Aunt Molly Fires Back. Hard

Okay, I don’t know if Ms. Ivins has siblings, or if they have offspring, so as to make her “Aunt Molly” to anybody really. The line was just too good to pass up:

For those of you who have forgotten just what a stonewall paranoid Nixon was, the poor man used to stalk around the White House demanding that his political enemies be eliminated. Many still believe there was a certain Richard III grandeur to Nixon’s collapse because he was also a man of notable talents. There is neither grandeur nor tragedy in watching President Bush, the Testy Kid, violate his oath to uphold the laws and Constitution of our country.

Department of Eerie Historical Parallels | Impeachment

The Shystee Immigration Policy, A Modest Proposal

If we really want to stop Illegal Immigration it’s simple: mandatory 10 year jail sentences for anyone who employs an illegal immigrant, all the way up the management chain. Combined with strict, massive, dragnet-style enforcement.

If Illegal Immigrants can’t get jobs in the US they will stop coming over the border. No need for a giant, expensive, stupid fence.

Problem solved. Any questions?

The opera ain't over 'til Abramoff sings

By the end of this week, perhaps? Say, 5:00PM Friday?

We’ve put the champers on ice so often. But still. WaPo:

Justice Department prosecutors are pressing [Abramoff] and his lawyers to settle fraud and bribery allegations by the end of this week, sources knowledgeable about the case said. Unless he reaches a plea deal, he faces trial Jan. 9 in Florida in a related fraud case.

Sweet! Read the whole article; there are lots and lots of tidbits. Including this one:

Pretend You Have No Brain

PZ Myers takes a look at John McCain’s curious statement regarding the idea of teaching Intelligent Design alongside Evolutionary Theory in schools:

“Let the student decide.” With those well-chosen words John McCain summed up his view on the teaching of “intelligent design” along with evolution in public schools.

Alright, John! You get a song for that one!

Muggles catching up to the blogosphere on Bush surveillance

It’s nice to be right. Last week, alert reader philosophicus (“The Network Archictecture of Treason”) called bullshit in Bush for, among other things, going into full parse mode to obfuscate his warrantless surveillance program (“monitor” versus “detect”), and for spinning the program as wiretapping (“voice”) as opposed to data mining, as in data mining all your email (ibid; “Everything including Aunt Molly”).

Now the rest of the world is catching up. We’ll have more unasked questions below, but for now, let’s savor Bob Barr, of all people, on Bush’s parsing. The Atlanta Journal-Constitition:

Free the Montana 74!

If the law that is the subject of this story was in place today, where we live, the entire Corrente 10 would be in jail instead of just one of us. Most likely you would be too. Via the Chicago Tribune:

Fred Rodewald, a German immigrant homesteader who had settled with his family on 320 acres in eastern Montana, uttered a sentence that forever changed his life.

He suggested that Americans “would have hard times” if Germany’s kaiser “didn’t get over here and rule this country.”

That remark earned him 2 years in prison for violating Montana’s Sedition Act.

Oh, should probably clarify: this took place in April 1918.

Department of Eerie Historical Parallels | Heroines and Heroes

Down the Bathtub Drain

I’m going to take Joe’s word that this woman is a winger, I’ve never heard of her or don’t remember if I have.

Right winger Kathleen Parker, in her latest column, tries to help Bush with that pesky definition of “victory.” But, this is how she gives him some love:

Staying the course is no one’s easy road, and Bush is his own worst enemy some days. He seems tired of his own slogans and platitudes. We won’t cut and run. We’ll stand down when they stand up. Shift to the left, shift to the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight.

In one of his speeches, Bush seemed to lose interest in his own text and didn’t bother to complete a sentence about the Iraqi elections. Weary-looking and gray, he has aged dramatically in five years.

Yes, that’s the man who is leading us to “victory.”

Department of Fat Chance! | Election Fraud

Why do Republicans hate the rule of law?

