August 31, 2006

Keith Olbermann is My Hero

And Keith's hero is Edward R. Murrow.

Olbermann does Murrow proud with this commentary.

Excellent, Excellent Stuff.

All Going to Die

Why does everyone want to go to war with Iran so bad? Do the think its a do-over?

August 30, 2006

Funny

Today's funny brought to you from Erin of the Islands and the good people at The Onion

Critics Blast Bush For Not Praying Hard Enough

Funny.

Oh Snap

This is a picture for the ages.

It features one of Tyler's favorite people.

It also sums it all up.

Unleash the Hounds!

And by hounds, I mean TPMmuckraker. They are tracking down the Masked Senator behind the Secret Hold. The leading suspect is Ted Stevens of Alaska, the man behind the "Bridge to Nowhere" and the "Internet is a series of Tubes."

UPDATE: Stevens is Confirmed. America's Worse Senator.

August 28, 2006

Thank God for DNA

Now can we please get that really, really creepy guy off of my news. Everytime I look for an update he's staring at me from my TV/Computer/Newspaper with those dead eyes of his.

Irony Watch

Beer magnate Peter Coors pleads to drunk driving charge.

Legislation that would open up the murky world of government contracting to public scrutiny has been derailed by a secret parliamentary maneuver.

Flash Poll

Get y our polling results right here. WSJ did polls on most of the races worth watching. Lots of interesting result to look at. Dems challengers up in Ohio and Virginia! Jack (Son of Jimmy) Carter in striking distance in Nevada! Lieberman up by ten over Lamont! The Governator is up by 5! Everything is more interesting if you end it with a!

August 25, 2006

Cut and Run! Cut and Run!

Republican Christopher Shays, an endangered Republican congressman from Connecticut, land of Lieberman, now wants to get out of Iraq.

This is only the beginning, by November half of the GOP will be for some form of "peace with honor."

2008 will feature candidates from both parties arguing about who can best get us out of Iraq.

Alas the last person to want to stay in Iraq will be President Bush.

Clipped

Todays clip is Ann Coulter freaking out. That never gets old.

August 24, 2006

Sealed

The fate of Pluto has been sealed. It is no longer a Planet:

Leading astronomers declared Thursday that Pluto is no longer a planet under historic new guidelines that downsize the solar system from nine planets to eight.

After a tumultuous week of clashing over the essence of the cosmos, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of the planetary status it has held since its discovery in 1930. The new definition of what is — and isn't — a planet fills a centuries-old black hole for scientists who have labored since Copernicus without one.


It looks like the choice came down to either demoted Pluto or defining "Planet" so it included at least 12 objects in the solar system:

The decision at a conference of 2,500 astronomers from 75 countries was a dramatic shift from just a week ago, when the group's leaders floated a proposal that would have reaffirmed Pluto's planetary status and made planets of its largest moon and two other objects.

That plan proved highly unpopular, splitting astronomers into factions and triggering days of sometimes combative debate that led to Pluto's undoing.


"Combative Astronomer" How exciting. In the end I would rather lose Pluto than have to add three new planets. I think is the better idea won the battle.

August 23, 2006

Women in Body Bags

This post at Daily Kos shows lots of Pretty Dead Girls, US soldiers killed in Iraq, that aren't getting the attention that gets lavished on Jon-whats-her-name.

What struck me about this point is that the country isn't up in arms over female soldiers getting killed. Whenever the debate about women in combat gets on, someone brings up the point that the Ccuntry simply won't tolerate "women coming home in body bags"

Well, 59 women have died in Iraq and there is no outrage. Yes, the American people have turned against the war, but not because it's killing women soldiers. There is no call to pull just the women out of Iraq. We now want everyone to leave.

August 21, 2006

Hey Man

So yesterday I was out for a drive in the Country. I was behind a couple of bikers. One thing you quickly notice, driving behind guys on bikes is that they wave to everyone else the come across on bikes. Its not a big wave, just sticking out your arm. But the fascinating things was that this wave ritual crossed all divisions among riders. The guys in front of me were riding Ninjas, but did the wave for the hard-core Harley riders, the RUBs, the old folks on their touring bikes and I swear, some guy on moped.

All you need is something on two wheels and you are in the secret circle of the wave.

I think the natural progression of this ritual is slapping fives with on-coming riders.

Failure Avoidance

Presidential press conference just broke up. Bush just threw down a new "We are not leaving Iraq as long as I am President" line.

I really think he means this.

Crap.

