Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Hey hey, all. Jude here.

If you'd like to add a something to our humble links list, let me know. I welcome recommendations to other news/politics weblogs, other people's hometown newspapers, new sports resources (hopefully free), or other interesting Internet goodness.

Also, I'll be taking suggestions for improving (that is, removing existing links that you might really find odious) our current links list.

However, if you just write to bitch about Jeremy, that's too goddamn bad. He stays.

In addition, I reserve the right, independent of Jon, to veto any link submitted that is (by my standards) too right-wing. If you send me a link to FreeRepublic, or TownHall, or Little Green Footballs, I will find you and kick you in the groin.

You heard me.

So fire away! We always welcome suggestions here at Punch and Jude.



Tuesday, September 28, 2004

free ipod?

You say it's too good to be true? No, Jon, ipods cost hundreds of dollars and are one of the trendiest items on the market.

Well they are giving them away. My friend Donnie has done this and RECIEVED HIS FREE IPOD.

The catch you ask? Well they want email addresses so they can spam you. But who doesn't get spam anyway, right? So you sign up and then sign up for one of the offers. When I signed up a couple of months ago, one of the offers was to sign up for Ebay and bid on one item. This is the offer I chose. I bid on an Atlanta Braves bobbledhead doll ($4.50) but I lost the item (shucks). The freeipod site verified my bid and those of four other friends of Donnie's. Then they sent him an ipod.

So it is virtually pain free. I know it seems like a scam, but it isn't. I was as skeptical as they come at first, but now, thanks to Donnie, I believe.

Ebay will ask for a credit card number, I didn't complete this part, and as an alternative, they allowed me to use a ISP email address. Any school or work email address will work.

Clicking on my link and completing the requirements will help me get a free ipod. Please hook me up and get started on getting your free ipod.

Update: apparently the ebay link is not available. But there are other offers that will not cost you anything but a little time. I'm sure it's worth it.


Jude really took us to school with the history lesson below regarding elections. Take a look at Vanity Fair's article about the 2000 U.S. election and the Flordia circus. It really takes you back. Most of the items discussed have been talked about here and plenty of other blogs, but VF has an interesting take on things because of extensive commentary from Supreme Court clerks.

Thanks to VC's Orin Kerr who also links to commentary.

Hail To The King, Baby

For those of you who subscribe to Salon, you should always read King Kaufman's Sports Daily.

Kaufman has what is undoubtedly the best sports commentary and analysis available. And he's funnier than all hell, too.

For instance, today he talked about the senseless murder of a timeout in last night's Monday Night Football game. Here's a small excerpt:

You'll find plenty of typists and chatterers typing and chattering that the Redskins were unable to stop the clock because they'd failed on a challenge, which burns a timeout, after having been "forced to use" two timeouts on a third-quarter drive. This is like my saying I was unable to make my last mortgage payment because I'd been forced to spend all my money on hookers.

Isn't that great?

If you don't have a Salon subscription, you have three options:

a) get one,
b) click through the ads each day to use their "day pass," or
c) mooch off of a friend who was kind enough to tell you her password (thanks, Sara!).

In addition to King Kaufman, Salon has Tom Tomorrow's cartoons, news, and great analysis (from Joe Conason, Eric Boehlert, Sidney Blumenthal, Arianna Huffington, and others). So it's probably worth the thirty-five bucks a year.

Unless you know Sara.

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David Brooks Is An Idiotic, Lying, Disingenuous Asshole

That's right. And, although I don't have any direct evidence of it, I'd be willing to bet that he beats up cute little fuzzy puppies, too.

In an absolutely stunning display of mendacity and intellectual dishonesty, Brooks today compares the upcoming elections in Iraq and Afghanistan to Salvadoran elections in the 1980's. Brooks plays us all for fools--he doesn't expect any of us to know anything about Salvadoran history (and, indeed, it is doubtful that he knows anything about it, either).

Here's some of his atrocious piece:

Conditions were horrible when Salvadorans went to the polls on March 28, 1982. The country was in the midst of a civil war that would take 75,000 lives. An insurgent army controlled about a third of the nation's territory. Just before election day, the insurgents stepped up their terror campaign. They attacked the National Palace, staged highway assaults that cut the nation in two and blew up schools that were to be polling places.

Yet voters came out in the hundreds of thousands. In some towns, they had to duck beneath sniper fire to get to the polls. In San Salvador, a bomb went off near a line of people waiting outside a polling station. The people scattered, then the line reformed. "This nation may be falling apart," one voter told The Christian Science Monitor, "but by voting we may help to hold it together."

