Saturday, October 28, 2006

Balanced Reporting

This article presents both the A and not A as true. I think this is what counts for balance now.

The banner on the front page of MSNBC: MAKING GAINS: Poll shows Bush, GOP closing gap with Dems

The article? Well...not so much:
As the race for Congress enters the homestretch, the Republicans find themselves limping to the finish line, according to the new NEWSWEEK Poll. President Bush’s approval rating continues a slow but steady climb—from an all-time NEWSWEEK-poll low of 33 percent three weeks ago to 37 percent today. But it may be too little, too late: if the midterm elections were held today, 53 percent of those likely to go to the polls would vote for the Democratic candidate in their Congressional district versus just 39 percent who would vote for the Republican.

We Care About You

We at Discomo truly care about you, our religious conservative readers. Hell, I mean Heck, it's been a rough time. Here you thought that you could vote for a Republican administration that was inherently good because Bush prays like you pray. I mean sure, to date he has sent almost 50,000 civilians in Iraq to their death. Sure, he cut programs to help the poor, supports the death penalty, and actually doesn't take you seriously [here and here]. It's all ok, he's against abortion. Then, your Grand Old Party gets found protecting pedophiles.

Well buck up, you bible-belters! There's a cool new game for you, Left Behind: Eternal Forces. Now you don't even have to leave your couch to proselytize!
1) Start Spreading the News In addition to points for standard attributes like Health, Strength, and Attack Speed, each avatar accumulates Spirit points, which help players convert the heathens. Pray regularly for more Spirit points – if one of your teammates runs low, they're susceptible to sinful temptations.

2) Shout at the Devil It's bad enough that the Antichrist commands a UN-like international army – he also has devil-worshipping heavy metal on his side. Get too close to satanic rock stars and the game warns, "Beware of musicians! They may play their screaming guitars to influence you to their side."

3) Surrender to Jesus According to the book series this game is based on, all this maneuvering by mere mortals is ultimately moot anyway, for the Lord returns to Earth, vanquishes his foes, and takes the faithful to heaven. Sorry, Lucifer, no power-up can help you defeat this final boss!

Friday, October 27, 2006


I have determined to put my money where my mouth is by offering a prediction for the upcoming elections. I believe the following will occur:
  • The Democrats will take the House of Representatives by five seats.
  • The Democrats will not take the Senate, but will be within one.
    • We will pick up Senate seats in PA, MT, OH and RI.
    • We will maintain all Senate seats currently held by Dems
    • We will lose in TN and VA.
  • Howard Dean will not get any credit for our successes.
This last prediction is particularly irksome, if there is one person who is responsible for the change in the Democratic party it is the good doctor. He has employed a brilliant strategy in going back to the local level, as more districts were in play than ever before. This strategy will continue to play huge dividends in the coming years.

Why won't he get the credit he deserves? Because he went outside the Beltway. To the mob of political insiders, the idea of actually building a base at the community level is like putting ketchup on Cheerios. In their view, the way to build political movements is to meekly put your points across on the Sunday talk shows.


I have meant to post this for a while, but have never gotten around to it. So here it is...

Philly is a pretty terrific place and you would probably have to be a freedom hater to not visit.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

More proof

In my last post I talked about having class. Interestingly enough, the Republicans go on to show that they lack any sense of decency. What a bunch of losers.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A lesson to learn

When I was in high school, my favorite coach told our soccer team that no matter what you do, you always play with class. There is a lesson here for the Republican Party, as they are running racist and sexist ads in Tennessee

The Dems response? Here is Senate Candidate Harold Ford Jr.

Which one do you think is playing with class?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sometimes listening to the President is like drinking sulfuric acid

On ABC's This Week yesterday morning, George Bush gave this response to a question by George Stephanopoulos:
STEPHANOPOULOS: James Baker says that he’s looking for something between “cut and run” and “stay the course.”

BUSH: Well, hey, listen, we’ve never been “stay the course,” George. We have been — we will complete the mission, we will do our job, and help achieve the goal, but we’re constantly adjusting to tactics. Constantly.

You know, it wouldn't be all that hard to expose this lie. All you would need is some visual evidence that the President used that exact terminology. Where could you find such evidence? Oh, I don't know...maybe here?

Perhaps the folks who put this movie together could work for CBS or the AP, as they obviously need someone who can check the public record.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Heaven Help Us

From AmericaBlog, this is a link to a BBC documentary that is following a US Army unit in Iraq. It is absolutely horrifying to watch, as it lays out in no uncertain terms that we are, unfortunately, doomed to fail.


