The Weekend Holiday Hole, Sat-Sun, Dec 24-25: Happy Holidays

The next few days bring several holidays not only to the US, but to the world. At sundown, Saturday, Dec 24, Jews begin celebrating the liberation of Jerusalem from the occupation of Antiochus IV, king of the Seleucid Empire in 165 BCE, which you know better as Hanukkah. And on Sunday, Dec 25, Christians throughout the world celebrate the birth of Jesus, which you know better as Christmas. Of course, in both cases there are many non-religious observations of the holidays by hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. And there are several billion people, about two-thirds of the world’s population, who observe neither holiday. So people like Bill O’Reilly need to understand that it is no more appropriate to wish strangers a Happy Hanukkah if you don’t know they’re Jewish than it is to wish strangers a Merry Christmas if you don’t know they’re Christian. Either way, there’s a two out of three chance you’re wrong. And since the entire point of saying anything is to tell them you hope they enjoy the upcoming holidays (including the ones that follow over the course of the next week), and not to offend them, it’s completely appropriate to say to them, “Happy Holidays,” and thank them for whatever they wish back at you, even if it doesn’t apply to you. They’re trying to be nice to you even if they loathe you as much as I. So, in the spirit of the holidays and because I just know it pisses you off so much, I want to say to you, Bill O’Reilly, “Happy Holidays.”

And happy and safe holidays to Everyone. May you find joy and happiness in the comfort of friends and/or family, or peace in the solitude of contemplation. And may the world go just one day without people trying to kill each other. Is that really too much to ask?

Happy Holidays. This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you wish. Peace.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 18th, 2015: This Week In Faux News

I was going to write about Rand Paul’s “Libertarian” followers, but thankfully Wayne steered me to PoliticusUSA’s “Friday Fox Follies”, which is a bit more entertaining. Well, that’s if by “entertaining” one means ‘laughing because screaming is the only other alternative.’

Rand Paul acolytes are NOT “entertaining”, by any definition in any dictionary on this or any other planet.

On the other hand, Friday Fox Follies, put together by Headly Westerfield, is a stupefying roundup of the past week’s non-stories, conspiracy theories, idiotic commentary and other nonsense, all hacked up from the fine folks at Fox “News.” This week, the Follies ‘2016 Presidential hopefuls’ edition’ provides links to anything and everything, from Media Matters’ Fox coverage, to Hillary Clinton and “Chipotleghazi” [term courtesy of Evan McMurray of Mediaite], to Jon Stewart ranting at the media**, to Bernie Sanders schooling Bill O’Reilly, to Donald Trump-or-Monkey [thank you, David Letterman, for linking those two forever in my mind.] There are so many links, you’re sure to find more than one story to pique the interest.

**Jon Stewart Watch: I’ve noticed for the last week or so, Jon has been using the first segment of his show to ream, eviscerate, and generally rant about various topics, including his amazing tirade about Dick Cheney. I think that Jon is taking advantage of the time his show has left to really get everything off his chest, in his own inimitable style. The “real news media” should sit up and pay attention, because Jon seems to be pointing in their direction.

This is our daily Open Thread – have at it!

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 28th, 2014: Bird-Brained

This past week has seen a lot of very odd behavior from some bird-brained bipeds.

First, the human bird-brains, starting with the ongoing and ever-weirder racist stylings of Cliven Bundy. Bundy’s ‘open-beak-insert-claw’ babblings caused even die-hard libertarian Rand Paul, as well as Fox’s knee-jerk-anti-government-reactionary (emphasis on jerk) Sean Hannity, to sidle away from Bundy. Paul’s statement, “His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him,” seemed a bit weak compared with his fellow Republican Senator Dean Heller’s. From Think Progress: “…[Heller’s]spokesman told the New York Times the senator “completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.” Much more genuine-sounding, more human, right?

Again with the racism: L.A. Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling‘s blatantly racist – and audiotaped — admonishment to his girlfriend after she posted a photo on Instagram of herself with basketball legend Magic Johnson has been the talk of national news outlets and sports programs alike. Not surprising, since one of Sterling’s quotes from said audiotape is “don’t bring black people to my games

Next, bird-brained Bill O’Reilly still seems to be unaware of his own ignorant inner racist: On Friday, in reaction to Time Magazine’s decision to feature singer Beyoncé on the cover for their “most influential people” edition, O’Reilly aired his delusion that Beyoncé is in charge raising America’s young black girls. In Bill-O’s mind, she’s doing a piss-poor job of it, what with the sexual song lyrics and the “revealing clothing” that she wears in her music videos — into which I presume Bill-O did a LOT of research, checking for ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ and the like.

