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May 19, 2006

An Oil-Fueled Torch

Malbug_17Leave it to Ex-Sen. Robert "The Torch" Torricelli (D-N.J.) to be the gift that keeps on giving.

The corruption-plagued New Jersey pol, who abruptly dropped out of his 2002 re-election bid, has now been linked to the Oil-for-Food scandal.  Torricelli, then a congressman, allegedly tried to get oil-for-food contracts at favorable terms for David Chang – the same campaign contributor whose ties to the Senator helped precipitate his downfall – and his company, Bright and Bright:

Contacted by telephone, Mr Torricelli, who now runs his own business consulting firm and remains a powerful figure in New Jersey politics and a prominent Democratic party fundraiser, admitted meeting Mr Hamdoun “many times”, “probably both” in Washington and New York “and in Baghdad”. He first denied mentioning Mr Chang or Bright and Bright during his conversations with (former Iraqi ambassador to the UN Nizar) Hamdoun. When told about the Iraqi documents that suggested there had been discussions, he said he did not remember mentioning them.

While the Torch's political career is dead and buried, this is the first indication that Saddam's corrupt influence might have reached even into the U.S. Congress.  Torricelli's history indicates that he would have been just the man to have obliged.

May 16, 2006

Can We Question Their Patriotism Now?

Malbug_17Burn1 Witness how the howling mad moonbats are reveling (link is to anti-AMERICAblog's comments) in a wholly unscientific Web poll showing a significant majority — 64 percent at this writing — answering in the affirmative to the following:

Do you agree with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's severe criticism of U.S President George W. Bush?

This is Hugo Chavez, people.  Not Hugo Boss or Hugo Weaving or even the late Victor Hugo.

Hugo Chavez, who hates not just George Bush but this country.

Hugo Chavez, best buddy and protege of the most retrograde and despicable dictator in the Western Hemisphere.

Hugo Chavez, who might just make the current price of gas look like a Costco-style bargain.

Hugo Chavez, who apparently wants to sell our own warplanes to the most fanatical regimes on Earth, regimes that constantly threaten their neighbors with complete annihilation and lie about their production of nuclear weaponry.

So are you one of those 64 percent?  If so, then congratulations: You have crossed the line from run-of-the-mill, blinkered Bush-hatred to borderline treason.

Sometimes the enemy of your enemy should just be ... your enemy.

Quote of the Day

Malbug_17Yes, it might be taken a bit out of context, but it's still fun:

"If I had to go male it would be (Rep.) Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) because I would just love to be with him."

— Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) on going male

The Dean of the Clueless Corps

Malbug_17DNC Chairman Howard Dean sauntered into the friendly confines of "The Daily Show" last night.  The audience dutifully applauded references to President Bush's low standing in the polls, as well as Dean's predictions of Democratic takeover of the House and/or Senate.

Dean1_1 But then host Jon Stewart had the temerity to ask just exactly how the Democrats were going to manage not to blow the opportunity before them.

Dean's plan: Let's put, say, four people in every state who will knock on as many as 5 to 6 million doors over the next few years.

"So the Dems are now as powerful as the Jehovah's Witnesses," Stewart said.

No, no, no!  See, this is where the plan gets brilliant.  If they're not home, then you hang this nifty little door-hanger on the doorknob!

Dean3 But Stewart was having none of it.  When he pressed Dean for an actual message, it was essentially, "We'll be less grafty than the other guy."

Then Dean actually angled the Democrats to the left of President Bush's centrist immigration policy.

Stewart neatly summed things up for Dean: "You are so not taking back the House and the Senate."

(Incidentally, no reference whatsoever was made to Dean's recent, humongous gaffes regarding gays.)

[Watch video – 7:38, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 7:38, WMV format, low bandwidth]


In other "Daily Show" news, Stewart took a cold, hard look at the reports of NSA-related phone shenanigans.

900gay_1 Hot on the heels of Administration denials of surveillance of domestic phone calls came a USA Today story last week stating that the National Security Agency has indeed kept a massive database regarding billions of domestic phone calls.

The government explanation has been that the database analyzes only call patterns, and not the content of all the calls themselves, to spot potential terrorists.

As Stewart points out, it's probably cold comfort to those of us whose call patterns are suspicious for any number of other reasons.

[Watch video – 6:22, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 6:22, WMV format, low bandwidth]

May 15, 2006

Gay and Other Bits

Malbug_17Laura Bush says gay-marriage legislation shouldn't be a "campaign tool."  I guess no one told her husband.

