The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

GURU's GUIDE RIDE to Joys of Saturdays' past ...

The Beginner’s Guide to Cary Coatney’s Saturday Morning Cartoon DVD Binge

Current mood: cheerful


As long time readers of this blog can attest - I take my Saturday morning cartoons very seriously. This is a routine ritual that I partake every Saturday A.M. (or early afternoon depending when I wake my ass up after a hard enduring work week) without FAIL!! No matter where I may be in the United States or abroad I always have my trusty portable DVD player with me in a tote bag and a special container that holds up to 16 DVDs - and I think I've been doing this ever since the invention of portable DVD player if I remember right. Even Ms. Sex in Stilettoes had commented to me when we first met up in San Francisco for Wonder Con - "Golly, for a slightly paunchy middle-aged guy, you sure do watch a lot of cartoons!!"

Goddamn right, I do.

So what I'm about to present to you is what's currently going in and out of my portable DVD player (AKA - The Cary Coatney Channel) these past few weekends - and this weekend since I will be up early in the A.M. en route via the Amtrak, I will be taking my special blend of homemade programming with me consisting of:

1. Cartoon Classics - I happened to pick this up at all places: at a WAL-MART during my last holiday visit in Las Vegas to my dad's house. It was on sale for $6.00 and at that price, there was no excuse not to pass it up. I watch like three cartoons on this collection per week, so that it will last me about a year and it's tiding me over until Warner Bros releases the last of their Looney Tunes collection. Includes some rare good Betty Boop Max Fleisher cartoons, along with some early Casper and Baby Huey Harveytoons, and old Three Stooges cartoons from the early sixties that I remember watching when I was a kid. I also like watching these old cartoons for their historical value such as the Felix the Cat cartoons that were produced in an era before 'talkies' became chic.

2. SPIDER-MAN Bootlegger copy of the entire 1994-1998 series that also includes the Ultimate Spider-man series that was loosely based on the Spider-man 2099 comic book series. Never got to see the entire series because it was usually pre-empted by Baseball when it ran on the Fox station out here in Los Angeles. As for the original Fox Kids series - just as the 5th season series was winding down - the network failed to inform its' fans of the series that the series ran the last few remaining handful of episodes on weekdays rather than Saturday morning - in which the finale had Stan Lee as God and thus ending the series with Spider-man swinging his way into the sunset as to serve as a metaphor for death or something wacked out familiarly downplayed for all the little kiddies. I still remember how at the time when this series had a sneak peek of it's premiere episode just before the Northridge Earthquake hit, my best friend Joe Zullo and I were living together in Tarzana getting so 'stoked' that Spider-Man was getting the BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES treatment. The high didn't last so long as the series started to delve into such convoluted drawn out story arcs dealing with The Punisher, Blade The Vampire Hunter and Morbius the Living Vampire ( Hey kids - AK-47's and Fangs!) that just seemed to take forever to end. I purchased the entire series on DVD at last year's San Diego Convention from a bootleg dealer for a measley $25.00 and at one episode per week since then- I'm just scratching the surface on the 5th season opener. I probably got another half a year to go before I retire this collection.

3. THE FANTASTIC FOUR - WORLD's GREATEST TEAM The entire 2006 Fantastic Four series that never completed its' original 26 episode run on Cartoon Network is now available as a 4 disc set from Fox. Includes the nine episodes that never made it on television of which two feature the Sub Mariner. It took me a while to warm up to this series - it kept reminding me too much as if it was one of those Adult Swim anime series that I may tuned into by mistake - but as soon as I started to purchase the individual volumes that had three or four episodes per disc I started to warm up to it. It sort of takes place during the movie continuity ( which is probably why Fox is distributing the box set) which has Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm bickering and has them try to out do each other in whose praticial jokes is better played on each other. upon further inspection, it seems as if they based the series bible on the Mark Waid and Mike Wierringo (R.I.P) run in the Marvel comic book from five years back. I really like the voice of Thing which seems to get the naunces of uttering "IT's CLOBBERIN' TIME !!" just the way I hear it said in my head. I really enjoy the Doctor Doom episodes and the guest star episodes featuring IRON MAN, ANT MAN, and in my opinion - the HULK and THING battle in one epsiode is the best I ever seen animated. Upon further research, I was befuddled to discover that the animation was actually done by a French studio called Moonscoop - who I believe is currently handling the reins for the upcoming Iron Man animated series slated to premiere next spring on NICKTOONS. ( uh oh - I don't have that on my TIVO)

