Just Above Sunset
June 26, 2005 - Much is happening, and keeping on top of things is hard...

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One: Ah, Texas!

In Houston, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay compared the "constant barrage" of bad news from Iraq to "all this reporting" in the local press about "violence, murders, robberies, deaths on the highways," adding that "if Houston, Texas, was held to the same standard as Iraq is held to, nobody'd go to Houston."

The Houston Chronicle item is here and this is too easy.  Insert variations on Yogi Berra saying, "No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

Does anyone go to Houston?  If they go, why do they go?

Tom might be getting a call from the Houston Chamber of Commerce, but probably not.

Can Houston make Baghdad its sister city?


Two: The Freedom Fries Man

The man who made the congressional cafeteria rename those hot grease-coated, salted potato sticks "freedom fries" - Representative Walter B. Jones Jr., Republican from North Carolina – who last week introduced a bipartisan resolution calling for Bush to come up with a plan by the end of this year to withdraw the troops from Iraq, and for the withdrawal to start no later than October of 2006 – is profiled in AlterNet by Jan Frel here (June 22) and we find that it wasn't local political pressure that led to this change on Iraq, even if his constituents think his new stance makes him "look 'weak' on the military."  Frel says it's simply that "Walter Jones can't lie about Iraq anymore."

One asks, why not?  Does Jones hate America?  Is he a traitor putting our troops in danger?  Things ARE going fine, we HAVE enough troops on the ground, they ARE wonderfully equipped, that insurgency IS in its last throes, and so on and so forth.

Should Jones apologize like Dick Durbin did?  (Fox News explains here.)

Or has Jones joined the Air America radio folks, saying the opposite about the war - citing facts and statistics and quoting people and all that sort of thing?  See this from the June 20 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly (audio clip here):


O'REILLY: And when he [Durbin] went out there, his intent was to whip up the American public against the Bush detainee policy. That's what his intent was. His intent wasn't to undermine the war effort, because he never even thought about it. He never even thought about it. But by not thinking about it, he made an egregious mistake because you must know the difference between dissent from the Iraq war and the war on terror and undermining it. And any American that undermines that war, with our soldiers in the field, or undermines the war on terror, with 3,000 dead on 9-11, is a traitor.

Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less.


If you're in Los Angeles tune into 1150 AM and be a traitor too.  Of course, as long as you know the precise line between dissent and "undermining" you'll be just fine.  Bill will no doubt explain just where that line is at some point in the future.  He knows.  He's sure.  Are you?  Best be careful.  Ask Bill.


Three: "Now" is no longer on the air, but Bill Moyers is, here and there.

June 21, Bill Moyers, who had that show on PBS that so irked the administration that they now want to change PBS to make it more balanced and not so left wing – that's what Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Tomlinson, wants – was on CNN's Lou Dobbs show.  Whether or not PBS carries too many children's shows that advocate tolerance of others, or too many science shows that undermine Christianity by claiming there actually is geological evidence the earth is more than six thousand years old and that evolution isn't just a crackpot theory, Bill Moyers' "Now" really did tick them off.  As Kenneth Tomlinson has said, Public Broadcasting should represent the views of the vast majority of Americans, who are, as shown in Bush's election mandate of 2004, firmly conservative and completely Christian.

As you can see from the transcript, not only is Moyers still being an elitist minority pain-in-the-ass, Dobbs is buying into this stuff, and what Dobbs says is even more amazing.  Some excerpts:


MOYERS: … the American dream is flat on its back.

The inequality in this country is greater than it's been since 1929. The gap between -- when I went to Washington in 1960, the gap between the highest paid and the lowest paid was 20-fold. Now it's 75-fold. "The Wall Street Journal" reported two weeks ago that if you were a child born in poverty in Europe or Canada, you have a better chance at prosperity than a child born in America today. "New York Times," "Wall Street Journal" have also reported that the upward mobility of people at the bottom has stalled. And no Marxist rag, "The Economist," one of the best friends business and capitalism have, reported just the weekend before George W. Bush's second inauguration, that the inequality that is growing in this country means America's on the way to becoming a European style class-based society. I didn't make that up. That's not my term. That's "The Economist."

When hope and opportunity close down, democracy is in trouble. That's why I'm concerned.