As you can see in the video, the US Army has an impossible task. They are supposed to a) protect themselves from harm and b) encourage the Iraqis to 'stand up'. When they attempt a) they almost certainly fail at b) & when they try b) they put their own lives at risk, thus negating a). You also cannot blame the Iraqis for this, they are just doing what they can to stay alive. In a perfect world, they would be able to work with the Americans without worry. Instead, they live in communities with people who are determined to harm them if they cooperate with the US.

In watching this video, I can't help but seethe with anger. Four years ago, the airwaves and newspapers were saturated with 'serious' thinkers who saw our involvement in Iraq as a realistic and rational foreign policy. Anyone who deviated from the accepted hawkish view on Iraq was seen as an unhinged moonbat. Anyone who asked what the long term plan was going to be was labeled an alarmist. Yet, time after time we were proven right and it is not fun to be right about such matters.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bush is drinking again! (Late Late Show)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Don't step to Jeff Tweedy

So, basically the best songwriter in the country had a fan come up and try to hug him when they were playing a show in Springfield, MO. Here are a few rules on how to deal with the band:

Rule One, don't mess with Wilco, cuz they will provide the beat down-

Rule Two, don't mess with Wilco, cuz if you do, Jeff Tweedy will get really sad-

Hat tip to the most Irish person on the planet.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A comparison in political strategy

There is a good reason why the Republicans need to be removed from power in November, here is a small sample of the types of campaigns they are running:

  • In Massachusetts, they have accused Deval Patrick of being a criminal (which has been compared to the Lee Atwater inspired Willie Horton ad in 1988).
  • In North Carolina, they have accused the Democratic incumbent of supporting the idea of having teenage girls view pornography.
  • In Ohio, the Republican candidate for Governor has tried to insinuate that his opponent is linked to sexual predators.
Meanwhile, on the side of the Democrats, they have taken to calling for the Common Good, which has been a long time coming.

Please go vote on November 7th, we need to put the Repubs out of office.

It is time to get the message out

According to more than a few news reports, the Dems are looking ready for a November landslide. Yet, one of the elements of the campaign that has been missing is the "so what". If the Democrats come into power, how is that going to change the way the country is run? Unfortunately, the Dems have run on the platform that they are not the Republicans, and while that notion may garner some initial attention, it does not get people out to the polls.

Well, this article from the Washington Post offers some terrific insights into what the first few months of Democratic rule would mean:
In the House, the Democrats have made clear that there's a first tier of legislation they mean to bring to a vote almost immediately after the new Congress convenes. It includes raising the minimum wage, repealing the Medicare legislation that forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices, replenishing student loan programs, funding stem cell research and implementing those recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission that have thus far languished.
This is exactly the message that needs to come out. The Dems have great ideas and on the vast majority of issues the American people are in agreement with them (contrary to what the press would like to report). Also, there is another nugget in the article about how the Dems will try and return order to Congress:
Cognizant that they will owe their victory in part to the public's revulsion at the way Congress does (or avoids) business, the Democrats also plan to revise House rules to enable the opposition party to introduce amendments and to sit on conference committees, from which Republicans have routinely excluded them since Tom DeLay became majority leader. They also will ban members from accepting gifts and paid trips from lobbyists.
I think this is one of the problems with Republican rule that has gotten lost in the fog of political war, most people are unaware that Tom Delay completely changed the rules governing Congress. After taking power they stripped the minority party of, virtually, all protections; thus, creating a political system that is far different then what the Founding Fathers envisioned. And while turnabout could be considered fair play, it is more important for our country to have healthy democratic institutions.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Olbermann Pt. 2: Bush Ridicules His Faith-Based Base

Bush Insider Speaks Out On How Republicans Use Evangelicals

Olbermann reviews the interesting manipulations of Christian Evangelicals in the Bush White House.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Something neat

As some of you may know, my academic focus is on the different ways advertising and marketing impact both the individual and society. One avenue I am interested in is how marketing relies on showing us the 'unreal' while, simultaneaously, convincing the audience that they are seeing real life. In that same vein, Dove has started on the 'Campaign for Real Beauty' which uses average people to sell their products and for a number of reasons (which I will not enumerate here) fascinates me.

For instance, check out this video they put together of a model going from regular everyday person to billboard material. I think it is one of the best ads I have ever seen.

hmmmm....that's weird

A couple of days ago I posted this, in regards to Condi Rice's visit to Fox News Sunday. Well, it turns out that Fox was sent 20,000 e-mails asking Chris Wallace to follow up about the USS Cole and, wouldn't you know it, he didn't ask.

If you can't trust the journalists at Faux News to ask the hard hitting questions who can you trust?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Republicans Blame "Democratic Operatives"

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ocum’s razor? How 'bout Norquist's Bathtub?

