Of late, Democrats in leadership positions have been taking a lot of crap for arguing that the Untied States is failing in Iraq. What seems not to be understood is that they’re right.

There is wall building going on in Iraq to keep sects from killing one another. I don’t know how anyone my age or older can’t realize that wall building automatically connotes failure, failure of society, failure of peace, failure of all other attempts to reconcile. When human beings require a physical barrier to hold them in, to keep them out, or to keep them apart, it is a good sign that failure is afoot.

Adolph Giuliani can kiss my ass, by the way. From now on, for him, more than anyone else in the universe, everything he says is the exact opposite of what it is. Republican leadership is not succeeding. It is building walls.

It is time to elect some damned grownups.

An Experiment To Try At Home

Here’s an interesting experiment that you can try at home.

1. Print out a nice big picture of Rosie O’Donnell and another nice big picture of Osama bin Laden.

2. Paste the pictures onto a piece of posterboard. Allow them to dry. If you really want to be fancy about it, you can paste a paint stirrer or a wooden ruler onto the bottom back of it, like a handle.

3. Approach a “conservative.” Show the “conservative” the picture of Osama bin Laden and note his reaction. Then, show him the picture of Rosie O’Donnell and note his reaction.

Chances are that when you show him the picture of Osama bin Laden, the “conservative” will make a dismissive waving motion with his hand and say “Feh.” But when you show him the picture of Rosie O’Donnell, he’ll snarl and make a honking noise. He’ll curse. His forehead vein will throb. He’ll say she’s a disgusting pig and an awful person and an un-American slob. And he will probably rip up the Rosie O’Donnell sign you made.

Unfortunately, this means you will probably have to march back to your conveyance carrying a big sign with a picture of Osama bin Laden on it. Act accordingly.   

I first noticed this phenomenon recently on business travel. Rosie O’Donnell came up in conversation, and one of the known “conservatives” in our group emoted just like this. He even snarled. I thought it was strange, but not entirely unfamiliar. It reminded me of what often happened in the mid 1990s when you mentioned the word “Bill Clinton” to a “conservative.”

It’s a seething, irrational hatred. It is teeth-clenching, wanting to kill with bare hands kind of hatred. It’s the same seething, personal hatred elicited from Trump when discussing Rosie O’Donnell. So fuming was Trump about Rosie O’Donnell that he tripped on his tongue recently in talking about her departure from ABC’s The View: “I believe ABC wanted her out and they wanted her out badly and fast,” said Trump. “She made statements the other day at The Waldorf=Astoria that were absolutely outrageous, where she grabbed her cock—crotch…and said things that were just terrible.” He calls her a “slob.” He says she is a “disgusting person, both inside and out.” He calls her a “bully” and a “self-destructive loser.”  

Meanwhile: It’s in the news today that some Taliban leader said that Osama bin Laden is alive and still active in the business of attacking Americans and American interests. The source said bin Laden personally planned the February attack in Afghanistan on a military installation during the visit there of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Question: Where is Trump’s angry vitriol for Osama bin Laden? Why isn’t Trump on Larry King Live calling bin Laden a “gangly, ugly piece of crap?” “Disgusting?” “Horrible?” Or, why not use the air time to ridicule the 19 morons who took those planes and flew them into those buildings?

They don’t know where bin Laden is, and they don’t spend that much time on it. But they have all the time in the world to tear into a comedian and daytime talk show host as if she is the worst thing this nation’s ever seen.

To quote the lady herself, alebeit out of context, from her blog at rosie.com:

“i was the story
not them
what’s wrong with this picture
nearly everything”

New Rule

New Rule: If you suggest in any public forum that a situation like the tragic shootings recently at Virginia Tech would not have happened if everyone in America were armed to the teeth, you must pack your bags and move to Iraq. Immediately. That means you, Newt Gingrich. Get packin’, suckah!

I’m not suggesting that these folks should necessarily have to enlist. You just have to live there, so you can see how great it is to live where a majority of the civilians are armed. We’ll even arm you. We’ll give you whatever firearms you want and enough ammo to make John Rambo covet.