Malbug_17Former Senator Bob Kerrey admits blocking cocks.

Malbug_17Alabama AG candidate shows that racism knows no party boundaries.

May 12, 2006

Gay Left-Coast Kookiness

Malbug_17

California_cuckoo I'm sure there are more such reports to be found in California alone, but a casual perusal of blogs this afternoon helps underscore the dogged determination of some gay liberals to alienate the rest of us who might otherwise support them on issues that concern us all.

BoiFromTroy writes about a trip to his local gay bookstore, during which he had hoped to find a copy of gay American Mary Cheney's new tome.  But the shop was good enough to carry plenty of copies of straight American, and frothy socialist, Noam Chomsky's new book.

Perhaps these are wise business decisions for someone with a West Hollywood clientele.  But why, then, call yourself a "gay" bookstore?  Answer: Because a disturbing number of gay Americans naïvely consider ultra-leftist politics part and parcel of the homosexual experience.  For millions of the rest of us, this just doesn't compute.

In a somewhat related story, Queerty reports that the California State Senate has passed a bill "that would require textbooks in public schools to instruct students on contributions by gays and lesbians in the state's development."

Normally I would decry the balkanization of education by officious politicians.  But the bill already reads like a laundry list of aggrieved groups — "men and women, Black Americans, American Indians, Mexicans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and other ethnic groups, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender" — so gays might as well join the hit parade.  (It's similar to my thoughts on hate-crimes laws: They're stupid and pointless, but as long as we have them, gays should be protected by them.)

But why can't they just teach students about Californians' contributions to the state, regardless of whatever preferred group to which they belong?

Why Elliot Will Win

Malbug_17

Columnist John Podhoretz applies a political model to "American Idol" voting and predicts a winner.  He could be onto something.

Of the three remaining contestants, I think Katharine would make the best Idol (my criteria being someone who can sell records and sell out venues), probably followed by Elliot.  I just don't see how Taylor is as sellable as the others.

[Thanks, Alan!]

Bush Freefall Continues

Malbug_17

The latest: 29 percent.

May 11, 2006

Thanks, But No Thanks, Howie

Malbug_17

NGLTF returns $5,000 to the DNC, blasting Chairman Howard Dean's complete ignorance of his own party's platform regarding gays:

WASHINGTON, May 8 —In a Christian Broadcasting News segment aired today on The 700 Club concerning how Democrats are reaching out to evangelicals, Howard Dean, chair of the Democratic National Party, said, "The Democratic Party platform from 2004 says that marriage is between a man and a woman. That's what it says. I think where we may take exception with some religious leaders is that we believe in inclusion, that everybody deserves to live with dignity and respect, and that equal rights under the law are important."

In fact, the DNC 2004 platform says, "We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections for these families. In our country, marriage has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we believe it should continue to be defined there. We repudiate President Bush's divisive effort to politicize the Constitution by pursuing a 'Federal Marriage Amendment.' Our goal is to bring Americans together, not drive them apart."

Bravo to NGLTF for showing integrity.

On gays, Democrats continue to race Republicans to the bottom.  So to speak.  (Ahem.)

May 10, 2006

Reuters' Day of Atonement?

Malbug_17

George Bush sure has been taking a drubbing lately, and no one has drubbed quite as mightily as the "journalists" from Reuterville.  So now that Bush's poll numbers have tanked, does that mean Reuters is going softer on him now?

Take this photo from an event today, showing the "caring" side of the President:

Icare

Perhaps they are making up for this:

Retire

Or other past media sins like this from USA Today:

Rage_1

Or this from "NBC Nightly News":

Ilie

Although I suppose that last one could have just been NBC's secret shout-out to tennis fans.

May 08, 2006

Burying, Rathering Than Grinding, Axes

Malbug_17

Many on the gay Left have made a cottage industry of demonizing their political opponents, even when those opponents also happen to be gay.  So it was refreshing to see today's WaPo op-ed by Elizabeth Birch, former executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, and her partner, Hilary Rosen, former director of the Recording Industry Association of America.

Rather than continue the Left's pointless and self-destructive crusade against Mary Cheney, the pair welcomed her more public stance on issues of concern to gay Americans:

Mary's presence on the national stage -- the daughter of the vice president of the United States discussing issues related to our lives -- is most welcome and has the potential to be a transforming moment for all Americans.

