Monday, February 28, 2005


The president loves democracy - as long as democracy means he's always right.

If torture and the denial of due process are O.K., why not murder? When the government can just make people vanish - which it can, and which it does - where is the line that we, as a nation, dare not cross?

The CIA is being too cautious in employing its broad new post-September 11 authority to use lethal force against the terrorist enemies of the United States, critics of the agency say.

Many of the nation's governors in both parties are reluctant to credit ideology as the reason Republican governors have a 28-22 majority over Democrats.

These quotes demonstrate the distinct realities from the right wing and the supposed center. What do you make of these distinctions?

More GOP success in Iraq

Is this the image of success?

ILLA, Iraq, Feb. 28 - A suicide bomber steered a sedan full of explosives into a thick crowd of Iraqi police and army recruits here this morning, killing at least 122, in the deadliest single bombing since the American invasion nearly two years ago.

The bombing in Hilla, 60 miles south of Baghdad, tore into a crowd of several hundred recruits who were waiting for mandatory checkups at a medical clinic in the city center, across from the mayor's office and a large outdoor market.

I don't know about all of you but I am tired of constantly asking how many have to die until this bloodthirsty worthless war ends. How are we doing on the impeachment process?

The truth about social security

From the mouth of the former GOP House Majority leader Dick Armey has admitted the true GOP goal: "I think if you leave people free to choose, it will be phased out by competition." Oh, I wonder if that is really what people will do? Honesty seems to be the last thing that the Bush misadministration is interested in when discussing their policies.

I have to wonder what will happen if people recognize that the GOP wants to abandon social security?

"We now have a generation of people that are thoroughly committed to investing their hopes and futures in private IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts)," Armey said. "People will always do better for themselves when they are free to choose from among competing options than if they are compelled. Most thoughtful people could do better."

And what of the thousands and millions who cannot afford expensive investment advice? Or cannot survive without the safe guards that any compassionate goverment would have for its citizens?

Thoughts on the Academy Awards

Watching the Academy Awards last night, all I could think was what does any of this mean? What does it represent? How do these people make the world better? So much expense on clothing, jewelry, cars, etc... So many people overpaid for their talent at pretending. So much waste of resources that could be used to do so much more in the world than celebrate a group of people whose job it appears to me to celebrate illustion.

The focus is on who is best or worst dressed, what does that really tell us? What have we learned, the triumph of illusion over reality, the importance of image over substance. I mean where else might all these "entertainment reporters" get legitimation, I bet Gannon-Guckert knows all about that.

And that is when it hit me. This whole program and these people, ok ok most of these people, are like Bush. They have handlers and people who manage every facet of their lives. They have people who tell them what to do and when to do it. They are surrounded by flunkies who tell them how great they are and how their ideas of themselves and their films are amazing. If we change the context to right-wing politics, is there any real difference?

How about you blog whore for us?

I think that Champy -- I can call you Champy, right -- has the wrong approach we are not the ones who are going to be blog whoring... others should blog whore for us. How about you folks blog whore for us?

What do you like about the Hegemon? Spread the word here in comments and elsewhere at other blogs. Share the love of the Rising Hegemon and more importantly the seething angry criticism of the Bush misadministration amd this amazingly bad course of missteps, lies, and events.

You would do it if you care.

In Attaturk's Absence

DeDurkheim and I will not be whoring. Please forgive us this transgression.

Bush Hates Trial Lawyers

Interesting article in the Sunday NYT about the coming battle on medical liability reform. The talking point that Rove has been able to pound into the grey gelatinous matter sitting inside Bush's cro-nmagnon skull is "junk lawsuits". Turns out that lawyers that sue doctors don't have such an easy job of it.

Even plaintiffs who get to court often come away empty-handed. Nationally, defendants prevail in nearly 80 percent of the medical malpractice cases that go to trial. Many malpractice suits, legal analysts say, are filed by personal-injury lawyers, accustomed to handling simpler cases like those involving auto accidents, but not as experienced in medical negligence work. In a 2002 survey by the trial lawyers association, only 11 percent of its 60,000 members said medical malpractice was their primary area of practice; 40 percent replied that medical negligence cases were some part of their practice.
Mr. Smith says his success rate is higher than 80 percent - including jury verdicts and settlements - far higher than the national average for medical malpractice plaintiffs' lawyers. Being picky in his selection of cases helps explain the high winning percentage. He says he decides to take fewer than 3 in 100 cases that are brought to his firm. "We say to people right off that a bad outcome does not mean you have a medical negligence case," he said.

It is hard to argue with the statement that the system needs fixing, but that depends on what part of the system one defines as broken. Is it health insurance costs? Is it the number of uninsured Americans? Is it Medicaid? All this is about is keeping dollars in the pockets of the insurance industry.

Medical liability policy, said Dr. William M. Sage, a physician and a law professor at Columbia University, should seek three goals: restraining overall costs, compensating the victims of medical mistakes and providing incentives for doctors and hospitals to reduce medical errors.

"There is a strong consensus among people who have really studied the issue that caps on damages would tend to keep costs down and make liability insurance more affordable for doctors," Dr. Sage said. "And there is a universal consensus that caps would do absolutely nothing to reduce medical errors or to compensate injured patients. If anything, caps on damages would make those problems worse."

But what about places that have already passed the types of reforms envisioned by the Republicans? Several states, including California have long ago passed such laws.

Medical malpractice laws vary state by state. But California offers a glimpse of a future preferred by the administration and many Republicans in Congress. In 1975, California passed the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, which included a cap of $250,000 for damages like pain and suffering in malpractice cases. It did not limit economic damages for things like the cost of continuing care for a person disabled or wages lost because of medical errors. The law also curbed attorneys' fees on a sliding scale that prohibited them from collecting more than 15 percent on award amounts over $600,000, with higher percentages for the amounts below that sum. (In states without limits on fees, contingency payments to malpractice lawyers are typically about one-third of awards.)

Research varies on the likely impact of curbs on awards and fees, but a RAND Corporation study last year concluded that the California law had reduced the net recoveries for plaintiffs by 15 percent and had cut attorneys' fees by far more, an estimated 60 percent. Defendant liabilities, it calculated, were trimmed 30 percent because of the law.

