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Archive for February, 2007

Protective Gear Must Be Worn In This Area

Posted by scott on February 23rd, 2007

Sorry for the silent running this week.  I’ve been down with a flu bug, and s.z. has apparently gone off the grid.  Hope to get back to regular posting in a day or two.

Looks like we’ll have to stop subcontracting Gavin at Sadly, No! to concoct embarrassing Photoshop portraits of American Greetings executives.  Their Blue Mountain e-card division has heard the voices, as President Bush might say, and opted to drop the Democrats in Bondage line, rather than balance it with depictions of John McCain and Rudy Guiliani in ball gags and three-strap penis cages.  Mustn’t lower the level of discourse, after all.

Maryc forwarded me the following email, which a chastened Blue Mountain rep sent to a friend of hers who had joined in the chorus of disapproval:


Thank you for contacting BlueMountain.com Customer Service.

Thank you for sharing your feedback. Political satire is popular with our subscribers. However, we understand that this particular e-card was offensive to you and others. Therefore, we have removed it from the site. We
apologize to you, and to the others we offended. We always appreciate consumer feedback, and will take your
comments into consideration when developing political satire in the future.

Thank you,
Joshua M
Your Customer Support Representative

Well, not to belabor the point, but I don’t see how depicting the non-sexually repressed party as a bunch of costumed submissives qualifies as satire, political or otherwise, but no doubt the laugh track from Fox’s Half Hour News Hour would find it funny.

Still, any bets that “when developing political satire in the future,” Blue Mountain puts out a series of Valentine cards showing Dick Cheney, naked but for a leather posing pouch, leading George W. Bush around on a leash, and pausing occasionally to make the nude Commander-in-Chief swish flies with his horsetail butt-plug?

Was there ever a time when our pundits were smarter than our populace?  Granted, the 24-hour news cycle – much like the Iraq War – has forced cable chat shows to lower their recruitment standards to the point where even Dan Riehl is asked his opinion of the pre-fab controversy de jour.  But back in the Fifties, when television news was still in diapers –and cloth diapers, the kind you had to safety pin! – every town of respectable size had one or more local newspapers, often both morning and evening editions, and not infrequently, an indigenous brewery.  So there was plenty of opportunity for Triple A farm club-quality blowhards to dip their spleen in printers ink and give it a squeeze over the Op-Ed page.
            But now newspapers are undergoing a mass extinction event the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the Permian-Triassic transition, and yet scarce remaining column inches are turned over weekly to the likes of Jonah Goldberg, a man who – as public intellectuals go – makes Jethro Bodine look like Bertrand Russell.
            I used to believe that the most annoying characteristic of stupid-people-who-are-paid-to-tell-us-what-to-think is their factory standard belief that they’re smarter than everyone else.  But I’ve changed my mind; that rates a distant second now, behind their conviction that everyone else is not only less smart, but as stupid as a tubeworm.  I suspect this is a byproduct of Wingnut Welfare: if someone were to award me a sinecure where all I had to do was lift my leg periodically and expel some gaseous, half-digested insight, then bleg for readers to email me supporting evidence, I might also come to the conclusion that being smart is effortless.  And anyone who isn’t getting paid for sitting around all day eating Frosted Pop-Tarts and downloading Star Trek slash is a barely sentient loser.
            So Jonah breezes in, all Harold Hill-like, and to sell us rubes a wagonload of tubas:

If you believe that the war on terror is real — really real — then you think it is inevitable that more and bloodier conflicts with radical Islam are on the way, regardless of who is in the White House. If the clash of civilizations is afoot, then the issues separating Democrats and Republicans are as pressing as whether the captain of the Titanic is going to have fish or chicken for dinner. There’s a showdown coming. Period. Full stop. My task isn’t to convince you that this view is correct (though I basically believe it is), but merely that it is honestly and firmly held by many on the right and by a comparative handful on the left.

Personally, I’m hard-pressed to name anybody on the left who still believes this.  (And the first person who mentions Joe Lieberman gets bitch-slapped with a copy of Kenneth Pollack’s .  But I could be wrong.  Does anybody with any credibility on the left actually think there’s a “clash of civilizations” in progress?  Is liberal Western democracy about to be felled by the reaping scimitars of the Taliban?  I don’t know…To me, the fact that a bunch of illiterate religious fanatics abetted a bunch of middle-class religious fanatics who managed to knock down some buildings and kill 3000 people in a sneak attack isn’t evidence of a “clash of civilizations.”  It’s the logline for a remake of The Mouse That Roared directed by James Wan.

