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Secret McCain Campaign Slogan Memo Leaked

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
By Lee Camp

With McCain likely to face Obama in the general election, it appears his staff has realized they have an uphill marketing battle ahead of them. Obama has some of the best marketing money can buy: he has a brilliant logo, multiple slogans, a pretty face, and he's even laid claim to the words "change" and "hope." The following memo by a high level McCain staffer was accidentally leaked to the press, demonstrating the McCain campaign's struggle to find the perfect slogan.

Top 10 Outrageous Quotes From McCain's Spiritual Advisers

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Katie Halper

Before Jeremiah "Obama's Pastor" Wright spews even more nonsense, and quotes even more ambassadors, we want to shed some light on the brilliant gems uttered by some of McCain's own spiritual advisers, Pastor John Hagee and Reverend Rod Parsley. When Hagee endorsed McCain, because he is a man of principle, McCain said he was "very honored by Pastor John Hagee's endorsement." Reverend Parsley calls McCain a "strong, true, consistent conservative" and McCain calls Parsley "a spiritual adviser." Because the liberal media refuses to give any credit to McCain, it is up to us to be fair and balanced. So here are the top 10 Memorable Quotes said by McCain's religious advisers:

1. "Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist."
- Pastor John Hagee in his book What Every Man Wants in a Woman (Charisma House, 2005)

2. "The Quran teaches that [all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews]. Yes, it teaches that very clearly."
-Pastor John Hagee

3. "I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans...I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are -- were recipients of the judgment of God for that...There was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades.... The Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment."
-Pastor John Hagee

4. "The military will have difficultly recruiting healthy and strong heterosexuals for combat purposes. Why? Fighting in combat with a man in your fox hole that has AIDS or is HIV positive is double jeopardy."
- Pastor John Hagee on Don't Ask Don't Tell

5. "[Gay marriage] will open the door to incest, to polygamy, and every conceivable marriage arrangement demented minds can possibly conceive. If God does not then punish America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."
- Pastor John Hagee

6. "It is impossible to call yourself a Christian and defend homosexuality. There is no justification or acceptance of homosexuality.... Homosexuality means the death of society because homosexuals can recruit, but they cannot reproduce."
- Pastor John Hagee

7. "Only a Spirit-filled woman can submit to her husband's lead. It is the natural desire of a woman to lead through feminine manipulation of the man...Fallen women will try to dominate the marriage. The man has the God-given role to be the loving leader of the home."
- Pastor John Hagee in his book What Every Man Wants in a Woman (Charisma House, 2005)

8. "I cannot tell you how important it is that we understand the true nature of Islam, that we see it for what it really is. In fact, I will tell you this: I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore."
- Rod Parsley in Silent No More (Charisma House, 2005)

9. "Gay sexuality inevitably involves brutal physical abusiveness and the unnatural imposition of alien substances into internal organs, orally and anally, that inevitably suppress the immune system and heighten susceptibility to disease."
- Rod Parsley

10. "Only 1 percent of the homosexual population in America will die of old age. The average life expectancy for a homosexual in the United States of America is 43 years of age. A lesbian can only expect to live to be 45 years of age. Homosexuals represent 2 percent of the population, yet today they're carrying 60 percent of the known cases of syphilis."
- Rod Parsley

A version of this originally appeared on Nerve Scanner.

Chris Matthews Demonstrates Our Fourth Estate is Third Rate on Real Time (And Nobody Notices!)

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Katie Halper

In case anyone missed Wednesday's tragic-comic debate and needs more proof that the fourth estate is third rate, Chris Matthews was more than happy to oblige on Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher. Not only did Matthews contradict reality, he contradicted himself.

As usual, Matthews spoke from a position of fabricated and self-appointed authority, this time as as the spokesman of all blue collar men in Pennsylvania. And, once again, Matthews projected his own emotional baggage as fact, explaining that men go to diners in the morning because "they don't want to hang out with their wives for an hour and they want that hour away..."

Being the great comic that he is, Bill Maher segued seamlessly from Matthews' "Take my wife" set up into the following question:

Speaking of which, you have been criticized as being a little sexist about Hillary.... Don't you think she has a point that gender has actually been a bigger factor in this campaign than race?

Without missing a beat, a cocksure and visibly self impressed Matthews replied:

No, actually there are more women democrats than there are male democrats. That should help her.

What does his answer have to do with the question? How does a higher percentage of female Democrats prove that gender is not an issue in this campaign? But Matthews really showed off his reason-free reasoning when, he responded to Maher's question about why Hillary was "doing better with Catholics" by saying:

Chris Matthews:

That's a great question, that is a great one... 65% in Pennsylvania right now against 26%. I bet she goes up to 70, 75. I think that's just another word for Catholics, small town, middle class, I don't know I can't quite explain it. I don't know the answer to that.

BM: "Wow, I stumped Chris Matthews! I should win something."

Not to be outdone or stumped, the critically thinking Matthews surmised:

Maybe... Lemme find an issue you agree with the Pope on here. You're both against the war in Iraq. Catholics are generally against the war in Iraq, Hillary voted for it. Maybe that would be a logical reason, I'm not sure it's the real reason. But that would make sense.

What? Anti-war Catholic resentment of a war-voting Hillary WOULD make sense... If Matthews were explaining why Hillary is UNPOPULAR among Catholics. But since Matthews himself offers statistics demonstrating Hillary's popularity among Catholics, he just presented an illogical, contradictory explanation.

So why this explanation? In the words of Matthews, that's a great question, that is a great one... don't know the answer to that... Maybe the answer is that Matthews has a blinding anti-Hillary bias which prevents his brain from registering any Hillary popularity. Or maybe the answer is that Matthews just isn't the brightest crayon in the box, in spite of his fluency in statistics and stereotyping.

Bill didn't catch Chris's illogical explanations on gender or Catholics. But in all fairness, it's hard to keep up with Matthews non-stop cerebral flatulence. And Maher did call out Chris's inanity earlier in the interview, when the pundit waxed nostalgic about the 2004 election:

CM: They asked the question which one of the candidates would help you, Bush or Kerry, if your car was broken down on the road... would stop and help you. Neither guy got 50% but Bush beat out Kerry. And that was a disaster. Because if you're a Democrat and people don't think you're gonna look out for the other guy, you're finished because you're not gonna win on law and order, or national security or all that stuff--

BM: But Chris the president is never on the highway. That would never come up. It has nothing to do with how a president affects people's live

CM: I know. it's about is this guy on our side or not.

Well, if we were to ask ourselves if Chris was on our side or not, I'm pretty sure the answer would be no. If our side wanted truth over truthiness.

Pranktivism: Obesity Exchange

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying

Our very own Lee Camp is here to talk about his solution for America's nutritional crisis.

How to Win The Iraq War Debate Against Your Dumb Friends

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Lee Camp

Recently I was arguing with one of my dumber friends about the Iraq war. He loves Bush, and thinks bigger bombs is the answer in Iraq. I wasn’t gaining any ground in the argument until I used a simple analogy. I said, “Your solution is like shattering an expensive vase and then saying, ‘We need to keep smashing it until it’s fixed.’” I stumped him. He was silent. So here’s a brief list of other analogies you can use on your dumb friends. And the truth is, I’ve seen similar ones work on some of the smartest political pundits.

1) The country of Iraq has essentially been demolished. The right-wingers keep saying the answer is continued large-scale military action. That’s like if someone got into a car accident, went into a coma, and the doctors believed the patient could be healed by more car accidents. So they just keep putting him into cars and sending him off cliffs.

2) I’ve heard people say that being against Bush or Petraeus or the war in Iraq is equivalent to being against the troops. That’s like if I knew someone who repeatedly sent brave puppies out into traffic. I called that person an asshole for abusing the puppies and abusing their power. Then you accused me of being anti-puppy.

3) The administration talks about the success of the surge because violence has decreased, but we’re in fact paying the militias not to kill each other or our soldiers. It’s like if you were treading water, two sharks approach and begin biting you, you give each one a small piece of fish to distract them. While they take a moment to eat the fish, you sit there treading water and yelling, “Problem solved!”

4) At the Petraeus hearings, he refused to give any sort of definition for “victory” in Iraq. That’s like running a foot race, you’ve gone 30 miles, you’re exhausted, and when you ask your coach driving along next to you how much farther, he just keeps saying “You’ll know it when you get there.” He keeps saying that until you collapse and die.

5) We claim to be “fighting the terrorists” in Iraq, but in fact our presence is helping to create more terrorists. The disaster in Iraq serves as a great training and recruiting tool for an entire generation of terrorists. It’s like trying to kill a gremlin by dousing him in water.

6) KBR, Halliburton, Blackwater and other companies have huge pull in our government (such as the vice presidency). So essentially they decide when the war is over. They also happen to be making millions upon millions of dollars from the war. So asking them to decide when the war is over, is like asking an ugly guy cast in a threesome porn movie to decide when the scene is over. Chances are the scene would go on for months, if not years. The entire crew would be standing around asking, “When will we know when it’s time to end it?” And the ugly guy would respond, “Um, it’s a bad idea to set timetables. Just trust me on this.”

7) Lastly, President Bush is like a colorblind child with a Rubik’s Cube.

Lou Dobbs: Homophobic or Homo?