4. STARGATE: INFINITY Kinda regretted picking this one up. Really has nothing to do with the live action series at all. I think I picked it at Amoeba Records because it was on sale for half price than where I saw it being sold at either Best Buy or Fry's Electronics. I do give it kudos on the coloring - it' s dazzling to look at - but you get real generatic voice and generatic story-telling for your trouble. I usually find myself nodding off during most episodes.

5. SAM AND MAX: FREELANCE POLICE Good gem of a series that I never got around to catching the first time it aired on Fox Kids. By today's standards- it wouldn't be out of place on Adult Swim. There are enough jokes on here that would go over most kids' heads as it pertains to political humor. Even during its' original run back in 1997 - Al Gore was even being poked fun of. I only watch half a episode a week. ( Most episodes consisted of two ten minute stories).

6. FRISKY DINGO I've been trying to get Editor Santos weened on this series. I only have two episodes left to go on the Season One Disc, so I'll be lending it to him after I'm finished. I keep telling him that THIS is just as good as the VENTURE BROS. It's got spies, plenty of femme fatales with derogatory names, along with a fine assortment of mutants and creatures including the main antagonist, the androgenic alien masochist Killface . It even has Barnaby Jones running around naked in it. It's sort of a spoof on superheroes, monster movies, and alien invasions wrapped a real clever homage to Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Brought to you by those same guys who brought us SEALAB 2021 ( as the first episode clearly states)

7. THE BATMAN SEASON FIVE Not really one of my favorite animated takes on the character - but the last season had a bunch of DC guest stars such as the Flash and Hawkman - but rendered in that horrendous Jackie Chan Adventures style. It's just to tide me over until Warner Bros officially releases the Filmation collection of the Justice League and Teen Titans cartoon shorts from the 1960's sometime next month.

8. TEEN TITANS - SEASON FIVE Yayyyyy! Finally the fifth season is out on DVD. I didn't get to see a lot of these - but I'm sure as hell as enjoying the Doom Patrol guest star episodes at the moment! Teen Titans is a very unique animated show, despite all it's apparent anime overtones and influences I've always felt that it was a real sophisicated and strategically written show. It's no suprise that one of the lead writers on this show David Slack is now a story editor on the longest running NBC drama, Law & Order.

9. BIRDS OF PREY - THE COMPLETE SERIES I know this one is a live action tv series that was once produced by the makers of SMALLVILLE and the once aborted AQUAMAN tv pilot -plus I already have all the episodes on videotape - but I went and bought this last week at Best Buy only because of the special features included which has the entire Flash animated 'GOTHAM GIRLS' series that was only once accessible through the Warner Bros website. GOTHAM GIRLS was a series of five minute animated shorts that starred the entire female characters from the BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES - such as Harlequin, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman who were always being pursued or having their plans foiled by BATGIRL. As far as the live series goes: I do have an amusing story to tell about lead actress Ashley Scott - who I had a chance to hang out with on the Warner Bros lot during the time I was employed there. But maybe I'll talk more about it next time. Due to time constraints, I don't time to reminiscent about it now. For the only Batman incarnation I have time to talk about right now rather than the new Dark Knight movie is:

10. BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT Absolutely mind blowing!! Perfect companion to the Dark Knight film. For some reason, I can't gobble all this at once - since it's broken down into six chapters and since each chapter represents a short story all in itself ( the producers say that all the interlocking stories somehow form into one big epic) - I'm only absorbing one per week. The stories and animation is just simply flawlessly breathtaking - IT's no less than what I expect from Warner Bros animated feature presentations that go straight to DVD these days ( and they have no fear of losing money on these - they sell them by the truckload. I've recently read that they've nearly sold 500, 000 units of this new movie already since it's release before the Dark Knight movie opened). I've only watched two of the chapters so far, and the producers are right: there are some subplots that carry over from the new movie into this feature - specifically Commissioner Gordon's story arc. I should take this out to Vegas and show some of it to my dad. He probably dig it as he accustomed to watch some of these with me ( although he probably piss a kidney stone upon Sam & Max or Frisky Dingo) .

Since I devour these an episode at a time- Watching all these in chunks per week only lasts approximately three hours each Saturday sans commericals.

Currently watching :
DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures
Release date: By 2008-08-12

1:47 PM - 1 Comments - 2 Kudos - Add Comment -

Weeeha! For the record Venture Bros for the Win!

Posted by Sparky on Jul 26, 2008 10:52 PM

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sparky camps HuffPoCo once more —>

RSS HUFFPOCO: Bob Cesca: The Barbeque Media Wants Senator Obama To Win? That's Rich.

Posted July 24, 2008 | 05:25 PM (EST)

Barack Obama, John McCain, Mccain Media Bias Ad, Media Bias, Media Bias Mccain, Media Bias Obama, Politics News
As we have observed throughout the last several years, the notion of fairness in journalism has been guided by a miscalculated rule that in order to report good news about a liberal or a liberal success, news reporting has to be counterbalanced either with unearned praise for conservatives or trumped up and parroted negative news about the aforementioned liberal or liberal success. Oh, and the reverse doesn't apply. That's the rule.

And so now that Senator Obama's Berlin address is in the can, get ready for the backlash from the very serious corporate media. Get ready for profuse around-the-clock praise of Senator McCain and/or unfair, invented criticism of Senator Obama. Because reporting the news, however accurate, about Senator Obama's successful trip to the Middle East and Europe isn't news. It's obviously biased reporting against the McCain campaign.

That's all we've heard from the McBush Republicans this week: griping about the press coverage of Senator Obama's trip, as if such an epic event isn't newsworthy. Although I'm sure the McBush camp would've been thrilled about such wall-to-wall coverage if Reverend Wright had been spazzing out on the wing of the Obama campaign jet, ripping it to shreds Twilight Zone style -- Rezko and Ayers running around in turbans spray-painting "clinging to guns" on the side of General Petraeus' helicopter.

And it appears as if the McCain campaign's Gripe Surge is working:

HANNITY: Scott Rasmussen has a poll, 49 percent of Americans think the media is trying to help Barack Obama win. Only 14 percent think they're trying to help you win.

MCCAIN: The American people are very wise.

When the press aired the Wright videos around the clock for approximately six weeks while continuing to refer to Senator Obama as "Osama bin Laden," they've clearly been employing some kind of magic or trickery -- some kind of scary reverse psychology. You know, to help Senator Obama. Thankfully the American people were "wise" to it.

The McCain campaign even turned their griping into a web video this week to prove that the corporate media loves Senator Obama more than they love Senator McCain. Setting aside the idea of a web video from the campaign of a man who is just now learning how to "get online," it's staggeringly desperate and ridiculous of them to produce such a thing. Reason the first: because the content of the video, apart from Chris Matthews "leg thrill" remark, is mostly just reporters saying things like, Is the media in love with Obama? which, of course, doesn't prove a damn thing one way or the other. And, reason the second: because this other web video exists:

But several days of crotchety griping from both far-right talk radio and the McCain campaign has begun to show results. Here's how.

