Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ta-Ta, Katherine - Hello, Michele!

Although I am thrilled that we finally have a Dem majority, I have been despondent over losing my muse, my homegirl, the lovely Katherine Harris. How many happy hours we spent together - she making a total ass of herself, me enjoying it. But now, there is a ray of light breaking through my dark clouds of despair. Over at FireDogLake, Phoenix Woman has brought to my attention a new and exciting Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann from Minnesota, who began making waves immediately upon being elected by attempting to sexually harass the President. Wow! That got my attention right away. Way to make a first impression!

But it only gets better.

She is a fierce evangelical Christian conservative in a way that makes James Dobson look like a lesbian Unitarian minister. She is a tireless advocate for creationism, insisting that it be taught in science classes so the little kiddies can 'make up their own minds'. Of course, as much time as she spends trying to 'improve' Minnesota's educational system, she would not be caught dead putting her own brood into the public schools. Nossir, all of her biological kids were home-schooled.

According to her Wikipedia bio:
During a debate televised by WCCO on October 28, 2006, news reporter Pat Kessler quoted a story that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and asked Bachmann whether it was true that the church she belonged to taught that the Pope was the Anti-Christ. Bachmann answered that her “church does not believe that the Pope is the Anti-Christ, that's absolutely false… I'm very grateful that my pastor has come out and been very clear on this matter, and I think it's patently absurd and it's a false statement.” Bachmann is a member of a church that is part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, whose doctrine teaches that the Roman Catholic papacy is the Anti-Christ identified in Scripture. Bachmann came under scrutiny for campaigning at the Living Word Christian Center in the 3rd district of Minnesota, where the pastor endorsed her from the pulpit, violating the church's tax-exempt status. In her speech, she claimed that "God called [her] to run for Congress." She also professed her belief that wives are to be submissive to their husbands.
And she loves teh gays:
"This is not about hating homosexuals. I love homosexuals," Bachmann concludes. "But should we allow them to teach sinful ways [to] our children?"
There's a lot more where that came from. Almost too good to be true. Katherine Who? Miz Harris comes off like a more liberal Cynthia McKinney next to her. You better believe I'll be keeping Michele on my speed-dial.

She is golden, I tell you. Golden.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Pottersville Props!

My cohort in first-klass snark and a mighty warrior in the progressive trenches, JurassicPork of Welcome To Pottersville (BTW, one of the best blog names ever and a near neighbor to Hooterville) was interviewed by Simon Owens of Bloggasm, a media blog. The discussion is (surprise!) blogging, and JP has an interesting take:
Simon Owens: Do you think that the political blogosphere will remain mostly a “commentary” type of media, or do you think they have the capacity to do some major investigative reporting? What kind of resources would they need to do this?

Jurassicpork: With very few exceptions, such as Media Matters and Newshounds, to name but two, I don’t think one major blogger and not many B listers got into this game to act as a watchdog or minder of the watchdogs of democracy, as Helen Thomas calls the press. I believe that the political blogosphere originally started as a platform for commentary, which it still is essentially. Don’t forget the provenance of the word “blog”: It’s a contraction for “web log” or an online diary. Diaries are typically journals of private thoughts.

However, for the first time in our nation’s history, we’re in a position to judge the probity and efficacy of the mainstream media. Blogs have broken us out of the capricious and often exclusionary forum of letters to the editor or even emails to your favorite program. And the longer we do our thing, the more people discover us.


All the same, the impression I get is that bloggers in general are not comfortable with having to be arbiters of what’s true or not true. And now I’m about to say something very surprising. It’s not our job to tell the truth. I can picture the expression on your face right now. But I’m right in that it’s not our job to tell the truth. That’s why we have a Fourth Estate. It’s their job to tell the truth instead of being mere mediums and stenographers for the government. It’s only our job to seek the truth. And if the MSM doesn’t do its job which it largely isn’t, then we will have to seek it out that much more diligently. And in some notorious cases, we have “scooped” the media.

Otherwise, there’s no blogger out there who can approach the likes of Ron Suskind, Seymour Hersh or David Brooks in terms of access or sources. And that’s the way it ought to be.

Still, the MSM largely disrespects us and even resents us for being so critical of the way they do their jobs, which is alarmingly similar to the arch, “We’re in charge and we know what we’re doing” attitude of the government. And they forget that we’re an increasingly large part of their customer base.

Very well put - and since I hold the MSM at least partly responsible for this mess we're in because they have not held up their end of the bargain, I think it's important for bloggers to hold their feet to the fire.

And JP was nice enough to list Hooterville as one of his five favorite blogs! I will try to keep up with posting, even with my book sucking up most of my thinking lately.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Moral Victory: Lt. Ehren Watada!

Little by little, bit by bit...flashes of sunlight are appearing through the dark, oppressive clouds of the Bush Administration.

The court-martial of First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, who refused to deploy to Iraq because he believed that the Iraq war was illegal, had been charged with missing a troop movement and with two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer, based on his public statements criticizing the war and President Bush, has ended in a mistrial.

Because Watada neither caused nor agreed to the mistrial, it is possible that he may not be retried because of double jeopardy.

The Army, of course, plans to retry Watada in March. But in asking for a 'do-over', the prosecution may have made a fatal mistake. At issue was a pretrial stipulation in which Watada admitted to the fact of failing to deploy, but did not admit guilt for that fact because he felt justified by his belief that the Iraq conflict was illegal. "The judge was concerned that the stipulation amounted to a confession by Watada to an offense to which he intended to plead not guilty," said Fort Lewis spokesman Joseph Piek.

The implications of this trial may go far beyond that of Watada and into the realm of the debate on free speech in the military.

But regardless of the outcome of the trial, the moral victory already belongs to Lt. Watada and his refusal to commit war crimes. When we ask ourselves "Could another Holocaust happen here?", if the answer is "Hell, no!", it will be because of people like First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, a real American patriot.

Here's a great article by ElectronicIraq, with lots of links.

And of course, the website by Watada's supporters Thank You, Lt. Watada.