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Name: Ed Waldo
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I am a fictional construct originally conceived as a pen name for articles in the Los Angeles FREE PRESS at the 2000 Democratic Convention. The plume relating to the nom in question rests in the left hand of Hart Williams, about whom, the less said, the better. Officially "SMEARED" by the Howie Rich Gang . GIT'CHER ZUG SWAG HERE!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pissing on Michael Moore

Let me see if I get this straight:

EVERYONE* who's seen it thinks Michael Moore's new movie is the best thing he's ever done, and addresses a critical issue in American life that's being ignored at -- literally -- the peril of every American. (The Fox News reporter at Cannes was, reportedly, moved to tears by it.)

[* within reason, and I mean "reason" literally. HW]

And Michael Moore, being successful and having made a good movie must be pissed on.

I kid you not.

Ella Taylor in the LA WEEKLY:

But even a man with Moore’s billowing persecution complex shouldn’t have been surprised by the health care industry gearing up to rebut his richly deserved attack on their heedless bottom-line mentality ... Though Moore has had the good sense to take himself out of the picture as much as his engorged ego can stand, Sicko remains full of familiar Moore-ish stunts ...

That said, the movie is a great piece of populist outrage and a dangerously good comedy about a looming American tragedy ...
OK. Glad you didn't hate it, lady.

Here's Ralph Nader on COUNTERPUNCH:

He sat there dejected and indignant-twenty years ago-in our office. His position as editor of the monthly muckraking magazine, Mother Jones, had broken up. He was looking for a job that would allow him to bring his conscience to work.

We gave him a place and support to start Moore's Weekly-a media critique.

Michael Moore has gone a long way since that short-lived publication. He went on to do documentary films, starting with Roger and Me-meaning of course, Michael Moore.

Rich, famous and Hollywood chic, Moore will open his latest film-'Sicko' in theatres around the country on June 29, 2007. To many of those who have already seen this indictment and conviction of the corporations that sell health care under an array of tricky conditions, it is his best move yet. ...
You'd almost think Nader liked the movie, but then, this tag:

If Moore is serious about getting "real change," as he phrases his goal, he will have to make at least two more contributions. First, he will need to ... With all his super-rich Hollywood contacts and admirers, Moore should be able to multiply this proposed group's budget several fold. Michael can even call it 'Moore's Miracle!'
Er, Nader is the one who PROPOSED the group!

Nader, having taken credit for Michael Moore, now tells Moore how to spend the money he will make from the film.

Assuming that he makes any, by the by.

Let's see, who ELSE is pissing on Michael Moore? (Aside from the predictable corporate shills, GOP goons, and Ann Coulter wannabes, like, say, Michelle, Petite Mal's Kin).

Here's the "official news story and interview" from AP writer David Germain:

Moore: Health Care Wasn't Always `Sicko'
By DAVID GERMAIN | AP Movie Writer
3:33 PM EDT, June 27, 2007

LOS ANGELES - "The doctor will see you now," says a Hollywood publicist as she opens a door for a reporter at Los Angeles city hall.

Alone inside a conference room there is Michael Moore, who has just finished speaking at a rally outside with supporters of universal health coverage for Americans.

... AP: Harvey Weinstein says his initial reaction over the investigation of your Cuba trip was elation that the federal government was helping to publicize the film. Did you ever feel that?

Moore: No. This is serious. I'm being investigated by the federal government, for what? I'm a free citizen in a free country. I can travel freely. To tell me I can't go somewhere is antithetical to what freedom and democracy are about. ... I read a lot when that happened, like, "Oh, boy, Michael Moore and Harvey, they must just love this." But I don't really need to do anything to get people to come to my movies. They come. ... Everybody knows who I am at this point, I think. They know what my movies are about. They're either going to come or not come. It may seem stupid of the Bush administration to have done anything to help publicize the film, but the film was going to be known, anyway.
And here is the "official" (i.e. standard) film review from the AP:

Moore's 'Sicko' a persuasive, if one-sided, look at health care
Movie Review: 'Sicko'
by Christy Lemire AP Movie Critic
June 28, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) - "Sicko" is a documentary, but it's a comedy, too -- and a family drama and a travelogue and, ultimately, a horror movie.