On Tuesday's edition of Morning Joe, Mika Brzeznski, Andrea Mitchell and Very Serious Mark Halperin (who publicly encouraged Senator McCain to convince people that Senator Obama is a terrorist) agreed that after three days of reporting the actual news that Senator Obama's overseas visit was successful, they should deliberately attempt to "trip him up" -- to "hold him accountable." Oh yeah? For what? We're gonna hold him accountable for not screwing the pooch on this trip -- the rat bastard! We're very serious! Barack's a Muslim terrorist [Halperin only]!

Then CBS News, showing its obvious penchant for wanting Senator Obama to win, edited out Senator McCain's laughable error with regards to the Anbar Awakening -- another in an on-going syllabus of McCain ignorance, which further proves that he's really not the Mighty Old Man of Awesome Foreign Policy Experience and Balls. Suggesting that there's such a thing as an Iraq/Pakistan border in a Today Show interview on Monday didn't help either.

But as the rule goes, the only way the corporate press (Olbermann, Maddow and the like excluded) can make a beef about these things would be to find a similar gaffe or mistake by Senator Obama and report on that first. And since nothing recent exists... Pass! Next!

And today, the word of the day in the corporate press is... presumptuous. Used in a sentence: Senator Obama is being presumptuous during his trip -- acting all presidential and dignified. How dare he be presidential while running for, you know, president. Presumptuous. During the live CNN web feed of the Berlin address, an anchor used it to describe the event. Joe Klein used it in a blog post today. Of course Joe attributed it to racist voters rather than very serious reporters -- racist because it's presumably a synonym for 'uppity' and we can't accuse the press of such awfulness. And Candy Crowley used it in her post-address analysis on CNN. That's a lot of coincidences. "Presumptuous" must really be a popular word. Odd that it's being used so often by people who want Senator Obama to win.

AP: "In a speech that risked being seen as presumptuous..."

TIME Magazine: "capable to become the Commander in Chief of a superpower -- without seeming presumptuous..."

The National Journal: "He is well aware voters here at home might see that as presumptuous..."

Washington Post: "Whether by the end of this week he will be seen as presumptuous or overly cocky..."

Chicago Tribune: "That means walking the fine line between looking presidential and appearing arrogant and presumptuous..."

Boston Globe: "plus the growing sense in some quarters that the presumptive Democratic nominee is getting a little presumptuous..."

Can you feel the wanting-Obama-to-win love radiating off your computer screen? No?

The reality is that positive coverage of any Democrat is limited and temporary for fear of networks and newspapers either being accused of liberal bias or being tossed out of the very serious barbeque loop. Regardless of whether the Democrat, in this case Senator Obama, is having a good day, it's somehow unethical to report on such good news for too long without deliberately concocting an antidote to appease the far-right. So rather than standing up as the only industry explicitly named in the Constitution and defending the very basic idea of journalistic integrity, the corporate media is all too quick to capitulate to these specious Republican attacks -- that is, when they're not tossing their ethics aside and taking bribes in the form of barbeque and McBusch beer from a candidate whom they're supposed to be covering objectively.

Bob Cesca's Goddamn Awesome Blog! Go!

HuffPoCo: Eric Alterman: Suprised to be Surprised

This year I promised myself not to be surprised by how awful our election coverage is, no matter how awful it is. How awful is it?

Well, this WSJ op-ed is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. Richard V. Allen, who was forced out of the Reagan administration for alleged incompetence and corruption, complains that Barack Obama is insufficiently experienced in foreign policy to be president. This is a stupid argument in the first place, but just out of curiosity, how does Allen deal with Bush's level of experience? Here it is: "George W. Bush, of course, had virtually no international experience, yet was able to rally the nation in response to 9/11."

Gee, that was tough. Kermit the Frog could have rallied the nation in response to 9/11, and I'm betting he would done a hell of a better job than Bush, (who, by the way, evidence indicates, appears to have experienced a kind of emotional breakdown in the wake of the attack and had to be kept hidden from public view).

