Topic: Couldn't be so...
What's Up? Much is happening, and keeping on top of things is hard…
One: Ah, Texas!
In Houston, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay compared the "constant barrage" of bad news from Iraq to "all this reporting" in the local press about "violence, murders, robberies, deaths on the highways," adding that "if Houston, Texas, was held to the same standard as Iraq is held to, nobody'd go to Houston."
The Houston Chronicle item is here and this is too easy. Insert variations on Yogi Berra saying, "No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded."
Does anyone go to Houston? If they go, why do they go?
Tom might be getting a call from the Houston Chamber of Commerce, but probably not.
Can Houston make Baghdad its sister city?
Two: The Freedom Fries Man
The man who made the congressional cafeteria rename those hot grease-coated, salted potato sticks "freedom fries" - Representative Walter B. Jones Jr., Republican from North Carolina – who last week introduced a bipartisan resolution calling for Bush to come up with a plan by the end of this year to withdraw the troops from Iraq, and for the withdrawal to start no later than October of 2006 – is profiled in AlterNet by Jan Frel here (June 22) and we find that it wasn't local political pressure that led to this change on Iraq, even if his constituents think his new stance makes him "look 'weak' on the military." Frel says it's simply that "Walter Jones can't lie about Iraq anymore."
One asks, why not? Does Jones hate America? Is he a traitor putting our troops in danger? Things ARE going fine, we HAVE enough troops on the ground, they ARE wonderfully equipped, that insurgency IS in its last throes, and so on and so forth.
Should Jones apologize like Dick Durbin did? (Fox News explains here.)
Or has Jones joined the Air America radio folks, saying the opposite about the war - citing facts and statistics and quoting people and all that sort of thing? See this from the June 20 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly (audio clip here):
If you're in Los Angeles tune into 1150 AM and be a traitor too. Of course, as long as you know the precise line between dissent and "undermining" you'll be just fine. Bill will no doubt explain just where that line is at some point in the future. He knows. He's sure. Are you? Best be careful. Ask Bill.
Three: "Now" is no longer on the air, but Bill Moyers is, here and there.
June 21, Bill Moyers, who had that show on PBS that so irked the administration that they now want to change PBS to make it more balanced and not so left wing – that's what Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Tomlinson, wants – was on CNN's Lou Dobbs show. Whether or not PBS carries too many children's shows that advocate tolerance of others, or too many science shows that undermine Christianity by claiming there actually is geological evidence the earth is more than six thousand years old and that evolution isn't just a crackpot theory, Bill Moyers' "Now" really did tick them off. As Kenneth Tomlinson has said, Public Broadcasting should represent the views of the vast majority of Americans, who are, as shown in Bush's election mandate of 2004, firmly conservative and completely Christian.
As you can see from the transcript, not only is Moyers still being an elitist minority pain-in-the-ass, Dobbs is buying into this stuff, and what Dobbs says is even more amazing. Some excerpts:
Okay, this is what you expect from Moyers, but from Lou Dobbs? Now Dobbs has no reason to fear Kenneth Tomlinson, as Lou works for Jonathan Klein. But when CNN starts bashing America, what are things coming to? And what would Bill O'Reilly say?
Four: Porn in High Places
The National Republican Congressional Committee has a dinner last week for the president. That got considerable coverage, like this item from CBS, because one guest, Mark Kulkis of Kick Ass Pictures out here in California, brought along his hard-core porn star Mary Carey, of porn film fame. Well, she ran for governor of California two years ago (see this in these pages from August, 2003) and she says she plans to run for lieutenant governor out here in 2006. What was she doing there? From CBS: "I've been a Republican now for, ummm, a couple of days."
That'll do. But note this:
Right-wing media not happy that Mary Carey wants to have sex with the Bush twins
Oh my! Some of us caught her interview with Keith Olbermann on "Countdown" on MSNBC late last week. (Video clip here - go to the bottom of the column for the link.)
She's having fun with the Republicans. She's toying with them and causing no end of trouble. I suspect she is, in fact, a smart and savvy left-wing subversive with a wonderful sense of humor. There's something Swift-like about all this. It seems an odd update of the tactic Swift used in "A Modest Proposal" long, long ago.
The White House and the National Republican Congressional Committee are all embarrassed and upset. I think that was her idea. Ha!
Five: A "What did you expect?" item from CURSOR.ORG
New topic summary: "The wages of fundamentalism" are said to include signs that "American science is losing its edge, and may even have peaked." Earlier: "the U.S. is no longer a friendly destination for foreign students."
What did you expect?
The cartoonist Kirk Anderson offers this cartoon that sums it up. I came across this at SLATE.COM and if I had more than a handful of readers I'd have to pay Artizans syndicate to post this image. They own the rights to the image. But under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, Limitations on exclusive rights (fair use), and since it is part of the commentary, this may be okay.
It almost has come to this: