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The Donnybrook
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Darwin Award Finalist: Man Blows Off Balls With Shotgun

It's only June, but I think the competition is pretty much over...

A MAN downed 15 pints of beer then accidentally blew off his testicles with a shotgun.

David Walker, 28, was so drunk he had no idea what happened after he picked up the loaded gun in his home.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that Walker, from Dinnington, Yorkshire, had an argument with a friend in a pub.

Afterwards he went home and found his gun, pushed it into his pocket and went out.

But the gun went off blasting pellets into Walker's groin. He needed emergency surgery and had to have both his testicles removed.

Defence barrister Gulzar Syed said Walker had no explanation for the incident and added: 'His mind was a blank.'

Unfortunately, his scrotum is a blank as well...

Andrew Sullivan Has A Cow...and Shows His Ass...

Pandagon fleshed out this hypocrisy from Andrew Sullivan, one of the right's more reasonable pundits.

While being reasonable, he still does have the same right-wing propensity to douse his drawers every time Hillary Clinton dares open her mouth. This time, he's bitching about a speech Hillary gave to a group of supporters.

Here's the piece:

"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

What's gone unnoticed as well is that Clinton was talking to supporters, many of whom were very rich. She's telling the rich people that support her that given the way the world works, the nation needs money to support itself, and the nation needs it from the people who've profited the most from the nation's policies. In other words, the rich.

Andrew Sullivan goes hysterical.

They know far better than you do how you should spend your money. Because they are morally better people than you are.

Besides the fact that this has always been a red herring (the point of taxation isn't that the government knows better than you how to spend your money - it's that the government, by virtue of being the government, can spend money in ways that no private citizen or group, no matter how powerful, can), the additional idiocy involved falls into two parts.

1.) Hillary Clinton didn't say she was a better person than anyone - in fact, it's a really, really strained reading to get anywhere near that gloss on her statement. She articulated a basic principle of public vs. private - the former has ways of affecting the lives of citizens that the latter doesn't.

2.) Andrew Sullivan advocated a one dollar gas tax a little over two months ago.

Here's his rationalization:

A long-term strategy to protect us from constant involvement in that region would include greater energy independence. A gas tax both helps pay for our current struggle and helps us avoid future ones. Why not therefore a war-time gas tax of a dollar a gallon? If we do not owe it to our fellow citizens, to the environment, to less traffic, to greater fuel efficiency, can we at least owe it to the troops? Or is that minimal level of personal sacrifice too much to ask of ourselves?

In other words, a gas tax for the common good. Did everyone's favorite British-but-he's-really-American conservative just do what the Clintons did? But...but...he's so ideologically pure!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Bush Loses Jesse Helms...Sort of...

No, I'm not saying Helms is a Democrat. I'm pointing out that Bush's record of irresponsible tax cuts is raising some of the most conservative eyebrows out there:

"I would not have voted for [President Bush's] tax cut, based on what I know. . . . There is no doubt that the people at the top who need a tax break the least will get the most benefit. . . . Too often presidents do things that don't end up helping the people they should be helping, and their staffs won't tell them their actions stink on ice."

Get him, you Bush apologists!

Monday, June 28, 2004
Fahrenheit 9/11 Was Fantastic...

So much so, that I'll put my money where my mouth is.

If any of my friends, whether they be liberal, conservative, or on the fence, are thinking of seeing the film, I'll go ahead and pay for your ticket and one for a friend. I really think it's that important for people to see the film.

As far as a review goes, I'll say this: "Fahrenheit" is far less heavy-handed than "Bowling For Columbine". Michael Moore does have the tendency to go a little too far in proving a point. He didn't do that here. Moore was hardly even in the film other than through his narration.

Most of the conservatives lining up to criticize the film either a.) haven't seen it or b.) are afraid of hearing the truth about their glorious leader. The funny thing about that, is that most of the "jabs" at Bush are just clips of Bush being Bush. No embellishment is needed!

The one point of embellishment that damn-near had my wife and I suffocating with laughter was the brilliant use of the greatest TV theme song ever, "The Greatest American Hero", as the background music for Bush's landing on the USS Lincoln. Should've been somebody else, indeed. Absolutely hilarious.

One more point for those who honestly believe Michael Moore hates America. Go see the movie. I'll buy your ticket, so you won't feel dirty. If you're honest with yourself, I think you'll get a better understanding of Moore's take on the world.


Just leave me a comment...

UPDATE: It looks like I'm not the only one that enjoyed "F9/11":

Friday, June 25, 2004
Zell-out Miller Bottoms Out...