By your logic, you should have a very happy, very productive, and very long life.

Happy trails.


Transcribed from Randi from sometime last week:

“All you need to understand about this is that the President of the United States, being the only person who can fire a U.S. Attorney, has decided that he was going to appoint 33-year-old political hacks, loyal to him and to the Republican party over experienced career prosecutors and in the process he was going to smear their reputations by saying it was performance related when he got caught doing exactly that. And that the Attorney General of the United States was dispatched to the Senate to lie under oath to them that this was happening. And that you now have not only a President who lies to the American people, but you finally have a guy who works for the president as our ag of the us taking an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, two times, once in January, and then of course they asked him to come back so that he could correct the record because he did not tell the truth in January. So they had him back today, so he could correct the record so that there would be no misunderstandings, and so he could say I meant to say this and maybe I didn’t say it right, and get him on the record about what he meant to say. It was a courtesy. And he decided to go to the Senate today and lie some more, under oath.”  


Imus in the Mourning

I know. The normally crack staff here at Ketchup Is A Vegetable is sorely belaboring the Imus incident. We can’t help it. We’re a big fat radio nerd.

I do want to clarify the position I took previously upon first absorbing this information. The lede in that opinion piece should be tethered a bit, to say that Don Imus is not ONLY a racist; he’s ALSO a mysoginist. I do not for a moment truly believe that there was no racial element to Imus’, um, how you say, boner? Of course there was. But I don’t think that’s what motivated him to speak. Look at what the subject of his sentence was, then look at its modifier. I think the modifier in this case has got more attention than the subject, and I don’t happen to think that’s as ought.

But I did want to append what I wrote before, though I know I’m often shouting into air in this little space: Don Imus has spent the last decade or so running hard to create himself into a Frankenstein, half Stern, half Rev. Hargis, half Tim Russert. The reason Imus matters is because of the hybrid he’d become. If you’d have gotten upset to have heard Russert say this thing, then you should consider this infraction similarly. Imus regularly spoke to lawmakers and journalists, and from his perch in Secaucus had inexplicably turned himself into somewhat of a shaper of opinion. As such, anyone who says Imus didn’t matter and that this comment was superfluous either just doesn’t care or just remembers Imus as that wacky D.J. who ordered all those hamburgers.

But there is a new message going forth these days, one we heard in Virginia last mid-term, and one ringing from the MSNBC and CBS studios today: You are no longer allowed to hold national power, via media or elected political office, if it becomes clear that you basely despise a group of human beings based upon race or gender. This is a good thing. It is a good idea. It is good in government, and it is good for our country.

Unfortunately, it’s just talk. And talk is nothing while D.C. doesn’t get to vote, and while the prison population in the United States is so hopelessly out-of-wack, and while there’s still a stupid clueless white guy who had a career on the radio for 30 years and still never figured out that “But I have lots of black friends” still doesn’t help and that “you people” just digs you in way deeper.

That shade of crayon is no longer called “flesh,” you lizard-faced moron. And you do not get to call those young women by that name today and then interview John McCain tomorrow. No, no, no, no, no. 

Have a wonderful retirement, Don Imus. 


Seeing Don Imus for the Trees

Don Imus is not a racist. He’s a misogynist.

That’s my take on it, anyway. Mind you, I am not technically qualified to draw a bead on this latest weird white guy flare-up, being both white and a guy myself.

But I am also an amateur observer of politcal and cultural issues who thinks our nation’s still-raw wounds regarding issues of race sometimes makes us myopic.

For instance, on the 60 Minutes this past evening, flailing presidential candidate John McCain was asked about his waffling a few years ago on the issue of South Carolina’s drive to fly the confederate flag above its statehouse. The exchange went like this (paraphrased from the 60 Minutes transcript online):

“‘Let me bring up another issue that surrounded South Carolina in the year 2000. There was a political issue, a local issue about whether the Confederate flag should fly over the Capitol. You waffled on that,’ said correspondent Scott Pelley.

‘Yes. Worse than waffled,’ said McCain. Asked what he meant, McCain said, ‘Well, I said that it was strictly a state issue and clearly knowing that it wasn’t.’