And that’s the problem: Only a handful of people on the left — and far too few liberals — see radical Islamists as a bigger threat than George W. Bush.

Maybe that’s because George W. Bush is in charge of the most powerful country on the planet, while – our allies the Saudis excepted – “radical Islamists” aren’t in charge of any country, except the country George Bush put them in charge of.

Which is why if you really think that we are in an existential conflict with a deadly enemy, there’s a good case for the Democrats to take the reins. Not because Democrats are better, wiser or more responsible about foreign policy. That’s a case for Democrats to make about themselves and certainly not one many on the right believe. No, the argument, felt in places we don’t talk about at cocktail parties

Great.  Now I’m thinking about the places Jonah DOES feel at cocktail parties.

–is that the Democrats have been such irresponsible backseat drivers that they have to be forced to take the wheel to grasp how treacherous the road ahead is.

Um.  If I were sitting in the back seat while Dad careened all over a mountain highway in a torrential downpour, blowing past roadblocks and flashing signs screaming “Bridge Out Ahead,” and he suddenly turned the wheel over to me, I’d do what most of the backseat driving Democrats are advising:  Turn the Fucking Car Around.

The current spectacle in Congress has made it clear that the Democrats don’t believe that the war in Iraq is America’s war. They think it’s Bush’s vanity project turned albatross

As stupid as Jonah is, I have to admit, this is one of the most cogent and succinct descriptions of the Iraq War I have ever read.

It was always a bit of a myth that partisanship ended at the water’s edge.

Or at least, it’s been a pretty moribund tradition every since the Kosovo crisis, when Trent Lott remarked, “You can support the troops without supporting the president.”

But Democrats have debunked, exposed and parodied that myth.  Of course, they claim that the president started it by running foreign policy as a partisan enterprise. Fine, there’s obviously some truth there.

And the Five Day Forecast for Hell:  Overnight temperatures dipping into the teens, with highs of in the low 30s.  Watch for icy, but well-paved road conditions.

But when the likes of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Jay Rockefeller whine that they were misled into war, they’re declaring that they never took their responsibilities seriously in the first place.

Translation:  You fucked up.  You trusted us.

Of course, many Democrats sincerely believe that the war on terror is real and that Iraq is a dangerous distraction from it. But that’s not the issue.

“Some people sincerely believe that my throwing a bucket of gasoline rather than water on this smoldering pile of leaves in the yard is only going to feed the fire and cause it to quickly get out of control and burn down the house.  But that’s not the issue.”

Terror hawks think you can’t both believe the war on terror is real and argue for handing Iraq over to the enemy — even if we shouldn’t have gone in in the first place.  If the war on terror really isn’t that big a deal, hurray. Then Democrats can’t do that much damage

Because frankly, after 6 years of Bush and Cheney, there’s nothing left to break.

–and we can all argue about the minimum wage and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plane.

Judging by the recent content on Fox News, a Clash of Civilizations certainly hasn’t inhibited you from yakking about the plane thing.

If it is a big deal, Democrats need to be slapped out of their anti-Bush hysteria by real life. Australian Prime Minister John Howard — a Churchillian figure to hawks —

I frankly doubt that John Howard is a Churchillian figure to parakeets.

–said this week that Al Qaeda is “praying” for a Democratic victory in 2008. It may be.

Dr. E. Douglas Whitehead, a John Holmesian figure to his fellow penis enlargement surgeons, said this week that Jonah is “praying” for two more inches so he can finally urinate standing up.  He may well be.

But what happens when a President Clinton or Obama has a 9/11 — or worse — on her or his watch?\

I’m guessing they probably won’t take an impromptu tour of Midwestern military bases while refusing to come out of the can on Air Force One.

Or is faced by the prospect of an Iraq run by terrorists? I’d like to hope that president would rise to the occasion, out of conviction or political self-interest.

I’d settle for a president who’d just put down the damn childrens book.

For hawks who believe that the Bush White House either hasn’t been hawkish enough or has done a much better job than the conventional wisdom holds (remember, no terrorist attacks on our soil since 9/11)

Well, there’ve been bombings and stuff.  And all those letters filled with weaponized anthrax that shut down the Postal Service.  But those mostly targeted women and Democrats, and were committed by white guys, so that’s really more of a law enforcement issue.

