Archive for fox news

A Vindication of Part of “Eh”

Posted in media failure, politics, racism, tv with tags , , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by vagabondsaint

Once I’d woken up and gotten a bit settled today, I read that an elderly man had started shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., killing one guard.  Tragic enough in its own right, but then it comes out that the shooter was a military veteran (albeit an 89-year-old veteran) and a racist, anti-Semitic white supremacist.

In other words, a right-wing extremist.

And again, I was reminded of the Homeland Security report, warning of right-wing extremists, and how scandalized that poor, innocent, and entirely correct report was.

And finally, finally, someone on the right – specifically, Shepard Smith of FOX News (along with Catherine Herridge, who appears to be the black sheep of the Fox Family) – admits that the report was right.

It isn’t often I find myself in agreement with so much as FOX News cameraman (their angles suck), so finding myself in agreement with Smith was a shock.  At least he was able to admit a mistake in scandalizing that report.

And that’s about all the shocks I can handle today.

VS – 6.10.09


Posted in politics, reproductive health with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2009 by vagabondsaint

I know, I haven’t blogged a word in just over a month.  Let me reassure my faithful reader that I am, in fact, still alive.  There’s just not much of interest to me going on in the world.

I know all about Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the US Supreme Court.  I’ve watched the right-wing pundits nitpick over the factual details of her career, looking for any reasionable grounds to oppose her and making up unreasonable ones when none have appeared.  Bored now.

The murder of Dr. George Tiller?  Reprehensible, shameful, and tragic; everyone says so, including the same right-wing pundits that did everything but call for his execution (looking at you, Bill O’Reilly, and regretting having to look at you).  That’s the expected reaction, along with people like O’Reilly and Glenn Beck vigorously denying that their inflammatory words had anything at all to do with any actual violence.  They’re just talking, after all.  Again, completely expected, completely predictable, and completely boring, though no less reprehensile, shameful, and tragic.  There is one facet of tye story that is of particular interest tio me, though:  the controversial Homeland Security report from two months ago that warned of a rise in “right-wing extremist activity.”  The report was instantly condemned by, of course, right-wingers, who even had the nerve to call for new HS head Janet Napolitano’s resignation.  Out of curiosity, now that one right-wing extremist killed three Pittsburgh police officers and another has murdered a doctor in cold blood, where are the public apologies and the hung heads admitting that maybe that report had a bit of truth to it?  Too busy trying to block an eminently qualified judge from getting to the Supreme Court or fighting much-needed financial and health-care reforms, I guess.

American Idol?  Don’t care.

NBA playoffs?  Don’t care.

Obama’s Cairo speech?  Awesome.  But not much to add or react to in it.

Anything done by Republicans? Super don’t care.

Backlash against Sacramento shock jocks?  Good to hear ignorant hate speech, masquerading as “humour,” being cracked down on.  Now go try FOX News, which doesn’t even pretend to be funny. Though, to be fair, neither do I.

Truth be told, there’s just not much on the stage catching my attention right now.  When something does, and I have something worth saying about it, I will.

VS – 6.08.09

Prisoners Of McCain

Posted in media failure, politics, war with tags , , , , , on September 22, 2008 by vagabondsaint

You know, it would be really funny if Senator John “I Was A POW So I’m Fit To Be President” McCain turned out to be the most pivotal member of a Senate committee that suppressed information about POWS still living in Hanoi as late as 1990, wouldn’t it?

Oh, you know what would make that even funnier? If McCain had sought, in 1990, to defeat a bill that would have required complete transparency from the government and the release of all previously-classified information related to POWS still held in Vietnam?  Oh, that would be hilarious!

But. . .what would make it an absolute scream is if McCain had introduced, written, and sponsored legislation in 1991 that made sure that POW secrets would be kept classified, including all information that could have helped families trying to track down POWs?  And then crippled 1995’s Missing Service Persons Act by removing any criminal penalties for those who knowingly withheld or suppressed information about POWs?  OMG, TOO FKN FUNNY! Right?