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Katie Halper

Last week Lou Dobbs told his viewers "I can’t say ‘I love you’ to a fellow in San Francisco." Me think he doth protest too much. Who was he talking about anyway?

Dobbs "came out" about having “one of those days” when “some folks are kind of just on you.” Specifically, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom "got on Lou" for hating on anyone who thinks that immigrants are human beings and not aliens. Menendez softened his criticism of Dobbs by saying "I love you, Lou" but a relentless Newsom spoke of "cable TV, where careers are literally being saved and salvaged, like Lou Dobbs."

Lovable Lou responded by saying "Senator Menendez said he loved me, and so I'm going to say I love you back. I can't say 'I love you' to a fellow in San Francisco I suppose." (Think Progress has the video.)

Hmmm. Is Lou engaging in some good old fashioned "Made in America" homophobia? Or is he trying to tell us something? Would saying I love you to Gavin Newsom be too close for comfort? I mean if there's one man who could awaken the latent homosexuality that lurks in the heart of another man, it would have to be Gavin "I can't believe he's not gay except I can because if he were he wouldn't be this comfortable with gay people and with legalizing gay marriage" Newsom. His sex appeal is so disarming, lesbians literally line up to get a piece, as this photo shows.

A version of this post originally appeared on Nerve Scanner.

A Detailed Analysis of Olympic Politics in Cartoon Form

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Lee Camp

In a week that saw the Olympic torch extinguished not once, not twice, but thrice, our very own Lee Camp provides the hard-hitting analysis we at Laughing Liberally have learned to rely upon.

Obama's "Over The Top" Pastor, a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, Anderson Cooper's Grammatical Cop Out

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Katie Halper

Last week, because the batteries in my remote were dead and I was too tired to get up, I was treated to an hour of Anderson Cooper, replayed 12 times. This meant that I had the pleasure of watching the special feature on Cooper. Technically, it was more like 7 minutes of Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, over and over and over, learning something new each time. The first thing that struck me was Anderson Cooper's introduction to the feature:

We begin with a new controversy on the campaign trail. That's right, a new one. At issue, Barack Obama's pastor -- this man -- and the fiery remarks he has made. A tape of one of his sermons -- you see it there -- on Hillary Clinton is all over the Web, and tonight you will hear it for yourself. Is what he says over the top? Should it even matter in this presidential race? What you're about to hear is inflammatory to some. To others, harsh as it sounds, it's the truth. That's for you to decide, along with whether you think it has any place at all in this campaign for either candidate.

Now, I like Anderson Cooper more than most media stars, not just because he went to my school (which explains why we both "go forth unafraid/strong with love and strong with learning.") The first time I heard his introduction, I was appreciative of his nuanced and brave questions -- is there any story here, does it even matter? The second or third time, I heard it, I started to methink he doth protest too much perhaps -- about the story not mattering. The fifth or sixth time, what came through was the way Cooper explained why the story does, in fact, matter: "We're running it because, like it or not, legitimate or not, it has become an issue."

The seventh time, I noticed something disturbing on a grammatical and syntactical level. Style and grammar advisers, from Orwell to MLA warn us against the passive voice and other impersonal constructions. And I know that by the seventh grade at the school we had both attended, our teachers had shaken the passive/impersonal construction habit out of us. But it wasn't just the dis to Dalton teachers that got to me, of course. The impersonal construction was misleading; saying something "has become an issue" is a convenient cop-out. There is no agency, no responsibility, no guilt, no intervention. Nobody turns it into an issue; the issue issues itself, in an almost natural and inevitable process. The impersonal construction allows Anderson to side step the very personal and active role of the media in turning Reverend Wright into an issue. Thanks to his hedging device Cooper doesn't have to say, "We're running the feature because, like it or not, legitimate or not, we in the media have made it an issue." So, in a self-fulfilling prophecy, the media determines what becomes an issue by claiming it has become an issue. Cooper is hardly the worst issue-creating wolf in issue-reporting sheep's clothing. In fact, Anderson's disclaimers suggest his discomfort with the issuelessness of the issue. We sense that Anderson knows that the media is blowing this out of proportion, creating a story where there isn't one, and an issue where there wasn't one. Anderson seems to fear that we, the audience, might be onto him, which is why he inflates the story's significance with a dramatic introduction, explaining to us that, like it or not, legitimate or not, this really is a story, you are not being manipulated, we are not creating a conflict, we are merely reporting on it. Like the sales clerks who can't accept your exchange because "We don't make the rules, we just work here", the pundits can say, "We don't make the issues, we just follow them."

