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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.

My Abusive, Addictive Relationship That I Just Can't Quit


Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Katie Halper

I am breaking my silence. I am in an unhealthy relationship. I feel bad, guilty, exploited, used and unethical, addicted and powerless. But I just can't quit it. I keep going back for more. Sure, I get something out of this relationship; I get my fix, I get a jolt, I get a high. I get plugged in, connected. It makes me feel like I'm not alone. But of course, I pay the price for remaining in this relationship. I'm totally, physically, emotionally dependent and need it to even start my day or get through the day.

If I try to stop, I want it more, and crave it more, and need it more. I'm obsessed, and I can't go long without a visit. I see reminders every where I go, on every street corner, practically, of every city, in every country. I feel like I can't escape. This relationship makes me question my judgment and my political, moral, cultural and social principles, commitments, priorities, and values. Why do I go back, day after day? Because I fear that there is no alternative. If I end this relationship, where will I go? There really aren't that many options out there. And I'm always hoping that this time it will be different, that I'll get what I really want. But the song remains the same. Or the songs remain the same. Because Starbucks only plays 10 songs a season. So, in my desperate search for caffeine and wireless, I go back to Starbucks almost every day. And I continue to pay the price, $40 a month for the wireless, $4.12 for every skim-milk, sugar-free vanilla latte.So why, you ask, am I coming forward now? Because I have learned that I am not alone. I had heard whispers about other abusive relationships, abbout union busting, spying, reading e-mails. But now other victims are breaking the silence, coming forward, testifying, engaging in class action law suits in:

# San Francisco, where about 2,500 assistant managers in California allege in U.S. District Court that since 2002 they were forced to work overtime without pay. A hearing on whether to certify the class is April 10. Starbucks had no comment on this case.
# West Palm Beach, Fla., where roughly 900 store managers allege they performed essentially the same duties as baristas and should be paid overtime. A trial in U.S. District Court is expected in late summer or early fall, according to a lawyer for the workers. Starbucks said that by the end of the week it intends to file a motion to dismiss the case.
# San Diego, where a California judge has ruled that the company's tip pool policy violated the state's labor code because "agents" of the company, in this case shift supervisors, were sharing in the tips with baristas.

This inspiring lawsuits have given me the strength to leave starbucks, and this time for good. I won't fall the nice gestures, the kidney donations, the retraining sessions, the 5 cent donations to charity. I finally see Starbucks for what it is: a monster. A greedy, union-busting, pseudo-environmentalist, pseudo-human-rights-defending, generic, mainstream, yuppy, cold, impersonal, fake, corporate monster.

A version of this post originally appeared on Scanner.

Christopher Hitchens: As Right About Women as He is About Iraq

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Katie Halper

A version of this post originally appeared on Take Part.

Dear Hamilton Nolan & Gawker:

I want to thank you for your post supporting Christopher Hitchens' claim that women aren't funny. I also I want to apologize for not writing sooner, but between getting my bikini line waxed, shopping, trying, in vain to be funny, and dealing with PMS, I had no time-- and was in no shape--to write anything. But I want to thank you for having the testosterone-drenched you know whats to say what nobody else, besides Christopher Hitchens and lots of men, will say: women comics Suck! And Christopher Hitchens Rocks! Responding to the unfunny and boring and (I know this is redundant) female-written Vanity Fair article Who Says Women Aren't Funny, you write

The problem they [female comics] have is they often talk about things that women can relate to--relationships with men, babies, periods, shopping, love. As a man, I can't relate to all that. That puts women comics at a distinct disadvantage when trying to win over me and my fellow men. This is obvious day, right here.

THANK YOU! I can't STAND when Sarah Silverman talks about her babies! Oh, right she doesn't have any, but I bet if she did she wouldn't shut up about them.


And Tina Fey, can you please stop talking about your period? I mean, I haven't hear her talk about it, but she's a woman and it happens once a month--I know, TMI, sorry :( -- and when it does we're really emotional, so I bet even if she didn't want to talk about her period, it would be biologically impossible for her to stop herself from talking about her hormones and her feelings. So I'm sure it comes up, right?And I too wonder why "girls," as you call us, bother getting their frilly pink panties all up in a bunch over Christopher Hitchens. I love your point that

Chris [that is SOOOO cool that you call him by his nickname!] Hitchens is a brilliant, repugnant slob of a man, and any argument he makes should be taken as one from a male point of view. For him to say that women aren't funny is for him to say that they're not funny to him, a man.