It's also the rare Michael Moore film that isn't primarily about Michael Moore -- at least not for the first hour or so. He truly seems to be aiming for the greater good here, not just pushing a personal agenda or carrying out a vendetta as he appeared to do in "Roger & Me" and "Fahrenheit 9/11."

But it is quintessential Moore: expertly crafted, eminently entertaining, one-sided and overly simplistic ....
Aw, jeepers, Christy, tell us how you REALLY feel.

Let me get this straight: because it's a movie that doesn't feature as much Michael Moore as you hate to see, you use it to SLAM him ... for being Michael Moore?

This isn't criticism (I've been a professional book and film critic for 30 years, kiddies): this is the ideological equivalent of the DTs.

Let's see: in a world of FAUX NOOZ, bullshit news events (witness the spate of phony "terrorist" busts of incompetent boobs that vanish when the true nature of the bust is known, or the big operation that we haven't heard anything about since last week when it was trumpeted on front pages), in a world where we are continually subjected to character assassination masquerading as political analysis, and WORSE (like FRANK LUNTZ* being hired by PBS to do the post-mortem polling on the Democratic Debate tonight), what is so objectionable to Michael Moore having a point of view? He states it, cheerfully, up front, which is refreshing in this Age of Gilded Mendacity.

[*Note: in the hours since I finished this and fell asleep, PBS has PULLED Luntz from the immediate debate aftermath, but his polling and 'analysis' will appear the following night -- according the firedoglake bloggers on the Thom Hartmann Show a few minutes ago.]

But hating Michael Moore has become yet another fetish of the Right, and being good Lefties, we, too must eat our dead. The way that Gore was pissed on, post-2000 (conveniently forgotten, I note), or Kerry was pissed on, post-2004. Now, let the pissing begin:

(The end of the AP review):

Then, in the second half of "Sicko," Moore visits Britain, France and -- in a climactic bit of literal showboating -- Cuba, all countries where citizens enjoy the benefits of government-run medical care. In his much-ballyhooed trip to Guantanamo Bay, he stands at the front of a boat, surrounded by some of the men and women who volunteered at ground zero after 9/11 and have suffered physical and mental health problems ever since, and asks through a bullhorn that they receive the same medical treatment as the prisoners there. Of course he knew from the moment he pulled away from the dock in Miami that they wouldn't get the attention they sought, but still -- it makes for good theater.
No shit, Sherlock. I mean, using THEATER in a movie? Good lord!

What weakens "Sicko" is that Moore never offers a single dissenting voice or even suggests in a cursory way that he tried to reach any political leaders or insurance executives for a response. We're told that top administrators receive bonuses for denying care, for example -- that the less coverage they provide, the fewer people they help, the more money they save their companies -- but there's no one to explain or defend this practice. Nor does Moore bother to mention how much it might cost to institute universal health care in the United States.

Instead he tickles the funny bone and tugs at the heart -- with surgical precision. "Sicko," a Lionsgate and Weinstein Co. release, runs 123 minutes. AP: ***
What weakens this review is an obvious pre-existing intention to slur Michael Moore, and a disquieting tendency to display an overzealous obsession with five dollar thesaurus words as a substitute for actual critical thought.

Just think: Michael Moore's weakness is that he doesn't make a movie for the companies who spend millions on spiking Bill and Hillary Clinton's health care program (that they ran on, and which we VOTED for).

What ACTUALLY weakens the AP review is the AP reviewer. Onward.

Again: she LIKES it. Everybody likes it. They just like pissing on Michael Moore too much to NOT make the review about slamming him ... for being a success? For making a good movie about an important subject?

I guess I just don't understand Americans. Or, perhaps I understand them too well.

