Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Fighting Democrats

While some are wringing their hands over whether or not it was an "invasion" of Jeff Gannon's privacy to uncover pictures of him posted on a public escort site, Digby, along with John from AMERICAblog, set the story straight.


This is an issue that threatens the GOP.The cosmopolitan conservatives and libertarians don't have a problem with gays and yet The Christian Right is building a homophobic crusade. A lot of people in the middle don't know what to think. A party with political instincts would exploit that. It's not a new concept I'm advocating here. It's called "divide and conquor." The Right blogosphere sounds like a bunch of San Francisco ACLU liberals when the issue of Gannon comes up and the smart thing for the left to do is ask the Christian right if they agree with their fellow "conservatives." (I believe that Aravosis has already discussed this.)

It wouldn't be nice and wingnuts will call us hypocrites. (It's a good thing hypocrisy was retired from the political dialog somewhere around the time Virtues "Czar" Big Bill Bennett was laying it all on red, Dave Drier was "dating" Doro Bush and Limbaugh was popping a fistfull of hillbilly heroin or we might have something to worry about.) When the wingnuts complain about how we hate gays, just say "No I don't. And clearly, neither do you. But James Dobson does. Let's go have a chat with him, ok?"

It might just force some of these chickenshit libertarians and GOP urbanites to show their true colors and get some GOP parents and siblings of gay people to face up to what they are doing. Can anyone believe that there is no value in showing the country that many of the highest level Republicans in the Bush Administration are actually quite tolerant of gays? Doesn't that move our agenda forward?

I don't believe that we advance the cause of gay rights by allowing the right to have it both ways, which they clearly do. We have a tittilating tabloid story, replete with nude pictures and prostitution, that illustrates the fact that they are merely pandering to the religious right on this issue. It would be too bad if we are too squeamish to pursue it because that is exactly what the other side is counting on.

Finally, the biggest reason to pursue this story is because we are creating a terrible moral hazard if we don't. The Republicans have no incentive to stop the politics of personal destruction if we don't hold them to their own standards and they continue to be rewarded. Pitchers, batters and Republicans understand this instinctively. So should we.

John, taking issue with the hand-wringing at The Hotline:

You've got a lot of nerve, Hotline. The entire GOP and its mainstream media sympathizers have a lot of nerve. We're talking about a hooker getting special access to the White House, the president, and intelligence information, and somehow everyone has suddenly discovered a conscience about homosexuals and hookers. Oh how I wish that conscience were real. But it's not. Bash a fag, bash a whore, and the GOP eats it all up. They throw us to their hateful, bigoted religious right buddies for votes with glee, while Mary Cheney cowers in the corner and Ken Mehlman runs for the shelter of the off-the-record quote.

Well newsflash Washington. The GOP is the one that rose gay-bashing and gay-baiting and sex-baiting to an art, and JeffJimGuckertGannon willingly joined the family values parade in print and in passion. They're trying to ban condoms, pornography, AIDS education. They take children away from gays, and want to make our very lives a crime. GOP Senators compare us to kleptomaniacs, alcoholics, and man-dog sex. And they can't even handle a bronze breast on a statue.

And we're the ones picking a fight over sex.

Spare me your sanctimonious bullshit now that those of us in the gay community and on the left have finally - finally - started to fight fire with fire by simply holding you to the very standards you legislate over us. We are simply giving the GOP the sex-less utopia it's always wanted. How does it feel?

Oh, gee, the Hotline warns, this might establish a precedent. Really? You mean the GOP might respond by using our sex lives against us as a weapon to destroy us and curry votes with bigots?

I don't like this battle, I don't enjoy this battle. I hate this battle. But the battle began years ago, and until now, we sat back and watched and waited and hoped it would go away. Well it's not going away. We have a choice. We can sit back and watch the GOP sex police destroy us. Or we can fight back. And I can think of nothing more poetic, nothing more just, than fighting back by simply holding them to their own standard.


Theories On Sickness

Still running a slight fever, I am left to ponder why I have been more sick this flu season than in the previous two combined.

The first logical reason would be that, during the flu-shot shortage this fall, I magnanimously declined mine in favor of allowing some poor old person to receive it. That was a mistake.

Additionally, this year I am back among the germ-infested, unclean mass of festering bacteria known as Towson University.

Those two factors have combined to hit me like a brick.

Come on spring, come on.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Sick Again, Naturally

This is getting ridiculous. Tommorow I will post theories on why I have been more sick this flu season than the last two combined.


Monday, February 14, 2005

Money, Let Me Introduce You To Toilet

Now, flush.

President Bush's planned ballistic missile shield suffered another setback on Monday when an interceptor missile again failed to launch during a test of the U.S. missile defense system.


The interceptor missile, built by Orbital Sciences Corp., had also failed to launch during a Dec. 15 test, which officials later blamed on a "very minor software glitch."

Officials were working "feverishly" to determine the cause of the failed launch, said Chris Taylor, agency spokesman.

