Archive for September 9th, 2004
As an antidote to the previous post, we offer this exciting news to any of our Texas readers–assuming we have any, which I personally wouldn’t bet an old shoe on–for action and to the rest of you for entertainment. Via ‘adrienne’ at Martinimade, we discover that one of our favorite people in the whole world is running for Gov of Texas in 2006: Kinky Friedman.
Kinky Friedman, who became infamous for heading the only Jewish country music band, I think, in history, Kinky and the Texas Jewboys, which was also the only group ever to do an Austin City Limits that was banned from broadcast; Kinky Friedman, who wrote such classic country ditties as ‘Shield of Abraham’ and ‘Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed'; Kinky Friedman, who once ran for mayor of his hometown, Kerrville, TX, on the slogan ‘I’ll Keep Us Out of War with Fredricksburg’ (the town next door); Kinky Friedman, who pioneered such unforgettable catch-phrases as: ‘Hold the weddin!’, ‘Taking a Nixon’, and ‘I like It here'; Kinky Friedman, author of a string of murder mysteries featuring–ta da!–himself (who else) as the detective but even more interesting, populated by fictive versions of old friends like Don Imus and Willie Nelson. Imagine him as the Gov of Texas. It’s almost too delicious for words.
Visit his ‘Campaign Store’, where items like these–
Bumper Stickers T-Shirts
–are cheerfully coughed up for sale, apparently to the Best Reasonable Offer.
I think he’s missing one good bet for a slogan. How’s this: ‘Get Revenge for W–Move to Texas and Vote Kinky!’ Huh?
Update: He lost.
I’m not being flippant about these incidents. Call it Black Humor. Bitter Black.
Episode 1: Xtian Counselor Counsels Punching, But Only Kerry Supporters
Courtesy of andante at Collective Sigh comes this charming little story from Colorado. It seems that a group called ‘Veterans for Kerry’ was marching in the Windsor, CO Harvest Festival Parade when a member of the fundie Xtian group Colorado FamilyLife Marriage Conference started swinging. Here’s how it went down.
According to police, Laughlin was handing out pamphlets for his group while making loud insults about Kerry to the crowd gathered to watch the parade.
After about a mile, the veterans group asked Laughlin to go back to his own group, but he refused and instead stood in front of the Kerry group, refusing to move, according to a Chris Humphries, an Army veteran and Kerry campaign employee.
That’s when a fight erupted and Laughlin grabbed a veteran by his shirt and started swinging, according to Gary Fedel, a Lakewood, Colo. member of Veterans for Kerry. Humphries said Laughlin then turned around punched her in the mouth.
Police arrested Laughlin on charges of misdemeanor assault.
FamilyLife is an organization that holds conferences to bring married couples closer together.
Apparently, being a veteran and daring to support anyone but W is now a punchable offense, especially if you’re a veteran, a Kerry supporter, and a woman.
I put that one first because I knew you wouldn’t have the stomach for it after you watch what comes next.
Episode 2: Latest from the ‘Hitler Lives!’ Film Festival
A group of Young Republicans, those clean-cut, always courteous YP’s, was having a meeting in NYC. A group of protestors from the group Act Out decided to try to disrupt the meeting by chanting and holding up signs. The YP’s reacted with the courtesy they are so noted for–they started a fight*.
Now go watch what happened next, because if I tell you, you won’t believe me. (I stole this from Adam at A violently executed blog who warns that those of you using a decent browser like Firefox or Opera may have difficulties getting the video, and suggests you use ‘Internet Exploder’ just this once.)
Did you watch it?
That’s right, campers, that Manhattan tv station did indeed catch this clean-cut YR–
–kicking a female** protester who was being held down by 3 (that’s right, three, count em) Secret Service guys. Should you see the right-wing hero pictured above outside your local 7-11, be advised that you have permission from the Pope to get three of your friends to hold him down while you kick him. (The Pope is a great believer in karma. Trust me.)***
* Note that in both cases it was the right-wing sludge who started the fracas.
** Note that in both cases the said sludge attacked a female. (At least the first one wasn’t tied down.)
*** In each of these cases, it was the protester who was arrested. In the second case, NO charges were filed against the scum pictured above.
Sorry to ruin your day like this, but I thought you ought to know.
Some startling numbers are emerging from polls done in connection with Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, according to Moore himself. In his latest newsletter, Moore cites marketing research showing that hardly anyone going into F9/11 a Bush voter is coming out one.
I had dinner recently with a well-known pollster who had often worked for Republicans. He told me that when he went to see “Fahrenheit 9/11″ he got so distraught he twice had to go out in the lobby and pace during the movie.
“The Bush White House left open a huge void when it came to explaining the war to the American people,” he told me. “And your film has filled that void — and now there is no way to defeat it. It is the atomic bomb of this campaign.”
He told me how he had conducted an informal poll with “Fahrenheit 9/11″ audiences in three different cities and the results were all the same. “Essentially, 80% of the people going IN to see your movie are already likely Kerry voters and the movie has galvanized them in a way you rarely see Democrats galvanized.