Of course the warning about the over-the-top pastor backfires as we brace ourselves for a racist madman, who calls on his flock to sacrifice Hillary Clinton at an altar to Fred Hampton Jr. and slay white women, children and babies. Instead, what we see is an angry black man who has some beef with America. What on earth for? (Or, to be more accurate, an angry black man quoting an angry white man who has some beef with America.)

During the post-mortem Cooper and his fellow experts decide -- I mean observe -- that "look, obviously, his remarks are incendiary. It comes at a particularly bad time... Obviously, it is [fair game] because, again, you have someone who is closely aligned with the senator in terms of being his pastor." Cooper's conscience flickers once more: "Well, it's also frustrating just from a news standpoint, because, on the one hand, I mean, people are talking about it. It's clearly an issue that is bubbling up on the campaign trail, so we end up covering it. But, at same time, it does feel just completely off track."

But, of course, the issue is still being talked about and thus the powerless media is forced to talk about it.

This reminds me of when, like it or not, legitimate or not, the controversial comments made by McCain allies became an issue. Of course, we all know that I'm referring to the HUGE media response to McCain's relationship with John Hagee, founder and senior pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, who said that "Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans" for planning "a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the?? Katrina came." Who can forget how the press crucified McCain for his alliance with Hagee? And we all remember when the media demanded that McCain break all ties with his "spiritual guide" Rod Parsley, senior pastor of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, who said "The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion [Islam] destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001 was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore."

If you're having trouble remembering the media frenzy that followed McCain's advisors' outrageous and inflammatory statements, that may be because there was no media frenzy. If you want to hear about Jeremiah Wright, just turn on your television. If you want to learn about Hagee or Parsley, you'll have to go to Media Matters or Mother Jones. More offensive than the words Wright has uttered are what the media hasn't said about the homophobia, intolerance, and xenophobia coming out of McCain's camp. But in all fairness to the media, a black "angry" pastor who talks about history and politics is a racist. But white civilized men who preach hatred and promote ignorance and pseudo science just aren't that scary. They're kind of adorable.

Laughing Liberally to Keep from Crying on the Iraq War's 5th Anniversary

We typically subtitle these types of posts, "Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying," a bit tongue-in-cheek. Tonight, we provide a slightly more literal look.

Laughing Liberally found itself in an interesting position this past Wednesday: making dedicated progressives laugh on the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War, not once, but twice, with both an afternoon show at the Take Back America conference, and an evening show at our biweekly Laughing Liberally Labs in New York City. No further commentary - we'll let you decide how we did with a few videos with which to begin your weekend.

At TBA, in addition to an awesome Tuesday performance by Lee Camp, we were lucky enough to have James Adomian with us, doing his best...well, you'll see.

That evening in NYC, we heard the inimitable Harry Terjanian, as introduced by Elon James White.

Thoughts? Opinions on mixing the political tragic with the comedic? Consider this an open thread.

Dear 5-Year Anniversary Of Iraq War: America's "Just Not That Into You"

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Katie Halper

I don't know what IAVA's Paul Rieckhoff is getting his military briefs all up in a bunch about. So, the media isn't going OCD about the 5-year anniversary of our liberation of Iraq. Whatevs. The American people have a lot more serious things to worry about and think about. If you want to put your finger on the American pulse, go to Google's Hot Trends, where you can see what Americans are really searching the internet, if not their souls and consciences, for. On the 5-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the 5 most important issues to Americas are:

1. kristin davis sex pics
2. audrina patridge
3. tampa tony
4. boss button
5. terrelle pryor

In fact, out of the top 100 Hot Trends, not one has anything to do with the Iraq War! Mr. Rieckhoff, with all due respect, I think we can all agree that headlines like Kristin Davis Goes from Deck the Halls to Licking Balls? or Audrina Patridge of 'The Hills' went topless, and stories on rapper Tampa Tony's prison sentence, a "boss mouse" which lets you watch March Madness without getting busted by your boss, and Terrelle Pryor's decision to play for the Buckeyes over Michigan, are a lot more important than some war that has cost three trillion dollars, wounded tens of thousands and killed nearly 4,000 Americans. Oh, and, in terms of the affect on Iraqis (which is even more boring than the stats I listed above because the Iraqis don't even live in America, or talk American or look American), the war has killed up to one million people, displaced 2.5 million Iraqis, and forced more than two million to flee into neighboring countries. (I know, Americans: boring!)

So, I hope I haven't taken away too much of your time because I know there are a lot of really important issues out there, which deserve our undivided attention. I mean, Iraq may literally be in up in flames, but, according to Hot Trends, Terrelle Pryor is "On Fire." And Kristin Davis sex pix are "Volcanic," which means, technically and objectively, naked photos of Charlotte from Sex and the City are hotter than the war in Iraq. So if you'll excuse me, I have to read about the urgent "child uses lunchbox as toilet" story.