[snip]

We applaud Mary Cheney's leap onto the national stage. The timing of the book's release is a welcome boon to the current effort to defeat (for the second time) the White House-endorsed Federal Marriage Amendment, which is before Congress and would put discrimination against gay and lesbian families into the Constitution. The vote has once again been timed by the congressional Republican leadership to exploit the midterm elections.

Mary is leading the Cheney family to bring new understanding to dinner-table discussions across the land. We look forward to the Cheney family embracing this teachable moment, not just on the book tour but in election halls, state legislatures and Congress.

Nice to see that "Dear Mary" website hasn't been updated since the 2004 election, by the way.  Then again, leave it to those kooky gays not to let a chance at political posturing go by, at the expense of actually making a meaningful difference.

May 05, 2006

Kennedy Addendum

Malbug_13

I eagerly wait to hear what kind of criminal charges Rep. Kennedy will be facing.

Surely crashing your car while intoxicated would be viewed more seriously than being stopped for going 10 MPH over the speed limit with a blood-alcohol content barely above the legal limit.  Surely a congressman wouldn't be held to a lower standard than a schlub like me.

Freddy Quimby Meets Jeff Conaway

Malbug_13

May 5, 2006, Boston Herald:

U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy insisted yesterday that he had consumed “no alcohol” before he slammed his Mustang convertible into a concrete barrier near his office, but a hostess at a popular Capitol Hill watering hole told the Herald she saw him drinking in the hours before the crash.

[snip]

Earlier in the evening, Kennedy issued a statement through his office blaming the accident and strange behavior surrounding it on prescription drugs.

Jan. 8, 2006, a drunken Jeff Conaway on "Celebrity Fit Club":

"Everybody, thank you for your concern. It was nothing to be concerned about. I took a couple of Benadryl and I got loopy. ... I am on prescription drugs, yes."

UPDATE: Not to be flip about this situation, because Kennedy now has stopped lying and is going into drug rehab.  Hey, it worked for P.O.B.

Hilarious Item of the Week

Malbug_13

Loudobbs This is awesome:

Los Angeles' top rated English language Latino radio talk show, The Pocho Hour of Power on KPFK 90.7 FM , Fridays at 4pm, has made an unprecedented financial offer to so-called "illegal immigrants". In the interest of racial harmony and assimilation of immigrants into U.S. culture, the co-hosts of the Pocho Hour of Power make this offer: The first undocumented immigrant to name their U.S. born child "Lou Dobbs," before September 16th, 2006, will win $500.00 worth of baby nursery items from participating East Los Angeles merchants supporting the Name Your Baby Lou Dobbs Challenge.

Now if I could just find a gay baby to adopt, I'll name him Rick Santorum.

May 04, 2006

Democrats' Outreach Around

It's a circular firing squad, and for once we're not discussing bukkake.

Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean fired the party's gay outreach adviser Donald Hitchcock on May 2 less than a week after Hitchcock's domestic partner, Paul Yandura, a longtime party activist, accused Dean of failing to take adequate steps to defend gay rights.

I am frankly stunned to discover Howard Dean is a vile, petty man and the national Democratic Party enjoys ample cash infusions from the gay community without actually, you know, doing anything to earn them.

John Aravosis is rightly furious with the chairman and the state of the party, but his comments section is a seething pit to behold.

As another Washington Blade article notes, the DNC has quietly dismantled its GLBT operations as sinking Republican poll numbers bring electoral victory tantalizingly close. They'll not have the taint of gay politics mucking up their November returns, thank you very much.

However, if you'll continue to donate generously, they'd be much obliged. I recommend a bit of Boy Butter for the exercise.

Update: An excellent round-up of the kerfuffle can be found here.

The Yellow Badge of No Courage

Malbug_13

Rarely do I find myself in agreement with Richard Cohen – that is, when I'm not so put off by his usual solipsism and general Leftishness that I will actually read him.

But today, in his column on Stephen Colbert's turn at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, he "speaks truth to power" about one of the Left's favorite bromides de jour:

Why are you wasting my time with Colbert, I hear you ask. Because he is representative of what too often passes for political courage, not to mention wit, in this country. His defenders -- and they are all over the blogosphere -- will tell you he spoke truth to power. This is a tired phrase, as we all know, but when it was fresh and meaningful it suggested repercussions, consequences -- maybe even death in some countries. When you spoke truth to power you took the distinct chance that power would smite you, toss you into a dungeon or -- if you're at work -- take away your office.