California malpractice lawyers say the law also discourages them from taking wrongful-death cases if the victims are children or retirees. Those groups have no economic value by the cold logic of the courtroom because they are not earning salaries, so the maximum award would be $250,000. Complex cases, which often require many expert witnesses and years of research, can cost that much to bring to trial.

Linda Fermoyle Rice, a medical malpractice lawyer in Woodland Hills, Calif., said she recently told the family of a 14-year-old boy who died unexpectedly in a hospital - apparently from medical negligence, Ms. Rice said - that she could not afford to pursue the case. "The law has made it impossible for many victims to get access to the court," she said.

By limiting the dollars that can be awarded for non-economic (i.e. pain and suffering/loss of enjoymnet of life) damages, you are effectively eliminating huge segments of the population from obtaining fair compensation for their injuries. Young people and babies don't have an earning history that can form the basis of a calculation for a lost income stream. What about a 68 year old retiree who won't lose a moment of pension over, say, a perforated colon and infection (and throw in an ostomy bag), should her ability to obtain fair compensation be arbitratrily limited becasue she has no lost wages?

On a final note, the Repugnicans like to talk about all the money spent by trial lawyers and their lobbying efforts but the reality is that big business has the trial lawyers outspent by an order of magnitude.

The champions of tort reform are spending heavily. Last year, the Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the Chamber of Commerce, and the American Medical Association, the physicians' advocacy group, spent a total of $33.8 million on lobbying, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks federal lobbying. The trial lawyers' association spent $2.9 million on federal lobbying, PoliticalMoneyLine reported.

Bush's transparent democracy in action.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Would you believe Christian persecution is on the rise?

The new evangelical army, look for it near you soon.

"How many of you out there think ministering the Word is unpopular?" the Rev. James McDonald asked a rapt crowd of hundreds at the opening ceremony of the National Religious Broadcasters' (NRB - website) convention. A beefy, bald-headed evangelist with a folksy style and an uncanny resemblance to Jesse Ventura, McDonald spent his 30 minute sermon harping on a theme that would dominate the convention: Christian persecution.

For five days inside the Anaheim Convention Center, from February 11-16, the NRB's attendees conducted business as if they were huddled in the catacombs of Rome rather than welcomed guests at a self-contained suburban city of paisley-carpeted hotels, all-you-can-eat buffets and climate-controlled conference halls directly across the street from Disneyland. Indeed, when McDonald asked attendees for a show of hands in affirmation of his question, nearly every hand in the room shot up.

It might seem ironic for McDonald to invoke the spectre of persecution at the convention of a group that represents the interests of 1700 broadcasters and which enjoys unfettered access to congressional Republicans and the White House. The NRB's influence was best summarized by its new CEO, Frank Wright, who, in describing a recent lobbying excursion to Capitol Hill, said, "We got into rooms we've never been in before. We got down on the floor of the Senate and prayed over Hillary Clinton's desk." Wright went on to rally support for the NRB's handpicked candidate for FCC commissioner, whom he refused to name, and rail against federal hate crime legislation because, "Calls for tolerance are often a subterfuge when everything will be tolerated except Christian truth."

The Real issue with Ward Churchill

By now we all have heard about Ward Churchill's statements and the right wing attack machine going shrill over how there are nothing but crazed lefties on college campuses. I have to say that was not the experience of anyone I knew. Conservative correctness was far more common than political correctness.

Yet we need to think about how to address this issue an honest manner. I think that this involves saying something about the role of universities and public discourse in a period of rightwing political reaction.

speech always takes place in a context of power. I would be interested in hearing what others think about how to address the question of free speech and academic freedom. Of course, the role of facts is also an important one that we are overlooking in an era of the manufactured presidency. what does it mean to say
something we know to be untrue. This is one of the official criteria for revoking Ward Churchill's tenure. It seems to me that he is guilty of excessive rhetoric, not false statements of fact. Hell, we all know that most politicians are guilty of both.

But to me the larger and more imporant issue is: Why shouldn't people outside of universities also have academic freedon -- such as the ability to say what we think without reprisal against our jobs?

The trouble with the "academic freedom because the university is a
special place" argument is that it creates a place of special privilege that the rest of us do not have. Furthermore, it is a place that is reserved mainly for relatively wealthy kids plus the faculty.

But everyone needs the freedom to think and to talk out ideas...

Many People hate it when you announce why you won't be blogging

But I hate the people who denounce those who announce they aren't blogging.

I agree, in the scheme of things, who gives a shit?

But I will not be blogging much, or at all, until Tuesday.


Because I have to prepare for my lead in a road production of "Naked Brigadoon" that's why!

I don't know whether Champollion or DeDurkheim are busy too, but I'm pretty sure Champ's role as Curly in Oklahoma is over, and DeDurk's as Porgy in Porgy & Bess is coming to an end. We'll see.

Nice Job MoDo

Stay away from writing about being a middle-aged single (btw Attaturk is available for services) somethin' somethin' and cut.

But enough about me:

It was remarkable to see President Bush lecture Vladimir Putin on the importance of checks and balances in a democratic society.

Remarkably brazen, given that the only checks Mr. Bush seems to believe in are those written to the "journalists" Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher and Karen Ryan, the fake TV anchor, to help promote his policies. The administration has given a whole new meaning to checkbook journalism, paying a stupendous $97 million to an outside P.R. firm to buy columnists and produce propaganda, including faux video news releases.


"I live in a transparent country," Mr. Bush protested to a Russian reporter who implicitly criticized the Patriot Act by noting that the private lives of American citizens "are now being monitored by the state."

Dick Cheney's secret meetings with energy lobbyists were certainly a model of transparency. As was the buildup to the Iraq war, when the Bush hawks did their best to cloak the real reasons they wanted to go to war and trumpet the trumped-up reasons.

The Bush administration wields maximum secrecy with minimal opposition. The White House press is timid. The poor, limp Democrats don't have enough power to convene Congressional hearings on any Republican outrages and are reduced to writing whining letters of protest that are tossed in the Oval Office trash.

When nearly $9 billion allotted for Iraqi reconstruction during Paul Bremer's tenure went up in smoke, Democratic lawmakers vainly pleaded with Republicans to open a Congressional investigation.

Even the near absence of checks and balances is not enough for W. Not content with controlling the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court and a good chunk of the Fourth Estate, he goes to even more ludicrous lengths to avoid being challenged.