There's a great line in one of my new favorite books about the last Persian invasion of Greece, and the pivotal battle of Salamis, The Battle of Salamis, The Naval Encounter that Saved Greece -- and Western Civilization (2004), by Barry Strauss:

Democracy distrusts great men, and Themistocles was not ashamed about reminding Athenians of his greatness .... Disrespected in his own city-state Themistocles had to go to Sparta to achieve recognition [for saving Greece]. (pp. 239-240)
Democracy is deeply suspicious of, jealous of, and, finally, contemptuous of great men. We raise them up for their talent and then crucify them for having had the temerity to succeed. I watched this with Camille Paglia: when Sexual Personae came out, she was hailed as a great, original and important thinker. And then, as her next two collections came out, we admitted to the superiority of the essays, and started nitpicking Paglia herself.

She had made a success of herself.

All right. Back to pissing on Michael Moore:

Here, from the professional pissers at NewsBusters ("Exposing and combating liberal media bias," which is, evidently, bad, unlike their proud conservative bias; bias being only bad if it's liberal, one supposes):

Media's Gushing for Moore Enough to Make You 'Sicko'
Posted by Julia A. Seymour on June 27, 2007 - 17:27.

Michael Moore is a documented liar who uses "omission, exaggeration and cinematic sleight of hand" to make his political points. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the media who cover his movies.

Now journalists are using "Sicko," which opens June 29, to make a giddy, unabashed case for socialized health care in America -- and even urging Moore to run for office.

He shows "compassion" and "generosity," he’s a great "campaigner" and an "adroit politician," reporters have declared.

He’s "taking on America’s deeply flawed health care system," said Terry Moran on ABC’s "Nightline" June 13. And "... the point his movie ultimately makes: fixing health care is a moral, even a religious obligation."
There. Unalloyed hatred from the Rightie professionals. It's so refreshing. Not like the little fits and starts of the amateur lefties' pissing and gritching prose-fest.

Here's the raw, 190 proof "white lightning" tag for Julia A. Seymour's ode to her own moral superiority:

Other journalists have taken Moore’s exaggerated ideas and pro-socialist agenda and run with it ... The concept that health care is "free" for everyone in Canada, France, Britain and Cuba is a major argument in Moore’s film. While this is laughable considering the higher taxes and longer waits that come with "free" care, the majority of media coverage have barely challenged the idea.
Ah. Get a whiff of that Klanlike derision. Michael Moore must surely be the new black man for these White Sheet wannabes. Who else?

"Porcine propagandist Michael Moore has a new movie coming out, ‘Sicko.' No, it's not an autobiography but a hit piece on American health care, which extols communist Cuba's health-care system for wealthy foreigners." -- James Taranto
Fat jokes are a big thing with this crowd. Just once, I wish America would surprise me and NOT descend to a vile schoolyard tactic that was old by the time we got to second grade. Ooooh, what a bunch of clever little monkeys you are! You notice that Michael Moore is fat! That's IMPORTANT in this argument, right?

And this from (hard Rightie) HUMAN EVENTS:

Elton John's Partner Blasts Michael Moore and 'Sicko'

Newsbusters' Lynn Davidson reports that Elton John's partner David Furnish blasted Michael Moore for his movie, 'Sicko.' Furnish opines, "I completely disagree with Michael Moore. With my own father, when he was ill, the only option was to hire a jet and fly him to America. It was the only place to get good treatment."
Gee: we hate fags (just like Fred Phelps says God does), but if we can USE them to further our agenda, we LOVE them. I guess they've got a lot of little eichmanns from the Right moonlighting from their 'Global Warming What Global Warming?' reporting to do a quick couple weeks of Michael Moore bashing. (I can hardly wait for "comedian" Dennis Miller's analysis -- he who has been doing a schtick suggesting that thermometers either didn't work in 1900, or else they were so primitive that their actual readings couldn't be believed).

You'd swear that if it weren't for Charles Darwin, Michael Moore, George Soros and Labor Unions, the United States would be a paradise, with chocolate rivers, caviar trees and krugerrands growing on what had formerly been tumbleweeds. And, of course, those awful liberals and their STOOOOPID "civil rights."

It's sure great to know that the left will defend Michael Moore.

