Friday, September 29, 2006

Sean Hannity: GM's new bitch

General Motors has chosen Sean Hannity to be its spokesman for a new marketing effort. The helmet-haired, ranting liar of FOX’s “Hannity and Colmes” is going to represent one of America’s best-known companies to the world in the, "You're a great American" campaign. GM products—Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, etc.—will now carry the stamp, “Wingnut Approved” on all models. I think droopy-faced Pat Buchanan would have looked far more natural behind the wheel of a Hummer chasing illegal immigrants through the Arizona desert, but nobody asked.

The question is, how will Ford counter? Perhaps they can get Ann Coulter to try and jump the Grand Canyon in an F100 (Ah, she missed). Or hire Michael Savage to spearhead the “If-you-don’t-own-a-Ford-you’re-an-Al-Qaeda-sympathizer” campaign. Can you imagine the boardroom conversation that lead up to the Hannity decision?

“How about this? Let’s get one of the most ignorant, hate-filled, divisive characters on television to sell our products.”

“Great idea, J.B. Brilliant.”

A boycott should spring up over this. It is very discouraging. As we try desperately to wrench back our country from the dangerously inept dictator-in-chief and his minions, GM goes out of its way to confirm to everyone in the world who owns a TV set or looks at a billboard that, yes, we really are a country of reactionary morons. And we’re damned proud of it.

Maybe, just maybe, there is a way to fight back.

“Hello, Peugot? I’ve got Michael Moore on the line.”

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mainstream media continues its retreat from reality

It is so discouraging hearing reporters in the MSM provide cover for the disastrous Bush administration night after night. As part of an ABC newscast, George Stephanopoulos made the following comment regarding the partially released NIE report critical of the situation in Iraq. “But the report also does offer some validation for the president's military strategy. It says success in Iraq is a key to containing the threat. It also says that political reform, democratic reform, is a key to containing the threat. The president's made both those points.”

This line of reasoning is straight from the Republican talking points memo sent out that day. There was no terrorist threat from Iraq prior to our invasion. Every expectation the administration had regarding Iraq has proven wrong. The country is now a breeding ground for terrorists because of the administration’s poor post-war planning and complete lack of understanding of the religious situation in the Middle East, and has nothing to do with strategy of any kind. The “threat” emanating from Iraq is Bush’s fault, yet Stephanopoulos makes it sound as if the President is the great hope for peace in the region.

George Bush is the problem, not the solution.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dems, do you want to win? I can't hear you....

Okay, here’s American political reality in a nutshell: Republicans are in power for two reasons. One, they cheat. If there’s a fight, they point over your shoulder and say, “Hey, who’s that?” and when you look, they kick you in the balls. End of fight. You lose. Unfortunately, Democrats fall for it every time. For a variety of dark reasons—ends justify the means, it’s okay ‘cause God’s on my side, losing is for suckers, I’m white with a one-syllable name— conservatives are more than willing to cheat and lie to win.

That’s difficult enough for an opposing party that 1) keeps wanting to play by the rules of common civility, and 2) are too cowardly to stand up for themselves, let alone for what’s right, but Republicans have a second and more powerful weapon: the money continuum.

The money continuum is very simple yet highly effective. Money is the key to power in the United States. You need lots of money to win elections. Who has lots of money? Very rich people and very large corporations. So for you to get money from them, you need to be on their side and stand up for their interests. Hence, the modern Republican Party.

Large tax breaks for the wealthy result in large campaign donations from these same people. Bending over backwards to help the Halliburtons and the GEs and the Cargills increase their profits means lots of open checkbooks at election time.

It’s all about the money. The great mystery that has been discussed by “What’s the Matter with Kansas,” author Thomas Frank and others is this: Why don’t common, every day Joes and Janes see the blatant disregard Republicans have for average working-class folks? Mom and Pop are getting screwed and asking for more. It is one of the astounding feats of political slight-of-hand to watch Republicans hand John Doe five bucks in a tax break and then take five hundred bucks from his pension, health care, property taxes, energy expenses, etc., all to benefit large donors to the Republican Party.

The Rovian approach is simple, sinister and successful. What can we do about it? My solution is neither novel nor clever. Democrats simply need to stand up bravely for their convictions. Like the perennial weakling getting sand kicked in his face, it’s time to stand up and say “No more.” Stop calibrating. Stop triangulating. Stop equivocating. Start using the power of the truth. Say it loud and say it proud. It’s simple but by no means easy to do, which is why too many Democrats run scared from it. The time to stop running is right now.

Democratic candidates for office, please keep in mind one thing this year. It’s not about winning an election; it’s about rescuing democracy. Start believing it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Post-administration Traumatic Shock Syndrome

Dr. Melvin,

Here is the list you asked me to make. Some of my goals fall into the “aspirational” category, but others are very practical in nature. And you were right. I do feel more confident about my future having done this exercise, but I also feel slightly aroused. Is that bad?

