Archive for November 21st, 2007
First Chuck Norris, then Ric Flair. Now Mike Huckabee’s Katamari presidential campaign has notched yet another high-profile conquest:
David Kirkpatrick, via Melissa Rogers:
Mike Huckabee, the Republican presidential candidate and former Southern Baptist minister, is getting help from Tim LaHaye, the Christian conservative organizer and co-author of the apocalyptic “Left Behind” novels.
“America and our Judeo-Christian heritage are under attack by a force that is more destructive than any America has faced” since Hitler,Dr. LaHaye and his wife, Beverly, wrote in letters sent to lists of conservative Christians in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. “Defeating the radical jihadists will require renewed resolve and spiritual rearmament by the evangelical pastors in America.”
The letters were distributed in part through an e-mail list maintained by Mrs. LaHaye’s organization, Concerned Women for America, to encourage pastors to attend two-day conferences held in each state (free, including meals and a hotel room). Mr. Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, is the only candidate speaking.
All events are held by nonprofit charities. The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the inclusion of only one candidate raised “red flags” about an impermissible political endorsement. But David Lane, the events’ principal organizer, said he had invited all the candidates.
A campaign spokesman said Mr. Huckabee had read some of the “Left Behind” novels and enjoyed them.
This can hardly be described as a positive development, though I’m not sure how much direct effect the LaHayes will have. Voters don’t typically look to novelists for political guidance (even if LaHaye’s been a conservative activist for decades), and the CWA is one of those aging, increasingly irrelevant groups of social conservatives.
In fact, given that local pastors are considered to be the next wave of leaders for the conservative evangelical movement, you might read this as CWA’s attempt to buy some relevance with the up-and-coming generation. We’ll just have to see how it works out and assume that if Huckabee does well, the LaHayes will claim the credit.
Bah. Pastor Dan may scoff, but this, this will be the endorsement that totally puts Huckabee over the top. Still, it’s a shame that Mike Tyson is otherwise engaged – you can never have too many bizarre celebrity endorsements.
Cautionary note to non-fundie voters: Do you really want a President who won’t stick around after The Rapture? America will be in desperate need of strong leadership once the stabilizing influence of the religious right has been removed.
November 21st, 2007 at 11:07pm
Posted by Eli
Entry Filed under: Elections
Sure, it looks like the GOP is having monumental recruiting problems, but by refusing to run in just any old race that the party throws their way, these Republicans are showing a selectiveness and restraint that will mightily impress the American voting public when they finally decide to run under more favorable conditions.
And in the meantime, they can just sit back and let the Democrats take the blame when the Bushie bill comes due. Iraq will explode and the economy will implode, and everyone will know that it was all the Democrats’ fault. Let them make their feeble protestations that 8 years of Dubya’s misrule was the real reason everything went to shit – our fierce and integrilicious media will see right through them.
It’s a win-win!
November 21st, 2007 at 10:10pm
Posted by Eli
Entry Filed under: Elections
It’s not often that I feel the urge to pat Time Magazine on the back, but this is just too beautiful to go unpraised:
Time magazine said nothing publicly about Rove’s arrival at Newsweek, but a well-placed source told me that Bob Barnett (every Washington literati’s favorite lawyer, including Bill Clinton) had traveled to the Time-Life building on Sixth Avenue to offer Rove’s services before Newsweek snared them. Time‘s editors apparently felt the cost/benefit analysis wouldn’t be in their favor if they embraced the man who has done more than anyone to keep the spirit of Joe McCarthy alive and well in American politics. (Read Joshua Green’s definitive profile from the Atlantic in 2004.) “Time thought this wouldn’t be like hiring George Stephanopoulos,” my source explained. “They think Karl is essentially like an unindicted coconspirator in a whole string of felonies.”
Excellent. It’s so very rare and refreshing to see a mainstream media outlet, any mainstream media outlet, decide that some Republicans are just too disreputable to associate themselves with. On the other hand, Time thinks Ann Coulter is a delightful prankster and Joe Klein’s a journalist, so they still have some ways to go.
(h/t Think Progress, by way of MakeThemAccountable)
November 21st, 2007 at 09:11pm
Posted by Eli
Entry Filed under: Media
Boy, I guess Dubya really is serious about fiscal responsibility:
When Jordan Fox was serving in Iraq, his mother helped organize Operation Pittsburgh Pride, which sends thousands of care packages to U.S. troops from his hometown, which prompted a personal “thank you” from the White House. When Fox was seriously injured in Iraq, the president sent what appeared to be personal note, expressing his concerns to the Fox family.
But more recently, Fox received a different piece of correspondence from the Bush administration.
The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.
To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.
Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.
In Jordan Fox’s case, he was seriously injured when a roadside bomb blew up his vehicle, causing back injuries and blindness in his right eye. He was sent home, unable to complete the final three months of his military commitment.