The Worst Stupidest Person in the WORLD!

Posted by s.z. on February 16th, 2007

Well, it turns out that it’s actually Bill O’Reilly’s fault that Amanda and Melissa no longer have jobs with the Edwards campaign.  Yes, I bet Bill thinks this song is about him (even though it’s hardly flattering).  But then, he thinks that he single-handedly saved Christmas too, so these delusions are nothing new. So, here’s BillO:

Imagine, if you will, a presidential candidate hiring David Duke to work the Internet for him or her.

Then, imagine if you will, a jackass saying that a boy who was kidnapped when he was 11, and repeatedly sexually molested and threatened, was enjoying his captivity.  Now, imagine that jerk being the keynote speaker for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s annual fundraising dinner.  Yeah, only in the Twilight Zone. BTW, Bill will no longer be the speaker (“Big name radio host loses keynote speaker role“) — but not, insists Fox News, because of the avalanche of emails the Center received from people who heard about Bill’s remarks via “Countdown,” but due to a “simple scheduling conflict.”Anyway, back to Bill, as he compares Amanda and Melissa to David Duke, the founder of the Louisiana-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and general fun guy.

Mr. Duke, an avowed anti-black, anti-Jewish provocateur, spews out hate pretty much everywhere he goes. Recently, he showed up in Iran to deny the Holocaust.

But, hey, David’s not all bad — after all, he did write a self-help book for women:

Using the pseudonym Dorothy Vanderbilt, Duke published a self-help book for women, titled Finders-Keepers, in 1976. The publication gives advice to women regarding vaginal exercises, fellatio, analingus, and anal sex.  The manual is no longer in print and hard to find; however, the New Orleans Times Picayune managed to find a copy and trace the trail of its proceeds to the original author via the publisher.

Now, doesn’t Finders-Keepers sound like something that Bill would give out to his female employees — you know, as part of their health plan or something?

Any American politician who associated with the likes of Duke would be finished immediately; there’s no question about that.Yet former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards apparently felt comfortable hiring two anti-Christian bloggers named Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan to work on his campaign. Both women have a far-left, bomb-throwing history that was vividly illustrated on their respective Internet sites.

I’m pretty sure that if somebody accused Bill of having a “bomb-throwing history,” even if they just meant it as a rhetorical device, he would sue them (well, goad Fox News into suing them, and then, after that went badly, brag to women he was sexually harassing about about how someday Roger Ailes would show up at his defamers doors, and then BAM!, life as they knew it would be over). 

But let’s give Edwards the benefit of the doubt because he’s a busy guy. Let’s say he wasn’t aware of the vitriol the ladies were spitting out, and this led to the hiring mistake.Fair so far?

Sure thing, Bill!  You compared these bloggers to David Dukes, and then used language that implied they were linked to the SDS.  Fair indeed.

Now comes the crusher. The Catholic League informed Edwards that Ms. Marcotte wrote a description of Mary, the mother of Jesus, having sex with the “Lord” on her website. It was a vile piece of business that can’t even be printed in this newspaper.

So, instead we’ll print this description of what a married man said on the phone to his unwilling female employee while he was masturbating:

You would basically be in the shower and then I would come in and I’d join you and you would have your back toward me and I would take that little loofah thing … and I would put it around front, kinda rub your tummy a little bit with it, and then with my other hand I would start to massage your boobs, get your nipples really hard… ‘cuz I like that and you have really spectacular boobs…So anyway I’d be rubbing your big boobs and getting your nipples really hard, kinda kissing your neck from behind … and then I would take the other hand with the falafel thing and I’d put it on your …

Okay, that’s disgusting!  We can’t print this kind of thing in a family blog! So, let’s move on.

And what did John Edwards do? He said he “disagreed” with Marcotte’s words, but would not fire her or Ms. McEwan, who wrote on her blog that Christian believers were “mother-f—ers.”

Yeah, I’m sure that Melissa wrote that Christian believers are all ”mother-f—ers” simply by dint of their belief in Jesus Christ.

I couldn’t believe it. 

So, Bill put it on his show — and thereby did what William Donohue and his whole Catholic League couldn’t, got the women fired, and protected Mary and Baby Jesus from these “two little brats” (to quote Bill “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who would sodomize their own mothers with a smile on their faces” Donohue).