THANK YOU! That reminds me of when the PC Nazis spit up their fair trade soy organic lattes over my occasional harmless observations about black people's inferior intelligence. See, I'm a brilliant, appealing, slob of a white person, and any argument I make should be taken as one from a white point of view. For me to say that black people aren't that smart is for me to say that they're not smart to me, a white person. So take a chill pill ladies... and black people.

Do you actually think women are funny? Then take action and support the Hysterical Festival, New York's first female comedy festival ever.

Mocking Fox News...While On Fox News

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying

One of our beloved Laughing Liberally regulars, Lee Camp, had the golden opportunity this weekend to tell us what he thinks about Fox News...while on Fox News.

After having performed for both Yearly Kos's and for the Young Democrats of America, it's nice to know that Fox News got to meet the same gentlemen us liberals know and love - as did Dan Abrams. Congrats, Lee!

Mitt Romney Quits Race to Spend More Time With His Wives

And you think ONE wife is time-consuming. Just kidding. This is not an anti-Mormon post. Some of my best friends are Mormon. But if Mitt can dish it out, he should be able to take it. By it, I mean, of course, intolerance. In other words, I don't care what religion he is. But I do care that Mitt has said he wouldn't have Muslims in his cabinet. The Mormon's were, indeed persecuted. But if Mitt's sensitivity and acceptance in restricted to Mormonism, it's hard for me to feel sorry for him. Mitt's religious-tolerance preaching and JFK comparing is opportunistic, in light of his less than tolerant stance on Muslims and atheists. It's as hypocritical as, let's say, preaching immigration tolerance, while at the same time advancing immigrant-intolerant speech and policies. If that sounds familiar, it is. During the Republican debates-- sorry, during the Florida, Youtube, debates, Mitt slammed Giuliani for being the mayor of a sanctuary city, and bragged about his own 0 tolerance for "aliens" stance

If you're here illegally, you should not be here. We're not going to give you benefits, other than those required by the law, like healthcare and education, and that's the course we're going to have to pursue.

When Rudy shot back that New York's "sanctuary city" didn't hold a candle to Mitt's "sanctuary mansion," which was maintained by Mexican gardeners and lawnmowers, the Governor reverted to his Bostonian alter ego, delivering a multi-culti, celebrate-diversity, envision-world-peace diatribe vindicating his tired, his poor, his huddled landscapers.

Are you suggesting, Mr. Mayor--because I think it's really kind of offensive, actually, to suggest--to say, look, you know what, if you're a homeowner and you hire a company to come provide a service at your home--paint the home, put on the roof--if you hear someone that's working out there... if you hear someone with a funny accent, you, as a homeowner, are supposed to go out there and say, "I want to see your papers." Is that what you're suggesting? That you now are responsible for going out and checking the employees of that company, particularly those that might look different or don't have an accent like yours, and ask for their papers? I don't think that's American, number one. Number two--

But then, much to the releif of all God/ immigration-fearing people, Mitt, without skipping a beat (well, OK a few beats, during which Anderson Cooper reminded The Governor, in vain, "We got to move on"), Mitt continued his enumeration of good deeds against bad aliens.

Let me tell you what I did as governor. I said no to driver's licenses for illegals. I said, number two, we're going to make sure that those that come here don't get a tuition break in our schools, which I disagree with other folks on that one. Number three, I applied to have our state police enforce the immigration laws in May, seven months before I was out of office. It took the federal government a long time to get the approvals, and we enforced the law. And Massachusetts is not a sanctuary state, and the policies of the mayor of pursuing a sanctuary nation or pursuing a sanctuary city--

So I apologize for making fun of Mormonism, which no longer permits polygamy. And their whole racist things is so 1970s; in 1978, after a vision from God (and pressure from the IRS), the Church of Latter Day Saints lifted their ban against Black priests. I am going to miss watching Mitt preach religous tolerance (for Mormons only) and practice intolerance towards atheists, Muslims, gay people, and immigrants. But, as a great man, prophet and failed presidential candidate once said, "I felt like I had to say something because I simply cannot let my[self] be a part of aiding a surrender to [hypocritical and sanctimonious] terror."

Happy Trent Lott Appreciation Day! But one day a year is not enough!

