Click a program icon to find a chapter
Click here for other Liberally programs

Being a Republican's Just No Damn Fun

GOP hopefuls attack each other
for opposing waterboarding, supporting gays,
& letting immigrant children attend school.

Bush's Australian ally gets booted out of office
& his Pakistani pal gives up his military post,
leaving W with as few friends globally
as he has right here at home.

Trent Lott resigns to become a lobbyist
...because it's better than being a GOP Senator.

And Bush had to welcome Gore to the White House.

Being a Republican's just no damn fun.

Well, living in fear, hating Hollywood
& having no gay or black friends
...it just doesn't sound very fun.

...which makes it a very fun time
to share your views & a little booze
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying: (Not So) Funny Business

by Justin Krebs

Instead of a joke or a video today, Laughing Liberally wants to share a true story that's a little sad at first and then a little happy.

Comedians are always looking for breaks.  Part of why Laughing Liberally formed was to give comedians a forum for smart, political humor that was often frowned upon in comedy clubs.  So, you'd think we'd be overjoyed by this invitation from ABC News

ABC News Research Team has discovered your website and we wanted to extend this exciting opportunity to you.

...

Send us your VIDEO joke because we're going to take the best submissions and air them on Sunday, November 18th as part of This Week's 'Funnies'.

A chance for national exposure...so why aren't our comedians laughing with joy?  Because of the part of the message from ABC I left out:

The Writers strike has forced most of the late night comedy shows into re-runs. But that doesn't mean the political humor has to stop- You be the comedian!

We at This Week are looking for YOU to help fill the void!

"The void" = "The workforce." In short, they wanted us to become scabs.

I was indecisive:  We're not in the business of strike-breaking.  But I also wanted all of the hard-working comedians who rarely get the shot they deserve to make their own decision, and so we forward the message to them.

And the comedians of Laughing Liberally refused.  Baratunde Thurston sent back the guild rules he chose to respect.  Lee Camp sarcastically suggested it was a great opportunity for someone who didn't want a career in writing.  And as Katie Halper commented:

Isn't this clearly scabbing? Am not being sarastic here, but is there anything I don't know about the strike that would make this anything but scabbing? Of course i love publicity, but we are laughing liberally, not scabbily.

The writers' strike is an important fight, as Jane Hamsher and Matt Stoller have both noted.  We on the Left need to pay attention to it:  to talk about the excesses of corporatocracy, about the rules and roles of new media...and about the respect you give professionals who strike.

You don't cross the picket line.

As Living Liberally's Josh Bolotsky noted:  "Laughing Conservatively wouldn't face this kind of moral dilemma."

PS:  ABC wrote to us from the email account: [email protected]  So we talked back.  I'm sure they'd love to hear from you too.

Eating Liberally Food For Thought: American Way Gone Astray?

by Kerry Trueman, Eating Liberally

EL%20Out-Produce.bmp

Dennis Kucinich and Alan Greenspan haven't got a lot in common, but they agree that when it comes to the war in Iraq, "It's the oil, stupid," as Beltway bellower John McLaughlin put it on his show yesterday. McLaughlin aired a clip from the recent Democratic presidential debate in which Kucinich said:

Everyone knows that the war against Iraq was about oil. This administration is trying to gain control of Iraq's oil with the help of Congress...

Then, McLaughlin read a quote from Greenspan:

I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.

Yes, and I am saddened that we're sending Americans off to die so the rest of us can continue to live large.

McLaughlin noted that Iraq has some of the largest oil reserves in the world, an estimated 300 billion barrels, and that if Iraq's parliament passes the oil law drafted by the Bush administration, American companies will control 63 of Iraq's 80 known oil fields for the next thirty years.

Back in 1954, when Armistice Day was rebranded Veterans Day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower called upon all Americans to observe November 11th as follows:

On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.

Our current administration prefers to promote enduring access to cheap gas and billions of dollars in government contracts to well-connected cronies. And our heritage of freedom's been slaughtered on the altar of 9/11, turning us into a tortured--and torturing-- nation.

In the parting speech of his presidency, Eisenhower warned of "the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power" from the military-industrial complex that's gotten us into our current fossil-fueled fiasco:

I Second that Emotion: Bush Declares War on Anxiety

President Bush is so encouraged with the course of the ongoing War on Terror he has announced that he is declaring “War on Anxiety.” Asked if he is going to seek Congressional approval, the President responded, “Why start now?” In explaining his new policy, Bush said, “Terrorism is designed to inspire terror. That’s why we are taking the war to the terrorists, fighting them over there so we don’t have to feel terrorized over here. While there’s no doubt we are winning the War on Terror, there’s still a great deal of anxiety in our country, so I’m declaring war on that emotion too.” The President said the military, already stretched thin, could handle the new war, and that the civilian population should, “Keep shopping, smoke ’em if ya got ‘em, and in general try to feel less anxious.” Bush refused to rule out wars on melancholy and wistfulness.