O’REILLY:

“She knows — this woman knows — that young girls are getting pregnant in the African American community…Now it’s about 70 percent out of wedlock. She knows and doesn’t seem to care…She should be smart enough to know that what’s she doing now is harming some children…”

Sorry, Bill, but Beyoncé isn’t harming anyone; look in your mirror, you’re the one doing harm to the whole country.

Okay, enough of the human bird-brains, now let’s enjoy some feathered ones…

Several times last week, outside our office, I noticed various birds engaged in springtime mating behavior. The male birds were chasing females either in fast-paced displays of aerodynamics and maneuverability, or in a more slow-motion – and more amusing – “chase” within a tree, with the male hopping from branch to branch after the female. While the birds that I observed were entertaining, the mating behavior of blue jays, chickadees, English sparrows, and our other local birds pales in comparison to these guys:

Japanese Red-Crowned Cranes

Japanese Red-Crowned Cranes


Great Egret aka Great White Heron

Great Egret aka Great White Heron


Great Frigatebird

Great Frigatebird


Male Peacock

Male Peacock


Royal Terns

Royal Terns

Yes, that was much more enjoyable!

This is our daily open thread–what’s on YOUR mind?

The Watering Hole, Saturday, October 5, 2013: This Week In Right Wing Nuttery

The Right Wing’s detachment from Reality would be hilarious if it weren’t so dangerous to America. After all, some of these people inexplicably are elected Members of Congress or government, and others inexplicably are influential in the Conservative movement, even if they deny it. I’m baffled as to why anyone, including these people, would think their viewpoints merit attention.

First there’s self-appointed Tea Party Darling and Canadian-born gadfly Senator Rafael “Ted” Cruz. Senator Cruz Continue reading

Watering Hole: Monday, December 31, 2012 – Hillary Clinton Hospitalized Sunday with Blood Clot

Image

Many news organizations, including Reuters, have reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to a hospital following the discovery of a small blood clot stemming from the concussion she suffered earlier this month.

Many in the right wing media have been trying to say, sometimes in a roundabout way and sometimes directly, that she was faking her concussion to get out of testifying about what happened in the Sept 11 attack on the Benghazi Consulate. Of course, there is no basis whatsoever for these accusations, but when did the truth ever stop the right wing from saying anything? Fox News hasn’t been shy about questioning the veracity of Secretary Clinton’s claims or the seriousness of her injury. While she was following doctor’s orders and getting bed rest (a smart thing to do after a concussion, especially when you were sick when you got it), some Fox News people have wondered aloud (and on camera) why she still couldn’t testify as scheduled on Benghazi. (I’m no doctor, but I’m guessing the brain damage prevalent at Fox News was not the result of concussions, but simply a prerequisite for being hired to work there as an on-air “talent.”)

Bill O’Reilly dismissively said, “If She Was In The NFL I Wouldn’t Let Her Play, But I Think She Can Make A Phone Call.” And former unconfirmed G. W. Bush UN Ambassador John “I Am The Walrus Mustache” Bolton even pushed a story about how diplomats lie to get out of meetings they don’t wish to attend.

Fox News contributor John Bolton told host Greta van Susteren that when foreign service officers “don’t want to go to a meeting or conference or event,” they have “a diplomatic illness. And this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band.”

And Fox’s Laura Ingraham mocked Sec. Clinton’s condition saying, “We Are Now Calling This The Immaculate Concussion.” It’s actually pretty ignorant of them to say, “No one knows where she is.” Of course people knew – she was at home, as previously reported, where her doctor’s told her to stay. O’Reilly even said where she was later in the segment.

It’s time for Fox News to start apologizing for accusing the Secretary of State of faking her concussion so she wouldn’t have to testify regarding the Benghazi attack. And they’re not the only ones. Soon-to-be former Congressman Allen West said that she was trying to get out of testifying with a bout of the “Benghazi Flu.” To her credit, Fox’s Greta van Susteren has pushed back on these accusations saying, “I don’t agree with any of my (Fox News) colleagues or anyone else who is a tad bit sarcastic on our air about Secretary Clinton’s health.”

Given his well-documented obsession with Hillary Clinton, we can only imagine what Rush Limbaugh has said on the subject. We have to because none of us here can stomach listening to that blowhard.

Surely their apologies are imminent. Yeah, just as surely as I’ll be sworn in next month to replace Secretary Clinton.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Hillary’s concussion, Rush’s obsessions, O’Reilly’s brain damage, or any other topic you wish. And from all of us at The Zoo, please enjoy your New Year’s Eve celebrations safely and responsibly.