As if we don't already know, today is Trent Lott Appreciation Day. While this is a great step forward for mankind, Lott, featured above rocking his signature hip hop dance move, deserves so much more than one day of Appreciation. Because Lott is so much more than a mere mortal and senator. Did you know he was also

  1. a misunderstood STD: Of course Lott is an STD (Strom Thurman-defending); and outspoken segregationist. But Trent is no racist, and is as opposed to racism and Strom Thurman was opposed to miscegenation. He is actually color blind. Lamenting the Sunni/Shiite hoopla, Lott said: "It's hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what's wrong with these people. Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me." See! Like Steven Colbert, Lott doesn't even see color, or ethnicity!
  2. a salt of the earth working man One of the many exploited workers in Washington D.C., and part of the great Capitol Hill to K street migration, Lott recently left politics in search of a better life and a living wage as a lobbyist. Luckily, and purely coincidentally, by stepping down before the end of the year, Lott avoided a law, that was about to come into effect, requiring that senators wait two years after retiring before they start lobbying their former colleagues.
  3. a martyr: as if the abject poverty faced by senators weren't enough, Trent's economic woes were only worsened by Hurricane Katrina. Nobody felt Trent's pain more than the President himself, seen here either trying to hold back tears or looking at a pretty molding on the ceiling, who said:
    The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch

    Nothing represents the tragedy of Katrina, and nothing resonates with the victims of Katrina, more than when an STD (Strom Thurman-defending), and segregationist senator loses his second home.

Which is way I anoint today, not only Trent Lott Appreciation Day, but Trent Lott Community Service Day. Because we must, and can help Trent. Which is why I'm starting the Trent Lott Porch Reconstruction Fund. Together, we will rebuild that porch, stone by stone, brick by brick. And we won't stop until that wrap around Victorian porch is standing once again. Because a man's second home's porch is his castle.

Most of all, I look forward to a day when we won't even need to have a "Trent Lott Appreciation Day." Because everyday, should, and will, be "Trent Lott Appreciation Day."

Romney and McCain Accuse Each Other of Having Hearts

McCain and Romney were in Florida, going on the pilgrimage to the sacred site where Bush stole the election in 2000. (All Republicans must make this visit at least once during their lives.)While in Florida, Romney and McCain also participated in a Republican debate and their own debate over who was a better conservative, as each one tried to prove that the other one was more "liberal," a better person and had functioning heart.

Iraq: Come For The Liberation, Stay For The Souvenirs

I, for one, am THRILLED to learn that though the invasion of Iraq has been a humanitarian, geo-political, economic, death and ethnic cleansing-triggering disaster, these sacrifices were not in vain. Because, although we were not greeted with roses as liberators, at least we can rest assured that the people who started the war got something out of it. No, I'm not referring to no bid contracts for Halliburton and Chevron, silly. That's hardly breaking news! I'm talking about something even better! TOTALLY AWESOME SOUVENIRS for Bush and Cheney. These are the types of souvenirs that literally have Bush and Cheney's names on them. If I didn't know better I'd think they were custom made! It turns out The moribund Vice- President keeps a piece of the house where Abu Musab al Zarqawi died on display in his house. I can only assume this piece complements Cheney's already lovely collection of architectural details of the dead, which Lyn proudly displays on the family mantle. And our cow-boots wearing, tough talking* Commander in Chief has his own "wish you were here" souvenir: a pistol U.S.soldiers pulled out of Saddam Hussein's hands, when he was liberated from his spider hole, a perfect addition to Bush's growing cowboy dress-up collection, which no longer fits in the Lincoln Bedroom.


Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying: WWJD?

In the Christmas spirit...

The right-wing candidates might be asking "What Would Jesus Do?" But is this really the answer?

Courtesy of comedian Lee Camp

Happy holidays.

Bush Calls 'Em Out

Bush: Iran Must Explain Hidden Nuclear Weapons Program [Source: VOA]
(You read that headline right.)
Today is tuesday, so it's time for Bush's weekly list of impossible demands. They also included:

Namibia Must Explain Invisible Village-Terrorizing Dragons
Evil Must Disassemble Nonexistent Soul-Sucking Machine
Smurfs Must Explain Toxic Waste Producing Mythical Village
North Korea Must Stop Imaginary Tidal Wave
Fred Astaire's Clubbed Foot Must Postpone Ragnorok
Democrats Must Explain Strategy