The White House wants its Republican allies in the Senate to stamp out the filibuster, one of the few weapons the handcuffed Democrats have left. They want to invoke the so-called nuclear option and get rid of the 150-year-old tradition in order to ram through more right-wing judges.

Mr. Bush and Condi Rice strut in their speeches - the secretary of state also strutted in Wiesbaden in her foxy "Matrix"-dominatrix black leather stiletto boots - but they shy away from taking questions from the public unless they get to vet the questions and audiences in advance.

Administration officials went so far as to cancel a town hall meeting during Mr. Bush's visit to Germany last week after deciding an unscripted setting would be too risky, opting for a round-table talk in Mainz with preselected Germans and Americans.

The president loves democracy - as long as democracy means he's always right.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Andrew Greeley gives Bush a slapdown

Ok, ok... if Andrew Greeley is writing an effective smackdown of his imperial duncery, maybe its time to admit that Bush does not "want to lead," he wants to make the world safe for future C- students. It is critical that we set the bar very low, right? That way those students who lack vision, ideas, credentials, and training can run gov't into the ground.

But don't worry about pesky reporters, just buy them off or stack the deck with "high quality" journalists like Gannon-Gucky. Worried about the people you might run into out on the road? Just script your events and have the news media cover it like its not scripted. Simple. And if some people will not agree to your terms, cancel the event.

Mission accomplished.

Of course, just beware of people who might be compelled to tell the truth. Even in your own party.

Ask Dr. Attaturk, February 26, 2005

Question #1:

Dair Ameri-cane Blog-Mastair!

Moiself and mon buddee are motair-ing ay-cross ziss beautiful cone-tree of yairs! our cycle du mo-tair (eez dat zee coh-rect pronunciacion?) kaips braiking down and zere are many skeeds into zee deetches along zee way!

But we air young French-mans een love, so we just lie in zee deetch in each aither's mainly arms and je t'aime hourselves fair a while! Sunshine ou rain (drenchee du downpour). And zen!, we haul our sailves back up by hour own boot-straps (no?), get back on hour cycle du mo-tair and zoom!, we hair back on zee road again!

To zee pwoint! We have run vairrrry low on moaney! And good Frainch chaisse (chaisse you cain smell! Chaisse wiz zee colour!) No truffles since we laift our little villaige en Burghundy! We moust to sztop and work for a whaile somewhere! Prefairably in a "rail" Americain ranch! To get zee "rail" Americain expair-i-ants!

We wraite to you, Maister Americane Blog-Maister!, from hour wi-fi Black-bairy just inside zee bordair of le huge Etat du Texas! Any idea where "deux lapins du Francais" could seek employmaint as le Cowboys? We have strong baicks and give a good day-long labor!

Down on moaney but szo vairry high on L'estats de Unis!

Pierre (et Jacques)
"Yippy-ti-yay!" (correct?)

Ah, France. I very much remember my last time in France. It was at last years Cannes film festival. Dr. Atta J. Turk had just been hired as a consultant on film violence by the Belgian Film Board of Southern Louisiana. Oh, the time I had, brunch with Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith's synthetic breasts (which are often taken out for their own stroll when Melanie is tired); Late lunch with Mel Gibson where he continually asked me whether or not I was Jewish; cocktails with Vince Vaughan, casual sex with Nicole Richie (Attaturk is well-known, but not well-known enough to shag Paris Hilton -- I know that seems hard to believe)

Sorry, wandered a bit there. If you can handle horses, there is a faux-dude ranch in Crawford, Texas that needs men that are not afraid of them. I'd check there.

Question #2:

Dear Dr. Atta J. Turk,

I am a "journalist" with a "news service" who until recently belonged to the White House "Press" Corps. Because my "news service" paid me only a "stipend," I found it necessary to moonlight as a "personal trainer." In this capacity, I meet a lot of men, ("cut" and "uncut") who need "training." There has been a lot of "misinformation" about my "service." Apparently, remarks on my website about being a "verbal, aggressive top" have left the "impression" that I am some kind of "prostitute."

"They dug deep for dirt, dredging up things long past and erecting a fantasy world worthy of a Vince Flynn novel. What they found is domain names and sexy pictures from which sprung rumors and conspiracy theories. Based on some of the emails I’ve received, many of these people were conflicted with hatred for my politics and tingling they experienced while viewing pictures said to be me."

"As per the advice of my highly-paid legal team" I cannot deny any of this "fabrication," because to do so might compromise my ability to sue those who are "telling the truth" about my "personal life."

Dr. Turk, you are the only one I can turn to. What should I do?


"Kathryn Lopez"

If I were you I'd contact this fellow.

Question No. 3:

Yo Dude,

If if our beeloved pressadent can go to Urup how does he keep from fallin off the end of the wurld?

Home Skoold Cristyun

Like Eleanor Roosevelt, the youngest son of the higher father can fly.

Question No. 4:

Greetings, Comrade!

Recently I invited a guest over for a little babka and tea. This guest is a good friend of mine, but seems to have forgotten his manners. First, he brought along both his wife and mistress, forcing us all into his own little charade. Later, while we were in a room with many people, this friend decided to lecture me about the state of my residence, even while his own place is falling apart.

Of course I had the decency to keep my opinions to myself in public, but I cannot let this insult stand. How can I get my friend to understand that it is rude to throw rocks at his friends while he is standing in a giant bubble?

-- Vlad

If I were you I'd close your soul off from view. If doesn't do you much good to let a man look into your soul when his soul cannot be found. But then again, I am familiar with your record Vlad and I do believe that two souless people can probably perceive and appreciate each others lack of depth.

Friday, February 25, 2005

I wish I could do my part

The last few weeks have seen some righteous progressive smack-down of some of right-wingers completely out of their depth.

First we had Juan Cole, Middle East Scholar crushing Doughy Pantload, Simpson's fan, when the latter tried to criticize the former not about the episode where Homer ended up owning the Denver Broncos, but on Iraq.

Second we had the professional biologists as Pharyngula responding to corporate attorney, D.A. Burger, I mean Hindrocket on the topic of evolutionary biology.

But what can Attaturk do to lend his hand to the cause?


Sigh, sadly nothing.