DOBBS: … I find it mind-boggling the number of people who seem inured to an educational system that is failing, a public education system that is the bedrock to me of what has been the American dream, offering poor boys like Bill Moyers and Lou Dobbs and millions and millions of other folks an opportunity to move from the so-called working class into the middle class and beyond, that -- to lose that is -- to meet such indifference on the part of so many people is mind-boggling to me.

DOBBS: Warren Buffett was sitting here one night a few weeks ago. We were talking about class warfare, and he said, and I know we're not supposed to talk about class warfare in this country, but the fact is, that's what's going on politically. And he says, well, I don't know if it's class warfare or not, but I can tell you, my class is winning. … And he said it with great - with anguish, not with any sense of pride in it at all, rather concern and disappointment.

DOBBS: … there was a time you could turn to the Democratic Party and expect to see the working men and women of the country represented. You could pretty much expect Republicans to represent business interests. For the life of me, Bill, I can't discern the difference between the two parties. They both, it seems to me, owned lock, stock and barrel by corporate interests.


Okay, this is what you expect from Moyers, but from Lou Dobbs?  Now Dobbs has no reason to fear Kenneth Tomlinson, as Lou works for Jonathan Klein.  But when CNN starts bashing America, what are things coming to?  And what would Bill O'Reilly say?


Four: Porn in High Places

The National Republican Congressional Committee has a dinner last week for the president.  That got considerable coverage, like this item from CBS, because one guest, Mark Kulkis of Kick Ass Pictures out here in California, brought along his hard-core porn star Mary Carey, of porn film fame.  Well, she ran for governor of California two years ago (see this in these pages from August, 2003) and she says she plans to run for lieutenant governor out here in 2006.  What was she doing there?  From CBS: "I've been a Republican now for, ummm, a couple of days."

That'll do.  But note this:

Right-wing media not happy that Mary Carey wants to have sex with the Bush twins -


Now that the presidential fund-raiser is over, hard-core porn star Mary Carey doesn't mind the public knowing about one of her secret desires – having sex with the twin daughters of the president.

Carey was the guest of her boss, pornographer Mark Kulkis of Kick A– Pictures, at the National Republican Congressional Committee's multimillion-dollar dinner with the president here last week.

She made no secret prior to the event of wanting to have sex with Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Pat Buchanan and Alan Colmes - in addition to at least one player from every team in the NBA. But she asked blogger John Aravosis to hold back reporting her feelings about the Bush twins until after she cleared out of town.
"Oh my God, his daughters!" she said. "I'd love to party with his daughters. I'd love to meet them. I totally want to have sex with them. You can write it the day after I leave here."


Oh my!  Some of us caught her interview with Keith Olbermann on "Countdown" on MSNBC late last week.  (Video clip here - go to the bottom of the column for the link.)

She's having fun with the Republicans.  She's toying with them and causing no end of trouble.  I suspect she is, in fact, a smart and savvy left-wing subversive with a wonderful sense of humor.  There's something Swift-like about all this.  It seems an odd update of the tactic Swift used in "A Modest Proposal" long, long ago.

The White House and the National Republican Congressional Committee are all embarrassed and upset.  I think that was her idea.  Ha!


By the way, somehow the editor of Just Above Sunset was also invited to the party.  Should have gone!
If you want to read how much they appreciate my work, click on each image to enlarge it.

Invitation to Bush Dinner
Click on image to enlarge...

Invitation to Bush Dinner
Click on image to enlarge...

Invitation to Bush Dinner


Five: A "What did you expect?" item from CURSOR.ORG

"The wages of fundamentalism" are said to include signs that "American science is losing its edge, and may even have peaked."  Earlier: "the U.S. is no longer a friendly destination for foreign students."

What did you expect?

The cartoonist Kirk Anderson offers this cartoon that sums it up.  I came across this at SLATE.COM and if I had more than a handful of readers I'd have to pay Artizans syndicate to post this image.  They own the rights to the image.  But under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, Limitations on exclusive rights (fair use), and since it is part of the commentary, this may be okay.

It almost has come to this:

Kirk Bible Cartoon


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
for the purpose of illustration and commentary,
as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law. 
See the Details page for the relevant citation.

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