Your tax dollars at work

My jaw dropped when I saw this list of what our tax dollars are being used for in Iraq. It can’t be true. Can it?

Link via (yes, again) Atrios.


Atrios Morphs into Bill O’Reilly and it is funny

Go and check Atrios’ hilarious parody of Bill O’Reilly. I was laughing out loud, maybe because I live in Arizona (though not at the moment). Truly inspired.

A taste (if that’s the right word to use) from the next of his O’Reilly parodies:

If you want to be gay, then fine. That is your choice. And America is the land of the free. In America, you are also free to be Australian. That is what our American ancestors fought for–for the right to be gay Australians. But not in front of my daughter. 9/11 taught us a lesson. Let us never be complacent. Let us fight to have the right to let my daughter have the right to not see you being a gay Australian. Then I slipped her panties down her legs and, within seconds, my tongue was inside her, moving rapidly. Not my daughter, of course. Shut up! You sicko pervert gay Australian!

That’s just for starters. I can’t believe the ingenuity here — one parody after another, each more funny than the last. Amazing, how he can stretch a single joke and keep it savagely funny.


China Naif

I just went back and revisited the post I refer to below on China’s new “anti-corruption” campaign. And I can’t believe I didn’t comment on that post’s headline, “Hu makes huge inroads toward ‘intra-party democracy.” So let me comment now.

I don’t mean to be over-critical of Adam, who is a great blogger and is doing a fine job with his China news site. But this is really a s t r e t c h.

“HUGE INROADS”??? I’m not sure which dictionary Adam uses, but what actually happened — Hu has announced a plan for intra-party checks and balances — doesn’t meet the definition.

To call it an inroad at all is questionable, but a huge inroad — that’s downright misleading (even if unintentionally so). Announcing such a program is novel, unusual, perhaps even a breakthrough. But whether or not huge inroads have been achieved can only be said after we see what the effects of the program are (if it is even implemented).

If corruption is measurably reduced we have huge inroads. If not, we know we’ve seen more smoke and mirrors, like the new-found “freedom of the Chinese press” so many were celebrating after the big SARS press conference.

I don’t mean to be pedantic. But how we phrase things is important if we are running a news service. Otherwise, great job Adam.


Too early to celebrate China’s anti-corruption program

PRC News is very upbeat about a CNN article on the “de-Jiangification” of China, i.e., rectifying Jiang Zemin’s legacy of corruption.

It all sounds really good. Hu is apparently trying to set up processes to help identify and deal with intra-party corruption. There’s no doubt it’s a big step in the right direction.

But before I wax enthusiastic, I’m going to wait and see. The CCP is always claiming to be cracking down on corruption, and you can find a steady stream of articles going back years about officials arrested for graft. Still, there’s been no real shift. So I remain skeptical, because a one-party system invites corruption by its very nature.

Reform is as reform does, so let’s see what Hu Jintao accomplishes. And let’s also see if Jiang Zemin just lets it happen without a good fight.


Latest Bushisms (lest we forget)

Selected recent gems gushing forth from our president’s mouth:

“We had a chance to visit with Teresa Nelson who’s a parent, and a mom or a dad.” —George W. Bush, Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 9, 2003

“As Luce reminded me, he said, without data, without facts, without information, the discussions about public education mean that a person is just another opinion.” —George W. Bush, Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 9, 2003

“Security is the essential roadblock to achieving the road map to peace.” —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., July 25, 2003

“You’ve also got to measure in order to begin to effect change that’s just more — when there’s more than talk, there’s just actual — a paradigm shift.” —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., July 1, 2003

“I am determined to keep the process on the road to peace.” —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 10, 2003

“I’m the master of low expectations.” —George W. Bush, aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003

“I’m also not very analytical. You know I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things.” —George W. Bush, aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003

“I recently met with the finance minister of the Palestinian Authority, was very impressed by his grasp of finances.” —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 29, 2003


Ugga Bugga

How is it possible that I’ve missed this great blog? The chart its authors created detailing Bush’s ability to get away with acts that border on the criminal (and that are certainly unethical) is absolutely priceless. But so is just about everything else at this site. A masterpiece.


Hate Ann Coulter? Have I got a site for you!

Ann and her admirers

Funniest site ever for those who think realize that Ann Coulter is a smooth-brained, lying, hissing, deranged, fire-breathing brain-dead bitch monster.

[Thanks to Tbogg for this magnificent link.]


China bans “disgusting” ads

According to the BBC:

China’s television stations have been told they can no longer show commercials for feminine hygiene products, haemorrhoid ointments and other such items during mealtimes.

Actually, I am kind of ambivalent on this. I’d rather not watch these ads as I eat (or anytime, actually). But who decides what’s disgusting or not?


Why we hate Bush

Check out Orcinus’ detailed and brilliant post on how it started and why it continues. Sample:

I believe the Republicans, in the Florida debacle, proved themselves so hellbent for power that they were willing to severely compromise major democratic institutions, from the credibility of the Supreme Court to the sanctity of the vote to the very real (and not imagined) principles of states’ rights. Moreover, I don’t think I’m being wild-eyed about this. I think anyone knowledgeable about the voting process and the events that took place in Florida could come reasonably to just that conclusion….

What does a genuinely patriotic centrist do when confronted with a plainly illegitimate presidency wrought through cronyism of the worst sort, which has in turn thrust upon us an incompetent, self-deluded and ideologically rigid phony, and given him the world’s most powerful position at a time of great international historical moment? “Getting over it” isn’t an option, not morally speaking. “Getting rid of him” is the only option.

As usual, David is right on the mark, with all the supporting data and examples to make his case.


Republicans say the darndest things


Nice, no?

Via Atrios.