Thursday, May 29, 2008

Malkin: Ray, Kayne, Troops All Heart Intifada

My friend Wolf once remarked that Ann Coulter was not a real person, but was in fact Andy Kaufman in drag. The only thing that can explain Michelle Malkin is that Wolf's theory is true, and Malkin knows and is determined to outcrazy, him.

Her latest stunt irrational totally normal thing to worry about? Rachel Ray, that Marxist firebrand, was spotted in a Dunkin' Donuts ad wearing a scarf that may or may not have been a keffiyeh. In fact, her and some of her righty compatriots threw such a bitchfit that Dunkin' Donuts pulled the ad.

What's a keffiyeh? Let's ask that mostly unreliable Wikipedia:
The keffiyeh (Arabic: كوفية‎, kūfīyä; plural: كوفيات, kūfīyāt) is also known as a shmagh, shemagh or yashmag (شماغ, šmāġ), a ghutra (غترة, ġuträ), a hatta (حطّة, ḥaṭṭä) or a mashada (مشدة, and is a traditional headdress of Arab men, made of a square of cloth ("scarf"), usually cotton, folded and wrapped in various styles around the head. It is commonly found in arid climate areas to provide protection from direct sun exposure, as well as for occasional use in protecting the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand.
If you did know what a keffiyeh is, you probably knew because Yasser Arafat helped make it cool. Arafat, admittedly is not the best person to be taking fashion advice from, since aside from leading a revolt in the Palestinian territories also was one ugly dude, and ugly people don't know shit about fashion. I don't know anything about that being a stone fox, but people are always telling me not to dress like the uglies unless I'm being ironic.

Still, all the PLO-sympathizers in the world can't change the fact that the keffiyeh is a practical piece of clothing in the ungodly hot Middle East. So practical in fact, that according to the very same Wikipedia article, troops from America, Australia and England wear or have worn keffiyehs when running around the desert dropping Freedom Bombs. What do you have to say to that Malkin?
It’s just a scarf, the clueless keffiyeh-wearers scoff. Would they say the same of fashion designers who marketed modified Klan-style hoods in Burberry plaid as the next big thing?
Oy vey. Listen very carefully and imagine me saying this very slowly: the keffiyeh was around much, much longer than the PLO. Perhaps if triangular hoods were part of antebellum Southern fashion one could make the argument for marketing Klan hoods. But no one wore them, they wore giant unwieldy dresses and probably their slaves sometimes. Klan members didn't wear the hoods because they were comfortable and protected them from the ungodly Southern heat. Hell, it probably just made them hotter, which made them even angrier and they probably blamed blacks for it somehow. Where was I?

Ah yes, the Klan hood is not, and never was an integral or useful fashion item. So if The Gap started flogging triangular hoods that covered the entire face save for little eye slits, they wouldn't hear the end of it and they wouldn't deserve to.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lamest Meme Ever




In a span of just ten days, we've now had three separate instances of people talking about Barack Obama getting killed. Can someone explain to me where the punchline kicks in? Does it come when Barack's brains are splattered on the pavement of come city, his only crime trying to become president? Or is it looking at the pictures of his stunned supporters right after it happens? Oh, no, wait, I know. The punchline is when people take to the street and decide that nonviolence shit never worked anyway. That's when we drag people like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh out of their comfy air conditioned studios and beat them to within inches of their miserable lives. It would make me laugh anyway.

Ah, and just in case you were worried, just as Hillary Clinton apologized, as did Mike Huckabee before her, Liz Trotta has issued an apology for publicly hoping for the death of a major presidential candidate:

You know what Trotta? Not only was that insincere from the start, it was condescending and smarmy as well. You can take your non-apology and shove it up your ass, you worthless cunt. If there's any justice in the world, you'll get mugged tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

John McCain Will Fix The World Just As Soon As He Remembers Who's Running It

Another day, another reason to think that John McCain would be an awful president.

I think my biggest problem, if I ended up being a reporter on the campaign trail would be not being able to restrain myself from screaming "Shut the fuck up and wipe that smirk off your face you two-faced cocksucker!" And then there'd be all the Secret Service dudes and the thrown out on your ass thing and generally a whole lot of controversy.

Now, one of John McCain's advantages is that he's supposed to be smart and experienced in matters of foreign policy. So wouldn't someone that smart know a little bit more about, oh, I don't know, the governmental set up of one the world's major players? Especially when we basically laid out a red carpet for them to stomp our guts out in their backyard?

But no, ask any average American, and they'll tell you who the leader of Iran is. You know what Joe Klein should do? Go around and ask average Americans that very question. Walk into McDonald's and shopping malls and those monumentally depressing office parks scattered around the country. I'd say at most, 30 percent will tell him Ahmadinejad, 50 percent won't know, 5 percent will tell him the mullahs and 15 percent will tell him it's really Barack Obama.