If, as Puliter Prize-winning journalist Sydney Schanberg alleges in this article, John “POW” McCain did indeed participate in the cover-up of information about POWs still being held in Hanoi, then he’s worse as a person than I could have ever believed.  Never mind being unfit for the Presidency; he’s not fit to wear a military uniform or give any claim to compassion for his fellow servicemen, if this turns out to be true. Seriously, go read this article.  Right now.  I’ll wait. (Click here to read about a 1997 attempt to restore the gutted portions of the Missing Service Persons Act.)

I was wrong.  It’s not funny.  It’s sad, tragic, and incredibly treacherous.  That’s what happened to our still-missing POWs: they were shoved under a redacted rug by one of their own.

Where is the mainstream media on this?

ABC, to their credit, was busy beating up McCain on This Week With George Stephanopolous. Fox News also got into the “Take A Shot At An Old Man” contest, giving an unbelievable critique of John “I Got Out; I’m Good, Thanks” McCain.

Our POWs deserved better than this.

And all of us – MIA, POW, veterans, civilians, smartarsed bloggers, just plain Americans – deserve better than John McCain.

VS – 09.22.08

Hurricane Gustav? Try S***storm Palin (While I Was Sleeping, Part Two)

Posted in economics, media failure, politics, religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2008 by vagabondsaint

So, Friday, August 29th, 2008, John McCain stood before his fellow Republicans, his fellow Americans, and the media, and announced his pick for Vice-President:  Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

And the nation emitted a collective “Who?

Thus began the Category-5 shitstorm that’s been dogging the Republican Party ever since.  There’s so much to tell, I don’t even know where to start.  In the interests of clarity, I guess I’ll start with what happened between the end of the Democratic National Conventional and the start of the Republican one.

The announcement of Palin as McCain’s running mate certainly stirred up the media and took attention away from Barack Obama’s magnificent speech on Thursday night, as was no doubt intended by the Straight Talk & Crooked Walk campaign. . .but I doubt this unmitigated disaster was what McCain had in mind.

At first, the choice of Sarah Palin seemed cynical and insulting to the intelligence of American women; it felt as though John McCain thought that spurned Hilary supporters would rally to him simply because his running mate has breasts and a vagina, even though she is the complete ideological opposite of Hilary Clinton, and men would flock to him because Palin looks like every man’s Sexy Librarian Fantasy:

Sarah Palin relaxes in the Reading Room of the Alaska governor's mansion. . .in our dreams.

Sarah Palin relaxes in the Reading Room of the Alaska governor's mansion

As it turned out, though, that initial impression was incorrect.  The choice of Palin wasn’t just cynical and intelligence-insulting, it was also a slap in the face to Republicans who vowed to turn against him if he went with his first choice, Senator Joe “Judas” Lieberman, and John McCain refused to go with who they wanted, which was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt “My Hair Has Not Moved Since October of 2005” Romney.

(I must note here that, for all the media hype about the “lack of unity” and “turmoil” in the Democratic Party, anyone who’s actually researching the news for themselves would easily see that the Republicans are no better off.  Hell, Ron Paul not only wasn’t asked to speak, he held his own counter-convention, and Mike Huckabee, who was the most likeable of the Republican candidates this year, was treated so shoddily by the Convention organizers that he admitted he didn’t really want to speak by the time he was supposed to.  Then the chooice of Palin split the party even more.  In the interests of grabbing power, however, the Republican icons all acted like they knew it was coming and have since acted like they support it, though live microphones have a bad habit of revealing the truth.  Throw in the party remnants that still support Bush, somehow, plus those that are joining McCain in fervent attempts to distance themselves from him, and you’ve got more behind-the-scenes drama than all the reality shows on TV combined.  Why isn’t there more media coverage of this?)

So what was John McCain to do?  Well, the man renowned for his temper and impetuousness took his ball and surfed the internet, where he quite possibly found the “Palin For Vice-President” blog that Adam Brickley has maintained since she became Alaska’s governor, and next thing you know, Sarah’s the vice-presidential candidate.

The suddenness of her nomination took everyone by surprise, but, over the following weekend, McCain and his aides swore she had been fully vetted.  They lied. They said she had been subjected to an FBI background check.  The FBI said the McCain Campaign had lied.  Palin was promoted as being experienced and ready, but in an interview barely a month earlier, she admitted she had no idea what the Vice President actually does all day.  That doesn’t sound like being ready, at least not to me.  (Hopefully, they filled her in pretty quickly.)