The Times hands the Op-Ed pages over the some winger shills today, but I don’t think lawyers Rivkin and Casey earned the usual thousand smackeroos—Hi Armstrong!—whichever VRWC front organization is handing out today. Because the arguments they make in favor of Bush’s secret surveillance program are—and I know you’ll find this just as hard to believe as I did—obfuscatory:

Fascism Rising | Republican Lying

Why do Republicans hate democracy?

They use every trick in the book, don’t they? Gerrymandering, voter IDs that cost twenty bucks… And let’s not even get into the high tech stuff. But here’s a new wrinkle from the New York Times:

Right Wing Target Marketing


Color Coding = Media Type
Light Green: Print Media
Orange: TV
Light Brown: Radio
Light Blue: Internet/Blogs

Size of Blob = Reach AKA Relative Size of Audience

Note: If you already buy in to the idea that Politics is Marketing and are familiar with the concept of Target Marketing please skip ahead to the end. Otherwise, let’s inroduce some of the assumptions behind this chart.

King Kong, Revolutionary

Just a short post as I’m swamped with work and a mountain of unattended emails. I just got back from Jackson’s “King Kong,” and like a lot of folks online, I really enjoyed it. Granted, it’s hardly a political movie or one that has great social value; rather it’s the kind of unoffensive, purely for entertainment’s sake product Hollywood used to do so well.

President Shit Magnet

Remember this one? AP:

Right after he was re-elected [sic] with just a 3.5 million-vote margin in the popular vote, Bush proudly claimed a mandate to pursue an aggressive agenda. “I earned capital in the campaign — political capital — and now I intend to spend it. It is my style,” he said.

Department of Schadenfreude

"They're ALL Armstrong Williams!"

Massive takedown by Reddhedd:

Pantload Media
When the wingnuts chant their talking points like a bunch of tambourine-beaters at the airport, they want to be paid for their efforts. And Pajamas Media was set up to do just that. They received by some accounts $7 million dollars to subsidize 70 right wing bloggers, and if you look at their sites there are no ads, many don’t even identify their affiliation with a logo.

Fascist Meme Transmitters

The "Inherent Weaselity" Theory

So if Bush has all the “inherent authority” He claims to have, why does He even bother to have His lackeys show up in court? Prawfsblawg asked the same question, using fancier words:

Bush Panopticon | Fascism Rising

America: Spend Money on NOLA. Republicans: Spend money on Iraq

Is Bush out of touch, or what? WaPo:

According to a poll this month for the Hotline political newsletter, which asked whether Congress should tackle Iraq or the Katrina recovery first in 2006, Americans wanted the Gulf Coast rebuilt by 58 percent to 28 percent.

He's not just the commander-in-chief, he's the editor-in-chief!

How inspiring to the masses that Dear Leader has so many skills! Howie in WaPo:

President Bush has been summoning newspaper editors lately in an effort to prevent publication of stories he considers damaging to national security.

Bush Panopticon | Double-Ply Journalism

WaPo's Froomkin to spend more time with his family?

Literally, yes (scroll all the way down).

Of course, I’m sure that there’s no reason to read anything into that.

No reason at all.

Department of How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

LA Times: Bush warrantless surveillance "looks at everything" including "Aunt Molly"

Of course, Bush lied to us about the scale of His warrantless surveillance program, and it took all of a day for that lie to unravel. Now, the experts, the insiders, the well connected are all wondering: How bad is it, really? The consensus is: Pretty bad. And domestic surveillance—not this “foreign” figleaf—is almost certainly involved. Merry Christmas, America! The LA Times:

Bush Panopticon | Corporatism | Department of No! They Would Never to Do That!

After we're all done ripping open the presents...

… and are slumped in our chairs and our sofas and our La-Z-Boys, stunned from the orgy of consumerism and glassy-eyed, here are two things to remember:

1. Stuff doesn’t make you happy. This is an economist’s perspective from Big Picture, and it’s interesting. (“Stuff” modulo “stuff” like food and shelter, of course).

2. You can make keen signs with the packaging. For example, “Impeach Bush.” The freeway blogger shows how.

Once more, Merry Christmas.

I'm just wild about Harry!

From Harry to George: