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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman

July 8, 2008


Heard on The Tonight Show with (and by) Jay Leno:

"Grover Norquist called Barack Obama 'John Kerry with a tan'. If Senator Obama's Kerry with a tan then John McCain's George Bush with an enlarged prostate." -Noah Greenberg

Out of Iraq

"We will not accept any memorandum of understanding that doesn't have specific dates to withdraw foreign forces from Iraq,"
"This is what the Iraqi people want, the parliament and other Iraqi leaders,"
- Iraq's national security adviser, Mouwaffak al-Rubaie

Above this is what followed a similar statement by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki just one day earlier:

"The current orientation (of the talks) is to reach a memorandum of understanding either to withdraw the forces or to set a timetable for their withdrawal,"
-al-Maliki , through his office in a response to Arab Ambassadors' questions

They want us out - only an idiot couldn't see that... right President Bush?

So what's the problem here? The Iraqis believe they can swim without the water-wings of the United States wrapped around their arms. They certainly have the money necessary to do so as the world's second-largest oil producing nation, to begin anew. So why not now, or whichever date they feel is appropriate?

Certainly the temporary deals, along with the promise of future, more permanent deals, to Big Oil profiteers is no longer a roadblock to Iraq's independence. And it isn't like our US forces are going to be that far away from the oil which Big Oil, somehow, think is truly theirs. After all, Kuwait isn't really that far, so why not allow the Iraqi's to begin to self-govern once again?

Is the only timetable worthy of conversation the one proposed by Candidate John McCain when he said, "Why not one-hundred years more in Iraq?"

If "Stay the Course" ignores Iraq's leaders (not including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney or the rest of the Administration of Diminished Responsibility who must, by now, believe that hey are the leaders of Iraq) request for self-governance, then one has to assume that the "Course" all along was to "Stay", as in:
-"Stay" in Iraq
-"Stay" in perpetual war
-"Stay where we're no longer wanted
-"Stay the Course"

I think that Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons put it best when they sang:
Oh won't you sta-ay
In Iraq a little long-er
Stay in Baghda-ad
As a target some more
Tar-get some more...

Maybe I got some of those lyrics wrong.

If we (as in the collective agreement of the people of the United States, not those holding our nation hostage in DC) want out; and our troops want out; and the people of Iraq want us out, then let's get out already.

It's time to set that date and begin to move our troops a little to the southeast (Kuwait), out of harm's way. We can be there in a flash if the Iraqi's need, and call us...

...Or even if Big Oil needs a strong arm to steal a little bit.

Try and remember when President Bush said this:

"If they were to say, leave, we would leave,"
-President Bush

They're asking. Maybe they have to say "Pretty Please".

-Noah Greenberg

by Victoria A. Brownworth
Copyright c 2008 San Francisco Bay Area Reporter, Inc.

It’s hard to watch the news these days. The crashing economy, the rising price of gas and food, the endless lies of our leaders and would-be leaders.

Is it any wonder the tube is rife with mindless game and reality show madness? Isn’t this the modern-day equivalent to fiddling while Rome burns? At least it’s a relief from the mind-numbing misery that the Bush folks have wrought.

We are back in love–with the new season of *America’s Got Talent,* the feel-good show of any season. If you don’t cry at least once, you aren’t human. Even Piers Morgan tears up now and again. And of course we love any excuse to watch Sharon Osborne or David Hasselhoff. They both so enjoy being caricatures of themselves, it’s refreshing.

Our other favorite reality/game shows are the stupendous *I Survived a Japanese Game Show,* which is incredibly over the top funny and *The Baby Borrowers* which is the weekly antidote to heterosexuality. This show should be forced viewing in every classroom from middle school up. Teenage pregnancy would drop exponentially if kids had to watch the results of having kids as teenagers.

We’re trying to gear up for the biggest game show of all, the summer Olympics, but we aren’t there yet. We’ve been more interested in seeing the giant algae being skimmed all over Beijing than watching the swimming trials in the new fish suits that make everyone win. Faust in the pool, anyone?

Speaking of nationalism, we are pretty patriotic, even though we don’t wear a flag pin and are radically left of center and thus disallowed from saying we are patriotic by both the left *and* the right. Nevertheless we enjoy watching all the Independence Day extravaganzas. There’s nothing quite like Sousa on the Fourth of July. Plus those glitzy shows always seem so, well, *gay.*The rockets’ red flare, indeed.

