The Peach

Proudly providing the reality-based community with the juice on politics, media, religion and culture

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Big Mess Left Behind

To read about the failures of the No Child Left Behind Act in Bush's home state and how they have learned from the master when it comes to cover-ups, click here.

9/11 Veterans For Truth

The truth about Bush's "leadership" from people who were there here and here.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Prayers for the Big Dog

The AP and others report that President Clinton will undergo quadruple bypass surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital after experiencing chest pains. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers, and click here to do something we're sure he'd appreciate.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Fright Night

How scary is this?

And this?

Are Those Medals . . . Or Bandaids?

A photo from Bush's National Guard days has been making the rounds on the Internet and we think some folks might be confused. The picture is a formal portrait of the young GWB in uniform, sporting a military decoration -- specifically the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award -- which he never earned.

Folks have been making much of this apparent complete and total, phony, self-aggrandizing misrepresentation on the part of Young Lieutenant Bush. Not to mention the unbelievable hypocrisy that would then be implied by Bush's current efforts to discredit John Kerry's legitimate position as a decorated war hero.

We think we can clear this one up. The striped item on YLB's uniform isn't a military decoration at all. It's a BANDAID, printed to resemble a military decoration. Bush isn't pretending to be a hero here -- on the contrary, he's mocking out on all those idiots who were stupid or insufficiently-connected enough to actually serve in the armed forces and win real medals. Exactly what the Republicans at the convention are doing, mocking our fighting men and women with those purple heart bandaids. Kind of makes sense now, doesn't it?

Stay tuned for our upcoming report, explaining that photo that appears to show Young Yalie Bush sucker-punching an opponent in a rugby match.

Bush's New Math

Poverty has increased in America for the third year straight, but luckily, President Bush has a plan. When the accepted economic indicators trumpet your failure, then the obvious solution is to change those pesky indicators. The administration will be announcing a new economic indicator that, presumably, will manage to present the hemorrhaging of 2.5 million jobs as a positive sign for Americans.

Seethe more here.

And please feel free to propose a Republican NewSpeak-style name for the new economic indicator. The best ones will win a public accolade from this site.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Are You a Girly-Man?

Take this short quiz to find out. Give yourself one point for each Yes answer:

1. Are you unemployed? y/n
- Bonus Point: Give yourself an extra point if your job was outsourced

2. Do you lack health insurance? y/n

3. Despite the Republicans' rosy hallucinations about the economy, do you have a sneaking suspicion that you are doing worse than you were four years ago? y/n

4. Do you think it unlikely that your family will benefit in the near term from tax cuts for people who earn over $200,000 a year?

5. Do you think that a net loss of over 2 million jobs in the past four years sounds like, well, kind of a lot? y/n

5. Are you now or have you ever been a scrawny boy from Austria with a thing for Richard Nixon? y/n

6. Are you, in fact, a woman? y/n

Add up your points. 0 -- You may not be a girly-man. 1-2 -- you are sounding more girly-mannish by the second. You might want to go pump some iron or something. 3-4 -- Definite girly-man material. Stop whining. You are hurting our robustly masculine ears here. 5+ Fer cryin' out loud, go put on a skirt and some makeup.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

GOP Convention Got You Steamed?

Vent here.

More Bush Flip-flopping

We just loved this juxtaposition, which was reported by the incomparable Talking Points Memo:

"We have a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world." -- GWB, July 30, 2004

Then, a scant month later:

"I don’t think you can win [the war on terror]. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world.” -- GWB, August 29, 2004

Should someone in the media maybe point this out or ask about it or something?

Monday, August 30, 2004

Right-wing Hypocrisy

If anyone seriously questions whether anti-gay prejudice is really grounded in self-hatred and profound hypocrisy, he need look no further than the case of U.S. Rep. Ed Schrock (R - Virginia Beach). Schrock hails from a district that is home to Pat Robertson's Regent University and he is considered one of the most conservative members of Congress. He is particularly well known for his anti-gay stance, not only on marriage equality (he was a co-sponsor of the proposed federal marriage amendment) but on rights as basic as freedom from job discrimination, all of which earned him an impressive 92% approval rating from the Christian Coalition's voter guide (and a big fat zero from the Human Rights Campaign).

Alas for the right, Schrock dropped his reelection bid this week, citing unspecified "allegations" that have, as he puts it, "called into question my ability to represent the citizens of Virginia's Second Congressional District." (http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=74982&ran=126361)

I'll say! And those allegations? Oh, just a little matter of habitually cruising for men on phone sex lines! BlogActive (http://www.blogactive.com) reports that Schrock used the MegaMates/MegaPhone line to connect with men and set up meetings for sex.

