Saturday, April 24, 2004

Royal We 

I read a lot of blogs. One thing I notice is the use of the royal we. "Last week we wrote about blah blah blah..." or "We at [insert blog title here] can't get enough of the new Modest Mouse cd.

I believe in using the first person. There's no crack team of researchers or a troop of monkeys chained to keyboards typing up this thrilling infotainment. It's just me, myself and I. So until my monkey handling permit arrives, you can rest assured that It's Craptastic! will be Royal We free. We promise.


The Funniest Sentence I've Ever Read... 

Bush's Oratory Helps Maintain Support for War
With skillful use of language and images, President Bush and his aides have kept the American public from turning against the war in Iraq despite the swelling number of U.S. casualties there.
I never thought I would see "skillful use of language" and Bush in the same sentence.

"This has been tough weeks in that country." Bush, April 13th, 2004

"Obviously, I pray every day there's less casualty." Bush April 11th, 2004

"The march to war hurt the economy. Laura reminded me a while ago that remember what was on the TV screens — she calls me, 'George W.' — 'George W.' I call her, 'First Lady.' No, anyway — she said, we said, march to war on our TV screen." Bush March 11th, 2004

"God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear." Bush, March 3rd 2004

"My views are one that speaks to freedom." Bush, January 29th, 2004

"Then you wake up at the high school level and find out that the illiteracy level of our children are appalling." Bush, January 23rd, 2004

Skillful use of language indeed.

(read more Bushisms here.)


Friday, April 23, 2004

Let Me Get This Straight... 

Okay for the public to see:

Not okay for the public to see:

The hypocrisy is killing me inside.


Thursday, April 22, 2004

Support Our Troops... 

Because the White House doesn't want you to see these, I've decided to post as many as I can. You can see more here and here.

"Bring 'em on." - George W. Bush

These soldiers didn't die protecting our freedom. They didn't die to make us safe. They didn't die avenging 9/11.

They died because of a lie.

If that doesn't make you angry, I don't know what will.

Update: One photo removed. Pictures of the Columbia astronauts were accidentally released with the Iraq War photos.


Elway II 

Yahoo! News - Manning Tells Chargers Not to Draft Him
Eli Manning is more than happy to have the San Diego Chargers (news) use the No. 1 pick in Saturday's NFL draft on anyone but him. In fact, that would make his whole family happy. And the Chargers know it.

Eli's father, Archie, said the decision to tell the Chargers to pass on Eli was made by the Mississippi quarterback and his agent, Tom Condon, with input from the family and others.

"I plan to be playing football next season," he said. "I've talked to New York. I've talked to Oakland. I've talked to a lot of teams, and I like a lot of teams."
Free agency is earned through years of service. Rookies do not get to choose where they play. I hope the Chargers do pick him. Then we'll see how committed he is to playing in the NFL.

Listen Eli, you play where you're picked. You finish your rookie contract and then you're free to play wherever you wish. That's the system. If that doesn't work for you, I'm sure the Arena League or The CFL would be happy to have you.


Hummer Time 

I hate Hummers. A genuine rage boils up inside me every time I see one of those overgrown Tonka trucks driving down a suburban road. I see that I am not alone. FUH2 | Fuck You And Your H2 has some great photos and some truly hilarious emails. Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The Way of the Kirk Cameron 

Kirk Cameron doesn't want you to go to hell. It's fun to be preached to by lovable teen heartthrob Mike Seaver. I searched the whole site for news about his friend Boner. No luck.
Show me that smile again. (Ooooh, show me that smile)
Don't waste another minute on your cryin'.
We're nowhere near the end (nowhere near)
The best is ready to begin.

Oooohhh. As long as we got each other
We got the world spinnin right in our hands.
Baby you and me, we gotta be
The luckiest dreamers who never quit dreamin'.

As long as we keep on givin'
we can take anything that comes our way
Baby, rain or shine, all the time
We got each other Sharin' the laughter and love
Mike Seaver says I'm going to hell. I'll bet Growing Pains is on 24/7 down there.


Sweet Rapture... 

George Monbiot gives some insight into the GOP's backing of Israel:
To understand what is happening in the Middle East, you must first understand what is happening in Texas. To understand what is happening there, you should read the resolutions passed at the state's Republican party conventions last month.
The delegates began by nodding through a few uncontroversial matters: homosexuality is contrary to the truths ordained by God; "any mechanism to process, license, record, register or monitor the ownership of guns" should be repealed; income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax and corporation tax should be abolished; and immigrants should be deterred by electric fences. Thus fortified, they turned to the real issue: the affairs of a small state 7000 miles away. It was then, according to a participant, that the "screaming and near fistfights" began.
The motion they adopted stated that Israel has an undivided claim to Jerusalem and the West Bank, that Arab states should be pressured to absorb refugees from Palestine, and that Israel should do whatever it wishes in seeking to eliminate terrorism.
But why should all this be of such pressing interest to the people of a state which is seldom celebrated for its fascination with foreign affairs? The explanation is slowly becoming familiar to us, but we still have some difficulty in taking it seriously.