Shame on Stanford University's Hoover Institution for giving this joker an office.


To read the rest of today's Altercation, click here.

Here's the Wall Street Op piece.

Obama's Experience Doesn't Match Up

July 24, 2008; Page A15

Heading off on his week-long, high-profile tour of seven countries, Barack Obama defined the first part of the trip's purpose by telling reporters, "I want to, obviously, talk to the commanders and get a sense, both in Afghanistan and in Baghdad of . . . what . . . their biggest concerns are."

While the Iraqi effort is almost exclusively American now, Afghanistan is a NATO mission. Sen. Obama, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on European and NATO affairs, had never visited Afghanistan, and has not bothered to hold a hearing of the subcommittee covering the countries for which it bears legislative oversight responsibility.

[Obama's Experience Doesn't Match Up]
Sen. Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus at Baghdad International Airport, July 21.

How does Mr. Obama's foreign policy résumé compare with the preparation of past presidential candidates?

Richard Nixon gathered vast international experience in extensive travels as vice president under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Following his 1960 loss to John F. Kennedy, Nixon made long trips to virtually every corner of the globe, quietly meeting with leaders and others from many walks of life. In October 1967 he published an article in the quarterly Foreign Affairs, "Asia after Vietnam," sketching the broad outlines of a plan for Asia policy following the termination of hostilities in Vietnam. It included a broad hint of what later blossomed as his stunning 1971 "opening" to China.

Lyndon Johnson traveled far and wide in his years in the Senate and as majority leader. He was a strong proponent of a bipartisan foreign and national security policy. Along with extraordinary congressional Democrats like Sens. Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson (Wash.), Richard B. Russell (Ga.) and John Sparkman (Ala.), and Reps. Sam Rayburn (Texas), Clement Zablocki (Wis.) and Dante Fascell (Fla.), Johnson's support for many Eisenhower policies helped forge a bipartisan national consensus on critical issues.

Gerald Ford spent a quarter century in the House of Representatives, always in the minority. He too gained solid experience in his travels around the globe. He gained practical experience in the appropriations process, foreign affairs and defense.

Jimmy Carter assumed the presidency at a tumultuous moment in American political history, but with no significant foreign experience. Despite brokering an Egyptian-Israeli accord, the enduring Middle East crisis shows that even one major step doesn't lead to lasting peace. Mr. Carter badly misjudged Soviet intentions and capabilities, standing helplessly by as Soviet invaders crushed Afghanistan in 1979 and the U.S. ambassador was assassinated in Kabul. In November 1979, 52 U.S. diplomats were seized in Iran and held captive for 444 days.

In April 1980, Mr. Carter approved a disastrous, failed plan to rescue the hostages in Iran. It resulted in 12 American casualties and the resignation of his secretary of state, Cyrus Vance.

Ronald Reagan's response to the rescue attempt was moderate. For example, during that summer in the midst of campaigning, Reagan learned of another planned rescue attempt. He immediately sent an adviser to the White House to inform a top Carter aide that if the second attempt failed, he, Reagan, would not criticize the administration for trying.

Reagan never served in Congress. But while he was governor of California, President Nixon sent him on a special diplomatic mission in 1971 to confer with Taiwanese leaders upon Nixon's decision to support the People's Republic of China replacing Taiwan in the United Nations. Despite personal misgivings, Reagan carried out the mission.

One of Reagan's most important advantages by 1980 was the widespread notion that he was but "a B-grade movie actor" -- entirely scripted. In fact, he was a voracious reader, researcher and writer, and over the span of his career had publicly addressed practically every foreign and domestic public policy issue a president would confront.

