read more at: New York Times

"The End of Faith's" Sam Harris on Bill Maher's Show

Again, enjoy it while you can.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Should Presidents Go on Vacation?

Yesterday, I posted a piece about how current Presidents always get blasted by the opposition for doing the very same thing their predecessors did. Well, today's faux outrage is no different. The right is now blasting President Obama for going on vacation in August. Hmm, what recent President did the same thing? And yes, there is the whole health care reform thing right now, which is important. As was the terrorism briefing George W. Bush got while on vacation right before 9/11. As was the threat presented by Hurricane Katrina, again while Bush was on vacay.
Conservatives don't like the health care thingy anyway, so what's the big deal? Doesn't matter, they'd find something to bitch about either way.

Jon Stewart Interviews Betsy McCaughey, Leader of "Deathers"

This is the lady that started that "death panel" nonsense. I'd think it's fair to say, Jon Stewart won the argument. You decide.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Betsy McCaughey Pt. 1
http://www.thedailyshow.com/
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 1
http://www.thedailyshow.com/
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 2
http://www.thedailyshow.com/
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Tom DeLay: Drunk or Not?

The very first time I ever saw Tom DeLay, I didn't even know what party he belonged to. But I could tell I didn't much like him. Lots of swagger, evangelist hair. . .just yuck. Turned out my instincts were were right, and he is kind of a jerk. Minus the "kind of."

Well, it turns out ol' Tom is a birther. And quite possibly drunk too. On Hardball with Chris Matthews, DeLay slurs through the whole bit, and then says "gift certificate" when he means "birth certificate." You tell me, is The Hammer hammered?


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jon Stewart Rips FOX "News"

It's late, I know, but too good not to share. . .

What Was That About Presidents Who Don't Wear Ties?


Image from source, Think Progress

There is an annoying practice by journalists and partisans whenever there is a new President. If that President does something that the opposition party finds objectionable, the retaliation is, "well, what about what your guy did?" It's as regular as clockwork.

But there are times when no other answer is appropriate. Especially when the "objection" is just flat stupid. This happened not too long ago, when President Barack Obama was photographed with his feet on his desk. In short order, photos of President George W. Bush doing the very same thing were produced. And then there was a flurry of faux outrage about Obama not wearing a jacket in the oval office. You guessed it, Bush did that, and Ronald Reagan too.

Now, they're all atwitter about Obama going tie-less. As these photos attest, George did it too. The weird part is, even though it has been proven that none of these things are unique to Obama, the far-right will bring up each of these "issues" forever. Count on it.

[Excerpt]

National Review: Obama ‘frequently forgoes the necktie’…just like the Iranian regime does.

One of the right wing’s favorite petty complaints about the Obama administration is over its dress code. Former Bush chief of staff Andrew Card has said that President Obama has brought a “kind of locker room experience” to the White House. The Washington Times yesterday published an account from an “observant source” who complained that “[f]lip-flops, tennis shoes, unbuttoned dress shirts with ties, and casual wear are now in style at the White House. . .

Read more at: Think Progress


Was "Threat Level" Changed for Bush Era Political Gain?


C'mon. Was there ever any question, really? I would be shocked if they didn't monkey around with the rainbow-threat level chart. It's probably what it was created for in the first place.

[Excerpt]

Ridge: Rumsfeld and Ashcroft wanted to raise terror threat level because it helped Bush’s approval rating.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette pours through Tom Ridge’s new book and offers the relevant passages where the former Homeland Security chief discusses the Bush administration’s desire to increase the terror threat level for political reasons. Ridge reveals that Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued in favor of raising the threat level by noting the correlation it had with Bush’s approval rating. . .


Read more at: Think Progress


Stuck on Stupid: Polls Show Conservatives Believe Falsehoods


Image from source, The Plum Line

Unbelievable. And you know, the rest of the population isn't doing a whole lot better. Are we as a people really that gullible?

[Excerpt]

Poll: Majority Of Republicans Believes Health Reform Bill Will Force Elderly To Decide When To Die

. . .The poll finds that 53% of Republicans believe that “the government will require the elderly to make decisions about how and when they will die.” By contrast, only 31% of independents and 14% of Democrats believe this, according to this poll of 600 adults nationwide.

Note the word “require.” A majority of Republicans believes that the health care reform will force old people to decide in advance “how and when they will die.” This is far more out there than anything we’ve seen polled before. . .

Read more at: The Plum Line


Quote of the Day: From the Rude Pundit

I love this:

"There's not a nickel's worth of difference between the mobs of white people shouting at black children walking into a newly-integrated school and the people standing up and shouting at members of Congress at town halls. And they have to be fought in much the same way, which means the government needs to ignore them."

Read more at: The Rude Pundit

Rush Limbaugh is a Pig. But You Knew That.