NOTE: This is more of a humorous post than a pathetically self-absorbed one, well no more than any other post.

Why the right will lose...

Because eventually the "reality-based community" has to make a difference in our lives...

The slime campaign has begun against AARP, which opposes Social Security privatization. There's no hard evidence that the people involved - some of them also responsible for the "Swift Boat" election smear - are taking orders from the White House. So you're free to believe that this is an independent venture. You're also free to believe in the tooth fairy.

Their first foray - an ad accusing the seniors' organization of being against the troops and for gay marriage - was notably inept. But they'll be back, and it's important to understand what they're up to.

The answer lies in "What's the Matter With Kansas?," Thomas Frank's meditation on how right-wingers, whose economic policies harm working Americans, nonetheless get so many of those working Americans to vote for them.

People like myself - members of what one scornful Bush aide called the "reality-based community" - tend to attribute the right's electoral victories to its success at spreading policy disinformation. And the campaign against Social Security certainly involves a lot of disinformation, both about how the current system works and about the consequences of privatization.

I wonder what their stance is on the enlightenment?

It's the Enlightenment Stupid!

Rant warning...

Have you ever wondered why JOHN Kennedy, and JOHN Belushi, and JOHN Candy all died young? So did JOHN Kennedy, Jr., (nicknamed, of all things "JOHN-JOHN!".) And JOHN Adams was a President of the USA and he had a son named JOHN (Quincy) Adams, and HE became a President, and THEY ARE BOTH DEAD!!!!! And so is EVERYONE WHO EVER SPOKE TO THEM!!! AND ALL THEIR CHILDREN!!! AND GRANDCHILDREN!!!

You think that's a COINCIDENCE???? naive can you be!!!

And never mind that Y2K disasters did not happen, and that 2,000 is a sort of important number only because we have ten fingers, and Jesus wasn't even born in the year ZERO or ONE anyhow, and if the Medieval PLAGUE that wiped out a third of Europe didn't bring Jesus back within a few years, if the influenza pandemic of 1919, if the Krakatoa explosion in the 1880's, with massive tsunamis and a dust cloud that shut out the sun for weeks at a time didn't bring back Jesus within a few years, then why believe that the serious, but not nearly as proportionately disastrous AIDS epidemic, or some mudslides in California mean that Jesus is coming back REAL SOON?!

Anyhow, that's a little of how, I try to deal with this pervasive, ignorant superstition societal and political trend that we face today. There is a lot of very shallow, very reactionary, very ignorant thinking going on here of which Bush is just a symptom of the disease.

However, it is often so shallow and can be cracked with some little activity... like thinking. But it is very important not to be arrogant or perceived of as arrogant, let alone actually be interested in ideas, or people will shut out whatever sensible things you are saying because you are labeled "an intellectual." We all know that thinking or empirical evidence brings nothing but problems. Just ask the Pope. Most of our problems have not been caused by greed or nationalism, its the enlightenment...

Hey, let's be honest for a moment, come on just a moment then we can go back to your regularly scheduled march to fascism. Bush is not a brain trust. The people around Bush are not all that bright. Hey, anyone can play on fear and finger-pointing rather than analysis, research, and problem solving.

Yet, that is not the real problem that we are facing right now in American society. The problem is that it is ignorance that flows thoughout this land and is celebrated and embraced by the nut-wing, republicans, and the imperial presidency. And this is not just any type of ignorance, it is ignorance that allows people to avoid the pain of confronting the truth -- it is ignorance that feels good, satisfying because smug superiority can keep you warm on a cold winter's night.

What we progressives and liberals need to do is to be skillful at showing people that ignorance ultimately makes you feel REAL BAD. And we have to do that WITHOUT compromising our ideas and those elusive ideals -- finding a way to say that someone is really WRONG, but that they are not a stupid person. That takes a lot of patience, but hey, there's a whole world to win or lose, depending on what we do.

Rant off.

Our Question of the Week

This week Dear Leader flew off to some foreign land I'll bet he couldn't pick out on a map, well maybe he could find Russia, but that is a BIG place. You know, it has been so nice with him out of the country.

At the end of his trip we heard more of Bush lecturing his good friend Vlad on the importance of democracy

Bush challenged Putin about his government's behavior, saying democracies reflect a country's customs and culture but must have "a rule of law and protection of minorities, a free press and a viable political opposition." He said he talked with Putin about his "concerns about Russia's commitment in fulfilling these universal principles" and about Putin's restrictions on the press.

I've given up trying to figure out if Bush knows the meaning of irony, but it doesn't stop me from finding the irony in his every utterance.

So let's see, in this great land of the free and home of the brave we apparently have some of the following customs and cultures, and a rule of law protecting minorities, free press, and a viable political opposition:

1. Extraordinary Rendition of individuals of middle-eastern descent or Muslim heritage which entails blindfolding, binding, gagging, and flying them to a foreign country where they can be legally tortured.

2. An attorney general, former white house counsel, and government lawyers who say the rule of law can be ignored if it suits the fancy of the boy king.

3. The press arm of the White House who gives passes to gay male escorts writing for right wing websites under a pseudonym.

4. A press that is so free that the government pays people that hold themselves out as unbiased lots of money to shill for administration policies.

5. An opposition so viable that the White House won't allow people to attend events that disagree with administration policy.

6. An opposition so viable that protesters are often moved to locations the President cannot see or hear them.

7. An administration that threatens career civil servants with termination for being honest about the real costs of government programs, then the administration lies about the costs of the program to Congress and the American people.

8. An adminstration that goes to war over...

Let's just get to it, shall we?

Our Question of the Week:

If customs and culture reflect a country's form of government, what kind of government are we running here in America?

Let me get this straight?

The Washington Post is admiring Condi because she looks like a Matrix-Fangirl?


I have to admit she has both of Keanu Reeves' facial expressions down.

The Blank Stare

The Pout

Tops stick together

Ann Coulter, also 8 inches cut.

Available for balling, gagging, whipping, branding, cutting (alert Michelle Malking), interning (ditto), or opening jars.

And commenter OY points out this ironic turn of phrase...

Also unlike Raines, Rather and Jordan, Gannon has appeared on television and given a series of creditable interviews in his own defense, proving our gays are more macho than their straights.

Yes, Ann and my money is on your side's transvestites too.