But national holidays, especially this one, do bring out the pandering. We didn’t enjoy the pandering. We could have done nicely without the pandering. But it’s an election year, so pandering is *de rigeur.* And Bush did get booed on July 4th, which was nicely appropriate. We applaud public booing of bad presidents on July 4th. It makes the Founding Fathers proud, dissent being the backbone of the Constitution–not that *this* president would know, of course.

The other bright spark on our July 4th was Jesse Helms, notorious bigot, hatemonger and anti-queer bastard died. Proving once again that only the good die young.

ABC’s Charlie Gibson noted that Helms, who was just short of being an Imperial Wizard of the KKK, asserted that he had many black friends. Our beloved wanted to know who they were, other than Clarence Thomas.

Speaking of Supremes, we liked this comment from Stephen Colbert. Commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week on handguns–which both Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain applauded, proving that they not only pander, but don’t care if that person is packing, Colbert said, “The Supreme Court overturned Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns! Writing for the majority, Antonin Scalia said, ‘It is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.’ He is right. Killing the Constitution is the President’s job, The Court’s is to overturn elections.”

Sounds about right.

Meanwhile, as Tom Brokaw took over–badly, as if he had never been on TV before–the job recently vacated by Tim Russert’s untimely death over at *Meet the Press,* Fox news was playing pin the big nose on the Jewish reporter.

Yes, it’s true, in a bid to stoke their unfair and unbalanced ratings, Fox decided Photoshop was a really cool new news tool.

Apparently Fox felt the need to establish that New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Stephen Radcliffe were really ugly guys–you know, the way Fox views anyone who has a less than conservative point of view. *Ugly.*

The doctoring was revealed July 3rd by Media Matters. (Check out the photos there. They really are unbelievable.) It was shocking even by Fox standards, which are admittedly almost non-existent.

The network edited the photos to make Steinberg’s nose ginormous. They also yellowed his teeth–seemingly with a big fat crayon. They made his chin Leno-like and made his ears stick out like Prince Charles. The title under the doctored photo? Jacques Steinberg, attack dog.

Steinberg, a pleasantly average looking guy now looks freakishly creepy as if he is a cannibal on his days off, with his favorite snack being Christian babies.

Radcliffe got his hair taken back about three inches, his teeth got the same crayon treatment and his face was elongated to make him look like a grinning child molester. He also got an “on the attack” comment beneath a purposeful misspelling of his name.

Wow. This is the kind of stuff you just can’t make up. But then it *is* Fox, so why should we be surprised?

After all Fox airs absolutely *the* most despicable reality/game show ever invented, *Moment of Truth.* We occasionally catch the last few minutes as we await one of our favorite reality shows, *Hell’s Kitchen,* starring the S/M chef from Hell/England, Gordon Ramsay.

*MoT* gets people to trash everyone close to them for the promise of money. It’s a Gestapo-like premise that really is sickening. Kind of like “torture your grandmother for five bucks.”

Much as we want to bring you all the TV news, all the time, we really cannot sink low enough to watch an entire episode. Five minutes and you are certain the slime will never come off. It’s like shaking hands with Dick Cheney over and over again.

Speaking of slime, while Tom Brokaw was trying to remember how to do interviews with someone other than Nancy Reagan over at *Meet the Press* and not succeeding despite the double-breasted jackets, Keith Olbermann was turning into a pod person right before our eyes over at MSNBC.

We lost most of the respect we used to have for Olbermann during the primary when he went all gonzo-sexist with his endless rapist imagery about Hillary Clinton.

So we weren’t terribly surprised when he tried to explain how his one true love, Barack Obama, was really doing a *good* thing by voting for FISA and giving Bush free rein to spy on Americans and wiretap their phones and let the telecoms have full immunity, just in case someone ended up, you know, in Guatanamo and it wasn’t a foreigner.

This convoluted reasoning was especially troubling, given that in January, Olbermann, in one of his *Countdown* rants, referred to telecom immunity as “a shameless, breathless, literally textbook example of Fascism.”

Olbermann added, “Sorry, Mr. Bush, the eavesdropping provisions of FISA have obviously had no impact on counter-terrorism, and there is no current or perceived terrorist threat the thwarting of which could hinge on an email or phone call that is going through Room 641 of AT&T in San Francisco.”

*Well.* We certainly don’t disagree with Olbermann’s January assessment. Sounds about right to us.