Poor guy. Now if he'd just been able to meet a nice guy and get married, this might never have happened.

Someone You Know is Gay

Probably no big surprise to anyone here, but you might be surprised to hear that a lot of Americans think they don't know anyone who is gay. And it turns out that people who do know a gay person are more likely to support marriage equality and civil rights for gay people. Our contribution to this discussion was to launch a Web site encouraging those of us who support the gay community to do what we can to educate others and diminish the impact of the destructive stereotypes promulgated by the right. So please check out Someone You Know is Gay (http://www.someoneyouknowisgay.com) and take any or all of the actions suggested -- sign the pledge, pass the site along to others, talk to others about the gay and lesbian people in your life.

We know there is an important sense in which this issue is a smokescreen by the neocons to harness Christian cultural anger in the service of harmful and anti-democratic economic and political programs. At the same time, an important way to take the teeth out of their attempts to do so would be to educate those cultural conservatives about the human reality of the gay people that surround them. SYKiG hopes to contribute to that effort.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

And You Thought it Was Flip-Flopping

We can't stop laughing. We just read the AP's characterization of Bush's anticipated RNC speech, and it clarifies so much. You probably thought he was flip-flopping like a dying catfish on issues from the economy to foreign policy to "compassionate conservatism." Au contraire (yes, it's French, okay?)! It's that Bush has actually had Two Presidencies in One! We're not kidding. Dig this:

"When he steps up to accept his party's nomination for a second time, President Bush will present the record of not one but two presidencies: one before and another after Sept. 11, 2001.

In Philadelphia four summers ago, the then-governor of Texas preached "compassionate conservatism," promised to give part of a projected 10-year, $5.6 trillion surplus back to taxpayers and pledged to avoid open-ended military entanglements overseas.

But then came the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, two wars, a recession and record deficits. That stands as Bush's second presidency." Read the rest here:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CVN_BUSH_SO_FAR?SITE=MIDTF&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Does anyone but us notice a disconnect between this characterization of the "two Bushes" and the widely-held popular notion that the guy has the integrity and immutability of a rock on his issues and supposed "values"?

Peaceful Assembly

Inspiring to us has been today's relatively even-handed television news coverage of massive protests in New York City against Bush and the RNC. 25,000 marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of women's right to choose. And today, according to NBC Nightly News, 400,000 (or 120,000 depending on whom you ask) people marched in midtown, past Madison Square Garden where the convention will be held. In a refreshing burst of accuracy, coverage has presented the legions of marchers as witty (No More Years!), totally committed and peaceful, with few arrests.

One demonstrator is quoted on MSNBC saying, “[Republicans] chose New York, where they’re universally hated. They should have gone somewhere they’re more welcome. They exploited 9-11 by having it in New York at this time.”

FOX is an exception, leading its coverage of the protests with an incoherent tribute to the president's war on terror. check here for more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,130522,00.html

Well, we were living in NYC on 9/11 and can attest to the truth of the MSNBC quote. The overwhelming feeling among all thinking New Yorkers was that Bush failed us completely. To begin with, he did not even show up in the city for a couple of days after 9/11. When he did come, it was to grandstand at Ground Zero and begin pushing his war agenda. And that was before he cut the promised funds to the city, as well as cutting funding to first responders. We were not fooled. The American people should not be fooled either.

Introducing The Peach

Our first posting, introducing the Peach. Full disclosure: We hate Bush and love Kerry. That was the impetus behind this blog. We were losing sleep. Seriously. Up at 3 a.m. fretting -- not about whether that pain in our knee was cancer, or if we remembered to pay the phone bill -- but about the prospect of Bush winning the election. We are talking about serious, insomniacal, nail-biting anxiety. At about 5 a.m., one or the other of us said "let's start a blog." And here we are.

The Peach welcomes thoughtful comments on the political events of the day, and particularly on media coverage and advertising about same. We are fascinated, not only by the Australian-rules contact sport that is American democracy, but by its popular representations and how those in turn feed back into the process.

We are particularly struck by the ways in which hot "value" issues such as family, patriotism, abortion and marriage equality have been trotted out as fig leaves to cover the naked, economic self-interest of the Bushies and their neo-con brain trust. The Peach would love to contribute to the understanding of this dynamic through some intelligent analysis of these issues and their representation in the popular press and culture.

Finally, we spend a certain amount of time each day in a state of stunned disbelief at how religous people have been so totally hijacked and co-opted by the party of wealth, war and screw the poor. So discussion of the misguided energy and rage of the religious right, and alternatives to same, is also an appropriate Peach topic.

Ultimately, we hope to make a contribution to regime change in Washington, with this blog among other things. Please join us.