News today in the Washington Post that Grover Norquist pandered to lobbyists like Jack Abramoff to affect lawmakers. Wow, these Republican "operatives" are really driven by values. Norquist is known for saying "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years," he says, "to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."For what purpose, better for the people? No, just better to his special interest groups. I love that smug Jonah Goldberg, who recently said in an article that liberals are different from social conservatives because...
What liberals don't understand is that social conservatives actually believe their moral rhetoric, even when it's politically inconvenient.
No matter how much evidence stacks against their leaders and the conservative "movement," they still play upon the Christians-as-victims self-rightous party line. Have fun in the minority.

Sweet sweet Condi is on Fox

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is going to be on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. As has been revealed since the infamous Clinton appearance, Chris Wallace has neither been fair nor balanced with his questioning.

Here is a chance to hold his feet to the fire, e-mail Mr. Wallace and request that he ask those tough questions to Secretary Rice.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Broken record

I have brought this up before, but if you are not watching Keith Olbermann there is something wrong with you. He is usually pretty funny, remarkably poignant at times and almost always dead-on. Case in point (from Crooks and Liars).

Tell your friends to watch.

Party like it's 2003!

I caught this on MSNBC today, as I am a huge Streisand fan. The headline kills me:

Streisand’s outburst spoils triumphant return

Singer shouts expletive at heckler during anti-Bush skit during NYC show

I don't think fans of Streisand were all that dissappointed or shocked to discover that she is not a fan of President Bush. First, only if you lived under a rock would you be surprised to know that Streisand is an outspoken Democrat. Second, it is 2006 and the President is about as popular as genital warts, this isn't another case of Dixie Chickitis circa 2003. I am sure the vast majority of people loved what she had to say.

The problem here is that there is a large contingency of the press that believes President Bush is popular. Contrary to any and all evidence, they think it is a mainstream belief to love this guy and it is probably the chief reason why his approval rating isn't lower (in the teens).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Oh yeah, Bush was on the case

I would have more confidence in Bush finding the Pink Panther than dealing with just about anything else.

I am posting the following in full, I found it on Rox Populi (she got it from Bob Woodward's new book), just remember it when the Bush administration tries to scare the bejesus out of you in hopes of getting you to vote for the GOP (the President's dialogue is in bold):
George W. pulled Bandar aside.
"Bandar, I guess you're the best asshole who knows about the world. Explain to me one thing."
"Governor, what is it?"
"Why should I care about North Korea?"
Bandar said he didn't really know. It was one of the few countries that he did not work on for King Fahd.
"I get these briefings on all parts of the world," Bush said, "and everybody is talking to me about North Korea."
"I'll tell you what, Governor," Bandar said. "One reason should make you care about North Korea."
"All right, smart alek," Bush said, "tell me."
"The 38,000 American troops right on the border." ..."If nothing else counts, this counts. One shot across the border and you lose half these people immediately. You lose 15,000 Americans in a chemical or biological or even regular attack. The United State of America is at war instantly."
"Hmmm," Bush said. "I wish those assholes would put things just point-blank to me. I get half a book telling me about the history of North Korea."
"Now I tell you another answer to that. You don't want to care about North Korea anymore?" Bandar asked. The Saudis wanted America to focus on the Middle East and not get drawn into a conflict in East Asia.
"I didn't say that," Bush replied.
"But if you don't, you withdrawl those troops back. Then it becomes a local conflict. Then you have the whole time to decide, 'Should I get involved? Not involved?' Etc."
At that moment, Colin Powell approached.
"Colin," Bush said, "come here. Bandar and I were shooting the bull, just two fighter pilots shooting the bull." He didn't mention the topic.
"Mr. Governor," Bandar said, "General Powell is almost a fighter pilot. He can shoot the bull almost as good as us."
Words fail me.

Very good news

Typically, it would be hard to get excited about this as it doesn't mention specific candidates. However, things are looking very good for the Dems in November. From the USA Today:

WASHINGTON — Four weeks before congressional elections, a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows Democrats hold a 23-point lead over GOP candidates. That's double the lead Republicans had a month before they seized control of Congress in 1994.

President Bush's approval rating was 37%, down from 44% in a Sept. 15-17 poll. The approval rating for Congress was 24%, down 5 points from last month.

I am a bit more optimistic about this because with only a month to go, the Dems are going to start pulling money out of campaigns they can easily win (e.g. NY-Sen, PA-Gov, MN-Sen) and putting into races that are very close (e.g. MO-Sen, VA-Sen, TN-Sen) or leaning Republican (e.g. NV-Sen, AZ- Sen, MI-Gov). Republicans, on the other hand, will not be able to shift as many resources, as the Dems will now be more competitive in seats that were originally thought to be safe.

And, it seems, the Republicans share the same assessment. From the Washington Post, they are expecting to lose as many as 30 seats:
Republican campaign officials said yesterday that they expect to lose at least seven House seats and as many as 30 in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, as a result of sustained violence in Iraq and the page scandal involving former GOP representative Mark Foley.
Keep your fingers crossed...