Reagan's preparation prior to 1980 was methodical: There were 1978 trips to Japan and Taiwan, where he met quietly with leaders and others at length, to Iran and a meeting with the shah, and later that year to England, France and Germany. In Berlin, he stood by the Wall and declared to his companions, "We have to find a way to knock this thing down." Only as president nine years later would he venture to deliver a major speech at the Wall, accompanied by the Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Reagan's successor, George H.W. Bush, had experience in Congress, then as U.N. ambassador, U.S. representative in Beijing and director of Central Intelligence. In August 1980, during a campaign lull, Reagan sent Mr. Bush on a high-risk, private mission to Beijing, where he met with Deng Xiaoping to clarify what Reagan's China policy as president would be.

Bill Clinton had studied at Oxford and traveled widely. As governor of Arkansas he made overseas trips and met with foreign businessmen and leaders. George W. Bush, of course, had virtually no international experience, yet was able to rally the nation in response to 9/11.

John McCain has "hands-on" military, foreign policy and national security experience, starting in 1954 as a midshipman at Annapolis, seven years before Barack Obama was born. He has been in Congress since 1982.

So, when we hear about Barack Obama's extensive "experience" in foreign affairs, most of which will be recently acquired in a mere week of travel amid media fanfare, it should be judged in the context of the experience quotients of his predecessor candidates for the presidency.

Perhaps Mr. Obama will now decide to hold the very first hearing of his Senate subcommittee; after all, there would be extensive media coverage.

Mr. Allen, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, was Richard Nixon's foreign policy coordinator in 1968, Ronald Reagan's chief foreign policy adviser from 1977 to 1980, and Reagan's first national security adviser from 1981 to 1982.

What was the WSJ thinking?

Jon Stewart Explains The Difference Between Osama And Obama To Media: "Obama Has Only One Radical Muslim Wife" (VIDEO)

Jumping off a series of clips of pundits and TV hosts mixing up the names Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden, Jon Stewart laid out the differences between the president candidate and the terrorist leader on Wednesday night's "The Daily Show."

"Now, this is all Barack Obama's fault, obviously, for having a really ridiculous name," Stewart joked, before running a pictorial comparing the physical differences between the two.

"Here's some more," Stewart continued. "Barack Obama has only one radical Muslim wife. Between Obama and Osama, the Bush administration is putting massive resources into trying to defeat one of them [Obama]. And one of them was recently the subject of a scathing New Yorker cover [see below]. Ooh, they made Osama seem elitist!"

Video no longer available ...

Jon Stewart Jokes About Bob Novak's Hit-And-Run: "That's The Novak I Know And Despise!"

Read More:
Bob Novak, Bob Novak Pedestrian, Jon Stewart, Jon Stewart Bob Novak, Robert Novak Pedestrian, Media News
Wednesday night on "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart took some time to joke about Bob Novak's hit-and-run from earlier in the day

(where he struck a pedestrian with his black corvette and kept driving until a bicyclist stopped him).

While Stewart doesn't usually bring up Novak, as his show airs at 11PM and he doesn't want to upset his viewers' ability to fall asleep, he mentioned the pedestrian incident because he said it "perfectly encapsulates the true essence of the man."

"Yes, Robert Novak knew he did something wrong and he just didn't give a shit," Stewart said. "That's the Novak I know and despise!"


Cary should be nice and anonymous among the fans and geeks at SDCC promoting this:

There's a crack whore meth pusher and her pimp who want to kill Cary. Seriously. And the Torrance Police who tried to deliver a Restraing Order didn't think to question the Pimp's "wife" why he was still getting his mail at her place if he has been gone for two years. Lordy lordy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Sparky asks you to beg the geniuses behind Venture Bros to allow him to do a special sized "Blood Judo" shirt for us Brock-sized folks. Small one on front - big image on back ...

What Sparky needs is a clean copy of the art. Please for the love of God ask!

LZP: McCain Gets Iraq Wrong Again!

HuffPoCo: Ilan Goldenberg: Not a Gaffe: A Fundamental Misunderstanding of Iraq!

