Oh, walnuts ...Like so many McCain campaign disasters -- choosing Phil "Poor People Suck" Gramm as financial adviser or announcing a press conference on an oil rig during a hurricane -- it probably seemed like a terrific idea at the time: Harass Barack Obama into embarking on an international fact-finding mission thing, which would obviously provide so many embarrassing gaffes and make Americans scared to death of the Boy Muslim President.

Instead, Obama has turned the world into an exciting and hopeful background for his candidacy. Here's what we've noticed, so far:

  • The U.S. troops in Afghanistan endorse his plans there.
  • ... Where he also made a three-pointer from way downtown on his first try.
  • The Iraqi government endorses his plan over the Bush/McCain non-plan.
  • He struts around without body armor, a foot taller than everybody else -- in painful contrast to Ol' Walnuts looking like a Kevlar burrito wearing an old lady's sun hat.
  • The hawkish Israelis say, "Hey, this fellow will let us nuke Iran, too. We like him fine."
  • The saner Israelis say, "Hey, maybe this guy isn't such a one-note warmonger and might actually accomplish something over here."
  • The Jordanians say, "Welcome, Mr. Cool. Our king will drive you around and you guys can figure everything out."
  • Germany's Angela Merkel pronounces him "well-equipped — physically, mentally and politically."
  • The Palestinians make him a bagel!

Meanwhile, McCain has bumbled and stumbled from one fuckup to another. He doesn't know where Iraq is, he doesn't know when his precious Surge started, the magic sheiks his polices protected were murdered by Al Qaeda a year ago, he whines about the media following Obama's epic trip, the trip McCain forced Obama to make.

Meanwhile, the NYT says "no thanks" to McCain's crappy op-ed while his idiot staffers book him atop an offshore oil platform during a hurricane and cancel his one serious press conference of the week. It is all frantic and weird.

McCain Makes the Biggest Political Mistake of Our Lifetimes [Matt Littman/HuffPo]

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The Church of Scientology had some thoughts about Our Robyn's piece, Who Wants To Watch A Creepy White Guy Rap About Scientology? We had some thoughts about their thoughts.

Thanks for writing in, Scientology! As you doubtless realized when you didn't demand we take down our story, but requested it instead, our opinions of your weird cult and that poor young man's rap skills are protected by the First Amendment. (I learned about libel law in college and grad school but also on the job: I was in newspapers so long that I was actually colleagues with Tony Ortega -- about whom you sound quite "venomous" and "biased" -- at the very same newspaper chain you can't believe he defended! Next up, please show your due diligence by talking trash about a woman you didn't know was my mom.)

Also, a lot of your former members say on the record that you kidnap people, and stalk them, and harass them, and sometimes beat them up good, and I request that if so, fucking stop it.

The rest of you click the headline, if you want your OPEN THREAD.

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Monday's Trump-Putin press conference landed on the entire free world like a hot treason-shaped turd, didn't it? Congressional Republicans have been saying mean things about it on Twitter, and even Fox News has been less than 100% supportive! The White House communications department obviously knew it had a crisis on its hands, what with how it's generally considered inappropriate for the leader of the free world to get on all fours in front of the Russian president and wag his tail and slobber with anticipation while he awaits his next marching orders. WOMP WOMP, etc.

So the comms department typed up a thing for the president to read aloud today at the beginning of his meeting with members of Congress, about how he was VERY SORRY he said one word incorrectly during the Putin presser. That's right, only one word of that whole fucking shitshow was wrong. All the rest of his traitor words were exactly what he meant to say.

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