Enough: It’s time to take a stand — against the likes of Sarah Palin

Source: Paul Jamiol

On Saturday, a man named Jared Lee Loughner murdered six people, and wounded thirteen others, including Rep Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who is in critical condition (as of this writing) with a bullet to her brain.

These are the dead:

  • Phyllis Scheck, 79
  • Dorthy Murray, 76
  • Dorwin Stoddard, 76
  • John M. Roll, 63
  • Gabriel Zimmerman, 30
  • Christina Green, 9

Tell me something Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Fox News et al: When is enough enough? When do you feel like you’ve “won?”  How much blood must be shed, in the name of your twisted ideology?  What is it going to take for you to SHUT UP?

Who will be the next Scott Roeder…Richard Popalowski…Jim Adkisson…Byron Williams…or Jared Lee Loughner?  Who will be the next unbalanced crackpot, sitting next to his/her radio or television, soaking up the despicable noxious bloviations gushing from your loathsome mouths, and deciding that the best thing to do about your egregious hyperbole is to take a gun and blast people out of existence?  Who!?

Don’t worry, no one expects any tearful retractions — as if such a thing is even possible — or heartfelt mea culpas.  No no no no, we all know that there was no way you could have anticipated the effect your vomitous spewing would have on the odd unbalanced individual. Heavens no!  Hearing Bill O’Reilly’s pompous pontificating over “Tiller the baby killer” or Glenn Beck’s paranoid ravings about the Tides Foundation or Sarah Palin’s thoughtless and provocative hit list with gun cross-hairs couldn’t possibly have any adverse effect, right?

Well, Sarah Palin is right about one thing.  It IS time to take a stand — against the likes of her, O’Reilly, Beck, Limbaugh, and so many others whose main purpose in life is to foment hatred and violence, while making tons of money in the process of shredding the fabric of this country.

This stops now — a little girl named Christina Green will never see her 10th birthday, because of YOU.

This is our daily open thread.

All The Dopey People

Ever wonder why some people think the stupidest things? Maybe the people they’re listening to aren’t all that smart.

All The Dopey People
Original Words and Music “Eleanor Rigby”, by John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider

Ah, look at all the dopey people
Ah, look at all the dopey people

Billy O’Reilly
Spits out the lies from a search
Of the websites he’s been.
Lives in a dream

Works on the TV,
Wearing his hate that he keeps
In the heart of his core.
Who is it for?

All the dopey people,
Where do their views come from?
All the dopey people,
Where do they all go wrong?

Hannity’s Ego
Writing the words Continue reading

Ralph Peters continues to slime Pfc Bergdahl — with the help of Bill O’Reilly (updated)

ThinkProgress

Ralph Peters is very certain about what he “knows,” and completely oblivious that he knows nothing.

All Peters “knows” is that some mythical “very senior military leader” answered “yes,” when asked if Bergdahl was a deserter.  This was Ralph Peters looking in the mirror and hearing voices again.  I “know” this because I asked a really smart neighbor about it, and he said “yes.”

So here we have Bill O’Reilly, who proudly proclaims that he has been to Afghanistan, but who has never served in the military, and Ralph Peters, who admits on this video that he has no combat experience, trashing the mental state a young man actually serving in the military, in a war zone.  Naturally, they have no facts to back up their assertions that Bergdahl is “crazy” or “out of his mind,” but they don’t mind making it up as they go.

Here’s what the military has to say about Bergdahl being a deserter:

Appalled at Peters’ original comment, CNN’s Rick Sanchez reported yesterday that Bergdahl is not a deserter. “Is the military saying that he’s a deserter in any way? We have checked. No, not at all,” Sanchez said.

NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski also reported yesterday that “senior Pentagon and military officials have ruled that out entirely, they say there is no evidence that he is a deserter.” Miklaszewski added that “they also point out that remarks like that are not the least bit helpful and in fact could endanger Pfc Bergdahl.”  (Emphasis added)

The important thing to remember is that Ralph Peters is getting his exposure on Fox “News,” which has no relationship with truth or integrity.

Whatever happened to “Support the Troops?”  Or even “innocent until proven guilty?”

The previous post on Ralph Peters’ insanity is here.

UPDATERep Eric Mass (D-NY), who is a retired Navy Commander, is demanding that Fox News fire Bill O’Reilly and Ralph Peters for their comments about Pfc Bergdahl.