Rumours began flying that Palin’s oldest daughter, 17-year-old Bristol, was actually the mother of Palin’s latest child, born in May. Palin put those rumours to rest by revealing that Bristol is actually five months pregnant.  That’s much better; “she hasn’t had a baby yet, but she will soon.”

Rumours began flying that Palin was a member of a secessionist movement in Alaska.  Jury’s still out on that one. She says she only spoke at a meeting or two, but they insist she was actually a member.

Palin’s husband was found to have been convicted of a DUI two decades ago.

Her experience was called into question, as she’s less than two years into her first term as governor, and her previous political experience was as mayor of her hometown, Wasilia, which had a population of about 6,000 at the time.  (It’s worth noting that this small town received $27 million in federal earmarks, known colloqially as “pork projects,” during her tenure as mayor, for which notorious anti-pork crusader Senator John McCain himself called her to task.)

And this was all within 36 hours of the announcement!

Well, on Monday, as the Republican convention got off to a subdued start (at the request of John McCain, who asked to tone things down a bit since New Orleans was getting hit by Hurricane Gustav; if the guy can’t even control his own party, how is he supposed to control the country?), Sarah Palin made the announcement that her latest child is indeed her own, and proved it by announcing that Bristol is 5 months pregnant.  Sarah Barracuda was no match for the media piranha that descended upon that announcement.

To his credit, Barack Obama urged the media and politicians to “back off” of Sarah Palin’s family, claiming that the pregnancy bore no relevance to her performance as mayor or as governor, and had no bearing on how she would perform as vice-president.  Why did he do this?

Because, plainly and simply, Barack Obama is a nice guy.

I, however, am not.

While I can see the decency and honourable intentions behind Obama’s statement, I also feel that it is totally relevant, due to Governor Palin’s firm, resolute, unwavering stance on sex education:  she favors abstinence-only education, as the Bush administration has heavily funded and insisted upon in recent years, even as some states have rebelled against it.  Studies have also shown that abstinence-only education programs have a tendency to fail miserably, and for Sarah Palin, its most prominent supporter (President Bush is currently in hiding until the election, lest he hurt John McCain’s chances of winning by still being a Republican), the proof of that failure is in her own house.  And yet, she’s going to insist that it’s the best way for everyone else, in the face of scientific and personal evidence that abstinence-only education doesn’t fucking work?  Now I know why she hunts moose:  she’s obviously been grafting their balls onto herself.  A stance like that requires a lot of testicular fortitude.  (I would also hazard a guess that she’s replaced her eyes with those of cave bats, since she also does not believe that global warming is in any way affected by mankind and, as Governor of Alaska, the evidence to the contrary is right the fuck in front of her. . .or she did, until she joined the ticket of a Presidential candidate that supports emissions caps and believes in global warming.  Even the Bush Administration has admitted that global warming is real and steps need to be taken.)

In addition, Sarah Palin praised her daughter for making the “choice” (the quotes are mine; I have problems believing that Sarah really let her daughter make her own decisions here) to have her baby and marry the 18-year-old father.  That’s all well and good for her, that she made that choice, but Sarah Palin, who leans so far to the political right that she’s damn near horizontal, wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and deny that same choice to all other women, even in case of rape, incest, or the mother’s life is threatened!  Even most Republicans, including John McCain, don’t want to take it that far!

John McCain has, historically, always been a little to the left of mainstream conservatism.  (He fell more into Republican lockstep in the past two or three years, but now he seems to be pushing his “maverick” status again and, apparently, hoping people don’t look at his voting records.)  As far as he is to the left of the conservative center, Sarah Palin is an equal distance to the right. . .leaving the majority conversatives somewhere in the middle of Not-Far-Enough and Too-Far-Gone.  To be honest, I feel sorry for them; stuck between a Maverick-wannabe who crashed four aircraft in training and practices before finally getting shot down in one and a pit bull wearing lipstick, forced to swallow and endlessly regurgitate the crap the two of them are spewing if they want the GOP to stay in power. . .it’s not an enviable place to be.