Conditions were scarcely better in 1984, when Salvadorans got to vote again. Nearly a fifth of the municipalities were not able to participate in the elections because they were under guerrilla control. The insurgents mined the roads to cut off bus service to 40 percent of the country. Twenty bombs were planted around the town of San Miguel. Once again, people voted with the sound of howitzers in the background.

Yet these elections proved how resilient democracy is, how even in the most chaotic circumstances, meaningful elections can be held.

They produced a National Assembly, and a president, José Napoleón Duarte. They gave the decent majority a chance to display their own courage and dignity. War, tyranny and occupation sap dignity, but voting restores it.

The elections achieved something else: They undermined the insurgency. El Salvador wasn't transformed overnight. But with each succeeding election into the early 90's, the rebels on the left and the death squads on the right grew weaker, and finally peace was achieved, and the entire hemisphere felt the effects.

How big of an asshole is Brooks?

A gigantic one.

To begin with, he notes that el Salvador faced and "insurgent army" conducting a "terror campaign." In truth, el Salvador was beset by a bloody, awful, twelve-year-long civil war. There was, to be sure, an "insurgent army," but Brooks doesn't expect you to know that the insurgency (a fancy word for "rebellion" that doesn't have any positive connotations) existed in response to a right-wing military government that lived and breathed oppression. He also doesn't mention that, this being Central America, the right-wing military government was aided and supported by--you guessed it--the United States. As for the "terror campaign," well, as noted, the country was wracked by a civil war, the kind of conflict least known for civility. However, if one is going to count the sins of each side, the "terror campaign" conducted by the military government was one for the record books. Simply look at, say, the el Mozote massacre, the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero (who was killed while celebrating mass in the chapel of a cancer hospital, for chrissakes), the rape and murder of four American nuns, or the tortures at the Mariona prison. All of these atrocities and terrorist actions are the responsibility of the right-wing government and its notorious death squads, financed, armed, and trained by the United States.

Well, that pretty much takes care of the terror. There is, however, more to say about the insurgency. For example, what about those 1982 and 1984 elections, which Brooks seems to think brought peace to a troubled country (I mention now that Brooks, lying asshole that he is, provides no context of why the country was troubled--it's all about the politics of feudal Central America, coffee, and the Monroe Doctrine, and that's something that you need to look at yourself sometime) and took the fight out of the left-wing rebels. Well, his assertion is bullshit. He tries to paint Duarte as some sort of latter-day Bolivar, but that's just not the case. Duarte was actually part of the ruling junta for two years, from March 1980 until the elections of March 1982. He joined after a coup overthrew the right-wing military government in 1979. That revolutionary group formed a provisional government for three years, until the country was stable enough to hold elections. The situation in 1979/1980 was just too damned chaotic to allow for democratic elections. So, in the time of the provisional government, some of the right-wing military types were actually part of the "insurgent army" (Naturally, there wasn't just one--many of the left-wing guerrillas were not happy with the provisional government, and did not lay down their arms--the Duarte junta then used right-wing paramilitary groups to wage war on the recalcitrant guerrillas. Confusing, ain't it?), since the actual authorities were somewhat friendly, at least nominally, to a number of left-wing causes. He didn't just sweep into office in two waves of democracy and then miraculously end the civil war. Duarte joined the successful coup faction once they were in power. A great deal of the bombing and mining and shooting done during the 1982 and 1984 elections was done by the goddamn right-wing death squads that the Reagan Administration supported at every turn. Think about that shit for a minute.

Brooks also doesn't mention that Duarte was forced into exile in the 1970's because of his agitation for democracy. Who was resistant to the will of the people? That's right. The US-backed dictatorship. For the record, Duarte's faction was known as the Christian Democratic Party (PDC). For those of you who, like me, went to public schools, that means that the United States was officially opposed to both Christianity and democracy in el Salvador. USA! USA!

Also, Duarte's elections did not end the war. The war lasted from 1979 to 1992. Duarte's government turned out to be just as godawfully repressive as the previous military rule had been--he could not control the military (his government was, after all, kept in place by the military, with the assent of the large landholders). The guerrillas finally got the upper hand when international and domestic pressure forced the administration of Bush the Smarter to suspend all aid to the right-wing government (that had "won" elections in 1989), after which the rebel armies stepped up their attacks. Forced to deal with the rebels without US aid, the right-wing government of Alfredo Cristiani invited them to the bargaining table (it was either that or be overthrown). They were eventually recognized as legitimate political actors in el Salvador, and the country has been at peace since 1992. Brooks, the colossal shithead, does not mention the suspension of US aid at all. He says that "with each succeeding election into the early 90's, the rebels on the left and the death squads on the right grew weaker, and finally peace was achieved." Nonsense.

