Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter slow-roasted on a spit

With big red apples stuffed in their mouths. World O’Crap does it again, with this belly-laugh-inducing roast of the two most vile pundits out there. The Hannity quotes had me literally laughing out loud.

Pass the gravy.


Best news for Kerry yet

Go see the very latest poll numbers over at TPM. Six points ahead in Ohio! The numbers are certainly going to go up and down over the next four months, but there is no denying that the Republicans are stuck in the hole they dug themselves. (It’s called Iraq.)


The All Spin Zone

This is a smart blog, better written and better thought-out than most. I had fun browsing through it today, and I even learned a few things. Check it out.


Critics give Moore’s propaganda movie high marks

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a hit. From Fox News to the LA Times, the critics are nearly unanimous in their praise of Moore’s unashamed and undisguised piece of propagandistic entertainment.

After blistering the box office in its inaugural New York launch, Michael Moore’s anti-Bush documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” opens nationally on Friday with most reviewers giving it high marks as brilliantly provocative but unflinchingly partisan.

While saying Moore’s latest work can fairly be classified as propaganda critics generally praised the film as an artfully rendered critique of President Bush, his war on terror and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

“Unabashedly partisan, wearing its determination to bring about political change on its sleeve, ‘Fahrenheit’ can be nit-picked and second-guessed, but it can’t be ignored,” wrote Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times

“It is propaganda, no doubt about it, but propaganda is most effective when it has elements of truth, and too much here is taken from the record not to have a devastating effect on viewers,” Turan added. “Anyone who is the least bit open to Moore’s theses will come away impressed.”

In a similar vein, New York Times critic A.O. Scott calls Moore “a credit to the republic” and writes of the movie: “It is worth seeing, debating and thinking about, regardless of your political allegiances.”

One of the more surprisingly glowing reviews came from Fox columnist Roger Friedman, who called the film “a tribute to patriotism” and “a really brilliant piece of work…that members of all political parties should see without fail.”

While the movie review Web site ranked critics’ opinions as running about 80 percent in Moore’s favor, the film was not warmly received by everyone.

Commenting on “Fahrenheit 9/11” after its premiere in May at the Cannes film festival, where it won top honors, the Wall Street Journal dismissed the film as “bad” propaganda.

And under the headline: “Moore Is Less,” the New York Post’s Lou Lumenick calls the film “a heavy-handed polemic” that “isn’t half as incendiary or persuasive as its maker would have you believe.” He adds: “Moore is still basically preaching to the converted and is unlikely to win over all that many hearts and minds.”

But even some of Moore’s harshest critics acknowledge he scores points with footage of a seemingly dazed Bush remaining seated in a classroom of Florida schoolchildren for almost seven minutes after being informed that a second plane has crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

And more than a few reviews have noted that the film’s release shrewdly coincides with a presidential race focusing on the very issues explored in the documentary.

No one ever said Moore wasn’t shrewd. Also self-serving, sneaky, childish, at times hypocritical and obnoxious. Hmmm, sounds like just about every other artist. I’ll try to write my own review tomorrow.


Cheney loses it; conduct unbecoming a VP

Needless to say, it was all about Halliburton. The story’s everywhere by now, but I read it first at Wonkette:

CNN is reporting that on the floor of the Senate yesterday, Dick Cheney told Sen. Pat Leahy, “Go fuck yourself.”

We agree! Go fuck yourself — while it’s still legal!

UPDATE: Speaking of sodomy. . . Wonkette operatives tell us that the fighting words sprang from an exchange in which Cheney told Leahy he didn’t like what Leahy had been saying about Halliburton, to which Leahy replied that he didn’t like Cheney calling him a bad Catholic. So you’d see how “Go fuck yourself” is the only appropriate response.

Nobody says it quite like Wonkette.

But seriously, this doesn’t look good. Is this acceptable behavior, on the floor of the Senate, no less? Is our VP, the guy who’s a heartbeat away from the presidency, in control of himself?

UPDATE: From Sirotablog.