With all due respect, no one can help but notice that a weighty health issue is affecting you personally. We’d like to help you fix that. Going vegetarian is an easy and life-saving step that people of all economic backgrounds can take in order to become less reliant on the government’s shoddy healthcare system, and it’s something that you and all Americans can benefit from personally. Vegetarians weigh, on average, up to 20 percent less than their meat-eating counterparts--meaning less weight-related problems like heart attacks and strokes--and live about eight years longer. I’m sure that your fans would appreciate having you around longer! By going vegetarian, you would also provide a powerful message of personal responsibility for one’s health, allowing others to become less reliant on a system that doesn’t care about them. As they say at Nike (sorry!): 'Just do it.' We can help, but first, here are some facts ...
Well, to be fair, PETA does say nice things about the (fat meat-eating guy's) film:

Congratulations from PETA on the reviews for SiCKO. Although we think that your film could actually help reform America’s sorely inadequate health care system, there’s an elephant in the room, and it is you.
OK. But we need something with a little more "oomph" and a little less gray matter, if you catch my drift. PETA is merely boorish in their self-absorbed self-righteousness. Maybe they need a role model.

Like this from Michelle Malkin's video blog thing (appropriately entitled) Hot Air:

New Vent: Schooling Michael Moore Updated
posted at 8:05 am on June 22, 2007 by Bryan

Michelle picks apart the cherry-picked facts and half-baked logic of Michael Moore’s new crockumentary, SiCKO, which opens in theaters today. Plus, health tips from the svelte film maker.
Wow, literally a hateful exudation from Michelle Malkin. Not even her direct hate, but her hate channeled through one of her underlings. THAT's hate, kiddies. We're going to have cover some bodacious real estate in Ideological Lunacy Angerland, if we hope to ever catch up to the Advanced Hating Technology of the Right. So, leftie writers: take the challenge. If you're going to attack Michael Moore because it is now PeeCee and de rigeur to do so, put some real Oooomph behind it. Don't just gratuitously hate. Don't give us your patronizing disdain. Give us your RAW, reptile brain fear and loathing. Like this, from the same site:

Bloated socialist using 9/11 illnesses to shill for Castro, free health care
posted at 8:25 pm on April 15, 2007 by Allahpundit*

[*Nota Bene: Haw haw haw. HW]

If America won’t help them, the revolution will. Best part: He flew them there under a 'journalism' exception to the travel ban.
(So, Michael Moore isn't a "journalist" like Michelle Malkin and HOT AIR's anonymous hateslingers? Great. Gotcha!)

Or, check out this website devoted, body and soul to Michael Moore:

Since April 2003, Moorelies has exposed the truth about pseudo-muckraker Michael Moore and his 17-year record of inaccuracy and distortion. He's not your friend, and we'll prove it.
That's what you've got to top, lefties. Get out there and slam Moore some "moore."

Make us proud.

Now, who will sing us a hymn of hate to conclude these festivities?

Leave us not forget that new darling of the Rationalizing Right, Fred "I am not a president but I play one on TV" Thompson. Take it away, Brother Thompson:

"The next time you're [Michael Moore] down in Cuba... you might ask them about another documentary maker. His name was Nicolas Guillen. He did something Castro didn't like, and they put him in a mental institution for several years, giving him devastating electroshock treatments. A mental institution, Michael. Might be something you ought to think about."
There. The collective kidneys have gotten quite the workout (they're intrinsic to the 'obnoxious' portion of the Collective Obnoxious, after all).

And hope they hold out -- individually and collectively -- what with the fact that many of the critics would be utterly unable to pay for hospitalization if their kidneys broke down for any reason.

And, just so you don't feel left out:

"Most fair-minded readers will no doubt take me at my word when I say that a majority of Democrats in this country are out of their gourds." -- Jonah Goldberg
Thank Ghod we don't have the 'fairness doctrine' in place anymore -- as the Rabid Wingnuts of the Fulminating Right are currently straw-manning the barricades over.

Because if we had a 'fairness doctrine' then someone would have to say something NICE about Michael Moore.