Last week, the Pentagon sent him a bill: Fox owed the government nearly $3,000 of his signing bonus.
“I tried to do my best and serve my country. I was unfortunately hurt in the process. Now they’re telling me they want their money back,” Fox said.
Look, if a soldier signed a contract, collected a signing bonus, and then quit, I can understand the military asking for the signing bonus back.
But we’re talking about troops who volunteered, served, and were seriously injured. It’s not their fault they got hurt. How on earth is the Pentagon justified in asking for a refund?
Please, please, PLEASE do not ever try to tell me that Democrats don’t “support the troops” when our all-Republican-all-the-time government treats wounded vets like they’re some kind of welfare queens trying to rip off the government, like they intentionally disabled themselves to weasel out of their service commitment.
I’m not a big fan of conservative Democrat Jason Altmire, but he’s doing the right thing on this one, introducing a bill to let wounded troops (gasp) keep their bonuses.
Why is it that it’s always the Democrats who are actually sticking up for the troops’ and vets’ well-being? Is it because the Republican definition of “support” is “keep in harm’s way indefinitely”? Is it because Republicans are only interested in the troops in an abstract way, as a patriotic symbol they can use to bash Democrats with? Or is it just that Republicans are selfish assholes who don’t care about anyone whose net worth is less than 8 figures?
Perhaps we will never know.
UPDATE: The military is now claiming that this was just an honest mistake. Well, okay. Good to know that this was a totally isolated incident, and that they’ve never tried to screw anyone out of their bonus money before.
November 21st, 2007 at 07:55pm
Posted by Eli
Entry Filed under: Bush
Rummy LOVES Joey!!!
(By Aiden Louis)
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld can’t fall asleep unless he’s clutching his G.I. Joe doll, reveals a White House insider.
“Mr. Rumsfeld has to have ‘Pvt. Joey’ snuggled safe in his arms at bedtime or he’s up all night going crazy looking for him,” says the source.
“The action figure is more than 40 years old. It’s raggedy and missing a leg. Mr. Rumsfeld accidentally ripped it off when he was playing ‘Watch Out For Landmines’ during a Senate hearing. But it’s his most beloved possession.”
The insider… overheard a vicious argument between [Rumsfeld] and wife Joyce Rumsfeld.
“Mr. Rumsfeld yelled: ‘I told you to hide Pvt. Joey from those rugrats! Now he’s gone. Oh my God. Oh my God!’” says the source.
“Mrs. Rumsfeld was furious. She screamed back: ‘If my grandchildren want to play with that stupid doll, they will! You are too old to still need him! And I’m sick of rolling over onto Joe’s bayonet in the middle of the night! Get rid of him!’
“Mr. Rumsfeld screeched: ‘Never! You’ll have to pry Joey from my cold dead kung fu grip.’”
In 1962, [Rumsfeld] was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois. The charity-minded politician was so eager to help war-torn, poverty-stricken third world nations he often requested to travel on missions of mercy.
“During one grueling, taxpayer-funded stay in a five-star luxury hotel in Paris, the congressman was distributing G.I. Joe dolls… to needy gay Frenchmen,” says the source.
“He had one of the Joes in his lap during a luncheon when a passing waiter tripped and two escargot knives plummeted down, point first, toward Mr. Rumsfeld’s testicles.
“The doll took the hit. If he hadn’t, the injury would have changed Mr. Rumsfeld’s voice to that of a girly soprano and ended his political career. Or he could have bled to death if the blades sliced a major artery.
“After that, Pvt. Joey became his good-luck talisman – his security blanket.
“He’s terrified that the minute he throws Joe away, he’ll get hit by a bus.”
The defense secretary has also grown to know and love his small friend. They talk a lot – although they don’t always agree – and Rumsfeld asks for Joe’s advice on weighty political decisions.
Adds the source: “Mr. Rumsfeld firmly believes Private Joey will be the one to finally find bin Laden.”
Jeez, I had no idea France was so perilous.
November 21st, 2007 at 06:46pm
Posted by Eli
Entry Filed under: Weekly World News
Talk about the soft bigotry of lowered expectations…
President Bush yesterday offered his strongest support of embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, saying the general “hasn’t crossed the line” and “truly is somebody who believes in democracy.”
Bush spoke nearly three weeks after Musharraf declared emergency rule, sacked members of the Supreme Court and began a roundup of journalists, lawyers and human rights activists. Musharraf’s government yesterday released about 3,000 political prisoners, although 2,000 remain in custody, according to the Interior Ministry.
“What exactly would it take for the president to conclude Musharraf has crossed the line? Suspend the constitution? Impose emergency law? Beat and jail his political opponents and human rights activists?” asked Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a presidential candidate. “He’s already done all that. If the president sees Musharraf as a democrat, he must be wearing the same glasses he had on when he looked in Vladimir Putin’s soul.”