Cheney On Civility and Respect in Washington

“Governor Bush and I are also absolutely determined that [we] will restore a tone of civility and decency to the debate in Washington.”
– Dick Cheney, 8/4/00


“I look forward to working with you, Governor, to change the tone in Washington, to restore a spirit of civility and respect and cooperation.”
– Dick Cheney, 7/25/00


“Typically a break from partisan warfare, this year’s Senate class photo turned smiles into snarls as Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly used a profanity toward one senior Democrat, sources said.” Cheney “blurted out the ‘F word’ at Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont during a heated exchange on the Senate floor… The incident occurred on Tuesday in a terse discussion between the two that touched on politics, religion and money, with Cheney finally telling Leahy to ‘f— off’ or ‘go f— yourself,’ the aides said…Cheney, who is president of the Senate, ripped into Leahy for the Democratic senator’s criticism this week of alleged war profiteering in Iraq by Halliburton, the oil services company that Cheney once ran…During their exchange, Leahy noted that Republicans had accused Democrats of being anti-Catholic because they are opposed to some of President Bush’s anti-abortion judges, the aides said. That’s when Cheney unloaded with the ‘F-bomb,’ aides said.”
– CNN, 6/24/04; Reuters, 6/24/04

* Also…remember, White House Chief of Staff Andy Card attacked Senator Kerry for using the F-word, saying, “I’m very disappointed that [Kerry] would use that kind of language. I’m hoping that he’s apologizing.”

For many more utterly priceless examples of GOP double standards on the F word, go to Patriotboy now!

Links in this update are via Eschaton.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The WaPo has the story and they actually use the F word, uncensored! What will this do to our children?


Last post on Kerry’s running mate

In Josh Marshall’s absence this week, a slew of other DC insiders are blogging over at TPM, and two of them each wrote a lengthy piece on why Kerry should pick Edwards as his running mate. Each hints that the word in DC is that he is still leaning toward Gephardt or Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, and each states unequivocally that these selections wold be wrong. They’re great posts.

With so many blogs and news programs and pundits buzzing on this subject, there’s precious little I can add — except to reiterate how sorry I’d be to see Kerry steer away from Edwards solely because he is “uncomfortable” with him. Being uncomfortable with a vice president sometimes seems like a requirement, as with Kennedy-Johnson and, even more notoriously, Reagan-Bush. The decisions weren’t based on comfort levels, but on realpolitik, i.e., what would be strategically smartest.

I don’t think choosing Gephardt would ruin the race for Kerry, and it may help in a few Midwest hot spots. But this pales in comparison to the infusion of energy and charisma that Edwards would bring the ticket. There was a reason Edwards rose out of nowhere to do so well in the primaries, and it’s his blend of optimism, populism, intelligence and youth. Gephardt’s got the populism part, but none of the others.

I would be disappointed at the selection of Gephardt on more than one level, my personal lack of enthusiasm for the man aside. It would confirm a concern I have about Kerry being a bit out of touch with what the people are looking for in their leaders. It would confirm a concern among some that he lacks imagination and bravura, going for what he sees as a “safe” and “comfortable” pick. (The fact that he went after McCain proves this point is invalid, but again, it’s about perceptions, and picking Gephardt creates a definite perception, one that I see as a strong negative.)

Sorry for going on about this, but at the very moment this campaign needs a breath of fresh air, a stunning rebound, I fear it may shoot itself in the foot.

John, if you are reading this now, I ask you to consider carefully. It’s not about comfort, it’s about winning. Make Gephardt your secretary of state or of labor or whatever — after you win. But for now, keep your eye on the prize and do whatever it takes to capture the public’s imagination and its votes. See your VP candidates through the voters’ eyes, and ask yourself honestly and objectively, which one is going to energize and inspire Americans, Gephardt or Edwards? I don’t think there’s any debate.


Under the black robes of justice

This is the strangest story I’ve seen in a long time. I always wondered what judges did behind that high bench.


Jihadist children at play

Truly shocking — Muslim children re-enact the beheading of Nick Berg in this amazing video clip. They’re having so much fun. Terrorists on training wheels.

Via Andrew Sullivan.


Hate George Bush? Have I got a site for you.

What are you waiting for? Very funny, and very rich in content, links and graphics.

Via UggaBugga.


Vatican speaks out against arrest of 84-year-old bishop in China

The Bishop of Xuanhua was arrested on May 27 and was never heard from again. This is the third Roman Catholic bishop arrested in China over the past month, but the other two have since been released.

A strongly-worded statement demanded an explanation from China, which has long sought to control religious expression.

Its millions of Catholics are split between followers of Pope John Paul II and members of a state-backed church….

BBC religious affairs correspondent Jane Little says the Vatican response indicates it has lost patience with China.

It called the bishops’ arrest “inconceivable in a country based on laws”.

“The Holy See feels deep pain for these actions, for which no explanation has been given,” said Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.

They breached “the rights of the person, in particular religious freedom, that are sanctioned in numerous international documents, also underwritten by the People’s Republic of China”.