October 28, 2006

Staying the Course Right Over a Cliff
By George Lakoff  

The Bush administration has finally been caught in its own language trap.

"That is not a stay-the-course policy," Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, declared on Monday.

The first rule of using negatives is that negating a frame activates the frame. If you tell someone not to think of an elephant, he'll think of an elephant. When Richard Nixon said, "I am not a crook" during Watergate, the nation thought of him as a crook.

"Listen, we've never been stay the course, George," President Bush told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News a day earlier. Saying that just reminds us of all the times he said "stay the course." more...

*****NEW ARTICLE*****

Limbaugh Insists Internet Video of Tics was just Imitation of Fox
by Dood Abides

Right-wing radio pundit Rush Limbaugh held a televised news conference this morning in which he repeatedly refused to apologize for his refuted claims that Michael J. Fox was exaggerating symptoms of his Parkinson's disease for political gain. Limbaugh also addressed concerns, which had appeared overnight on the Internet in which medical experts reviewing screen captures of his purported imitation of Fox on his radio show questioned whether Limbaugh himself might be suffering some complex motor tics that can be associated with particular medications.

Justin Jest, MD, a physician specializing in ED (erectile dysfunction), posted an in-depth analysis of the video clip of Limbaugh on the popular Internet site YouTube. "We are seeing more and more frequently the development of these complex motor tics in people who tend to abuse some of the more popular ED medications such as Viagra, and Cialis. The side effects are very rare, and therefore don't appear as warnings on the package inserts. The problem is, when these medications are taken in conjunction with painkillers, there seems to be an imprinting of the motor behaviors that the patient indulges in while taking the ED medication. It results in a behavior that for all intents and purposes is a tic that persists long after the ED medication has cleared the patient's system."

"The unfortunate thing for the patient," continued Jest, "is that the only way to alleviate and somehow mask the tics is through some of the more powerful painkillers. If the patient can't then avoid the use of the ED medications, the embarrassing tics, consisting of facial gestures and repetitive hand movements can become permanent, and lead to a chronic and persistent erectile dysfunction, and frequently, in severe cases, be accompanied with blindness."

Limbaugh addressed a number of reporters assembled outside of his studio, stating that the continuing stories of his illegal use of prescription drugs and his impotence were groundless.

Unconfirmed Sources political satire and news story parodies as represented above are written as satire or parody. They are, of course, fictitious.

October 27, 2006

Pom and Jerry
McNerney is giving Pombo a run for his money
BY AMANDA GRISCOM LITTLE

A year ago it was virtually unthinkable that Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) -- right-wing darling, fundraiser extraordinaire, champion of polluting industries, and enemy No. 1 of the environmental community -- could be unseated by any Democrat, much less one with zero political experience to his name. But now, a week and a half before Election Day, the rookie Democratic challenger in California's 11th District, Jerry McNerney, is giving Pombo a run for his (prodigious amounts of) money.

"There's panic in the Pombo campaign," says Rico Mastrodonato, Northern California director of the California League of Conservation Voters. "This is the first time in 12 years he's had to seriously defend his seat in Congress. And now [Pombo's] in a dead heat with a guy who just months ago he thought he could eat for breakfast." more...

October 26, 2006

Why War Fails
By Howard Zinn

I suggest there is something important to be learned from the recent experience of the United States and Israel in the Middle East: that massive military attacks are not only morally reprehensible but useless in achieving the stated aims of those who carry them out.

In the three years of the Iraq War, which began with shock-and-awe bombardment and goes on with day-to-day violence and chaos, the United States has failed utterly in its claimed objective of bringing democracy and stability to Iraq. American soldiers and civilians, fearful of going into the neighborhoods of Baghdad, are huddled inside the Green Zone, where the largest embassy in the world is being built, covering 104 acres and closed off from the world outside its walls.

I remember John Hersey's novel The War Lover, in which a macho American pilot, who loves to drop bombs on people, and also to boast about his sexual conquests, turns out to be impotent. George Bush, strutting in his flight jacket on an aircraft carrier, and announcing victory in Iraq, has turned out to be an embodiment of the Hersey character, his words equally boastful, his military machine equally impotent. more...

October 25, 2006

It‚s Good to Be the Richest of the Rich
by Molly Ivins  

Oh, goody. According to the White House press office, President Bush will spend much of the next two weeks discussing what a swell economy we have. Did you know that the Dow Jones industrial average is at its highest point EVER? And the NASDAQ, ditto. Wow, breathtaking, huh? But the Dow is not a good indicator of how thing are really going for the majority of Americans.