But then time passes and when Obama signs on to this shameless, breathless, literally textbook example of Fascism, Olbermann begins his pretzel logic, explaining that by doing exactly what Bush did, which Olbermann considers Fascism, Obama is “refusing to cower even to the left on the subject of warrantless wiretapping.”

Oh my.

Remember the phrase “warrantless wiretapping.” What’s that clicking noise you hear?

Apparently that clicking noise was–in addition to the wiretapping–endless emails being sent to Olbermann asking if he had completely lost his mind to the man crush, because he did do a small–very small–shift the other night. But the damage was done.

Meanwhile, over on *Meet the Press,* we were actually beginning to miss Tim Russert. Not the right-wing politics, but the ease of interviewing. We’re not sure what happened to Tom Brokaw. Perhaps it’s just that absence *doesn’t* make the heart grow fonder. But we think NBC should have thought a little longer and a lot harder before putting Brokaw in the chair. Bob Shieffer he’s not.

Speaking of Bob Shieffer, who is generally unflappable, he ended up in the center of the controversy over Gen. Wesley Clark’s comments about John McCain. Clark was Shieffer’s guest on *Face the Nation* when he said of McCain that “riding in a fighter plane and being shot down isn’t qualification to be president.”

Shieffer nearly flew out of his side of the split screen. The two had been discussing qualifications to be president and Clark had enumerated all the reasons McCain was unqualified. When Shieffer suggested that all those same reasons applied to Obama, Clark changed the subject and the real flap began.

TV news reported this as Clark saying McCain wasn’t fit to be president and implied that Clark impugned McCain’s military service. He said neither. In fact he lauded McCain’s service and referred to him as a hero.

What’s interesting about this flap is that TV news reported TV wrong and both Obama and McCain got into high dudgeon over it, castigating Clark for something he never said. And then Clark was required to go on a gazillion morning shows and news shows to edge his way out of what he never said.

We just have to wonder why, when TV news has access to other TV news, no one got the story right. Or sent the right story to Obama and McCain. Or at least the YouTube link. (Gen. Wes Clark on Face the Nation)

It almost seemed, well, deliberate.

Speaking of the military, we didn’t see *this* one coming: *As the World Turns* is now taking on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

In the continuing front-burner storyline between Luke and Noah, Noah has decided to enter the military to make peace with his dead psycho killer father, the Colonel.

This decision came after a touching make-up scene between Luke and Noah who have been slightly estranged since Noah’s father’s alleged death. The two attended a Cyndi Lauper concert (yes, Cyndi was on *ATWT*)–how gay is *that*–with other guys. But they came together at the end and Noah acknowledged his love for Luke.

There was much kissing.

Then Noah said he was enlisting in the military. As Luke told his father, Holden, later, “He’s going to spend the next two years not being asked and not telling.”
Holden told Luke he could not let Noah live a lie. He told Luke to go get Noah before it was too late.

Why can’t we all have soap parents?

Meanwhile, in real life–sort of–Thomas Beatie who has appeared on Oprah and several other TV shows a the world’s first pregnant man, gave birth on July 3rd to a baby girl. Both father and daughter were resting comfortably and Beatie told *Inside Edition* that the baby would call him Daddy and his wife Nancy, Mommy. No doubt the pix will be raffled off to the highest bidder soon.

Speaking of queer marriage, T.R. Knight, the *Grey’s Anatomy* star who was the subject of the faggot feud with Isaiah Washington that ended in Washington going to anti-homophobia rehab and getting axed from the show, is *not* getting married.

Apparently just because you are gay, coupled and in California does not necessarily mean wedding bells. The rumors are just rumors.

Jon Stewart had a hilarious bit on the topic of gay marriage on *The Daily Show.* check it out http://www.gaytvblog.com/2008/06/clips-you-gotta.html

Finally, another tidbit on gay marriage which dovetails nicely with the pregnant man story. It seems that the perpetually tanned and equally perpetually single Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, who is on John McCain’s short list for VP is getting married. He announced it on July 4th, but was he wearing sparkly red, white and blue spandex at the time?

This marriage-to-be wouldn’t be news except that at 51, Crist was married for less time than Britney Spears 30 years ago and then divorced. You know, like Rock Hudson.

Crist managed to be elected governor of a very red state–although admittedly South Beach *is* part of it–unmarried. But unmarried VP’s don’t happen, so Crist is getting married.

His soon-to-be wife is Carole Rome, 38. She is president of a Halloween costume company. Which should, as one of our good friends noted, make it easier to be the beard.

The jokes just write themselves, folks. Stay tuned.

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-Noah Greenberg