“Words cannot express how furious I am at Fox News, Lt. Col Ralph Peters and Bill O’Reilly for suggesting that we should leave a prisoner of war behind and allow him to be executed by the Taliban to save us the trouble of trying to intervene” said Congressman Eric Massa. “Last night I joined with a bipartisan group of 22 other Congressional veterans in demanding an immediate apology to the family of PFC Bergdahl from Fox News, but I don’t think that goes far enough. I want to see Mr. Peters and Mr. O’Reilly fired immediately for their inexcusable attacks on a prisoner of war. Their comments aid and abet our enemies during a time of war and the burden is on Fox News to prove that they reject this by taking the tangible action of issuing an apology and firing both of them.”

You can read the whole letter here (PDF).

It’s the End of the Show As They Know It

The right wing is going nuts about the idea that Obama might want to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. They claim that it would destroy right wing radio. There are a lot of things wrong with this argument, but in the meantime, let’s make fun of them with the help of R.E.M. (whose lead singer happens to be openly gay, so that ought to tweak ’em a bit more.)

It’s the End of The Show As They Know It
Original Words and Music “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”
by Bill Berry, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, Peter Buck 1987
Additional Lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider 2009

That’s great it starts with a fruitcake,
Words of hate to entertain, Michael Weiner’s gone insane

Guy on the radio, listen to his head blow.
Words serve the right’s needs, dummies hear their own needs,
Continue reading

O’Reilly goes off the deep end..

I realize abortion (especially late-term abortion) is a really controversial topic/issue for people across the country, but do you suppose Bill O’Reilly understands JUST how utterly offensive he is, and how he comes across?

I was pretty impressed with how Joan Walsh handled herself in this ‘interview’ (ambush would have been a better description..). The longer the interview went, the deeper O’Reilly dissolved into lunacy. Facts didn’t matter.

Walsh was right when she said that they came from two different worlds – each with their own facts and figures. They weren’t going to meet in the middle or agree on anything. His purpose was to destroy her, not have a conversation or debate about an emotional, hot-button issue. He was the one who came out of the interview looking  like a rude, insulting, pompous ass. He was trying to get even with Joan Walsh for her previously referring to O’Reilly as “vile” in something she wrote after the murder of Dr. Tillman.

He didn’t do himself any favors..

I have to agree with Joan Walsh here.. Billo, you really are some piece of work…

H/T: The Huffington Post

Joan Walsh followed up her interview with this article on her blog:
Why I Went On “The O’Reilly Factor”

Former religious right leader takes responsibility for Tiller death

Raw Story:

Frank Schaeffer, author, “Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back” explains to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow how hateful speech leads to violent acts.

This is an amazing piece of video. Words do have consequences. This man’s honesty is incredibly moving, enlightening and frightening at the same time, and what he has to say is right on the money. People like Bill O’Really, Rush Limbaugh, et al. They incite hate and fear on a daily basis. It’s ratings to them – it’s real to the people who listen and hang on their every word.

These people have to know what they are doing, the effect they can have. There are so many people who listen daily, and live on every word they utter. We are a nation filled with guns of every sort and size, with easy access to them, and it only takes one slightly unhinged (or just ”committed to the cause”) person or group to take matters into their own hands. These people on the TV and radio who spout such vile hatred, continually pushing those fear buttons, and targeting individuals with their spewing, have to understand the impact they are having… And yet they continue spewing… And targeting.

They are as responsible for what happened as the man who pulled that trigger. And, I would guess, as Frank Schaeffer says in this video, even as they publicly try to distance themselves from this act of violence they are probably, privately, celebrating this doctor’s death…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Gawker Ambushed Bill O’Reilly’s Ambusher, Jesse Watters

Bill O’Reilly’s ambusher, Jesse Watters has met his match when it comes to Gawker.  Gawker is on the look out for Mr. Watters, the producer that Bill O’Reilly he sends out to lie in wait for his intended target or enemies as Bill likes to refer to them.  So Gawker went to Jesse’s building in Long Island to find him, which is his last known address.  To give him a taste of his own medicine.

Watters, as you may have read, likes to sneak up on people without warning and ask them questions so that O’Reilly can air video of his enemies looking aggrieved and flustered. He’s done it to the New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg, the Washington Post’s William Arkin, Think Progress’ Amanda Terkel, and others. Watters tailed Arkin for an hour-and-a-half, from Vermont to Massachusetts, and attempted to interview him in front of his children (Fox, always gracious, digitally obscured their faces). He famously followed Terkel, who is a rather slight young woman, for two hours from Washington, D.C., to rural Virginia on a weekend getaway. In all of the above cases, Watters’ intent was to question his targets about things they had said or written.