The New TV Season: An Inside Look

Laughing Liberally previews the hottest shows of the 2007 season

This Old Hospital
Watch Norm Abrams and the gang fix up Walter Reed as critically wounded soldiers look on from their creaky beds in Building 18. Is it a hospital or a construction site? It’s both! Our workers won’t know whether to plaster the walls or the casts as they do an extreme makeover of this embarrassing eyesore as it recuperates America’s bravest. Look out, is that spilled paint? No, it’s blood! This hospital is a real fixer-upper! Viewer Warning: Contains vermin and other disturbing images. (PBS)

You Cannot be Syria’s!
Tennis legend John McEnroe hosts this docudrama which follows the adventures of intrepid explorer Johnny Mac and trusty sidekick Hans Blix as they search Syrian weapon stockpiles looking for Iraqi WMD’s. (The Discovery Channel)

The Devil Wears Pantsuits
A weekly Fox News panel discussion where eminent conservative scholars and theologians attempt to prove Hillary Clinton is the Antichrist to the dozen or so Fox News viewers that aren’t already convinced. Evidence presented includes quotes from ancient religious texts and unflattering photographs of the Senator and former First Lady. Hosted by “Democratic Strategist” Dick Morris. (Fox News)

Duck Blind Justice
Each episode follows Justice Antonin Scalia as he hunts with a celebrity guest who also has a case pending before the Supreme Court. Viewer Warning: To preserve the authenticity of the hunting experience, this program contains impact shots and questionable ethics. (Court TV)

Who’s Left?
Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and Laura Ingraham gather each week to discuss the pervasive liberal media. Four hour talk show moderated by John Stossel, simulcast on Clear Channel radio outlets and CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.

Fishin’ Accomplished!
A nostalgic look at George W. Bush’s years in the Texas and Alabama National Guard. “W” may miss roll call but he doesn’t miss a chance to hang with his buddies talkin’ bout the one that got away (the Vietnam War) with a little fishin’ and a lotta drinkin’ in a band of brothers that refer to themselves as “Swiftboat Veterans for Trout.” No violent scenes. This is must viewing…unless you know somebody, then you can skip it. (OLN)

All My Sons
Reality show which documents Mitt Romney’s boys’ service to their country in Iowa, New Hampshire, and beyond. Romney, who once said, “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected,” has since vowed to have more children if necessary. “I’ll do whatever it takes,” said Romney. “I’ll have’em two at time if I have to, I love this country.” (ABC Family)

Let’s Do Cooking Right
Demonstrates a conservative approach to food preparation emphasizing wholesome ingredients and American-style cooking…no ethnic foods in this kitchen! Learn to cook fair and balanced meals for the whole traditional family (with the occasional exception for a dish like “Mary Cheney’s Meatless Chili”). Featured recipes in the series include classics like Oysters Rockefeller, but also contemporary entrees with a neoconservative twist like Water-boarded Sockeye Salmon, Alaskan Caribou Steaks (dredged in oil), and sinful desserts such as New Orleans Forgotten Cookies and Heckuva Job Brownies. Hosted by Katherine Harris. (The Food Network)

Touched by an AttorNey GenEraL
It’s bedtime for Gonzo in this one hour drama as each week the ghostly image of a certain A. G. hovers over the sickbed of a desperately ill patient and pressures them on important decisions. The shady apparition also materializes to fire U.S. Attorneys with witty quips like, “Hasta la vista, baby!” and, “You serve at the pleasure of the President, bitch!” Missing this show would be torture! (FX)

The House on Abstinence Street
Finally, a primetime soap for the whole family! This soap opera features no premarital sex, no extramarital sex, and no marital sex! Viewer Warning: May contain suggestive glances. Note: Critics predict the lowest-rated television show of all-time. (PAX)

Some Like It Hot
Examines the benefits of climate change…Imagine a future with coffee plantations on the North Slope, Spring Break on the Aleutian Islands (over 20 hours of daylight!), hosted by Patricia Heaton. Safe viewing for the whole family, no Gore. (The Weather Channel)

HBO ½ Hour Comedy Special: Dick Cheney Uncensored! Live from an Undisclosed Location
Cheney builds on the comedy act he delivered at the Correspondents Dinner in this new HBO special. Early reviews are mixed. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times calls Cheney Uncensored, “A Revelation!” while The New York Times said Cheney is “Funny as a heart attack.” Viewer Warning: Explicit language and extreme denial of reality. (HBO)

Best Week Ever
Sunday news magazine that looks back at the highlights of the previous 7 days of the Iraq War, emphasizing progress in reconstruction and GI’s distributing candy. Each show ends with a random list of U.S. soldiers who were not killed or wounded that week. At long last an unashamedly positive look at the Iraq War. Hosted by Elizabeth Hasselbeck. (The Military Channel)