“But, here’s the bad news for Bush: Though 80% going IN to your movie are Kerry voters, 100% of those COMING OUT of your movie are Kerry voters. You can’t come out of this movie and say, ‘I am absolutely and enthusiastically voting for George W. Bush.'”
His findings are similar to those in other polls conducted around the country. In Pennsylvania, a Keystone poll showed that 4% of Kerry’s support has come from people who decided to vote for him AFTER seeing “Fahrenheit 9/11″ — and in an election that will be very close, 4% is a landslide. A Harris poll found that 44% of Republicans who see the film give it a “positive” rating. Another poll, to be released this week, shows a 21-point shift in Bush’s approval rating, after just one viewing of the movie, among audiences of undecideds who were shown “Fahrenheit 9/11″ in Ohio.
My pollster friend told me that he believes if Kerry wins, “Fahrenheit 9/11″ will be one of the top three reasons for his election. Kerry’s only problem, he said, is how many people will actually be able to see it before election day. The less that see it, the better for Bush.
But 20 million people have already seen it — and the Gallup poll said that 56% of the American public has seen or plans to see “Fahrenheit 9/11″ either in the theater or on home video. The DVD and home video of our film, thanks to our distributors listening to our pleas to release it before November, will be in the stores on October 5. This is very good news.
These polls galvanized him to try to get F9/11 aired on television before the election. The DVD distributor so far has said No, fearing its profits on the DVD sales would be hurt. Moore is currently trying to talk them into considering a single, one-night-only showing right before the election–preferably the night before.
There’s a price, though–if the film is shown on TV then, less than 9 months after its theatrical release, Academy rules make it ineligible for a run at Best Documentary. Moore responds to that this way:
I have decided not to submit “Fahrenheit 9/11″ for consideration for the Best Documentary Oscar. If there is even the remotest of chances that I can get this film seen by a few million more Americans before election day, then that is more important to me than winning another documentary Oscar. I have already won a Best Documentary statue. Having a second one would be nice, but not as nice as getting this country back in the hands of the majority.
His enemies in the corporate press, however, have come up with another reason–they’re suggesting he’s just angling for Best Picture.
What happens when pugnacious filmmaker Michael Moore, incendiary documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11″ and Oscar gunslinger Harvey Weinstein team up for an Academy Award run? An explosive, and extremely risky, decision to pull “Fahrenheit” out of the documentary race to fight for consideration as best picture.
Moore said he got the idea — it represents a first in Academy Awards history — from veteran Oscar campaigner Weinstein, the Miramax co-chairman who is also an executive producer on the documentary.
Bruce Davis, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ executive director, confirmed that no documentary has ever been nominated for best picture.
And there’s a reason for that:
An Oscar strategist for another studio who asked not to be identified criticized the move, saying “Fahrenheit 9/11″ might be popular with some writers and directors who want to make a political statement, but no actors will vote for it because there are no actors in the film, likewise, the crafts unions.
No one who knows more about the movie business than your average 12-yr-old could possibly take this theory seriously. This has Harvey ‘Mad Max’ Weinstein written all over it–a pure press play aimed at getting plenty of ink for Miramax–and a much longer run for the film. Harvey has proved to be a genius at manipulating Academy voters (he’s the guy who got Oscars for The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love when everybody said it was impossible), but even he doesn’t really expect to pull this off in the face of the rock-ribbed Academy prejudices against non-fiction film.
The Academy Award is worth millions of dollars in extra tickets to the winner and a bigger jackpot in video and DVD sales, and F9/11 had a good chance of winning Best Documentary again. It must have hurt Harvey like a hernia when Moore said he was giving it up. Both Miramax and Moore himself are giving up $$millions$$ by doing it. In my book, that makes them heroes–especially since there’s no guarantee the film will even be shown on tv and they may be giving up all that money for nothing. That Moore is doing this for no more than a wing-and-a-prayer hope that the film might be shown on a mass media outlet before the election says a lot about his commitment.
The ‘Best Picture’ ploy is just a gambit to take up some of the slack and renew interest in the film. Anybody who says otherwise is talking through his tinfoil hat.
Despite a nationwide effort and widespread support from all sides of the political spectrum, assault weapons will be back on our streets as of Monday. Congressional Republicans, some of whom apparently like to go out and shoot things with them, are refusing to extend the ban, caving in to the NRA like the craven cowards they are.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 – Despite widespread popular support, the federal law banning the sale of 19 kinds of semiautomatic assault weapons is almost certain to expire on Monday, the result of intense lobbying by the National Rifle Association and the complicated election-year politics of Washington.
While President Bush has expressed support for legislation extending the ban and has said he would sign it into law, he has not pressured lawmakers to act, leading critics to accuse him of trying to have it both ways.