I wonder how much Zell's price tag would be to sell himself back to the Democratic Party...I'd give him 15 cents and a box of paper clips.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Georgia Sen. Zell Miller, the highest profile Democrat to endorse President Bush for re-election, will speak at the Republican National Convention later this summer, a congressional aide said Friday.

According to the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Miller will give his address on Wednesday night of the convention in New York. The Bush-Cheney campaign was expected to make an official announcement later in the day. The convention will be held Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

The speech by Miller, a former two-term governor, comes 12 years after he delivered the keynote address for Bill Clinton at the 1992 Democratic National Convention, also held in New York.

Somewhere, Sean Hannity is masturbating...

A Piece of Utter Brilliance From the Town Where My Brother Lives...

It's called Ocala, but I lovingly think of it as "Ocalabama". Put simply, the town makes Mayberry look like a think-tank. Unfortunately, I didn't know how truly screwed up the place could be. Until now...

OCALA, Fla. (AP) - A black school bus driver filed a complaint with authorities after seeing two children dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and carrying a cross at one of her stops.

Claudette Johnson told the Marion County Sheriff's Office that she spotted the pair Wednesday among a group of students waiting for the bus. Johnson made eye contact with the two as the other students boarded her bus, but said the robed students did not speak.

The children in robes then crossed the street and handed the cross to another child, who dragged the cross away, the complaint said. They stood between 5 and 5 feet tall and weighed about 100 pounds, according to Johnson.

Johnson, a 23-year employee of the Marion County school system, said she had also seen a child wearing a KKK outfit at the same bus stop about two weeks ago. Her route serves students attending summer camp at a school.

``I don't think this is funny,'' she said. ``I'm an employee for the public school system. I shouldn't have to deal with this.''

Why do I get the vibe that these kids' parents won't give two shits about what their kids did?

Thursday, June 24, 2004
Sports Guy Gets His Own Page at ESPN.com

Bill Simmons is just about the most entertaining sportswriter out there. He's got a gift for highlighting what is truly important as well as what is truly banal and ridiculous about almost any topic, and it doesn't have to involve sports...

One of my all-time favorite columns of his involved a breakdown of the first three "Karate Kid" movies. Who else would have an insight like this about Karate Kid 3?

Fortunately, if there was a Hall of Fame for "Enjoyably Bad Movies," "KKIII" would probably have its own wing. Ralph Macchio returns as the college-age Daniel, which would have been fine except for the fact that he weighs about 200 pounds, he's at least 35 years old, and he has suddenly and inexplicably developed a Charles Barkley-sized rear end. Just the sight of him wearing jeans is enough to crack up an entire room. I've seen it happen.

For more on the truly stupid and inconsequential, enjoy Sports Guy's World.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
The Reagan Bounce Stops Bouncing...

ABC News, which always skews to the high side for Bush's approval rating, is now the first to show that the bounce Bush received from Ronald Reagan's death has evaporated after less than 2 weeks...

Here's the data:

Election 2004

Kerry 48 (46)
Bush 44 (46)
Nader 6 (4)

Kerry 53 (49)
Bush 45 (47)

Bush's approval ratings

Approve 47 (47)
Disapprove 51 (50)

Here's a fairly telling statistic:

But Kerry is scoring against Bush elsewhere as well, running ahead in trust to handle five of nine issues tested in this poll, from taxes to education to health care; Bush doesn't lead significantly in any of them. And personally, while Americans broadly see Bush as more consistent, they see Kerry as more honest and trustworthy, by a 13-point margin, and more in touch with their problems, by 20 points.

I think DailyKos put it best: Given a choice between a liar and a flip-flopper, give me the flip-flopper any day...

UPDATE: Check out MSNBC's coverage of this poll, including one of the funniest pictures I've ever seen...Constipation got you down???

Friday, June 18, 2004
Putin Falls In Line To Cover Bush's Ass...

Apparently, when President Bush looks into your soul, your morality gets flushed away.

As if right on queue after the 9/11 Commission found no link between Iraq and 9-11, Russian President Vladimir Putin is now trying to link Iraq to terrorism against the US:

"After September 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, the Russian special services ... received information that officials from Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States and outside it against the U.S. military and other interests," Interfax quoted Putin as saying.

The emphasis added is mine in order to point out how clear it is that Putin is trying to cover Bush's ass and tacitly defend the decision to go to war in Iraq...

What this morning's headlines aren't including are Putin's comments around the beginning of the war...

"With every hour," the Russian president said, "human casualties and destruction are mounting, peaceful citizens are dying -- children, old people, women. American and British soldiers are dying, as are Iraqi servicemen."

Putin said Russia believes the only way out of the situation is to "immediately end military action and re-start the process of political solution within the framework of the U.N. Security Council."