Bush was asked in the interview if there is any line Musharraf should not cross. “He hasn’t crossed the line. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that he will cross any lines,” Bush replied, according to an ABC transcript. “. . . We didn’t necessarily agree with his decision to impose emergency rule, and . . . hopefully he’ll get . . . rid of the rule. Today, I thought, was a pretty good signal, that he released thousands of people from jail.”
Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, said that “it’s hard to imagine how the administration will be able to achieve anything in Pakistan if the president is so disconnected from reality.”
“Almost everyone in Pakistan who believes in George Bush’s vision of democracy is in prison today,” Malinowski said. “Calling the man who put them in prison a great democrat will only discredit America among moderate Pakistanis and give Musharraf confidence that he can continue to defy the United States because Bush will forgive anything he does.”
In the interview with ABC News, conducted at Camp David, Bush disputed the suggestion that he has put too much faith in Musharraf…
“He’s been a loyal ally in fighting terrorists. He’s also advanced democracy in Pakistan,” Bush said. “He has said he’s going to take off his uniform. He’s said there will be elections. Today he released prisoners, and so far I’ve found him to be a man of his word.”
I think the explanation is pretty clear: Bush simply has a dramatically different definiton of “democracy” from the rest of us. For him, democracy means unchecked executive power, reckless use of military force abroad, and an emphasis on “security” over civil liberties at home.
Once you realize this, the Bush administration’s efforts to promote “democracy,” and all of his warm fuzzy comments about Putin and Musharraf as kindred spirits make perfect sense.
I look forward to the day when we can once again talk about democracy without the quotation marks.
November 21st, 2007 at 11:59am
Posted by Eli
Entry Filed under: Bush
I. Am. Speechless.
What would Thanksgiving be like if we cooked the same turkey over and over, year after year, and served it bland, tasteless, and downright inedible? Well, it would be kind of like Politics-As-Usual, which has been feeding us that turkey for many years now. It’s time to cook up a new way to lead the country, as you well know, and Unity08 has the recipe.
For this 10 Minute Tuesday, we ask you to review the cooking instructions below. Then, visit our web site to download the final ingredient, complete the meal, and bring the whole family together for the good of our country.
For your own health, our meal is pork-barrel and mud-slinging free.
1 package of Our Country (divided)
1/2 teaspoon of American Values (hard work, ingenuity, inspiration)
1/2 teaspoon of New Technology
5 cups of Crucial Issues
1 box of Questions to Ask the Candidates
1 handful of Candidates (formed into teams)
1 Online Convention pressure cooker (the largest you can find)
Boil Politics-As-Usual, pour it out, and start anew.
Combine American Values with New Technology (stir vigorously).
Sift and rank Crucial Issues.
Mull over Questions to Ask the Candidates.
Place Crucial Issues, Questions, and Candidate Teams into Online Convention pressure cooker.
Reduce to Unity Ticket.
Serve hot and complement with election of the next President of the United States.
For the final ingredient, download our sign up form so that when you bring your friends and family to the table they can easily join us. After you’ve added them to the form, simply follow the instructions to mail it back to us.
It won’t be easy to successfully execute the cooking instructions above, but it is absolutely necessary for the good of our country. The timing is right for our new recipe despite those that say that it’s too late to impact the coming election. In fact, well-known names have been talking more frequently about the likelihood of another option winning the election. Alan Greenspan, Tom Brokaw, Mario Cuomo, Tom Kean, William Weld, and more have realized that the country is desperate for change.
Unity08 is the new recipe to reunite our country.
WHO WRITES THIS SHIT???
I can’t even read the whole thing; my eyeballs keep trying to escape.
November 21st, 2007 at 11:43am
Posted by Eli
Entry Filed under: Politics
For those of you who have not heard of it, the Conservapedia is, as you might guess, the conservative answer to the Wikipedia. Via Atrios (and h/t ::matthew), it appears that their readership is very, shall we say, single-minded:
Most viewed pages
- Main Page? [1,899,628]
- Homosexuality? [1,519,539]
- Homosexuality and Hepatitis? [516,394]
- Homosexuality and Promiscuity? [417,997]
- Homosexuality and Parasites? [387,623]
- Homosexuality and Domestic Violence? [340,161]
- Gay Bowel Syndrome? [330,207]
- Homosexuality and Gonorrhea? [329,127]
- Homosexuality and Mental Health? [264,680]
- Homosexuality and Syphilis? [263,078]
I mean, not even Ronald Reagan or Rush Limbaugh or George W. Bush? Nope – if it’s not about homosexuality and some terrible affliction, they’re just not interested. (Oddly enough, “Homosexuality and AIDS” didn’t make the Top 10.) By my calculations, the Homosexuality page was viewed about 80% as many times as the main page, while the top 9 Homosexuality pages combined were viewed well over twice as many times as the main page. Does the Conservapedia even have any other topics?
Strange, strange people.
November 21st, 2007 at 07:28am
Posted by Eli
Entry Filed under: Republicans