Image from source, TPM Muckraker

One of the surest comments you can count on from a conservative if a gay person is the subject, is a lame gay joke. Whether it's Melissa Etheridge, k. d. lang, Rachel Maddow or Barney Frank, if there is news about the gay person in question, there will be a flurry of ridiculous, jr. high school-level puns and/or "jokes." After Barney Frank (D-Mass.)'s town hall meeting, Limbaugh did not disappoint. Despite the fact that Frank owned the tea bagger woman with the Obama-as-Hitler poster, Limbaugh turned it around on the Congressman. In his own lame way, of course.

[Excerpt]

Limbaugh Cheers On Woman With Obama-As-Hitler Sign At Barney Frank Event

"But the killer for me was, here's Barney Frank saying, 'What planet do you live on?' to this woman. Isn't it an established fact that Barney Frank himself spends of his time living around Uranus?"



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Howard Dean's Pitch for Health Care Reform


Image from source, Think Progress

I'm going to dinner at a friend's house tonight, so no time for blogging for a while. But I found this interesting piece at Think Progress, and it is definitely worth a read. Check it out.

[Excerpt]

Why The Public Health Insurance Option Is Worth Fighting For

In today’s Washington Post, Steven Pearlstein argues that Democrats should just give up on the public option. “Enough already with the public option!,” he writes. Steven thinks we should drop one of the most popular and effective aspects of health care reform simply because the fight is too politically difficult in Congress. I think such an approach would ruin health care reform and devastate the Democratic party. . .

Read more at: Think Progress


Arizona GOP Uses "Doctored" Photo of Obama

Remember when CBS ran with a story about George W. Bush shirking his National Guard duty, and the documents were then questioned? Though the documents weren't conclusively proven to be phony, they were perceived to be so. Arguments by many that whether or not the documents were genuine, the story was true were met with--and are still met with--derision by the right wing.

Much the same in reverse is happening with a "doctored" photo of President Obama smoking. Sure, he's admitted to smoking off and on. But the photo the Arizona GOP has used to show this is a phony! Will that shut them up? Dream on.

Barney Frank Shuts Down "Nazi" Analogy

I don't care what you think of Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, this response to a whack-job tea bagger is spot-on perfect.



Thanks to Katie for the tip.

White House Thinks Guns are OK at Presidential Events?


Image from source, Washington Post

OK, I'm still trying to figure this one out. I remember when people would be arrested for wearing the wrong T-shirt to events when George W. Bush was President. Now, people are swarming around with big honking guns, and that's just fine? That's a head scratcher for sure.

I have no doubt that most of the people showing up to these things with guns are doing so to prove a point. The point may be, "hey, it's legal, so I'm gonna do it." Or it might be, that they're afraid (wrongly, in my opinion) that President Obama is going to try to take their guns away. Or they might think it makes them look tough, and they'll probably get on the tee vee. To me it says, "I'm a big giant douche."

I have no problem with gun ownership. I don't have one, but I wouldn't be against the idea. But there is something more going on here. Some bizarre fetishism. They not only want the right to bear arms, they want to be sure you know it. I don't for a minute believe that this "show of force" isn't supposed to be threatening. It clearly is. My guess is that the White House is trying to play it cool, and on the surface say that this doesn't rile them. But I'll bet you that the Secret Service is on high alert.

[Excerpt]

White House Backs Right to Arms Outside Obama Events

Armed men seen mixing with protesters outside recent events held by President Obama acted within the law, the White House said Tuesday, attempting to allay fears of a security threat. . .

Read more at: Washington Post


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The GOP Doesn't Want Pizza! Er. . .Health Care Reform!

Yes, I'm posting another Rachel Maddow Show clip, because this is just about the best analogy I've seen to what's going on right now. The GOP says they want health care reform, but they clearly don't. How is that like ordering pizza? Watch and see.

Rachel Maddow & Bill Maher Discuss GOP Miniverse

The stars of The Rachel Maddow Show and Real Time with Bill Maher converged on Maher's show last week, and on Tuesday, Maddow returned the favor. Now, given that I'm a big fan of both, posting the video was a no brainer. But considering that they're talking about a topic near and dear to my heart--the conservative alternate reality machine--I absolutely couldn't resist.

The machine was most effective in the early days after 9/11, and Karl Rove had that thing running 'round the clock for a good many years. At first, it could fool anyone. As the years went by, fewer and fewer were fooled. They were pretty much down to the hard-boiled conservative base there for a while. But somebody must've oiled the machine and changed out a few parts, because lots of people are believing outright falsehoods about the health care reform proposals. But watch the video, Rachel and Bill do a good enough job explaining. . .

Say No to "Socilism?" FAIL!

It's bad enough that the right wing has been throwing around bogeyman words like "socialism," "Marxism," "communism" and worse since Sarah Palin arrived from Alaska last year. It's worse when the people slinging these insults have no idea what the words mean, but hurl them anyway. But it's hilarious when they not only can't define the slur, but can't even spell it. What a moran. . .