On his blog, Chris Taylor then added, "This is the biggest fucking waste of money since abstinence-only sex education."


Mmm, Unsavory

Salon weighs in with a complete rundown of the whole tawdry Gannon affair.

Last week, Republican activist Bobby Eberle, the man behind the now infamous conservative Web site Talon News, insisted that before hiring "Jeff Gannon" as his White House correspondent, he never looked into Gannon's background. If true, Eberle probably wishes he had. And the same could be said for the White House officials who bent the rules to make way for Gannon in the press briefing room. There's new evidence that the Talon reporter, who lobbed softball questions at Bush during press conferences on behalf of a dubious news operation, recently worked as a male escort.

Gannon, whose real name is James Guckert, made headlines last week when he resigned from Talon after days of intensive scrutiny from bloggers. Online critics first raised questions about Guckert's questionable journalistic methods and his lack of experience (he often cut and pasted White House press releases into his "news" stories), as well as Talon's lack of independence from Eberle's purely partisan GOPUSA Web site. Then questions arose about why the Talon reporter was given access to the White House press room after being turned down for Capitol Hill press credentials. The final straw for Guckert came when bloggers revealed associations that Guckert and his Delaware-based company had with a handful of gay-themed male escort services.

Guckert insisted his only involvement with the sex sites was as a software consultant and, he added: "Those sites were never hosted. There's -- nothing ever went up on them," as he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Feb. 10. In an interview posted Feb. 11 with Editor & Publisher magazine, Guckert made the same claim: "They were done through a private company [Bedrock Corp.] I was involved with doing Web site development about five years ago. The sites were never hosted, and nothing was ever posted to the sites." On Monday, John Aravosis posted on his liberal site AmericaBlog.org detailed evidence indicating that not only was Guckert personally involved with the Web sites, but he was also offering his escort services for $200 an hour, or $1,200 a weekend.

And Digby explains why we should care.

I personally have no problems with the Bush White House needing to blow off some consensual adult steam. It's a stressful job. If gay hookers are going to help them relax then who am I to argue? I'm a liberal. I have nothing against gays or hookers.

But for a moment let me think as a Republican would, if the shoe were on the other foot:

So many questions so few answers. Just why did JimJeff get such special treatment? It's not like they didn't already have a bunch of ready made shills to ask softball questions. Les Kinsolving's been throwing partisan bombs for years. They certainly didn't need JimJeff to transcribe RNC talking points when they have the Beltway Boys to do it on national television.

Scotty said that the president called on JimJeff of his own volition. A coincidence? Or did someone request that JimJeff get a special treat that day?

And has it ever been logical that this nobody from a vanity web site would get access to the Plame story? Why him? JimJeff claims that he never actually saw the Plame memo, yet he clearly knew of it. Could it have been pillow talk?

I don't have a clue. But, I do know that if this were 1998, we'd be knee deep in congressional investigations into the gay hooker ring in the White House. Every news crew in the DC area would be camped out on JimJeff's front lawn. A wild-eyed Victoria Toensing and panting Kelly Ann Fitzpatrick would be crawling up on the Hardball desk rending their silk teddies and speaking in tongues while Matthews'exploding head spun around on his shoulders.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Fuck You J.J.

The Duke fans are right, we're not rivals anymore. They need to win once in a while for this to be a true rivalry.

It took overtime for Maryland to beat down Duke, 99-92, before a sea of red. Not since the 1994-95 season has Duke been swept in a season series. Nothing could be finer for the Terrapins. Or their fans. "A lot of times when you're out to eat, people will say, 'Good luck this year, beat Duke,' " said forward Nik Caner-Medley. The thing they'll end every conversation with is, 'Beat Duke.' "

Maryland (15-7 overall, 6-5 ACC) beat Duke 75-66 in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke has lost just six home games in the last eight years and Maryland owns three of them. That prompted the printing of a T-shirt that reads, "Cameron Indoor Stadium - Home Away From Home."

I hear J.J. Reddick fancies himself an amateur rapper/beat poet. This is a haiku I composed for him.

Drinking his own pee
The sucktitude of JJ
Is effervescent


Making Mischief

Let's hope Wolcott is right, and the Democrats have finally taken out their Little Bastard Tampering Kits.

I wonder if Dems are learning the wisdom imparted by Bull Moose, that there's mischievous and useful fun to be had in being the opposition party, particularly when the party in power is as flatulent with hubris and corruption as the fiefdom of Tom DeLay. Dems should resist the temptation to be statesmenlike and bail out Bush should he stumble, the way they shamefully rescued Reagan in his second term. Bipartisanship has gotten Democrats nowhere for four years, has earned them nothing more than a fine spittle of contempt falling like a constant drizzle. They should let a smile be their umbrella as they enjoy the spectacle of House and Senate Republicans promoting Social Security privatization as if they'd been ordered by their commander in chief to suck lemons.