And that, apparently, would suck.

So, piss on, brave Americans. Michael Moore's pretentious Hollywood success is a living affront to each and every one of us, and, perhaps, even -- right AND left -- we can use his fat celebrity meat-eatingness to UNITE us against a common object of scorn and derision.

America! Long may it rave.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fits All The Nooz

All the fit Nooz
Without further comment.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cut and Run ... NOW!

I left this comment at "The Moderate Voice" on a post about how us awful lefties were SO convinced that this war was awful that we weren't looking for "victory" anymore.

But it stands on its own, and, frankly, I doubt that it will be much read in its context over there.

June 26, 2007 at 3:50 am:

In Vietnam, we knew that the war was hopeless in 1968. But we hung on for five more years, and two years after THAT, in 1975, Vietnam fell altogether.

Did we save face? And do we remember that it was a similar post-election strategy of surge that produced the majority of our fatalities? AFTER 1968.

If we would have left in 1968, the only difference in the outcome would have been fewer people killed.

I am willing to bet you that this is precisely the same scenario.

Pull the taffy as you will: the bottom line is that the people of Iraq are RIGHT NOW worse off than they were before this senseless invasion and occupation.

It is only hubris on our part that imagines we have any control over the outcome. The people of Iraq will, ultimately, decide Iraq’s future, for good or ill. Let’s let them do it by getting out of their way.

Let’s learn from the tragic mistake of Vietnam: Stop the meatgrinder. Just walk away.

As for “national pride,” and “saving face,” I have always found that people who are secure in themselves can admit to mistakes and move on.

This isn’t “Vietnamization” or “Iraqification.” It’s not quitting smoking with little nicotine patches. Just pull out as fast as possible, and count the lives you’ve saved.


And let me add this, here: to argue speciously that we have to "maintain America's prestige" while we sit, frozen like deer in the headlights, incapable of withdrawing out of SHEER FALSE PRIDE, is exactly criminal.

It is the hubris of Greek tragedy.

I include in that the bullshit that Al Franken's been slinging for a couple years now, that we have to be "responsible" or any other smokescreen for the paralysis that freezes us in a war we never should have undertaken -- that perfect reversal of moral choice: we didn't agonize much about going in, but now, having realized that going in was a mistake, we agonize ENDLESSLY about "pottery barn rules" and our "responsibility."

Our responsibility is to our KIDS. Get them the hell out of there, instead of forcing them to risk their lives so that hypocrite John "I got my plane shot down" McCain can pretend to shop.

(Dozens of people from that market were executed the next day, their bodies found north of Baghdad, in a story you probably didn't see, since it was relegated to page 17 in all the papers. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham are CULPABLE for those murders by any rational standard, but the charge isn't even MADE, let alone made to stick.)

To REFUSE TO ACT is aiding and abetting in the pointless murder of American kids (like mine, a 1st lt. in the army) and Iraqi men, women and children.

Mohammed says something in the Koran that needs to be taken to heart: More evil is done by foolish men in the name of foolishness than by evil men in the name of evil.

These "sins of omission" are just as deadly and evil, as if those now dragging their feet on withdrawal were actually holding the guns and shooting our kids in the back of the head. And as morally reprehensible.

I don't give a good goddam how "abstract" it is, it is EXACTLY the same as Dick "Fourth Branch" Cheney is holding a bowie knife to my son's throat. (Which is what he is doing.)

We will be just as embarrassed over Iraq, whether or not we leave now, or in ten years (as Petraeus suggested the other day).

What kind of sick adult agonizes whether or not they'll be called a "coward" or a "cut and runner"? My stepdad taught me from an early age that "it takes a bigger man to walk away from a fight than to get into one."

I can tell you from longstanding personal experience that he was absolutely right. I'm not yellow because I walk away from fights. Neither should our leadership be. It's getting into juvenile schoolyard fights in this craven manner that has been the hallmark, the "gold standard" of cowardice.

And here's a little secret of über-machodom: the REAL cowards are the ones who would rather get people killed than be seen as chicken. Real men eat quiche. Only the phony macho worry about it.