John McCain made a mistake this evening, which as far as I'm concerned, disqualifies him from being president. It is so appalling and so factually wrong that I'm actually sitting here wondering who McCain's advisers are. This isn't some gaffe where he talks about the Iraq-Pakistan border. It's a real misunderstanding of what has happened in Iraq over the past year. It is even more disturbing because according to John McCain, Iraq is the central front in the "war on terror." If we are going to have an Iraq-centric policy, he should at least understand what he is talking about. But anyway, what happened.

On Katie Couric tonight McCain says:

Kate Couric: Senator McCain, Senator Obama says, while the increased number of US troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What's your response to that?

McCain: I don't know how you respond to something that is as -- such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarlane [phonetic] was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history. Thanks to General Petraeus, our leadership, and the sacrifice of brave young Americans. I mean, to deny that their sacrifice didn't make possible the success of the surge in Iraq, I think, does a great disservice to young men and women who are serving and have sacrificed.

One problem. The surge wasn't even announced until a few months after the Anbar Awakening. Via Spencer Ackerman, here is Colonel MacFarland explaining the Anbar Awakening to Pam Hass of UPI, on September 29, 2006. That would be almost four months before the President even announced the surge. Petraeus wasn't even in Iraq yet.

With respect to the violence between the Sunnis and the al Qaeda -- actually, I would disagree with the assessment that the al Qaeda have the upper hand. That was true earlier this year when some of the sheikhs began to step forward and some of the insurgent groups began to fight against al Qaeda. The insurgent groups, the nationalist groups, were pretty well beaten by al Qaeda.

This is a different phenomena that's going on right now. I think that it's not so much the insurgent groups that are fighting al Qaeda, it's the -- well, it used to be the fence-sitters, the tribal leaders, are stepping forward and cooperating with the Iraqi security forces against al Qaeda, and it's had a very different result. I think al Qaeda has been pushed up against the ropes by this, and now they're finding themselves trapped between the coalition and ISF on the one side, and the people on the other.

And here is the NY Times talking about the Anbar Awakening back in March 2007.

The formation of the group in September shocked many Sunni Arabs. It was the most public stand anyone in Anbar had taken against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, which was founded by the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

And here is Colin Kahl in Foreign Affairs:

The Awakening began in Anbar Province more than a year before the surge and took off in the summer and fall of 2006 in Ramadi and elsewhere, long before extra U.S. forces started flowing into Iraq in February and March of 2007. Throughout the war, enemy-of-my-enemy logic has driven Sunni decision-making. The Sunnis have seen three "occupiers" as threats: the United States, the Shiites (and their presumed Iranian patrons), and the foreigners and extremists in AQI. Crucial to the Awakening was the reordering of these threats.

This is not controversial history. It is history that anyone trying out for Commander in Chief must understand when there are 150,000 American troops stationed in Iraq. It is an absolutely essential element to the story of the past two years. YOU CANNOT GET THIS WRONG. Moreover, what is most disturbing is that according to McCain's inaccurate version of history, military force came first and solved all of our problems. If that is the lesson he takes from the Anbar Awakening, I am afraid it is the lesson he will apply to every other crisis he faces including, for example, Iran.

This is just incredibly disturbing. I have no choice but to conclude that John McCain has simply no idea what is actually happened and happening in Iraq.

Update: It gets even better. Marc Lynch points me towards an article (PDF) that Col. MacFarland wrote summarizing his experiences in Anbar and how they helped turn the war in the Sunni parts of Iraq and started the Anbar Awakening. This is essentially the official military history. The timeframe he discusses is June 2006-February 2007. The first surge troops were just arriving as MacFarland and his men redeployed out of Anbar.

HuffPoCo: Ariana: Tell Me Again, Why Is Obama Being Popular With Our Allies a Bad Thing?

I understand why John McCain's campaign is desperately looking for negatives in Obama's overseas trip. But why have so many in the media internalized the McCain campaign's claptrap?