In the United States, several million people have succumbed to an extraordinary delusion. In the 19th century, two immigrant preachers cobbled together a series of unrelated passages from the Bible to create what appears to be a consistent narrative: Jesus will return to earth when certain preconditions have been met. The first of these was the establishment of a state of Israel. The next involves Israel's occupation of the rest of its "Biblical lands" (most of the Middle East), and the rebuilding of the Third Temple on the site now occupied by the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques. The legions of the Antichrist will then be deployed against Israel, and their war will lead to a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. The Jews will either burn or convert to Christianity, and the Messiah will return to earth.
The true believers are now seeking to bring all this about. This means staging confrontations at the old temple site (in 2000 three US Christians were deported for trying to blow up the mosques there), sponsoring Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, demanding ever more US support for Israel, and seeking to provoke a final battle with the Muslim world/Axis of Evil/United Nations/European Union/France or whoever the legions of the Antichrist turn out to be.
And among them are some of the most powerful men in America. John Ashcroft, the attorney-general, is a true believer, so are several prominent senators and the House majority leader, Tom DeLay.
It's time to send a little cash to the Godless Americans PAC. We have got to remove these fundamentalist nutjobs from the levers of power.


NYT Responds 

From Bovino:
Dear Mr. Wright,

My previous message may have been too flippant in answering your concern; for that I apologize.

I spoke with an editor in the Washington bureau about your concern. He said the administration may plan before the conference which organizations and reporters to call on but that Times reporters do not submit their questions in advance.

The editor said he would be surprised if any news organization submitted questions in advance.

Thank you for writing.

Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times
A reader received this message:
Dear Mr. Jackson

Thank you for your message.

I spoke with an editor in the Washington bureau about your concern and include his response below:

No one ever provides the president with questions beforehand. The only thing that is pre-ordained is the
seating and who the president will call on. That's decided by his press office. Then they give him a chart,
which has circles around the people he's supposed to call on.

Thank you for writing.

Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times
And then the big man himself responded:
Dear Mr. Wright,

I recently learned that you wrote to this office concerning the protocols of White House press conferences. I cannot speak for other news organizations, but I can assure you categorically that the New York Times does not -- ever -- submit press conference questions in advance.

Yours sincerely,
Daniel Okrent
Public Editor

Daniel Okrent
Public Editor
N.B.: Any opinions expressed here, unless otherwise indicated, are solely my own
On to the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.


Overly Scripted Press Conferences? 

MSNBC - 'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for April 13
"MATTHEWS: Do you think he was too rough with that? Was he too rough with that by saying nobody likes to see dead people on television, when in fact, they're not just dead people on television? Those television pictures are pictures of people dead.
GREGORY: I think it was one of the more real moments of the night, whether it was good, bad or indifferent. And you don't get a lot of these in these overly scripted press conferences. So it gave us a sense of where his thinking is at, politically speaking, of course."
(emphasis mine.)

The press has some explaining to do. The Commander in Thief isn't the only one with a credibility gap.


Tuesday, April 20, 2004


One way to increase traffic is to have Atrios, Kevin Drum and Tom Tomorrow all link to your site on the same day. 1,100 hits in two hours.


Press Conference Shenanigans 

Yesterday I wrote to the New York Times ombudsman. I wanted to know if Ron Suskind's allegations about scripting were true.
According to Ron Suskind, "For each press conference, the White House press secretary asks the reporters for their questions, selects six or seven of the questions to answer and those reporters are the only ones called upon to ask their questions during the press conference."

Can you confirm or deny this practice? If it is true, do you feel that the press should inform the public that the press conferences are scripted? This would appear to be a betrayal of the public's trust.

Tony Wright
Iowa City, IA
His reply
Dear Mr. Wright,

I'm fairly certain that two reporters at the press conference asked unscripted questions.

Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Edtior
Unsatisfied with an incomplete reply, I pressed for more information.
Thank you for your quick reply.

Only two? Was the NYT reporter's question scripted?

Tony Wright
He replied two minutes later with this:
Dear Mr. Wright,

I am uncertain if Ms. Bumiller's question was submitted to the president before-hand.

Perhaps you might write to the president if you are unhappy with this system.

Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor
So it appears that at least some of the questions were scripted. Bush knew the questions beforehand and he still performed terribly. I can see why he is afraid to debate Kerry.

Note: Thanks to Atrios for the link.


Monday, April 19, 2004

Open Letter 

Dear Air America Callers,

Please have a fucking point before you decide to dial the phone.