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December 23, 2004
An early holiday gift
From Krup to you: highlights from the legendary Star Wars Holiday Special.
Merry Life Day.
December 22, 2004
O'Reilly's dark night of the soul
O'Reilly, last night, with minister and motivational author Joel Osteen:
O'Reilly: I want you to counsel me, pastor...I'm sitting here, I'm fighting this ferocious battle against people at this juncture who want to change America, all right? They want to change it to de-emphasize religion, they want a country like Sweden where less than ten percent of the population goes to church. Now I believe the Founding Fathers wanted religion in the public marketplace as a behavior deterrent because they knew they couldn't control the population, and they felt that a faith-based population would be more likely to behave. Very practical.
Another Christmas hater
My friend Greg at the Talent Show:
Okay, this whole "Happy Holidays" jihad is confusing me. As far as I can remember, people have been saying "HH" for many, many years now. Every time I've heard it, regardless of who's speaking it, I've always interpreted it as an act of kindness that's meant to imply "I know we may have different beliefs, but I hope your celebration is a happy one." Of course, with New Years in the mix, it's more than a pleasant inter-faith greeting. "Happy Holidays" is a nice, sincere expression of the whole season.
Yes. Bill O'Reilly is actually playing a variation on Scrooge this Christmas--the cranky old man determined to ruin everyone's holiday. The twist is, in the O'Reilly Christmas Carol, Scrooge loves Christmas and spends all day harranguing Bob Cratchit for not loving Christmas as much as he, Ebenezer O'Reilly, does.
UPDATE: incidentally, why does O'Reilly's boss hate Christmas?
Democrats take note
What Kos said:
The Democrats need to offer an alternative agenda over the next four years. It won't be enacted, so they can shoot for the moon. The hell with good policy, make proposals that sound great. The GOP used flag burning and gay marriage to rally their side. We can find equivalents. Don't worry about them becoming law, because they won't. Worry about branding the party and placing every bit of bad news (and there will be plenty) squarely at the feet of the party that controls all levers of government.
December 21, 2004
The documents the ACLU secured with a FOIA request are the subject of an article in the Times.
Of course, the Times somehow neglects to mention the document referencing Bush's direct knowledge and approval of torture.
That darn liberal media.
December 20, 2004
NEW YORK -- A document released for the first time today by the American Civil Liberties Union suggests that President Bush issued an Executive Order authorizing the use of inhumane interrogation methods against detainees in Iraq. Also released by the ACLU today are a slew of other records including a December 2003 FBI e-mail that characterizes methods used by the Defense Department as "torture" and a June 2004 "Urgent Report" to the Director of the FBI that raises concerns that abuse of detainees is being covered up.
A few bad apples...
Will be taking a few days off around Christmas, and posting after that is likely to be light for a few weeks. I'm not going to shut the blog down entirely but I will probably take a bit of a break.
Yet another right wing myth demolished
A while back, there was a story floating around the right wing blogs about a soldier who got beat up by an anti-war peacenik in the parking lot of a Toby Keith concert (where anti-war peaceniks are, of course, known to lay in wait for unsuspecting soldiers.)
Well, gosh, as it turns out, the story was complete nonsense. As anyone with a functioning bullshit meter understood at the time. Alicublog updates us:
Yesterday Cornwell pleaded guilty to a felonious assault on Barton. In his statement to the judge, Cornwell did not denounce the Bush Administration or the Iraqi invasion, or cry "Viva La Huelga." He told the judge that the fight outside the Toby Keith concert "started after the two exchanged insults about the other's military unit," according to the local news.
On a related note, conservatarians also got the "ecoterrorist" story completely wrong. But I'll bet these stories will both live on in the great right wing pantheon of apocyphal idiocy. As Mark Twain said, a lie can make it halfway around the globe before the truth gets its boots on.
Where was Bill O'Reilly when they needed him?
When Oliver Cromwell took over England in 1645, Christmas was cancelled as part of a Puritan effort to rid the country of decadence. This proved unpopular, and when Charles II was restored to the throne, he restored the celebration. The Pilgrims, a group of Puritanical English separatists who came to North America in 1620, also disapproved of Christmas, and as a result it was not a holiday in early America. The celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed from 1659 to 1681 in Boston, a prohibition enforced with a fine of five shillings. The people of the Jamestown settlement, on the other hand, celebrated the occasion freely. Christmas fell out of favor again after the American Revolution, as it was considered an "English custom", and it was not declared a federal holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.
From Wikipedia. (Hat tip: reader Eric E.)
The social security issue comes down to this: The Democrats should be able not only beat the Republicans on this, but also to beat them over the heads with it. It needs to be the cornerstone of the identity of the Democratic party.
If the Democrats can't win this one, and win big, then stick a fork in their collective ass and turn 'em over, because they are done.
From a reader
Nameless for obvious reasons:
Ever since Bill O'Really began his crusade to rescue Christmas from the dustbin of politcal correctness, the imminent demise of this rightfully and exclusively Christian holiday celebration has been the topic de jour around the Republican water cooler here at the office.
The war so nice, we're sending you twice
Earlier this year, as Sgt. Alexander Garcia's plane took off for home after his tense year of duty in Iraq, he remembered watching the receding desert sand and thinking, I will never see this place again.
Greg Rund was a freshman at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in 1999 when two students shot and killed a teacher, a dozen of their fellow students and themselves. Mr. Rund survived that horror, but he wasn't able to survive the war in Iraq. The 21-year-old Marine lance corporal was killed on Dec. 11 in Falluja.
It's worth repeating: if there's no problem with the humvee armor situation, if the question was a plant and the soldier who asked it was just some zombified tool of the liberal media--why did the room break into spontaneous applause when he asked it?
Update from a reader:
Even more glaring than the applause from the soldiers is the ramping up of the Humvee armoring program after the "you go to war with the army you have," comment. The administration knew that there was a problem, but didn't act until being publicly called out. Now the post that I work on has their contractors working 6 days a week 12 hour days to get the 3rd ACR armored before they go back to Iraq. As long as they weren't taking heat, there was no reason to protect the troops, now that they have a red face, they finally "have" to act quickly.
A cartoon from a few years back, relevant once again.
Christmas in peril!
In case you don't watch much cable news, and this week's cartoon just leaves you scratching your head:
For most people, Christmas may be a time of peace and joy, but for Bill O'Reilly it's another chance to wage an us-vs.-them cultural war. O'Reilly and Fox News, along with a cadre of hard-charging right-wing talkers, have declared war on the anti-Christmas crowd, that dangerous mix of radical secularists and school board do-gooders determined to "bring about their own Godless version of this nation," as Rev. Jerry Falwell wrote in a column published Monday on the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com.
After Christmas is over, of course, it'll be back to the college professors.
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