But leaving that little intellectual exercise behind, it's...well, I was going to say disappointing, but I think that's too soft on McCain. It's frustrating and terrifying to think we'll end up with another president and another administration who are in the business of "creating their own reality." In fact, having just read the Ron Suskind piece about that while searching for the quote, let me all remind you just how scary the prospect of proud ignorance in the White House is:
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
John McCain, a man who only five years ago said Iranian moderates weren't good negotiating partners because the mullahs run everything there now laughs off the proposition that a guy called the Supreme Leader isn't really running the country. I guess we here in the reality based community are still going to be left out in the cold.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Change You Expect

I'm baffled by the Conservative agenda and the means by which Republican leadership markets it. Those that label themselves Conservative tend to speak vigorously about their political philosophy in bullet points regarding abortion, gay marriage, and the economy; in general, they favor a status quo ante - a return to the old days. Expect to hear plenty about this in the upcoming election, as candidates push in front of one another to advertise just how Conservative they really are. But, in the wake of yet another ominous defeat for an open House seat in a Conservative Republican stronghold - this time in freewheelin', dope-smokin', unborn-baby-killin', Mississippi - Republicans in the House plan to outline a new agenda and freshen up the Conservative message.

This one, a seven-point affair, is supposed to counter the Obama "change" rhetoric by bolstering the new Republican catchphrase, "The Change You Deserve". This shift is a far cry from the general Conservative agenda that underscores antispending initiatives, tighter restrictions on government benefits, changes to the tax code, and work-for-welfare benefits, instead focusing on antispending initiatives, tighter restrictions on government benefits, changes to the tax code, and work-for-welfare benefits. Keep in mind these major platform initiatives came out of an intensive, closed-door affair with leaders of the Republican Study Committee and publicized Tuesday.

In essence, the change you deserve is the change you expected when you, the presumptive Republican voter, pulled the level four years ago, and four years before that. This time, there's a promise from the House that they will really, really, follow that platform you voted them in on. For eight years, Republican voters have become engaged in this domestic violence situation, voting for a party that continues to slap them around but, when the whiskey stops talking for it, convinces you that it really does have your best interests at heart. It's because the party loves you so much that it hits you, how stupid can you be? Maybe voters should stop with the sass-talk against their insane spending and you wouldn't "fall down the stairs" so often.

In essence, prospective Republican voters are being held hostage by their commitment to a values platform the party pays lip-service to between shoving pork legislation into vital spending bills and lining up their Friday night date with that new attractive 14-year-old Congressional page that brought coffee to the House floor last week. The party has become an entity unto itself, more concerned with self-preservation than maintaining loyalty to voters, or even enacting legislation that will be constructive beyond making headlines for reelection. "Pretend like we never used Bush as a tool for reelection four years ago - wow, what was THAT guy thinking - we never liked him! Make a donation at our website and let's stomp those Democrats that ruined the country in the last eight years! THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT TAKING YOUR GUNS AWAY, PEOPLE!"

This sort of two-faced electioneering should come as no surprise to anyone as this is the nature of politics in the 21st century: self-preservation by any means necessary. Contradictions are the backbone of any political party. Giuliani was "OK" with rolling back Roe v. Wade after his opposite position on the issue throughout his political career. Kerry would properly manage the Iraq War to victory, only to oppose the war almost immediately after losing the general election. H.W. Bush's "no new taxes" speech, Clinton's "sexual relations" denial, Reagan's tax hike in his second term, Spitzer's prostitution mess, the list goes on and on. These are usual contradictions, the type that arise in the murky middle between political aspirations and damage control. But at this point, for the Republican establishment to underscore "change" as a tenet of the party by reaffirming an ignored belief in fiscal responsibility and core values is as disgusting as it is laughable.

This new "Change You Deserve" mantra spits in the face of every voter who expected these values when they made a vote. It's a cheap attempt to disassociate Republicans with a leader they've rallied behind through wars, irresponsible economic policies, political bribes masked as economic stimulus checks, Wall Street bailouts, and a myriad of polarizing social initiatives that have cleft the party base. The real question lies in whether or not voters will recognize this as yet another ploy concocted by political cockroaches with an eye toward self-preservation or if it will cause a sea change in Congress.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

If Barack Obama is Naive, I Don't Think There's A Word For John McCain

Today in Ohio, John McCain pulled out an old assignment he did in the fourth grade and passed it off as a major campaign speech. That assignment? The same paper every American school kid gets in the fourth grade, "When I'm President". You know, the one where a bunch of kids would spell president "prezident" because they're dumb and in fourth grade. What was I talking about?