Oh yeah...what the hell is this? From the same article:
At the same time, the White House plans to amplify national security issues, especially the threat of terrorism, after North Korea's reported nuclear test, in hopes of shifting the debate away from casualties and controversy during the final month of the campaign. These efforts are aimed largely at prodding disaffected conservatives to vote for GOP candidates despite their unease.
You have got to be kidding me, the President is fully responsible for the mess in Korea and he is going to use that as a reason to vote for Republicans and his agenda? Say what you want about the guy, he's got some big brass b...well, you get the picture.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

This has to be the Democrats fault

News from North Korea tonight is that they have tested their first nuclear device. It may take a couple of days to know for certain, but all signs indicate that it is for real.

This is a direct consequence of Bush's horribly failed foreign policy, every step he has taken on North Korea has been wrong. From refusing to engage with them, to his cowboy posturing, and to invading Iraq, each decision he has made has pushed North Korea to this point. I just hope that the damage being done is reversible and the boot-licking Republicans and press stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Unfortunately, I think we will get more of the same. The Cult of Bush will declare that now, more than ever, we need to listen to the President and the press will write stories about how this story is good for the administration.

These people live in a world where complex problems can be solved with simple solutions. They believe that if the President acts tough enough, any and all problems can be solved. What sucks for the rest of us, is that the world doesn't work that way. Complex problems require complex solutions that are not always pretty. For all of our sake, we need some leadership that understands that.

UPDATE: A special prize goes to the fine folks at MSNBC for being the first to write about how this fiasco is good for the Bush administration. If they just read Josh Marshall, maybe they would understand why it is not good for anyone.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hastert Did Not Apologize

Mainstream media continues to insist that Dennie Hastert apologized for the Foley/Page scandal, taking "full responsility." Yes, except that part where he said "I haven't done anything wrong" in the same interview. Damn "liberal media." Now, the paradigm or virtue, Focus on the Family uber-priest James Dobson suggests that the page scandal is an overblown prank by the pages, that they weren't actually victims. WWJD? I doubt blame the children, you jerk. I guess Jesus has other things to occupy his time, as seen in a guide from Dobson's Focus on the Family, on how to discuss the election in the church:
If a congregant says her top concerns are healthcare and national security, suggest that Jesus would make abortion and gay marriage priorities.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ad nauseam

Wonderful photographer, Paul Fusco, has been working on his photojournalism project, A Bitter Fruit. Here, he documents what we are not "supposed to see," the tragedy as it comes home in coffins and broken families.

A War without casualties? A war where only the evil get hurt? As much as we would like to believe this, such an idea does not exist. War produces casualties and destroys lives. Since the beginning of the Iraqi war the government has consistently tried to divert media attention both visually and factually. An obvious example of that effort was closing Dover Air Force Base to the press so we cannot see rows of flag-draped coffins ready to be shipped to grieving families.

As increasing numbers of families grieve in the small towns of America, Paul Fusco shows us the bitter truth associated with the intolerable loss and pain from this war.

More here and here.

Why aren't we allowed to see our soldiers coming home, "President" Bush, Sec. Rumsfeld?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Real Mark Foley

I think this guy has gotten a lot of bad press over a little misunderstanding. Here is the transcript:

Maf54 (7:37:27 PM): how my favorite young stud doing
Editorz (7:37:52 PM): he’s ok
Editorz (7:38:32 PM): just gave him some oats
Maf54 (7:39:32 PM): tahts good
Editorz (7:39:37 PM): thanks for letting me take care of your pony, btw
Editorz (7:39:44 PM): my apartment is small but he seem happy here
Maf54 (7:40:32 PM): you need a massage
Editorz (7:41:32 PM): I’m going to ride him around the kitchen again
Maf54 (7:42:27 PM): love to watch that
Maf54 (7:42:33 PM): those great legs running
Editorz (7:42:52 PM): The kitchen’s kinda asmall
Editorz (7:43:20 PM): cant really do much more then a slow trot
You can read the whole transcript here at The Poor Man Institute, while you are there you can watch Ann 'Respected Vietnam Historian' Coulter and Michelle 'racism is my day job, smearing war heroes is more of a hobby' Malkin get it handed to them. All three links are great time wasters.

Good idea

From an article in The Hill, Congressional Democrats are going to block pay raises for themselves until the minimum wage is increased.

Democrats are renewing their vow to impede the annual congressional pay raise until the minimum wage is increased, but their options for a successful block during the lame-duck session likely depend on the outcome of the Nov. 7 midterm election.
This is the kind of think Democrats need to do more of, and it is amazing that it hasn't come up before. One of the ways for the party to gain traction with voters is to get the message out that they are part of the population, rather than a convenient proxy.