I'll bet that Brooks believes in magic, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy, too. What the fuck? Somehow, elections magically made warring factions weaker? What an asshole. Though he did finally get around to mentioning the death squads (naturally, he leaves out the little fact that they received over a decade of US support).

Anyway, the situation in el Salvador cannot be compared to the one in Afghanistan or Iraq. Afghanistan is a loose association of often-warring fiefdoms. Hamid Karzai is little more than the mayor of Kabul, and he probably will never be more than that. Speaking of elections there, Bush goes around the country bragging about how over ten million "Afghanis" have registered to vote, but he fails to mention that there are only about 9.5 million eligible voters in the whole country. Oops!

As for Iraq, well, the insurgency there isn't so much directed at an oppressive, right-wing, US-supported government as it is the US army. As we set up our puppet state fully, however, it will absorb more of the attacks. And, when we leave, it will fall. There may be elections in Iraq this winter, but you can guarantee that a US-friendly government will be in power following them.

One more thing--South Vietnam had elections, too. Somehow, our buddies there never lost, even though they were about as popular as an Andre the Giant-administered prostate exam.

David Brooks is an asshole of the highest order. I'll bet he has an eighth-degree black belt in assholery.

In case you want something good to read from today's NYT op-ed page, check out Paul Krugman. His piece will make you angry, but for different reasons.

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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Running On Faith

Since we're referencing songs today, why not?

Check this out:

Image hosting via our good friend Errol.


Oooh Baby, Baby It's A Wild World

Yes, if you wanna leave, do take good care. Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, was denied entry to the United States recently.

That's right, the singer of "Peace Train," founder of schools, and well-known peace activist was labeled a terrorist. This is pretty silly.

While, as Juan Cole notes (and USA Today points out), Stevens/Islam has made some pro-Khomeini fatwa remarks in the past, he has strongly condemned Islamist terrorism.

I guess the most appropriate Cat Stevens song to reference right now would be "Trouble."

Is this kind of shit really the best way to spend our tax dollars for "Homeland Security"? By detaining a fucking peace activist/singer??? Aren't there some scary terrorists out there that need to be locked up?

Speaking of which, here's today's quiz question: How many terror convictions has the Ashcroft Justice Department manage to get and then make stick?

Answer: Zero. None. Not a single fucking one. Thousands and thousands of people have been detained and arrested, and there has not been ONE GODDAMN CONVICTION that has stood up. The Reno Justice Department, under President Clinton, arrested and got good convictions for the 1993 WTC bombers--they're still in prison.

Mr "Tough-on-Terra" Bush's administration has been, in this area like so many others, a total and complete failure.

UPDATE: Of course, other sources have been all over this. Atrios, as always, is on top of things, pointing us to TalkLeft for a far better summary of the Bush Administration's dismal record of terror prosecution than anyone could ever hope to find here.

Huzzah for the incumbent!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Thank goodness the Republicans are after Dan Rather and CBS. Why shouldn't they be, right? I mean, the media has an enormous responsibility. They have a duty to report the news in a neutral, balanced way. To not distort facts to reflect their own personal political beliefs. To check up on documents and sources and make sure that the information provided is not only reliable, but impervious to attacks by those who want to refute the conclusions made by your investigative reports. The media has a great responsibility because we, as a nation, depend on them to inform us so we can accurately decide who should lead our nation.

But why are those who are so skeptical about the intentions of Rather and CBS (the liberal media) so trusting of the Bush administration? Anyone remember why we went to war? Of course, we all do. But Bush didn't lie about that did he? He didn't distort facts to reflect his own personal political belief. He checked up on documents and sources to make sure that the information provided was reliable. The administrative branc has great responsibility because we, as a nation, depend on it to:

1. not send our country to war because of a mistake

2. Not destroy a nation and kill thousands of innocent civilians and American soldiers because we THOUGHT they MIGHT have weapons that COULD POSSIBLY harm America.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about preventing America from being attacked. But while the rest of the civilized world was saying "Hey, let's get the facts straight," America was gung ho. But oh well, what's a little misinformation, right? Damn, Dan Rather screwed up too.