So I went on TV and told the country exactly what I have just told you. Within minutes of the broadcast, the Edwards campaign got rid of Marcotte. McEwan left the next day.

Once again, Bill has single-handedly saved the world.  Tomorrow, maybe he’ll take on a REALLY pernicious evil, like the Hamburgler.But first, he has to show that he’s not just a conqueror over little brats and presidential candidates, but also a victim.

In the far-left, Christian-bashing is totally acceptable and rarely are any consequences imposed. The only reason these two women are not working for John Edwards right now is that he didn’t want to take the heat my program was giving him.This entire shoddy episode has badly damaged Edwards, in my opinion, but it also points out that American culture, especially in the swampy blogosphere, is extremely tolerant of Christian-haters. Again, this could never have happened to any other religious or minority group.

Because Christianity is the most helpless and hapless of all the minority groups.

To me, all bigotry is unacceptable in a just society.

Hey, it’s getting late, so just read “O’Reilly’s Racist Slurs–in Context“ and write your own punch line.

You can criticize any group on the issues, but using obscenity and sacrilege to demean perceived opponents should be condemned in no uncertain terms.Even by John Edwards.

And using misrepresentation, skewed info, and out-and-out lies to demean perceived opponents should be condemned in no uncertain terms.Even by Bill O’Reilly. But maybe that only happens in the Twilight Zone also.

The Great Fabricator

Posted by scott on February 16th, 2007

Sadly, No! highlights the embarrassing case of Arkansas Alaska Republican Don Young, who entered this increasingly famous, wholly fictitious Lincoln quote into the Congressional Record:  “Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs, and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.”

Well, putting puerile and pedestrian words in the mouth of Abraham Lincoln, perhaps the finest orator to ever occupy the White House, seriously damages my morale, and well as the morale of my G.I. Joe, who is so depressed he’s lost his Kung Fu Grip, so I advise Rep. Young to lawyer up and pack his bags.

Still, inventing quotes and evidence sure makes supporting one’s morally bankrupt arguments a whole lot easier, and I see no reason why some idiotic Congressmen from the hillbilly moose-infested hinterlands should have all the fun.  So I put it to you:  What is your favorite made-up Lincoln quote?

I’ll get the ball rolling.  During the campaign of 1860, little Grace Bedell wrote to Abraham Lincoln, suggesting that he let his whiskers grow, so as to conceal his sad and homely countenance.  Lincoln promptly wrote back: “My Dear Little Miss:  Thank you for your kind advice, but I acquired all the beard I’ll ever need when I married Mary Todd.”

Ahem…American Greetings…? This Is How The Pros Do It

Posted by scott on February 15th, 2007

Successful abstract portraiture ignores the deceptive surface, instead combining seemingly disparate elements to reveal the soul of one’s subject.  So it is with good Photoshoppery.  Clumsily dubbing a dog collar and leash onto DNC Chairman Howard Dean does little to convincingly evoke the hidden wellspring of the former governor’s personality, since anyone with sufficient ego and energy to run for President is unlikely to have either the time or the patience to spend all day washing a woman’s foot with his tongue.  On the other hand, if the image had featured Dick Morris, I would have bought two.

Gavin from Sadly, No! shows us how it’s done, with a Photoshopped portrait of AG Interactive President Josef Mandalbaum that does not rely upon superficial distortion, but allows the inner man to explosively burst forth.  And then be sopped up by a giant bipedal paper towel roll infused with unholy life.

Sure, it’s a little highbrow for an e-greeting card, but I have no doubt that Gavin would be willing to sell out for the right price.  Blue Mountain?  Ball’s in your court…

George W. Bush and Anna Nichole Smith: Separated At Birth?

Posted by scott on February 15th, 2007

I’m reminded of this because for the thirty-forty seconds of Wednesday’s press conference I could stomach I was thinking, “These people asking the questions are employed by the same people who think I’m fascinated by all things Dead Anna Nicole! And they’re the same people who tried to tell me that the spastic megalomaniac at the podium is someone I’d Like To Have A Beer With.

Must read words o’ wisdom from Mr. Riley.