...and connections between Iraq and terrorism:

Putin described the United States as a partner but also stressed firmly that the Iraqi campaign should not be lumped in with the broader international war on terrorism - as Washington is doing.

"We do not want the United States to lose their war on terrorism. We are US partners in the fight against terrorism," Putin said.

"But as for Iraq, this is a separate matter. There were no international terrorists under Hussein. This is a separate problem," said Putin.

What changed??? What happened???

Don't believe the hype...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
If A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words...

...this screen capture must be worth a cool million.

9/11 Commission Sees No Iraq/Al-Qaeda Link

Read the rest of the story at Daily Kos.

PS: Try not to look at the image of the Tom "The Texas Bugman" Delay for more than 5 seconds at a time. You could melt...

Philadelphia Daily News Is First To Endorse John Kerry

I always tell people that Philly is a cool town!


LAST WEEK, the nation looked to the past with the death of President Ronald Reagan.

This week, the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John F. Kerry, suspended out of respect to the deceased 40th president, start fresh.

In that spirit, this newspaper, the first in the nation, endorses John Kerry for president. Unlike the current White House occupant, Kerry can lead America to a brighter, better future. He has shown the personal courage, compassion, intellect and skill to lead this country in a time of war abroad and economic troubles at home. He is a serious man for a serious time.

Why make this endorsement now, when the election is months away?

Because this race promises to be close and Pennsylvania is one of 18 swing states that can go to either candidate. For Kerry supporters to prevail they must do more than just vote, they must bring a ringer into this contest: the more than a million people in the region who did not vote in the last presidential election. We believe these non-voters - who will have to be mobilized over the next few months - are the key to victory.

Please read more. Not only is this a ringing endorsement, but it's also an excellent call to action...You have to love the fact that everyone in Philly will be seeing this front page today!!!

Monday, June 14, 2004
Remembering Ronald Reagan: The Truth

Now that the hub-bub is subsiding, the truth can begin to seep out regarding Saint Ronnie.

This cartoon is a good place to start.

Then there's this terrific piece from William Rivers Pitt.

UPDATE: Here's a good piece from the right-wing National Review about Saint Ronnie's achievements as a tax RAISER.

The year 1988 appears to be the only year of the Reagan presidency, other than the first, in which taxes were not raised legislatively. Of course, previous tax increases remained in effect. According to a table in the 1990 budget, the net effect of all these tax increases was to raise taxes by $164 billion in 1992, or 2.6 percent of GDP. This is equivalent to almost $300 billion in today's economy.

Electoral Vote Predictors

Right, wrong, or indifferent, the Electoral College is the method by which we choose our Presidents. As a result, national polls, while a decent barometer of sentiment in presidential races, don't carry a whole lot of water.

This is why it's more sensible to focus on state-by-state polling data.

I'm linking the three best that I've found:

Federal Review Composite Poll

Electoral Vote Predictor 2004

Election Projection

If you really love this stuff and want to do a composite of the 3 composite polls, be my guest, but make sure you get outside every once in a while...

Friday, June 11, 2004
Matt Drudge Wastes No Time Bashing The Clintons At Reagan's Funeral

It a typically classy move, Matt "Don't tell the hard righties I'm gay" Drudge waited approximately 3.2 seconds after Ronald Reagan's funeral service to accuse Bill and Hillary Clinton of sleeping through the memorial.

What the pathological "journalist" fails to mention is that in the background, you can see Betty Ford with her eyes closed as well. The Clintons and the rest of those assembled were praying at the time.

I'll say it again. It's nice to see that conservatives aren't exploiting Reagan's death for political gain...

Thursday, June 10, 2004
Why Bush's "All Reagan, All The Time" Strategy Will Fail...

I see a few pieces of evidence that show me a potential overreach into the St. Ronnie bucket.

First, is an article from Capitol Hill Blue that describes the adverse reaction some Republicans are having to Bush's use of Reagan as it pertains to his re-election campaign.

As the nation prepares to bury former President Ronald Reagan, Republican insiders fight among themselves over plans by the political team of President George W. Bush to use images of and speeches by Reagan in new television ads aimed at jump-starting a faltering campaign.

“They’re disgusting,” says one long-time Republican who participated in a focus group to preview the new television ads. “They dishonor the memory of Ronald Reagan and if President Bush allows these ads on the air I, for one, will not vote for him in November.”

The ads, ordered up by Bush political advisor Karl Rove immediately after Reagan’s death last Saturday, use images of Reagan and excerpts from his speeches in what one angry GOP conservative describes as a “callous attempt to tie George W. Bush to the legacy of Ronald Wilson Reagan.”