(By the way, if you clicked on that “crashed four aircraft” link and wonder why Vietnam veterans would be against McCain, I postulate that it might be because of his horrible habit of voting against programs that support active troops and veterans.  I want to say now that these veterans are not suddenly popping up and swift-boating McCain because he’s running for President; they’ve been doing this for over two decades now.  Learn more about them here.)

Over that same weekend (yes, we’re still talking about the first weekend after Palin’s selection for VP),  questions of her experience and qualifications abounded.  Republican pundits and mouthpieces were trotted out to baffle the media and American people with bullshit about her qualifications (a habit that continues to this day), and failed miserably.  I got great, great enjoyment from watching CNN’s Campbell Brown tear holes in McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds over Palin’s national security experience as commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard.  She has none, by the way; she has control over the ANG for in-state emergencies, like natural disasters, but all state National Guards troops are under the control of the Pentagon, which is not even required to even brief the governor on what decisions they are making.

Unbelievably, the argument was made by Fox News (“First In Idiocy”), Cindy McCain, and even Grumpy John himself that Palin has foreign policy experience because “Alaska is right next door to Russia.”  I am not making that up.  It sounds like something I’d make up, but I didn’t, no matter how much you or I wish I did.  That’s like saying that I know all about Oregon because I live in Washington state (all I know about Oregon is that it’s somewhere south of here and people with Oregon plates on their cars drive like idiots).  Well, I don’t know shit about Oregon.  I know more about Moscow, Idaho, where Sarah Palin graduated from the University of Idaho (after attending six colleges in six years) with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science, because, hey, I’ve actually spent some time there.

On top of allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll this, and remember we’re still in the first weekend here, Sarah Palin claimed in her speech on the 29th that she had told Congress “thanks but no thanks” on the infamous “Bridge To Nowhere” project, which became a national symbol of the out-of-control pork-barrel spending in DC.

She lied.

She actually supported the bridge project, until it became a political albatross.  Congress dropped the wording that specifically marked funds for the bridge from the funding bill, but left in the $223 million that had been earmarked for the project. . .money that Mrs. “Thanks, But No Thanks” didn’t give back.

I’m going to run through the rest of this as fast as I can, because this blog is taking me forever to write:  Palin was touted as a whistleblower and reformer against corruption; in actuality, she worked for Ted Stevens as head of his 527 fundraising organization and issued statements of support for him even as he was being indicted.

She tried to get her sister’s ex-husband fired from his state trooper position, then allegedly fired the Public Safety Commissioner when he refused to do it. . .an investigation into ethics violations is still ongoing, forcing Palin to hire a lawyer, at the taxpayers’ expense.  Read about this and the previous topic in an interview with an Alaskan journalist here.

After touting her respect for her daughter and her daughter’s baby’s-daddy and the “decision” they’ve made, some astute people noticed that the baby’s father’s Myspace page, on which he called himself a “fuckin redneck” and promised that if we “fuck with me I’ll kick ya ass,” disappeared very swiftly.  Maybe it was his admission that he’s in a relationship but, as he put it “I don’t want kids”?

And all this was just the first weekend of her candidacy!  “Fully vetted,” my ass.  The selection of Sarah Palin showed us one thing about McCain:  if he blew his first major decision of a future Presidency this badly  or in a fit of pique, he’s not fit to lead this country.  Impetuousness, snap decisions, lame follow-throughs, and failures to do proper research do not a good President make.  For proof of that, just look at the current President.

Palin was a bad choice, but McCain will never admit it. . .just like you’ll never hear Dubya admit he’s ever made a mistake or a bad decision.  McCain & Palin:  vote for them if you want four more years of an unfit, incompetent, unstable President with a ruthless, power-hungry, dishonest super-villain as his Vice President.

Sarah Palin protects the podium from polar bears as Dick Cheney gives a speech in Anchorage.  (Photo courtesy Mike Mayhew, AP)

Sarah Palin protects the podium from polar bears as Dick Cheney gives a speech in Anchorage. (Photo courtesy Mike Mayhew, AP)

Me, I’ll be voting for Barack “Black Superman” Obama.

VS – 09.10.08