And now for a bit of malicious cruelty.

I truly have arrived late at the comedy train with this one. Not content with -- thanks to constant stick-taunting -- raising CUJO -- Hannity has set up a dating site where sheep and lemmings can get together for extraordinarily average sex.

Jesse at Pandagon, the website once eaten by Steven Colbert (and it was delicious), noticed this more than a week ago and already made the funniest wisecrack:

The only question is, who's going to be Hannity, and who's going to be Colmes?

What is a "Hannity-style romance", exactly? Wouldn't it just be really angry masturbation with someone else watching on and weakly challenging your technique as you scream at them?

Now that is really funny. That Jesse, now I hate him too.

I admit having a conflict about doing some of these. After all these people aren't celebrities and, being a Hannity fan is really punishment enough. Further, you won't see Attaturk posing for a digital camera and putting his mug up for internet display. But you know, put your picture up on the "internets" and you run the risk...

Ann Coulter and Paula Jones love-child.

Nothing hotter than a date with someone's "last known photo"

The Jet-Ski denotes, conservative and international spy.

When a Wendell Wilkie and a Thomas Dewey love each other very much...

Oh Lord.

Not really a date, more like meeting to discuss buying a time-share.

Calling JimmyJeff

Secretly hearts Jeff Gordon.

Whitest man on the planet.

This makes Jesus Cry.

Oh Lord, part II.

Like more than one of these folks, despite the fact she listens to Hannity AND submits a PICTURE, feels need to also point out she is WHITE!

We keed, we keed.

Friday Miscellaneous Lifeform Blogging

Well here we are another Friday. I think today I will keep things high-class.

Like most Attaturk often wishes he was rich, if for no other reason than to be on Paris Hilton's blackberry (actually no -- is there a dumber person in America?...not belonging to the GOP?). But if I were rich, I'd have to acquire a taste for caviar, and I hate caviar.

Caviar to me tastes like the kind of thing that would be the bi-product of Denny Hastert's visit to a Sushi Bar.

And it just may...

Beluga Sturgeon

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Attempted Mind Meld Fails On Putin

Bush lectures his soul mate on democracy and Putin shoves it up his ass.

"Russia has made its choice in favor of democracy," Putin said. "This is our final choice and there is no way back, there can be no return to what we used to have."

Putin added: "We are not going to make up, to invent any kind of special Russian democracy. We are going to commit to the fundamental principles that have been established in the world."

Despite those assurances, Putin had criticism for aspects of the U.S. system. And he suggested that Russians who oppose his actions can sway public opinion because they "are richer than those who are in favor."

"We often do not pay attention to that," he said.

He also compared his move to end direct popular election of regional governors to the American Electoral College (news - web sites) process of electing presidents.

"It's not considered undemocratic, is it?" Putin said.

Don't you think you had better understand your own system of government and constitutional law before you lecture others, especially when they probably have a better working knowledge than you?

U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A.

More Unfortunate Quotes

Reader Eligere informs us that JimmyJeff's site is up again. It's 8 pitch and fonted.

So many unfortunate turns of phrase too:

"I'm baaaaaaaack!"

"My faith and my ideology are rock solid."

"Unfortunate Quotes in History" adds one to the tally

JimmyJeff on the Today show:

‘I asked to come. They allowed me to come’

JimmyJeff is on the Today Show

Oh man. I miss all the horror or the male whore. Or as Pansypoo calls him, the Ho-Ho.

I can just imagine the interview, if it has already happened, well too bad. Is Katie doing it? Perhaps they can compare colons?

Katie: "Jeff Gannon, you were at White House press conferences, and a male prostitute?"

JimmyJeff: "I was a reporter, and my past mistakes or indiscretions should not be held against me. As a Christian I believe in conveniently proclaimed redemption."

Katie: "Well, I just want to say, that I've been to some of those websites where you said that you were a former marine as well. I have got to say this, because it is what I believe. TOPS ROCK!!"

UPDATE: Oh my dream ruined. It was Campbell Brown doing the interview. Transcript here.

The Insta-Equivocation

One would think that somebody who has tenure might be sensitive to the notions of academic freedom. But ERNEST T. BASS, ESQ is long past such metaphysical thoughts -- it is just all will-to-power now.

For example, there is this:

WARD CHURCHILL says he's not an Indian. "Churchill did address the issue of his ethnicity, admitting that he is not Native American. . . . 'Let's cut to the chase; I am not,' he said."

Of course, it turns out -- as the original source notes -- the quote is completely and utterly false.

And how is it corrected by Reynolds, after the "heh"?

Like this:

WARD CHURCHILL MISQUOTED? This report from the Denver Post says so, and that he didn't actually admit that he's not Indian. As I noted below, I got an email from a journalist working on the story who raised that possibility last night.

UPDATE: Here's the Honolulu Star-Bulletin's correction. Churchill's claims about the Keetoowah band's policies seem inconsistent with what I've read elsewhere, but no doubt those who are following this story more closely than I am will get to the bottom of that.

That's a correction without a correction.


Of course, Academic Freedom me but not for thee should be spread across Instapundit's masthead.

For example, he can always, I guess, wave the black shirt:

I'm sure that somebody could catalog a whole series of statements arguably as bad as Churchill's at that site.

Ironic Headline of the Day

From the BBC:

Bush to press Putin on democracy

I'm willing to wager that Pooty-Poot presses back.


According to Josh Levin bloggers are like rappers.

I have to remember to put on my ballcap sideways and find gigantic lowriding pants.

The blogboys of the middling triumvirate all live in the do we try to kill the east coast bloggers (Atrios) or the west coast bloggers (Kos)?

And if this analogy works, I really, truly want to see the gang at L'il Green Fascists try to lay one down.

"Ich bin ein Feigling"

From the NY Times

Most conspicuous was the lack of contact between ordinary Germans and an American president visiting what could almost have been a stage setting: a town with buildings but no people, the shops and restaurants in the center of town closed, and only uniformed police officers on the streets.

Compare that with the main event of the first President Bush's trip here in 1989: a speech to an enthusiastic audience of 3,500 people gathered in a flag-draped hall, thrilling to Mr. Bush's declaration that Germany and America are more than "firm allies and friends," they are "partners in leadership."

After the speech, Mr. Bush and Chancellor Helmut Kohl - two men united in the great cause of winning, or at least surviving, the cold war - took a boat trip on the river, enjoying each other's company.


But this president was entirely sealed off from Germans - other than Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the German journalists at a news conference, and even a town-meeting-type encounter with Mainz residents was scrubbed out of worry the mood would be hostile. A meeting with a group of carefully screened "young leaders" was put in its place.


The KOUFAX AWARDS....The Koufax Awards for best progressive blogs are up. The winners (format stolen from Kevin Drum) are:

Best Blog: Daily Kos
Best Pro Blog: Talking Points Memo
Best Writing: Hullabaloo
Best Post: "If America Were Iraq, What Would it be Like?" by Juan Cole
Best Series (tie): "The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism" by David Neiwert and "Cheers and Jeers" by Bill at Daily Kos.
Best Group Blog: MyDD
Most Humorous Blog: Jesus' General
Best Expert Blog: Informed Comment
Best Single Issue Blog (tie): TalkLeft and Grits for Breakfast
Best New Blog: Mouse Words
Most Deserving of Wider Recognition: Suburban Guerrilla
Best Commenter: Meteor Blades

Congratulations to all of the above.

Having not won an award, it is now time for Attaturk to say that he doesn't blog to win awards.

Nevertheless, I have decided it is only fair to hate each and every one of the winners.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

And Now Your Legal Joke of the Day

From here:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on Tuesday a constitutional challenge to an Alabama law that makes it a crime to sell sex toys.

The high court refused to hear an appeal by a group of individuals who regularly use sexual devices and by two vendors who argued the case raised important issues about the scope of the constitutional right to sexual privacy.

The law prohibited the distribution of "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs." First-time violators can face a fine of up to $10,000 and as much as one year in jail.

In other news, Bill O'Reilly cancelled his vacation plans in Mobile.

A Company of Soldiers--A Final Word

Here in fly-over land where Attaturk and Champollion roam the mean streets, we got a sanitized version of the very good A Company of Soldiers. How do I know it was a sanitized version? I heard one "SHIT", and I know if I got a taste of what these guys gulped down in huge buckets, let me tell you, George Carlin's 7 dirty words would be the least of it.

It was, in a word, Frontline. Just a great look at a sliver of what life looks like in Baghdad. And it is not a pretty sight. We saw high ranking officers lecturing tribal leaders about harboring terrorists, other officers reminiding locals that we are there to build schools, not fight, enlisted soldiers talking about their job is to kill the other poor bastard fighting for his country, and on, and on. A couple of scenes stick out for me. In one scene an American soldier shoots a dog that apparently belongs to a local. Wathcing the dog die and the response of the apparent owner looked all the world like a microcosm of all our problems in Iraq, why we can never "win". The other depicted troops talking to a local who expressed wanting to help. The local, an old man, spoke broken English and told the soldiers he had to be careful how long he lingered because he would be labelled an American spy.

I've heard the old saying about people finding God in foxholes yet I was struck by the strong presence of not just religion but the mention of Jesus Christ while the soldiers prayed before maneuvers. My disclaimer: I've never been in the military (though I am an itinerant Catholic). I know that soldiers have a code they live by, a code I'll never understand. And I'll bet they've got a way of accommodating Jews, Muslims, or atheists, or those people simply don't take offense at the overt display of Jesus H. Christianity. For the life of me though, I can't see it.

So here's how I come down on it: it is a good thing God is on our side.

Let's look at the Logic

Of our right-wing blowhards...

Has to live. (U.S. of Fuckin' A)

Had to die. (Iraq)

Happy Go Lucky...

Condi, I think the secret of her success is her flirtatious nature. That was also the secret of John Foster Dulles.

By the way, this picture catches Dear Leader listening to SuperTramp.


I'm going to delve into what happened at the Conservative Political Action Conference to the extent I can.

But starting right off the bat, look at the banner. On the right, could the shorter white guy in glasses be more fascinated by meeting a real live black guy?

I apologize

Attaturk is an American of predominant German extraction.

As such it is my nature to feel guilt over things I had no control over, or which occurred before I was born.

I probably shouldn't have said that.

I'm sorry.


Anyhow, perpetual kibbitzer and Quisling Kevin Drum (and I won't feel sorry for stating that) ticked off a good number of female bloggers for this idiotic post.

I was enjoying this spectacle, then looked at my blogroll and noticed that some fine blogs composed by women are not up on our own blogroll and that is silly.

So here they are, the new blogrollees (an event which will surely change their lives incalculably to be linked by the middling triumvirate):

Avedon Carols: The Sideshow

Susie from Suburban Gueri...nevermind, already linked.

Echidne of the Snakes, who I thought I had blogrolled.


Who else am I missing that I read, or who has blogrolled us? We are always ready for additions.

Attaturk Complies with New Media Rules

This is, after all, how it is done nowadays.

Some would say, the Bush Administration wants to kill social security.

Some would say, President Bush puts a large sock down his trousers.

Some would say that the Bush Administration is filled with sociopaths.

Some would say that the Bush Administration will soon declare another foreign policy crisis in order to detract attention from their domestic clusterfuckery.

Some would say that George Bush killed nearly 1,500 American soldiers because he is a moron.

Some would say that he is the worst President since James Buchanan cocked his head.

Some would say that Karl Rove is the physical equivalent of two Geobbels without the cloven hoof (physically at least)

Some would say that Denny Hastert is a fat pig connected to Tom DeLay's teat.

Some would say that James Dobson is involved in a Sado-Masochistic relationship with his Dachshund.

Some would say that Bill Frist has 13 of the 14 characteristics of a serial killer.

Some would say that Darryn Kagan is a beard.

Some would say that Rick Santorum likes doing it doggy style, with doggies.

Some would say that Ann Coulter may actually be a least to his face.

Some would say that William Safire should be put in a stew...except he'd be too gamey.

Some would say that the Modern GOP is itself the best argument that Darwin works on a bell curve, as we surely seem to be heading back to the sea under these fucking idiots.

Some would say that Jonah Goldberg is not a doughy pant load. Just kidding, we cannot find anybody who says such a thing.

Some would say that they Ken Mehlman is quite the ladies man, wink, wink, wink.

Some would say that Jeff Gannon was really a bottom.