One proposed ad even goes so far as to show Reagan saying “George, go out and win one for the Gipper.” The clip comes from Reagan’s speech to the 1988 Republican National Convention where the former President’s request was to Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, in his successful 1988 run for President.

“I cannot believe our party would stoop to using Mr. Reagan’s memory for such political gain,” says another Republican who has heard about, but not seen, the ads. “This goes way beyond any moral or ethical bounds.”

Then, from Talking Points Memo, is a point about Bush's campaign strategy I hadn't considered previously...

A few days ago I noted a divergence between the websites of the two presidential candidates. John Kerry's website showed lots of pictures of John Kerry in all the expected poses of authority, empathy and so forth. Meanwhile, President Bush's website
also showed lots of pictures of John Kerry caught, as you might imagine, in poses suggesting buffoonery, arrogance, indecision and the like. What the GWB website didn't have any of was pictures of George W. Bush.

Now, earlier today I noted how the Bush campaign has replaced the front page of their website with a Reagan tribute, with a huge picture of the late president backgrounded with flags, accompanied by links to a Reagan tribute video, links to President Reagan's most famous speeches and statement of his praise for President Reagan by President Bush.

That's the Bush website now. (You really need to see it to get the picture.)

Now, how many days of leaving the site that way will it take before people start to see the obvious: that President Bush's campaign staffers believe that pushing their own guy isn't a particularly good political strategy and that bashing Kerry or grasping on to Reagan nostalgia is far preferable?

Now to a related point. I've got a number of notes from people (few of them Bush supporters in the first case, of course) who are outraged by the Bush campaign's unabashed exploitation of Reagan's passing as part of their reelection campaign effort --- the morphing of the Bush website into the Reagan tribute website being a key example.

Yes, it's crass and cynical. But it's also a tad desperate. And that's the more important point, I think. Having watched the Bush White House for some time and seen them try all manner of crude and crass political gambits, very few of them, in my recollection, haven't ended up biting them in the behind.

I suspect this case will be the same.

In the end, Bush may be smart to keep his mug out of the public eye, or at least off of his website, but shouldn't HE be the centerpiece of HIS OWN campaign???

Wednesday, June 9, 2004
Who's Playing Politics With National Security Now?

Those of you that believe what the Bush administration tells you just got jobbed again. Why allow this to keep happening to yourself?

Do you actually appreciate being bullshitted by those you cling to so fervently???

WASHINGTON — The State Department is scrambling to revise its annual report on global terrorism to acknowledge that it understated the number of deadly attacks in 2003, amid charges that the document is inaccurate and was politically manipulated by the Bush administration.

When the most recent "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report was issued April 29, senior Bush administration officials immediately hailed it as objective proof that they were winning the war on terrorism. The report is considered the authoritative yardstick of the prevalence of terrorist activity around the world.

"Indeed, you will find in these pages clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight" against global terrorism, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said during a celebratory rollout of the report.

Now here's the real kick in the stones...

But on Tuesday, State Department officials said they underreported the number of terrorist attacks in the tally for 2003, and added that they expected to release an updated version soon.

Several U.S. officials and terrorism experts familiar with that revision effort said the new report will show that the number of significant terrorist incidents increased last year, perhaps to its highest level in 20 years.

Good thing we're winning the war on terra!

Tuesday, June 8, 2004
Rumsfeld Hangs Himself...

This is the greatest Secretary of Defense ever???

The United States and its allies are winning some battles in the terrorism war but may be losing the broader struggle against Islamic extremism that is terrorism's source, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Saturday.

The troubling unknown, he said, is whether the extremists — whom he termed "zealots and despots" bent on destroying the global system of nation-states — are turning out newly trained terrorists faster than the United States can capture or kill them.

"It's quite clear to me that we do not have a coherent approach to this," Rumsfeld said at an international security conference.

My Thoughts On A Dead President

I've been on vacation for the last week and a half, but I have been paying attention to the coverage that Ronald Reagan's death has generated.

I'm going to follow the old rule of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

I think one of the cheesiest and most disingenuous things people do is to badmouth someone while they're alive, then act like they loved them once they die. I remember when Sonny Bono died, Cher was at his funeral talking about him like he was a saint. Meanwhile, she spent the last 20+ years talking shit about him in public.

For all of the bad things I could say about President Reagan (and there are many), I will say this about him, he had a great ability to calm the people of this nation in times of great fear. It's too bad the current occupant of the Oval Office has no ability to do the same and, in fact, needs a frightened populace in order to remain powerful.

George W. Bush needs people to die in order to appear successful. This now includes Ronald Reagan...


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