Here is the McCain line on Europe, delivered via Politico by a nameless campaign aide: "I don't know that people in Missouri are going to like seeing tens of thousands of Europeans screaming for The One."

And here was Gloria Borger on CNN, responding to Wolf Blitzer's assertion that Obama seemed to be on top of his game by pulling out the Straight Talk talking points (and leaving logic and rational thinking in a pile on the studio floor):

... as the McCain campaign points out, he can't appear to be seen as running for the president of Europe. He's going to be really cheered in Europe, he's going to give a huge speech. He's going to have a lot of support there. But he's running for the president of the United States. And so they have to walk a very, very fine line here because they don't want to be seen having too many adoring people after him in Europe because he's running for president of the United States.

What do Borger and the McCain campaign think would play better in Missouri, Obama getting off the plane in Germany and having the locals throw tomatoes at him? Would that endear him to the people in Middle America -- who, in McCain World, are like an insecure girlfriend, panicked by just the thought of someone else finding their guy attractive?

Sadly, this absurd line of thinking is spreading fast. Here is the L.A. Times' Michael Finnegan:

In Europe, where he is highly popular, Obama plans a speech in Berlin on U.S. relations with allies. He will probably find a warm, even rapturous, reception -- which poses its own challenges. 'There's such a thing as being too popular overseas,' said [William] Galston, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. 'And that may create some misgivings here at home.'

The Baltimore Sun's Washington bureau chief Paul West ominously warns: "European adulation for Obama will make him the continent's poodle."

And even Maureen Dowd appears to have bought into the McCainites' Euro-phobia, suggesting Obama "can't be seen as too insidery with the Euro-crats" lest Obama-wary Americans "wonder what he's doing there, when they can't pay for gas, when the dollar is the Euro's chew toy, when Bud is going Belgian and when the Chrysler Building has Arab landlords." And don't forget all those German cars on our roads. Which we can't afford to drive because gas is too expensive (for which, according to McCain, we can blame Obama).

Of course, at no point does the McCain campaign or anyone in the media point out what, exactly, is the danger to America if our closest allies actually, you know, don't hate us.

They also fail to mention that along with being our allies, the European countries Obama is visiting are also democracies -- so it's a lot easier for their leaders to make nice with us if their constituents don't view our president as an object of disdain and ridicule.

And, as Jason Linkins points out, George Bush keeps giving them reasons for ongoing disdain and ridicule. As does McCain. Is it really better for America's standing in the world to have a president who doesn't know that Czechoslovakia no longer exists and who thinks there is a border between Iraq and Pakistan?

Iraq has shown us what an essentially go-it-alone war looks like.

And the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan -- resulting in more U.S. troop fatalities there in May and June than in Iraq -- is a tragic reminder of the consequences of a U.S. military spread too thin, and of not having our allies fully backing our efforts.

Given a recent poll showing the German public prefers Obama to McCain 67 percent to 6 percent, it's no surprise that McCain would try to spin his opponent's popularity there as a black mark on his record. It's also no surprise that McCain isn't willing to admit that our allies' antipathy toward Bush and his policies -- exacerbated by the contempt the Bushies always seemed to delight in directing at them (see Rummy on "Old Europe") -- has cost us dearly in blood, treasure, and goodwill. But it is a surprise that the media are so eagerly parroting the "popular is a problem" meme.

Thankfully, most Americans understand that having a president who is lauded around the world is infinitely better than having one who is loathed.


Sparky asks you to beg the geniuses behind Venture Bros to allow him to do a special sized "Blood Judo" shirt for us Brock-sized folks. Small one on front - big image on back ...

Sparky wants a new shirt! Please help!

The pup demands you beg the geniuses behind Venture Bros to allow him to do a special sized "Blood Judo" shirt for us Brock-sized folks. Small one on front - big image on back ...

They'll be at SDCC - I need any of you out there to plead my case. Thanks!