Some would say that Scottie McClellan is direct and forthright.

Some would say that Barbara Bush (the elder) once killed a servant for being tardy with the pudding.

Brain Hurts

Attaturk's synapsis are barely firing at the moment, so let me post this New York Newsday Editorial that I agree with:

This is the same gang of rhetorical hatchet men behind the deceptively named Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. During last year's presidential campaign, they were telling vicious lies about Kerry's combat record in Vietnam. Now, they're turning their trash talk on the nation's largest and most effective senior citizens lobbying group, which they'll try to tar as an extreme left-wing cabal.

Any reason not to name names?

Ex-Marine Chris LaCivita, who wrote the incendiary Swift Boat commercials ripping Kerry's war record, is coordinating the anti-AARP media campaign.

Rick Reed, whose Virginia-based ad agency Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm handled production on the Swifties' print and broadcast ads, will be standing over the editing console again.

Creative Response Concepts of Arlington, Va., the Swifties' public relations firm, is handling PR this time, too.

And lurking in the shadows nearby, ready to rush out any late-breaking anti-AARP books, is the hard-right print shop known as Regnery Publishing. These are the ruthless knife-twisters who published the hateful anti-Kerry screed, "Unfit for Command."

Keep a jaundiced eye out for "Unfit to Get Old."

Money certainly won't be a problem, not with the deep-pocketed Republican donors and well-crafted direct-mail network this crowd can depend on. Bringing the old gang together and coughing up the dough - $10 million just for starters, by one estimate - is an organization called USA Next.

Founded as the United Senior Association by legendary Republican direct-mail jockey Richard Viguerie in 1991, USA Next is a bare-knuckles conservative lobbying group masquerading as a senior citizens association. Viguerie and the group's current president, Charlie Jarvis, have developed quite a knack for scaring old people with dire warnings about their Social Security checks.

Now they'll try to demonize the insufficiently compliant AARP.

In reality, this is our opportunity to take this malevolent a-holes down.

No quarter from Democrats, and that includes you lonely Joe.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Chicken Shit PBS--One More Time

I posted this last week but feel so strongly about it, I'm putting it up again, in honor of tonight's episode of Frontline.

First PBS pulls the plug on Buster for its lesbian show and now this. Tonight the NewsHour reported that PBS is sending edited versions of its next Frontline program, A Company of Soldiers, because the unedited version has thirteen instances of profanity. Thirteen instances of soldiers cussing. Apparently PBS is asking broadcasers who air the unedited version to sign agreements holding the mother ship harmless from any fines levied by the FCC for the use of profanity. Here is how PBS describes the program:

FRONTLINE reports from inside the U.S. Army's 8th Cavalry Regiment stationed in Baghdad for an up-close, intimate look at the dangers facing an American military unit in Iraq. Shot in the weeks following the U.S. presidential election, the film tracks the day-to-day challenges facing the 8th Cavalry's Dog Company as it suddenly has to cope with a dramatic increase in attacks by the insurgents.

Imagine that, American soldiers in fear of having their DICKS shot off using a little profane language. Sorry mom, but I jut gotta say it: you have to be FUCKING kidding me. Who do these MOTHERFUCKERS think they are? Did they think just because they get a few right wing puss-bags in the upper reaches of government that they could clean up the world for all of us? Apparently so, and quite effectively I might add with PBS running like a scared piece of SHIT from the COCSUCKING Nazis at the FCC and Brent Bozell's mad scientist outfit.

These lousy, good-for-nothing ASSHOLES want not only to clean up the airwaves but show us a sanitized war in which our soldiers getting killed and FUCKING maimed only say prayers with sweet words. God bless mommy and Daddy right? Give us our daily bread, right? Not sweet Jesus, please deliver me from this God forsaken SHIT SWAMP. Save our sorry-asses and help us go home. Deliver us from the evil of this place and the COCK-SUCKING, MOTHER-FUCKING, SHIT-EATING, PISS-DRINKING BUTT-FUCKS that put us here. We're doing the best we can even though we didn't want to come. God help us.


Oh, and PBS, drop your skivies and let your NUTS hang in the air for a while. Let 'em dangle like a wind chime and air out. You might remember how good it feels.

Cult of Personality Redux

Know who this guy is?

...Father of the Country...
...First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of his Countrymen...
...First Guy on Mount Rushmore...
...Not only served in Military, but Led it, won against the odds...
...Continually tried to resign from power...
...Made Napoleon jealous...
...When in a room with Adams, Hamilton, Madison and Jefferson, everybody still looked over to see what he was saying...
...First President...
...Only Southern Founder to actually free his slaves...

Seems that Republicans would still rather elect this guy

Over the first guy by a margin of 2 to 1.


A Response to a Question we will never hear...

Do your own here

Thanks to Atrios commenter DES.

Well Everybody is doing it...

And I already said what I wanted. Reader Daniel gives Attaturk, his ideal ad summarizing the next attack by USANext.Org against the AARP.

The Fox News --- GOP Front Group Conspiracy

We all know that FoxNews is little but Bush Cult of Personality Agitprop. However, SousyHawk at Iowa Underground gives us as clear a visual representation as possible:

It is more than just the odious ad:

Nope, as the blitz starts notice who appears on FoxNews, but the so-called leader of the front group and their paid spokesman.

On the O'Reilly Factor.

On Neil Cavuto.

On Hannity and Colmes.

They know where to go to agitate the mouth-breather base.

The Greediest Generation

By David Brooks

Throughout the nation, millions of American families see the father or mother entering into their prime earning years and the best time in which to raise a family. They wish to pursue the classic 'American Dream' of owning a comfortable four to five bedroom home in an exclusive suburb, own an H2, dress their kids in the finest fashions available at a mall, join a quality country club, and own a large plasma screen television. All these things go with the fact that these families would like more and more children.

However, one key group is holding them back in a two pronged attack.

Their parents.

The nation's seniors deprive these families in two ways. First, they demand both Social Security Payments and Medicare coverage in ever larger and more expensive numbers. These budget busting entitlements drive up the federal budget and keep the economy weak, while simultaneously depriving the nation of the ability to engage in broader military campaigns against [Syndication Editors: insert appropriate terrorist state of month here].