So, what I want to do today is take a little time to describe what I would hope to have achieved at the end of my first term as President.

Ohhhhh, right...that. So yeah, it's not that John McCain is saying these things will definitely happen if he's elected, but he's pretty sure they will. And hey, it could be he's right. Everyone is always talking about what a bright, well respected guy he is.

By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom.

Not awesome, but it's better than staying there forever.

The Iraq War has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension. Violence still occurs, but it is spasmodic and much reduced.

Really? Because it seems pretty bad over there right now, what with the Sadrites doing whatever they wanna do and the Iraqi army being a bunch of Badr militia members with uniforms.

Civil war has been prevented; militias disbanded; the Iraqi Security Force is professional and competent; al Qaeda in Iraq has been defeated; and the Government of Iraq is capable of imposing its authority in every province of Iraq and defending the integrity of its borders.

Johnny, Johnny, come on. Not to nitpick, but to prevent civil war you would have to not have one to begin with. Plus, why would neighborhoods with militias just give them up when the militias have been the All Stars of the war this far? It was the Sunnis who we armed that so weakened al Qaeda in Iraq, not your vaunted Iraqi Security Force. I'd also be interested to see how far your patience will go with Iraqi democracy when Moqtada al-Sadr becomes Prime Minister.

The threat from a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan has been greatly reduced but not eliminated. U.S. and NATO forces remain there to help finish the job, and continue operations against the remnants of al Qaeda. The Government of Pakistan has cooperated with the U.S. in successfully adapting the counterinsurgency tactics that worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan to its lawless tribal areas where al Qaeda fighters are based. The increase in actionable intelligence that the counterinsurgency produced led to the capture or death of Osama bin Laden, and his chief lieutenants.

John McCain must have some serious Mace Windu Jedi powers going on here, because the idea that NATO and Pakistan will somehow decide that we're worth it now will take nothing short of hypnosis or seizing their brains by force. What say you, New York Times?
Mr. Ghani, a key architect of the pending peace accord, believes along with many other Pakistani leaders that the United States is floundering in the war in Afghanistan. Pakistan, he said, should not be saddled with America’s mistakes, especially if a solution involved breaching Pakistan’s sovereignty, a delicate matter in a nation where sentiment against the Bush administration runs high.
Yeah, so good luck with that there, chief. OK, so skipping all of the parts about how we're gonna totally show Russia a thing or two and won't be sucking their dick for oil and the world's democracies will form a League of Democracies and the armed forces will double in size and the economy will be great (I swear to God he said all of this), we'll move on to my favorite part:

Voluntary national service has grown in popularity in part because of the educational benefits used as incentives, as well as frequent appeals from the bully pulpit of the White House, but mostly because the young Americans, no less than earlier generations, understand that true happiness is much greater than the pursuit of pleasure, and can only be found by serving causes greater than self-interest.

PAHAHAHAHA! You know what young people want John McCain? We want to get laid asshole! Not to disparage national service or nothing, but I don't think I've met anyone in our "millenial generation" who's out to do completely selfless national service. As far as I'm and everyone else I know is concerned, true happiness comes in a dime bag, a eight ball or a tab. To be fair to McCain, he isn't the only one who's been talking up how great our generation is, witness this newish Bob Herbert column. Seriously, where the fuck are all these selfless young Americans I keep hearing about? Are they in Iowa? Is that what goes on there?

Scores of accomplished private sector leaders have joined the ranks of my administration for a dollar a year and have instituted some of the most innovative reforms of government programs ever known, often in partnership with willing private sector partners.

Oh wait. Did I see the part about the helpful children was my favorite? Because this is so funny I can't even muster up the laughter. I know that Mike Bloomberg and John Corzine are these rich dudes who became mayor of New York and governor of New Jersey and then took one dollar salaries, but you know what those positions have in common with a Cabinet position? NOTHING!

Rich people run for office once they've conquered the world because it gives them another opportunity at power. Sitting around making suggestions to the president that he may or may not listen to is about as appealing as acknowledging poor people. You think the CEO of Home Depot wants to be the HUD Secretary? Does the President of Fox want to jump on board as the Secretary of Transportation? Give me a fucking break.

John McCain ma as well promise to give every American family a Disney World vacation voucher and that a rainbow will appear over every house in the country by 2013, because everything else he's claiming will happen is just as fantastical. The only thing he isn't doing in this speech is promise to end all bad things, but really, when read correctly, that's pretty much what he's done here.

Congratulations John McCain, you've made even Barack Obama look like a homeless, spittle launching, doomsday preacher. I don't even want to consider what that makes me.