Saturday, September 18, 2004

I just had to publish this one

Here's an AP story about Macaulay Culkin getting arrested for possession. Not suprised by that? Ok what about this. He was in Oklahoma City.

"It also was not clear why Culkin was in Oklahoma City." Translation: Why the hell would he be in Oklahoma City.

I don't know why, I just thought it was funny.


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Been A Long Time

It has, hasn't it?

I know I've gone missing for a while. I had some contemplating to do.



You know, the sort of thing that those in power mock openly.

Anyway, I turn thirty today.



It sounds like a disease.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Johnson. This is never easy to say."

"What is it, doctor?"

"You've got thirty."

"Ahhh! No! Will it get better?"

"Sorry, but no. It's terminal. We can only try to make you comfortable in the time you've got left."

Yeah. Something like that.

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Thursday, September 09, 2004


Eugene's on a roll today talking about the anti-rightist media and semiautomatic assault weapons bans.


Tuesday, September 07, 2004

That Liberal Media

Ok, this time it really is liberal media, but it's really damn good.

Fantasy Football

Ah yes, I'm settling in to the new fantasy season like a soothing mineral-salt footbath. With the second selection I was able to nab Priest Holmes, far and away the points leader from a year ago. The entire squad shapes out as follows:

M. Bulger (StL - QB)
T. Holt (StL - WR)
S. Moss (NYJ - WR)
C. Chambers (Mia - WR)
P. Holmes (KC - RB)
C. Dillon (NE - RB)
L. Smith (Phi - TE)
C. Garner (TB - RB)
R. Wayne (Ind - WR)
W. McGahee (Buf - RB)
J. Harrington (Det - QB)
D. Driver (GB - WR)
Ro. Williams (Det - WR)
N. Davenport (GB - RB)

New Englands defense rounds out the squad nicely, though I still need to pick up a kicker. Not many left, not even Matt Stover who had a couple of 18 point games for me last year near the end of the season. I'll probably drop Davenport to pick up a K unless Ahman Green goes down with an injury in practice this week.

Jude, whose team name happens to be "The Scourge of Jon", was drafting a couple spots behind me and ended up with some nice acquisitions. Clinton Portis and Stephen Davis give him a nice backfield and Boo Williams is a great TE. But the bottomline is that he'll get spanked by yours truly.

The Catholic Party

Thanks to Kelly for this one, a Detroit article about a Vatican statement saying its "ok" to vote for Catholics to vote for a pro-choice candidate as long as that candidate is "right" on other issues (presumably such issue as opposing a war that was also opposed by the Catholic Church).

I think that this is a good thing for the Vatican, because too often abortion has become "The Issue" for voters. Supposedly this is because the President gets to appoint Supreme Court Justices, but that isn't a good indicator of policy change. For one, it is getting increasingly hard to appoint Judges and Justices to any federal bench (Clarence Thomas, Charles Pickering). The Senate can do a lot to prevent nominations from getting far and sometimes the nominations implode before they get anywhere (see Zoe Baird).

But most importantly, no one knows how a person will rule when a case comes to the bench. There are too many factors. It doesn't matter if you are pro-choice are pro-life when you hear a case. The only thing that matters is the law, in this case the Constitution, and what the law says about an issue. No one thought Roe v. Wade would stand when O'Connor came to the bench, but she upheld it.

So maybe Catholics who feel a need to protect the needy, innocent, vulnerable, and poor will focus more on those who aren't in the womb thanks to this little statement.


Thursday, September 02, 2004

What did Cheney leave out?

Everything. After continually chastising Kerry for running on a "I'm not Bush" platform, Cheney came out and said "We aren't liberal." Forget about what the administration plans to do about the increasing disparity between rich and poor in this country. Forget about Iraq. Forget about job loss.

Anyway. Here's a good recap from Slate.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Ok, ok. So we haven't exactly been keeping up with the site lately. I think Jude was just trying to give me a taste of my own medicine. But medicine is just what I need (according to Dr. Nabil). Apparently I have a bacterial infection that is producing lots of mucus in my nose. Sorry if I got too technical there.

In addition, I've been in the process of moving. Which is the worst thing in the entire world. Moving in Boston on Sptember 1st is so horribly painful I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

I also had a job interview today. For those of you who don't know, you're entire future is set in stone after the first year of law school. Damn, I knew I should have worked harder. Oh well, I'll cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Speaking of hoping for the best, the Sports Guy gives us a little hope here. Raise a glass to the Indians (I still giggle about the non-PC-ness of that name) for this one.

In the meantime, I'll see if I can figure out what happened to Jude.