‘That’s not what you believed in your heart?’ Pelley asks.


‘What did you believe in your heart?’ Pelley asked.

‘That it was a symbol to many of, a very offensive symbol to many, many Americans,’ McCain said.”

The problem: It should be offensive to many, many more Americans than it is, more Americans than to whom McCain was referring. It should be offensive to you if you’re an American, no matter how you hyphenate it. It’s not just a symbol of slavery. It is the symbol of the single biggest act of sedition that has ever been perpetrated upon the United States of America, the attempted secession of many states from that union.

And, as such, the notion of flying that symbol above any publicly-funded buildings or land should be prohibited without debate. As if its more usual connotation isn’t enough. But, unfortunately, it isn’t. And it’s not all there is. There should be no pride to be had, no celebration required, from a movement that did seek, literally, the end of the United States of America. We are at the moment in a bit of a scuffle with another group of folks who seek to achieve the very same thing.    

Yeah, that’s right. I said it. That’s how big I think it is. And when you narrow the question to the issue of how this affects a singular group of Americans, you deny that it should and does affect the rest of us. The confederate flag isn’t just “their” issue. It’s everyone’s.

I think the same hair-trigger impulse has forced Don Imus to answer for some charges while not having to answer for some in his comments that are at least equally disturbing. More than insulting African-Americans, what Imus said insults women. Specifically, he commented on their attractiveness. He implied that, because they were athletic and were ambitious in athletics, they were not attractive, and he furthered the notion that, to be worth anything, women should be attractive and should not be athletic and ambitious in athletics.

Think of it this way: Would Imus have made a similar statement about the Ohio State guys?

Certainly, race played a considerable role in Imus’ charming comments, and he probably should be attempting to apologize to that community—although it is an entirely futile exercise, because the physics of it is that once a celebrity type utters such a thing in public it is drawn on plexiglass and stapled to his forehead forever—he also needs to have his people book an appearance on The View.

His comments were not just harmful to African-Americans. They were harmful to women generally.

P.S. Where does Imus get off saying that anyone else in the world is “nappy-headed?”

John McCain Is A Douchebag

The nice thing about being Sen. John McCain this week is that you personally get to symbolize everything that is wrong with the American occupation of Iraq.

How could anyone manage to appear more foolish than the current president? But McCain has somehow managed to out-chimp the Chimp.

I don’t have to rehash the headlines for ya. McCain went to Iraq accompanied by 100 Marines, 2 Black Hawks and a couple heavily armored HUMVs and then he says gee, it sure is great that I can walk down the street!

But that’s not why he’s a douchebag. He’s a douchebag because of what he’s told 60 Minutes about it (to air this Sunday).

“Of course I am going to misspeak and I’ve done it on numerous occasions and I probably will do it in the future. I regret that when I divert attention to something I said from my message, but you know, that’s just life.”

John. Dude. The problem isn’t that you “misspoke.” In fact, douchebag, you didn’t misspeak. To “misspeak” means the person said something by mistake. You didn’t misspeak, douchebag. That’s the problem. You honestly believed what you were saying while the words were coming out of your mouth, believed that you weren’t being ambushed because the “surge” is working, not because you were surrounded by a SWAT team.

Can we please strike the word “misspeak” from the English language? It has become one of those Washington Weasel Words, seldom used correctly, mostly used to make you look one way while the fella’s pulling something out of his sleeve.

Regardless of whether John McCain is a douchebag, whether the “surge” is “working” or whether all its actually doing is staving off the inevitable all-out civil war in Iraq, here’s the point: I don’t give a rat’s ass. The only way to have “won” the Iraq War or to have “succeeded in Iraq” was not to have invaded in the first place. We lost when we went in, and no surge and no douchebag running for prez and no pullout and nothing is ever going to change that. Congress is wasting its time and resources trying to dictate policy from the Hill. Get out your investigators’ caps, kids. Start digging. Find out who did what when and why. The more effluent you dig up regarding the conduct of this war, the more horrified the American People will become, and the more likely they will be to send a lot more folks to Congress next time who oppose this stupid occupation.