Cavemen
A weekly roundtable featuring Don Imus, Isiah Thomas, and Hootie Johnson discussing women’s issues, with a special appearance by Sean Connery. Hosted by Geraldo Rivera. (Spike TV)

Whose Wife is it Anyway?
A quiz show where contestants are asked to match Republican Presidential candidates with their current and former wives. Hosted by Chuck Woolery (Game Show Network)

A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Reality show which follows the Bush Administration process for naming high level appointments, from open calls across the country to regional competitions leading to confirmation hearings before finding the one candidate who best strikes the delicate balance between incompetent yes-man and political hack. (C-Span 2)

Tax Cuts of the Rich and Famous
See how the other half (okay, top 1%) lives, as we tour mansions, yachts, and look over the hedge funds of the primary beneficiaries of the Bush tax cuts. Co-hosted by Robin Leach and Billy Bush. Viewer Warning: Obscene wealth. (The Style Network)

Every Breath You Take
A dual examination of the Bush Administration’s domestic spying program and the emasculation of the Clean Air Act. (Airing on Oxygen...for a limited time)

Phony-ing it in

Clear Channel: "Rush Limbaugh's listeners are too stupid to think for themselves."

Via Salon:

The Clear Channel affiliate that airs Rush Limbaugh's show in Palm Beach, Fla., is refusing to run VoteVets.org ads dealing with Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" remark on the ground that the ads "would only conflict with the listeners who have chosen to listen to Rush Limbaugh."

To be fair, if your diet consists solely of swallowing bullshit, I imagine any abrupt change in that diet would cause a massive shock to your system. So, really, Clear Channel's just trying to protect the people. Good lookin' out!

As for Rush, I'm sure his drug-addled mind is just confused. It happens when you're a drug addict. Besides, how would he know what a real soldier is? The only soldiers he's ever seen are the ones he avoided serving with.

Blackwater Runs Deep

Is privatized security really the answer? Have we forgotten the lessons of Robocop? Wasn't one "Republican Guard" in Iraq enough?

This is the description of Blackwater Worldwide from their website:

"Blackwater Worldwide efficiently and effectively integrates a wide range of resources and core competencies to provide unique and timely solutions that exceed our customer’s stated need and expectations."

Good stuff. There's nothing better than core competencies. Just a thought, though, you might want to stop "exceeding [your] customer's stated need and expectations." At least until the heat's off.

"We are guided by integrity, innovation, and a desire for a safer world. Blackwater Worldwide professionals leverage state-of-the-art training facilities, professional program management teams, and innovative manufacturing and production capabilities to deliver world class customer driven solutions."

I agree. Just as NRA members believe we'd all be safer if everyone carried guns, I believe we'd all be safer if everyone had their own private security firm. And “state-of-the-art training facilities” is right. No monkey bars in the desert for this outfit.

"Our leadership and dedicated family of exceptional employees adhere to an essential system of core corporate values chief among them are integrity, innovation, excellence, respect, accountability, and teamwork."

In case anybody's wondering...profit's place as a core corporate value at Blackwater? A distant 7th. Blackwater is a family, and just like any family, Blackwater has someone who gets drunk and causes trouble around the holidays.

This really is a great website, and even though it looks like an evil-action-movie-villain cliché, I've been assured it is real. There's a "proshop" and everything. [Is your daughter's Barbie safe? Can you afford to take a chance? Buy her a Blackwater action figure!]

All that's missing is a corporate slogan. Here are a few suggestions...

Blackwater: We kill more Iraqis before 9am than most people do all day
Blackwater: Army strong; corporate earnings
Blackwater: So secure it hurts

Please Don't Petraeus in a Bad Light

“I've got to admit it’s getting better.” In a stunning result, Iraq’s Al Anbar Province has landed on Money Magazine’s list of the “Top Ten Best Places to Live 2007.” Unknown to most Americans until mentioned numerous times by President Bush, General Petraeus, and others on American television as an exemplar of the improving situation in Iraq, Al Anbar surprisingly finished 2nd in the latest poll, ahead of Hanover, New Hampshire, but behind Middleton, Wisconsin. “Some places have everything any family could want—economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a sense of community,” according to Money Magazine, but just what does Al Anbar Province offer? “Well…it’s less Hellish than it was six months ago,” said an Anbar resident who asked not to be identified. Some in the media have linked Anbar’s place in the poll to its use as a Republican talking point, but a spokesman for the Bush Administration said, “We’d love to take the credit, but I think you’ll find it has taken place organically, a little reduction in ethno-sectarian strife goes a long way.” Look out Middleton, Al Anbar may not be #1 right now, but they’re #2 with a bullet…or is that an RPG?