But in this country, anyone can insult the president of the United States. Colbert just did it, and he will not suffer any consequence at all. He knew that going in. He also knew that Bush would have to sit there and pretend to laugh at Colbert's lame and insulting jokes. Bush himself plays off his reputation as a dunce and his penchant for mangling English. Self-mockery can be funny. Mockery that is insulting is not. The sort of stuff that would get you punched in a bar can be said on a dais with impunity. This is why Colbert was more than rude. He was a bully.

[snip]

He had a chance to tell the president and much of important (and self-important) Washington things it would have been good for them to hear. But he was, like much of the blogosphere itself, telling like-minded people what they already know and alienating all the others. In this sense, he was a man for our times.

He also wasn't funny.

And if another person cites that Jefferson-quote-that-Jefferson-never-said, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism," I will throttle them.

[h/t OpinionJournal]

Wasting a Lott

Malbug_13

GayPatriotWest points out the crucial distinctions between Trent Lott's problem and gays' "problem."

May 03, 2006

Sanctity of Marriage Watch

Malbug_13

Ricky Santorum, who believes that allowing gay people to marry signals the impending collapse of Western civilization if not the Apocalypse itself, is working hard to re-elect an adulterous House member who allegedly assaulted his mistress.  A spokeswoman had no comment on the obvious incongruity.

This is funnier than anything else I have written this week.

Time Warner Jackpot Sparks Outrage

Malbug_13

New York (AP) — On the heels of Time Warner's announcement of a $1.46 billion first-quarter profit, the Senate Commerce Committee has announced hearings next week to investigate potential price-gouging.

"All those zeroes," said Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Senate Commerce Committee Chairman, loosening his Incredible Hulk tie.  "All those freakin' zeroes!"

"A profit that high cannot possibly be a result of market forces," said Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), a committee member.  "I will not stand by idly while hard-working Americans and Vietnam veterans are made to pay obscene prices for substandard news and entertainment."

Commerce Committee staff members have been combing through the media giant's shareholder reports, news articles and other documents for evidence that the company is taking unfair advantage of consumers.

As the nation heads into the busy summer entertainment season, senators are concerned that high prices for Time Warner products are stretching Americans' disposable incomes thin.  Others expressed anger at Time Warner's profligate spending.

"They're paying Anderson Cooper $2 million a year for, what, 300,000 viewers a night?" said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)  "I mean, that's half of what Brian Williams makes on NBC, but about 6 million fewer viewers."

Richard_parsons_money

Richard Parsons, Time Warner chairman and CEO,
receives his annual bonus

"Look at this list of underperforming properties," said Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.)  "Ratings for 'The Sopranos' are in the toilet.  The Atlanta Braves' starting (pitching) rotation has an ERA of – what – like, 12?  And Quack.com?  What the fuck is that?"

Senators said they intend to press Time Warner to adopt austerity measures.

"Do they really need a 'Fortune 500'?" asked Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.)  "Isn't 300 or 400 good enough?"

Richard Parsons, chairman and CEO of Time Warner, was reached for comment atop a four-story pile of money.

"The men and women of Time Warner are working hard to shore up this critical sector of the U.S. economy," he said, lighting a fat Montecristo Platinum with a fistful of stock options.

"With Americans importing more of their news from Britain and more of their feature films from Europe, they should be thankful that there are still domestic media leviathans to make them think and laugh."

A Senate Commerce Committee spokesman said hearings would be scheduled for Tuesday, and that Parsons and other top executives could expect tough questioning.

"Like any red-blooded American, I'd fuck Brandon Routh too," said Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.)  "But $11 is still an awful lot to ask for Superman Returns, and that's even before nachos and a Coke."

April 30, 2006

Colbert's Correspondents Course

Colbert_dinner There's quite a bit of political frothing over Stephen Colbert's appearance at the White House Correspondent Dinner over the weekend. The usual suspects are leaping and hooting in the trees with roughly a thousand threads saluting the courage Colbert in taking on the President. I'll simply note that when a political party's hero of the year is a comedian, that's probably a sign of nothing good.

As for the actual performance, it's good in parts, awkward and stilted in others. The Helen Thomas Terminator 2 bit goes on far too long and has been trimmed. I'm a big fan of Colbert's right-wing pundit character, often featuring him in Malcovision, but he wears thin under the strain of twenty unbroken minutes. Though he seems very much out of his element, there are a few worthwhile moments and jokes interspersed throughout.

[Watch video – 20:35, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 20:35, WMV format, low bandwidth]



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