4 Out of 5 Republicans Recommend The Penis Gag

Posted by scott on February 14th, 2007

Raw Story brings us a piece about a line of e-greeting cards featuring prominent Democrats in virtual fetish gear:

This Valentine’s Day, one of the nation’s largest greeting card companies is circulating a satirical online greeting card that depicts “Love Democratic Style” as “throw[ing] family values out the window” and depicts House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) dressed as a dominatrix and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) as a maid. RAW STORY could not locate a similar “Love Republican Style” card at the company’s website.

Let me be the first to say it…as an example of digital image manipulation, this just flat out blows donkeys (Registered Trademark of Doghouse Riley, LLC).   And it’s all the more shameful when you realize that somebody actually got paid for that.  Now, as I have amply demonstrated on this blog, I have no Photoshop skills to speak of, but even I can play in that league.   For instance, let’s take this photo of Josef Mandalbaum –

– who oversees Blue Mountain, the subsidiary of American Greetings that produced the e-cards.  And combine it with, Oh, I don’t know…

– this picture of the Village People…

 – mix and match…and come up with…this. 


Sure it blows donkeys, but is it really any worse than this:

So, here’s the thing:  While William Donohue’s recent bout of explosive priapism may have discouraged presidential candidates from hiring bloggers, I think it’s clear that Blue Mountain Greeting Cards is in desperate need of the kind of Photoshop chops that, ironically, only a blogger can supply. 

Anyone have Sadly No’s number?

Personally, the idea of Democrats, especially boring, stodgy Democrats (as though there were any other kind these days) trussed up in bondage gear seems less risible than counterintuitive, since subs are usually sexually repressed.  While Democrats, on the other hand, are ruthless sybarites commited to the spread of “San Francisco values.”  At least, that’s what Bill O’Reilly told me breathily over the phone as he diddled himself with a chickpea delivery device.

Still, the kind of middle-aged people who go in for hired humiliation usually have an (R) after their name

Mistress Natasha, 29, a striking black-haired dominatrix in a midtown dungeon, had just finished flogging one of her clients when they began chatting, as they often do at the end of a session. “I mentioned that I had seen Fahrenheit 9/11 the other night. He asked me what I thought of it, and then he said he was voting for Bush again. It always surprises me how many of my clients are not just Republicans but Bush supporters. I think, You wanted me to force you down to your knees when you’re in a pink tutu, but you support Bush? Maybe that should be part of my punishment: ‘You’re going to vote for Bush? Now you’re really going to get it!’ ”

Like many sex workers in Manhattan, Mistress Natasha is anticipating a dramatic upswing in business late this month as 5,000 delegates—and an entourage of 45,000 others—arrive for four days of work and play. “August is usually slow, but I think I’ll be rather busy,” she says, planning to increase her hours. “I’ve already gotten several e-mails from men who say they’re coming into town that week.”

Transsexual escort and adult-film star Allanah Starr, 26, is even more confident: “I’m sure business will pick up for strip bars and escorts.”

In contrast, I seriously doubt that Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi goes to bed with a copy of Slave Girl of Gor.  But perhaps Anntichrist Coulter will give us the benefit of her experience in personally whipping cringing and diapered conservatives?

The bottom line, of course, is that these cards exist because a market exists for them:  conservatives who lack the fortitude or wherewithal to actually engage a dominatrix, but who still find in these images a titillating, juvenile thrill, harkening back to those middle school days when nervous, squealing laughter was one’s only avenue of sexual release.

In the comments to this post, Bill the Splut (of the West Egg Spluts), points us to his page-by-page exegesis of the Giant Sized Tod Holton Super Green Beret, Issue 1.  Lovers of porcine rodeos, enchanted haberdashery, and acid flashbacks are advised to click the link.

Pantless In Gaza

Posted by scott on February 14th, 2007

While some of us have been driven to drink (and granted, I could have walked) by Bill Donohue’s New Catholic Inquisition*, which combines the social enlightenment of the New Christy Minstrels with the mass appeal of New Coke, others have chosen to strike back by gadding about in a loincloth.  One such hero is actor212, of Simply Left Behind, who has joined the outbreak of Spartacusity by taking up a trident and poking Bill in his vulnerable (and grotesquely cantilevered) underbelly — the Catholic League’s tax exempt status.  Check out his Step By Step instructions for filing a complaint with the IRS, who would probably enjoy auditing someone besides Moveon.org for a change. 

*Motto:  If Pope Urban VIII could make Gallileo shut up about Copernicanism, we can get harass a couple of uppity skirts for razzing us about rubbers and boy rape.