Courage. (If you actually know what that means.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

What A Difference Six Months Makes

I found this, looking for something else. It explains itself fine.

20 December 2006

from (boregasm)

It isn't even Christmas. The last wood and cardboard lawn signs haven't yet been fed into cabin stoves. The last of the wood pellets haven't been laid up for winter, although there seems to be a major blizzard underway in the Rockies.

The last of the nativity scenes have pretty much all gone up, or been taken down, according to which side of the anti-Santa door you're swinging on.

But NEWSWEEK's cover this week is a tabloid cut-and-paste "face off" (friendly) between Senators Obama and Clinton. What?

Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa appears on the Daily Show, another candidate appears on the Thom Hartmann radio show. Ed Schultz quotes polling indicating Republican John McCain has LOST seven points to ex-NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Good lord.

It isn't even Christmas, and, just in case you hadn't noticed, one year is an ETERNITY in American politics. Can we please stop with the presidential election spam?

There are two theories as to why this is.

The first (paranoid) theory is that this is just a continuation of the endless PR show of "look at the shiny object" that characterizes the current regime.

The second is that we really are a bunch of dogs trying to operate heavy farm machinery.

I'm inclined to the second theory, but I could be wrong.

It's happened before.


Bong Hits 4 Jesus No More

The Offending Sign

Today's (black) headlines:

High court ends ban on corporate-funded campaign ads
Los Angeles Times, Calif.
Increasing the rights of corporations

Ordinary taxpayers can't sue over faith-based program
Baltimore Sun, United States
Reducing the rights of citizens

Because the Constitution, evidently, should be proprietary.


Supreme Court Sides With EPA in Environmental Law Conflict
The Congressional Quarterly

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled today that the Environmental Protection Agency can hand over to states the authority to issue water pollution permits, even if doing so appears to violate the Endangered Species Act.
(See above)


Conservatives go 4-4 today at the Supreme Court
Washington Post, United States

Legal and political conservatives hit for the cycle Monday morning when they "won" four long-awaited rulings from the United States Supreme Court
And, finally, limiting free speech (the student wasn't at SCHOOL when the principal took offense to his sign and punished him for free speech) for citizens and sub-citizens:

Court limits student speech in 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' case
Houston Chronicle, United States

Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court in a 5-4 ruling.

Joseph Frederick unfurled his homemade sign on a winter morning in 2002, as the Olympic torch made its way through Juneau, Alaska, en route to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Frederick said the banner was a nonsensical message that he first saw on a snowboard. He intended the banner to proclaim his right to say anything at all.

His principal, Deborah Morse, said the phrase was a pro-drug message that had no place at a school-sanctioned event. Frederick denied that he was advocating for drug use.

"The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic," Roberts said. "But Principal Morse thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one."

Morse suspended the student, prompting a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The winning side in the case was quick to assert that the decision was not anti-free speech
Welcome back to 1984.

the article continues:

In their concurrence, Justices Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy specified that the court's opinion provides no support for any restriction on speech that goes to political or social issues.

It's a narrow ruling that "should not be read more broadly," said Kenneth Starr, whose law firm represented the school principal.
Ken Starr! Ken Starr?!?!?

Welcome back to "the rule of law" and the 1998-9 impeachment.

The Volokh Conspiracy blog reports that Justice Anthony Kennedy has been 16 for 16 in 5-4 decisions (the new "swing" vote).

Don't know how today's glut of abortions of justice adds or detracts from that total. (The EPA decision was 5-4 with Kennedy).

I thought they were against abortion?

Oh, hell, welcome back to 1984. Thank ghod the statue of Justice wears a blindfold, else we'd see the Goddess puking in every courthouse in the land. Rehnquist and Taney ought to be cleaning up their cell in hell. Looks like they're due for plenty of company in the next few decades.

And there are FOUR MORE decisions forthcoming on abortion, segregation, the rights of defendants, and killing retards ... er, the death penalty for the severely mentally ill.

Courage. (You'll need it.)