I just love listening to the Bushies play with numbers. When Bush took over in 2001, he predicted a surplus of $516 billion for fiscal year 2006. Last week, the administration announced a 2006 deficit of $248 billion, missing its projection for this year by $764 billion. Bush said the numbers are „proof that pro-growth economic policies workš and are „an example of sound fiscal policies here in Washington.š

This is highly reminiscent of Dick Cheney‚s recent observation about the Iraqi government, „If you look at the general, overall situation, they‚re doing remarkably well.š more...

October 24, 2006

I Learned It By Watching You
Countries that Have Nukes Teach Other Countries to Have Nukes.
by Sally Kohn  

In 1987, the „war on drugsš was in full swing. Americans ų in particular, young Americans ų were snorting and smoking all sorts of new concoctions. Not just the pot of the 1960s. Kids were now doing heroine and cocaine. And so, the Partnership for a Drug Free America responded with a public service announcement. You remember the ad. A dad walks into his son‚s room to confront him with a box of drug paraphernalia found in the son‚s drawers. „Who taught you how to do this stuff?š the dad demands. And in a classic, obstreperous retort, the son barks back, „I learned it by watching you!š

So as news hit that North Korea had performed its first nuclear test, all I could picture was George W. Bush marching into Kim Jong-il‚s bedroom and demanding that his nuclear experimentation stop-right-this-minute-or-else. Then the narrator‚s ominous voice comes in: „Countries that have nukes teach other countries to have nukes.š more...

October 23, 2006

Pressing Issues
By Greg Mitchell

Must-See Video: The Iraq War in 8 Minutes A new video shot for a London newspaper and the BBC by an embed with the U.S. Army, suggests, in chilling words and images, the absurd position of the U.S. in Iraq, as the people we try to train -- you know, our comrades in arms -- seem more intent on lobbing grenades at us.

Over the years, I have made few requests of readers of this column, beyond hinting that, maybe, you ought to return here from time to time. But now I have to urge you to drop everything, finish reading this come-on, and then link to the video described below. It‚s the most revealing little (eight-minute) video I‚ve seen yet on our country‚s preposterous position in Iraq.

Aptly, it is titled, "Iraq: The Real Story." It won‚t turn your stomach, in fact, you may even chuckle in spots (like you might have done in reading much of „Catch-22š). But, hopefully, you will end up screaming at the computer screen. more...

October 22, 2006

I received a copy of this letter from Kevin Tillman from quite a few people, so a lot of you may also have already read it:
After Pat‚s Birthday
By Kevin Tillman
Editor‚s note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.
After Pat‚s Birthday

*****NEW ARTICLE*****

Bill Clinton, George Bush and Craig Scott
Nation's Leaders Mislead Youth by Preaching Peace, Practicing War
by David Cook  

On April 20, 1999, a Colorado student named Craig Scott watched his sister and two friends die when they were shot to death by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, fellow classmates at Columbine High School. Before the noon sun began to set, Klebold and Harris killed ten others before killing themselves.

Two days later, President Clinton felt the need to speak out against the Columbine violence, which had shipwrecked the nation. Traveling to a public high school in Alexandria, Virginia, he held the attention of a student peer mediation club, saying to them, "We must do more to reach out to our children and teach them to express their anger and resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons."

After his speech to the Virginia students, as columnist Colman McCarthy writes, Clinton returned to the White House and, before turning in for bed, gave the order to resume bombing in Serbia. That day in Belgrade, United States military planes, backed with the blessing of our president, streaked across the sky, dropping 500-pound bombs that would fall into the homes and towns of innocent people. That same night in Colorado, thousands of miles away, a community began its long mourning.

Flash forward to last week, as the Amish school shooting in Pennsylvania prompted President Bush to call a similar, post-Columbine conference on character and school violence. Present during the Maryland conference (alongside Attorney General Gonzales and Secretary of Education Spellings) was Craig Scott, the now-23-year-old who had lost his sister and friends in the Columbine shooting. During the only meaningful moment of the conference, Scott stood and addressed the president.

"I've grown up in a culture today that doesn't teach me anything of substance, of value, how it bombards me every day with messages of emptiness and shallowness. And the youth are crying for something to stand for, something to believe in. If it weren't for my faith or my family, I possibly could have fallen into the lies that our culture tells us. But now I've traveled, I've spoken to over a million teens across this country∑.I've seen depression, anger and loneliness, students without direction or purpose∑.I've seen students who called themselves cutters, have cut themselves because that's the way they know to take out the pain that they're dealing with. I've learned a lot about my generation. And I've learned a lot since I lost my friends and my sister.''

And then Scott said the greatest words the president or anyone else could hope to ever hear:

"And the main thing I've learned is that kindness and compassion can be the biggest antidotes to anger and hatred, and I believe the biggest antidotes to violence.'' more...

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