Efforts to renew the ban, which polls show is supported by at least two-thirds of Americans, have faltered this year on Capitol Hill. Democrats are well aware that they lost control of the House of Representatives in 1994, the year President Bill Clinton signed the original legislation, and have shied away from the issue of gun control, while Republican leaders have opposed the ban.
“I think the will of the American people is consistent with letting it expire, so it will expire,” Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, said on Wednesday.
The House majority leader, Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, dismissed the ban as “a feel-good piece of legislation” and said flatly that it would expire Monday, even if Mr. Bush made an effort to renew it.
“If the president asked me, it would still be no,” Mr. DeLay said.
The NRA will get its way once again and more people–maybe kids like the last time–will have to die before these chickenshit bastards will be forced to consider it again.
If you didn’t have enough reasons to vote against this radical Republican party efore, this ought to be the clincher.
We’ve been saying for some time that there are two strands to Junior’s quivering bow. The first is his belief that govt exists only to help corporations increase their profits, the other is his fundamentalist Xtian belief that govt should be a theocracy, accountable to and run by his personal version of the Xtian god.
This is a Christ a lot of us wouldn’t recognize. This is the other Christ. You know, the one who, instead of throwing the money-lenders out of the temple, blessed their work and extorted 10% of their take for himself (it’s called ‘tithing’); the one who told the blind and the lame to quit faking and get back to work; the one who said feeding the hungry just encouraged them to stay on their fat asses instead of signing on to be thrifty slaves as the Good Lord intended; the one who said that when someone smote you on one cheek, you should turn to your trusty .45 and blow them away; the one who said making friends with your enemy was appeasement and appallingly French, and that a much more appropriate response was to rain down fire on them in shock and awe. You know, that Christ.
We have insisted that a key ingredient of the Bushian worldview is his belief that he was meant to be president in order to bring about the Apocolypse, and that the whole Rovian sales pitch actually centers on identifying Junior as The World’s Savior, the Only Man, the Country Itself–‘L’etat, c’est me, buddy.’ We said that this explained his listlessness toward environmental issues (“What’s the use worrying about it? The Lord’s going to abandon the place anyway.’), his hostility toward the separation of church and state, and his open contempt for non-believers (on several occasions he has barely been able to restrain himself from calling them ‘infidels’).
We were attacked for saying these things, both by ardent Bushian followers and by thoughtful but unimaginative liberals who–as liberals too often do, god bless em–insisted on giving him the benefit of the doubt and took us to task for ‘going too far’ and ‘losing our perspective’. But the events of the past 4 years have tended to confirm what we said, and now some people are beginning to catch on.
Look. This much has become clear. Bush is, more than anything else, an extreme fundamentalist Christian. He is widely regarded as the most openly pious and sanctimonious president in modern American history. He actually preaches the GOP screed in evangelical churches across America. He panders so slavishly to the anti-choicers and the Bible-thumpers and the homophobes it makes Jerry Falwell swoon and giggle.
And Bush actually says, out loud, that God speaks through him, and that God is on our side we bomb the living crap out of Afghanistan and Iraq and that it is the Almighty’s wish that we take control of these angry pip-squeak nations and in so doing kill thousands of civilians and tens of thousands of young Iraqi soldiers, as over 1,000 American soldiers are now dead over a makeshift cause that never really existed. God wanted it this way, that’s why.
Bush has called Jesus his “favorite philosopher.” He has claimed that the act of being “born-again” saved him from a long, sad life of vaguely homoerotic frat parties and repetitive binge drinking and going AWOL from the National Guard, all so he could turn his full attention to righteously ruining multiple businesses and then making Texas the most murderous and polluted state in the union.
But, you know, why stop there?
[A]bove all, God is nothing if not all about putting a quick and fiery stop to all this Earthly nonsense ASAP. He is nothing if not all about the coming apocalypse. And He is nothing if not all about saving those who believe, as Bush does, that he is among the chosen to be saved.This is the fundamentalist truth. And this is the BushCo maxim. The End Times provide the ultimate meaning, the final straw, the only thing worth caring about, because it defines the BushCo worldview like nothing else except maybe embarrassing grammar and crushing deficits and a secret craving for gin. You can see it in his sad, vacant eyes: Bush is absolutely convinced that God is a Republican.
That’s what we’re facing. That’s why they will steal the election if they have to; that’s why every demonization of dissenters or opposition is justified; that’s why raping the world’s resources as quickly as possible for the profits is acceptable–they need a nice stash of cash for the easy life when they get to Heaven, not to mention that they might as well make themselves as comfortable as they can here for whatever time is left before The Trumpets Call.
This isn’t a joke, though it sounds like one. It isn’t overkill and it isn’t hyperbole. It’s the ultimate destination of their actual beliefs, and it’s the only element that fully explains their insane foreign policy. Believers in the other Christ, the Bizzarro Christ, are running the country in his name, getting ready for the End Times. If you want to know what Bush’s second term agenda is, read the Book of the Apocolypse. It’s all in there.