Oh, and I didn't want to say anything, but there's an indefinable something about this fella that sets off alarm bells. Like he might be trying to hard to seem like "one of the guys" or something? Maybe it's just me.



Yes, the spelling of "moran" was intentional.

Obama "Joker" Artist Revealed


Image from source, LA Times

I've written a couple of posts about conservative humor, and their appropriation of a (formerly) anonymous artist's rendition of President Obama as the Heath Ledger version of Batman nemesis, The Joker. Usually, the image is shown without the Time magazine cover, and coupled with the word "SOCIALISM."

I've criticized the work as creepy, though well done. I didn't label it racist, though for some reason it does lend itself to that description, perhaps because of the reverse-black face, anti-Al Jolson imagery. Most of all, my problem with it was that I don't get the joke. I love humor, political humor especially, even if it is directed at my own ideology. But the key is, it's got to be funny. I posted a link last week to a treasure-trove of conservative digital "humor," which included variations of the "Obama Joker," and the key element linking them was that they weren't particularly funny. Some were very clever artistically, but where's the joke?

I'll give you an example. I got an email at work that was a picture of an unknown person in some sort of tribal dress. Obama's head was superimposed on the body, with a bone through his nose. The caption was "ObamaCare," and I get the joke--as distasteful as it is--that Obama is some sort of witch doctor. Stupid, yes, but there is a joke there. But it is muddied by the fact that the "C" in ObamaCare is a hammer and sickle. He's a communist witch doctor? Hunh? One step too far (at least).

Now we know who the artist of the Joker image is. With this revelation, charges of racism, or meanie conservatives are seemingly deflated. Except that the image has been co-opted in ways that certainly have a different agenda than the artist intended. Worst of all? Still not funny.

[Excerpt]

Obama Joker artist unmasked: A fellow Chicagoan

When cryptic posters portraying President Obama as the Joker from "Batman" began popping up around Los Angeles and other cities, the question many asked was, Who is behind the image?

Was it an ultra-conservative grassroots group or a disgruntled street artist going against the grain?

Nope, it turns out, just a 20-year-old college student from Chicago
. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times


Incidentally, the artist talks about a "Bush as Vampire" image by Spencer Fairey. I could be wrong about this, but the image I'm most familiar with with that theme was actually by Alex Ross, famed painter of DC super heroes. Fairey may have done one, but I can't find it. The Ross image, however, does contain (dark) humor, and works as political commentary. That's what seems to be missing lately.

Family Guy: Stewie Wants His Emmy!

Hilarious. . .

Glenn Beck Show Shedding Advertisers


Image from source, Huffington Post

I've never been much for boycotts. Oh, I'll personally avoid buying certain products, or discourage others from doing so if something really bugs me, but it's more of a personal protest than an organized effort. I think usually, if something is boycotted, it attracts as many people as it turns away. Think The Last Temptation of Christ or even Married. . .With Children.

But it also doesn't make me particularly sad to see Glenn Beck's FOX "News" program having trouble retaining advertisers. As much as anyone, Beck is responsible for spreading false information, and riling up an already unstable group of people. Beck may himself be a nutball, but even he has to know that a large chunk of his audience is more than half a bubble off.

[Excerpt]

Walmart, CVS, Best Buy, GMAC Among 8 Major Companies To Pull Ads From Glenn Beck Show

Walmart, Best Buy, CVS, and GMAC are among eight major advertisers that have confirmed pulling their advertising from Fox News' "Glenn Beck" program in light of his comments that President Obama is a racist.

The advertisers did not pull their spots from Fox News, but rather requested that their ads do not air during Beck's 5PM program. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post


Monday, August 17, 2009

Latest Twist to Health Care Reform Protests: Guns

I've already said a couple of times on the blog that the current mood of the Republicans and conservatives is strange and hard to define. It probably boils down to the scene from Blazing Saddles, where Gabby Johnson spies Sheriff Bart and says, "The sheriff is a n(gong!)er!" But you won't get them to admit it. Instead, they've resorted to becoming "birthers" or "deathers" or "tea baggers."

All of these things have a fuzzy goal, I guess. But they all have splinters and factions, and it pretty much seems to be a generic "we hate Obama" message. They're throwing everything they've got at him, and they're bringing up every conservative bogeyman there is. Case in point, the sudden proliferation of guns to President Obama's public events, and to other political gatherings. As far as I know, there haven't been any major mentions of gun control from Obama, but that doesn't matter. Half the stuff (at least) that they've been hurling at him aren't true either.

I'm personally not an anti-gun activist. I was raised around them, and taught how to use them. But I've also been around alot of gun aficionados (mostly harmless) and some hard-boiled gun nuts (substantially creepier). It would seem to be the nuts showing up at town halls with guns. Throw in some scary imagery, and a conservative media throwing gasoline on the fire, and it isn't hard to imagine this all turning considerably uglier.

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