Second, many of these older citizens have been financially successful, but are no longer adequately contributing to the nations financial and fiscal health. Compare for example, a typical senior resident of Scottsdale, Arizona has substantial financial resources from their past investments, but that wealth no longer comes from capital earned through work, but is used in leisure. They live in houses, just a elderly man and woman in a three bedroom home...wasting valuable living space, and having a $250,000 mortgage.

Meanwhile, the children that they deprived of things like candy, and fashionable pants when they were younger, as these now seniors saved for their own retirement, are now being deprived again from leaving that nice four-bedroom home in the suburbs so they can buy that six-bedroom home in exuburbia. Instead of buying that 60-inch plasma television with cash, they have to buy it on credit. All because their parents refuse to pass away and leave them with an inheritance worth inheriting.

Sociologist, Hugh G. Keister, of the American Enterprise Institute, has described this syndrome in his seminal work, "The Greediest Generation". Keister effectively posits that the generations that won the Second World War and the Cold War and built the country into an economic superpower through their selflessness, now demand some sort of payback. "They think they are owed some sense of comfort in their golden years. In a sense it is the socialism that they fought against so long. It is plainly greedy and un-American." But Keister does more than lay out the problem, he also lays out a sensible solution, "seniors should clearly be punished for such beliefs. Punished by being put to death at 75 and ground into animal feed." Keister's stance is clearly a strong one, but also humanitarian, for he states the mode of punishment should be relatively painless, such as lethal injection while the expiring citizen watches beautiful nature films.

It is ironic that the same individuals praised for their heroic sacrifices, now request an inconvenience upon succeeding generations by refusing to realize their lives are over and passing on to their eternal reward.

And this crisis will continue on, unless some solution, perhaps like Keister's, is found.

Magic Words

In the New York Times today:

David Brooks is on vacation.

I'm sure he is hanging out with a white family of 11 somewhere in suburban Boise.

Fear Not, faux Bobo will appear here.


Krugman doesn't call it that, but if his (and Sy Hersh and Scott Ritters) predictions are accurate that is what it is:

The campaign against Social Security is going so badly that longtime critics of President Bush, accustomed to seeing their efforts to point out flaws in administration initiatives brushed aside, are pinching themselves. But they shouldn't relax: if the past is any guide, the Bush administration will soon change the subject back to national security.

The political landscape today reminds me of the spring of 2002, after the big revelations of corporate fraud. Then as now, the administration was on the defensive, and Democrats expected to do well in midterm elections.

Then, suddenly, it was all Iraq, all the time, and Harken Energy and Halliburton vanished from the headlines.

I don't know which foreign threat the administration will start playing up this time, but Bush critics should be prepared for the shift. They must curb their natural inclination to focus almost exclusively on domestic issues, and challenge the administration on national security policy, too.

I say this even though many critics, myself included, would prefer to stick with the domestic issues. After all, domestic issues, particularly Social Security, are very comfortable ground for moderates and liberals. The relevant facts are all in the public domain, voters clearly oppose the administration's hard-right agenda, and Mr. Bush's attack on Social Security stumbled badly out of the gate. It's understandable, then, that critiques of the administration's national security policy have faded into the background in recent months.

But a president can always change the subject to national security if he wants to - and Mr. Bush has repeatedly shown himself willing to play the terrorism card when he is losing the debate on other issues. So it's important to point out that Mr. Bush, for all his posturing, has done a very bad job of protecting the nation - and to make that point now, rather than in the heat of the next foreign crisis.

And he will be wearing...only chaps!

George Bush, selected President, Male Model, Calvin Klein Commercial Casting Director, Bald Fetishist:

Bush says Chirac might make a good cowboy

U.S. President George W. Bush has called the French leader by his first name Jacques and joked about inviting the Iraq war opponent to his Texas ranch, saying, "I'm looking for a good cowboy."

Well, he did lose Gannon.

Monday, February 21, 2005

What a Quaint World He Inhabits

The news of these secret tapes isn't all that shocking in what they reveal. Aside from the betrayal evidenced by a friend secretly recording conversations in which advice is sought and granted, there just isn't much to this. Except of course for one thing.

Bush still inhabits a world of hero worship and the cult of the personality. You can see him dreaming that one day his cheesy glossy hangs in the front of the classroom and under the American flag. Right next to George Washington.

"I don't want any kid doing what I tried to do 30 years ago," Bush said in recordings made when he was governor of Texas and aired Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "And I mean that. It doesn't matter if it's LSD, cocaine, pot, any of those things, because if I answer one, then there will be another one. And I just am not going to answer those questions. And it may cost me the election."

I know the first thing I thought of when I was passed my first joint is "what would the President want me to do?" I know all those abstinence only folks raising sex obsessed and dysfunctional kids are telling them "the President and Laura waited." I know that today I really enjoy lima beans because I was told that "Nixon just loves 'em!"

Yep, in his world everyone wants to be just like him.

Okay Photoshoppers

AmericaBlog, KOS, and others have started photoshopping the USA Next advert that is seen in a post below.

Here is what I would love to see.

A picture of a nice looking grandmotherly type on the left, eventually a red "X" will appear over her.

Say this:

On the right, with a green check mark, a cube of soylent green.

If you can do it mail it to me and you'll get the recognition that can only come from a marginal blog.

Thanks in advance.

Oh Jeebus

From uberblogger, dog-dresser, Josh Marshall comes news of the new AARP sliming via USANext the same slimers who were behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Assholes.

Here is there new ad, as seen at the American Spectator's website. I have to admit, this really does seem like the agenda of older Americans doesn't it?

Oh, Shit on a Swizzlestick, that is laughably over-the-top!

Naturally, this should be the lead talking point on FoxNews for the next month or so.


Hey, Here's an Idea

Let's send the nation's most famous Opiate Addict to Afghanistan to walk through fields of poppys.

He likes it raw!

For the LOVE of all that is holy and untainted in this world


With Chirac, notice how the French President sits properly, not advertising the package? Meanwhile, the Little Emperor is making his presence known...Is President Mandate becoming the ultimate Francophile?

With the NATO Secretary General. Indicating he's reporting for duty I guess (a rarity for Dear Leader it is certain)

Jesus Christ, he looks like my dad after Thanksgiving, ready to loosen his pants and let one rip! Did he just get that guy to pull his finger?