Things I want to accomplish in the coming year:

• Start my intimate shaving business
• Choose a new personal catch phrase to replace “Remember 9/11.”
• Stop wasting time trying to get the Olsen twins’ address and phone number
• Sharpen 335 pencils in one hour
• Cancel my subscription to “Babes ‘n Bikes.”
• Have my condo fumigated
• Make eye contact and speak to my neighbors
• Discover and punish my feminine side
• Turn OFF the Cartoon Channel
• Find my brand

Thank you again, Dr. Melvin. I really feel that my life is moving in a new direction as a result of your work. Wish me luck.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bush locked in a cell of his own making

Whenever those of us living in the reality-based world hear Bush speak about the Iraq war, we are always left shaking our heads in wonderment. What FOX pundits and Christian Fundamentalists see as moral conviction and steadfastness, the rest of us see as the arrogant denial of a disturbed mind.

We might both be wrong. What are George’s options?

With his lies, blunders, missteps, mismanagement, ignorance, arrogance and absence of curiosity, he has built an iron cell around himself from which there is no escape. All habitual liars eventually become prisoners of their lies. Even if the impossible was possible and George was totally in control of his mental facilities (I know. Bear with me), and his moral compass was pointed in the right direction, he has no other options now but to stick with his “stay the course” blather. What else can he do?

How does one say, “I’m sorry” for the needless death of thousands of Americans, tens of thousands of Iraqis, the destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure, alienating our allies, torturing people, spying on innocent Americans, blah, blah, blah? Should we even expect that from a man with no personal courage or character?

George has no choice but to pretend his cell isn’t real, that black is white, that failure is success. No amount of logic will reach him behind his mental bars. Clinging to a cynical world of religious mumbo jumbo and super-sized national icons is the only thing that keeps Bush from washing down the whole bottle of sleeping pills.

Others in the administration have their own reasons for feeding George’s fantasies, with staying out of jail being at the top of the list. George’s denial goes much deeper, though, to a place where huge mistakes grow larger and larger by eating at the soul as they wait to be set free by confession. Unfortunately for all of us, it is a confession that Bush will never have the courage to make.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New ABC shows currently in production

Everybody Hates Bill
Everything former President Bill Clinton does is wrong, and his wacky friends, family and neighbors never let him forget it. Criminally insane wife Hillary only adds to the comic chaos.

Set in the Old West, a lone cowboy arrives in the dying town of Deadwood. Run for years by a socialist cabal, the town is slowly being crushed under the weight of repressive taxes, over-regulation and social programs run amok. Our hero, known only as Newt, hires on as the new sheriff and pledges to clean up the town and restore traditional American values.

Law & Order: Extreme Punishment
The scum of the earth are brought to justice in this gritty police drama. Fired from the NYPD for using excessive force, former detectives Hannity and Driscoe establish their own EP (Extreme Punishment) Unit and begin cleaning up the city using any force necessary. The rulebook goes out the window and Miranda is sent packing as the two vigilantes break bones and bust heads for true justice.

Heaven’s to Betsy
What would America be like if it were truly a Christian Nation? In this heartwarming comedy, Betsy Armstrong and her family find out when a national religious leader overthrows the elected government and institutes biblical law. Dress codes, mandatory church attendance and stoning are all part of daily life in the fictional town of New Eden.

The Ann Coulter Show
Powerhouse pundit Ann Coulter showcases her charming and witty side in this all-American variety show. Ann sings, dances and executes illegal immigrants during an hour of fun family entertainment. A few of Ann’s guest performers will include the Marine Corps Band, Daughters of the American Revolution Choir, Charleton Heston, and the rock band, White Pride Riot.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The true lesson of 9/11 in pictures

Thanks to Stop George at Daily Kos.

Friday, September 08, 2006

One for the good guys

It appears today that the ABC docudrama “The Path to 9/11” may be pulled before its scheduled airing this weekend. This would be a major victory for America’s left, which has had very few things to cheer about in recent years. I wrote to ABC, Scholastic, and a sponsor, Edward Jones, asking them all to reconsider their involvement in this very flawed project. Even though I was only one of tens of thousands of voices, I feel a part of this victory. We took a page from the Right’s playbook and used it against them.

We were heard, but it was a Herculean effort that included the direct intercession of former President Clinton. The victory is all the sweeter because it is a constant uphill battle for progressives on every political front. With Republicans in control all three branches of government, most cable news programs and, to a certain extent, network news, the entire power structure of this country is aligned against us. Yet “people power” is still alive and kicking thanks in great part to the internet. If you compare the amount of coverage given the ABC film in the mainstream media to the coverage happening on the net, you get a clear picture of the influence blogs are having on the political process.

“The Path to 9/11” may be the first real battle of the campaign season. Let’s hope it’s the first of many victories in our efforts to reclaim American democracy.