In a recent New York Times story, Fox attempted justify its tactics by saying that it invited the targets to appear on O’Reilly’s program, and that they had declined. Since O’Reilly’s desire was to force them to defend their ideas to him, the only other option was to seek them out, without warning, at their homes or public places. As Watters put it in a billoreilly.com blog post quoted by the Times: “If they don’t come to us, we’ll go to them.” This is, at least in the case of Terkel and Hertzberg, a lie: Neither of them received an invitation to go on the program before Watters showed up with his camera. 

Continue reading

Tea Bag Party

Well, a whole bunch of people (or so we are told) will be out having their Tea Bag Parties on Wednesday, April 15th. Supposedly these folks are going to be protesting government spending, or taxes, or something they don’t like. No matter what they’re protesting about, it’s a good bet that almost everyone of them will be getting a tax cut under Obama’s new budget (though it’s hard to convince them of that.) Fox News Channel is planning threatening to cover the protests, so we’ll get to see the mixed bag of nuts that plan to attend.

Anyway, I wondered what attending one of those things would be like, and with the help of Rick Nelson’s “Garden Party”, it might go something like this…

Tea Bag Party
Original words and music “Garden Party”, by Rick Nelson, 1971
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2009

I went to a Tea Bag Party to demonstrate with my new friends
A chance to shout obscenities and raise our voice again
When I got to the Tea Bag Party, they all played the game
No one recognized me, I didn’t sound the same

But they’re so right wing, They honed their hatred well
You see, they can’t please anyone, so they got to please themselves

People came from miles around, cable news was there
Bill-O brought his goon squad, it was tragic ev’rywhere
‘N’ over in the corner, much to my surprise
Continue reading

Roger Ebert, Two Thumbs Up For O’Reilly Letter

Roger Ebert compares O’Reilly to a mouse with an erection.  Here are some of the snips from the letter.

Dear Bill: Thanks for including the Chicago Sun-Times on your exclusive list of newspapers on your “Hall of Shame.” To be in an O’Reilly Hall of Fame would be a cruel blow to any newspaper. It would place us in the favor of a man who turns red and starts screaming when anyone disagrees with him.

-snip-

I understand you believe one of the Sun-Times misdemeanors was dropping your syndicated column. My editor informs me that “very few” readers complained about the disappearance of your column.

-snip-

That newspapers continue to run your column is a mystery to me, since it is composed of knee-jerk frothings and ravings. If I were an editor searching for a conservative, I wouldn’t choose a mad dog.

Roger this is by far one of the best reviews you have ever written.  Two Thumbs way up.

For the whole letter.

O’Reilly’s creepfest ambush machine in action

I think it’s a lucky thing for Bill O’Reilly’s creeps that most people know how to conduct themselves in a public place.  Otherwise, they’d get a face full of pepper spray, tasered, or beaten to the ground.

HT:  ThinkProgress via Crooks & Liars.

O’Reilly to end radio show

Buh-Bye, Bill

tv-20081205-Fox.News.O'Reilly

Poor Bill.

President-Elect Obama,  through this election, gave Americans a renewed sense of hope and pride in our country. He has  breathed new life into a disillusioned generation of young voters.

In short, the 8 year cloud is lifting. The life-sucking vampire Bill O’Reilly can’t seem to stand the light of this new day.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Mr. O’Reilly.

Bill O’Reilly Loses it on Barney Frank: Knockdown

Here is one incredible exchange between the host of a network news commentary program and a member of Congress. Be sure to strap on your helmet and elbow pads before watching this one.

Bill O’Reilly, of FOX’s O’Reilly Factor, has called for Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts to step down from his position as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee because of a now-clear failure of oversight of the nation’s banking industry.

This doesn’t make for the smoothest stage for an interview, like the one O’Reilly conducted of Frank on his show last night.  O’Reilly really gets nasty and calls Frank a coward..

“Shouldn’t everybody in the country be angry with you right now?” O’Reilly asked Frank, setting the tone for that rough stage.  Barney Frank would not be bullied-he fought back..

(H/T The Swamp)

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Bill O’Reilly & Mark Levine Attack Each Other

Right-Wing Attack Dogs Turn on Each Other.  The Young Turks have long sound bites of Bill O’Reilly blaming George W. Bush for this melt-down.  Mark Levine weighs in with rants and raves back at Bill.  It has got to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen between the two of them.. Listen as the Right-Wingers duke it out on the airwaves.