The interesting thing is that Bush isn't even bothering to lie or spin about this anymore. Iraq is hurting the GOP and is just killing the Bush Presidency. But the happy talk is gone. There is no more talk of victory just around the coner, light at the end of the tunnel. We are stuck in Iraq for the next two and a half years, at which time some other President can officially pronounce Iraq a failure. But at least Iraq won't have "failed" on Bush's watch.

August 18, 2006

The Real Question

Can a movie called Snakes on a Plane really be as bad as it sounds?

And can it be so bad that its becomes a hit?

August 17, 2006

Wireless Wiretaps Ruled Unconstitutional

Finally, we are getting somewhere.

Rats and Ships

Everyone knows about rats and sinking ships. Which really only proves that the rats are smarter than the captain. What kind of idiot stays on a sinking ship? But you knew that already, because the ship is sinking.

In Washington, the role of the rats are played by lobbyists. Like that metaphor was a real reach. Lobbyists are reaching out to democrats as it becomes more and more likely that the Donkey will gain control of at least one of the chamber of Congress come the fall. The last thing you want to be as a DC lobbyist is to be caught with the people in power not returning your phone calls.

So consider this a sign that the forces of light are winning. While of course, bemoaning the dark forces of corruption that will try and turn these new champions.

August 16, 2006

Sync

The next two movies in my Netflix queue are Running Scared and Walking Tall. One, it funny and two I need to put some better movies in my Netflix queue.

Clip Show

Check out the Conservative, wanta-to-be-Bill-O'Rielly Joe Scarborough having a in-depth discussion of "is Bush an idiot?"

While we are doing video, if you really want to embrace nerdy political blogging, might I recommend BloggingHeads.tv?

August 15, 2006

Spinning the War

The Israel-Hezbollah one. A bunch of people got killed, but nobody surrendered and no statues got pulled down. Now that a ceasefire has kicked in, everyone is spinning the results. Bush throws down his "Hezbollah suffered a defeat" marker. The PM of Israel and the Hezbollah leader both made their cases in speeches.

Interestingly the right is saying that the war, and notably the end of it, make for a defeat for Israel. Glenn Greenwald has a good round-up of right-wing quotes on how bad it is for Israel, President Bush and Western Civilization. Somebody needs to get these people on-message and quick.

August 14, 2006

On the Edge

No, No not the ceasefire. The planet status of Pluto. Almost 2,500 astronomers are getting together (Party!) to decide if Pluto should still be cosidered a planet. Pluto has always been kind of the freak of the Solar System. Its really small and on a wierd orbit and just not like the other, cooler planets.

Now it turns out a new planet-thing has been found, way out there on the edge. Offically 2003 UB313 and unoffically called "Zena" Its both bigger and farther away from the sun than Pluto. So if Pluto is still a planet, then we are going to get some new planets.

The astronomers are split as to what to do.

Me, I vote for keeping Pluto a planet, if only because the nine planets are something I learned at a very early age. I'm afraid that changing them will upset my view of the universe in some deep and fundimental way.

Plus we wouldto have to come up with a different mnemonic than My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas.

Joe Klein

Is just pissing me off with this stuff:

In 2004 Bush and Karl Rove managed to flummox the Democrats by conflating the war in Iraq with the war against al-Qaeda and insisting that any Democratic reservations about Iraq were a sign of weakness. This was infuriating. It was Bush's disastrous decision to go to war and worse, to go to war with insufficient resources that transformed Iraq into a terrorist Valhalla. It is Bush's feckless prosecution of the war that has created the current morass, in which a U.S. military withdrawal could lead to a regional conflagration.
...
But Pariser's anti-triangulation argument deserves attention because it represents the latest expression of a perennial self-destructive urge within the Democratic Party. "Originally employed as a survival mechanism by a Democratic President in the wake of 1994's Republican revolution," he writes, triangulation "no longer makes sense in an era when any attempt at bipartisanship" is seen as Democratic weakness "and exploited accordingly." He has a point. The Bush Administration has made a mockery of bipartisanship.
...
In the end, the real alternative to Bush's Republican extremism isn't Democratic extremism. It is bipartisan moderationĂ‚—which has the additional advantage of being the highest form of patriotism and the only route to victory in a time of war.


Joe Klien has finally come to terms with what a disaster the Bush administration is, but still clings to the idea that the perfect policy is just a bipartisan compromise away. But you can't split the difference anymore. This is not like Bush wants 30 billion for education, the Dems want 40 billion, let’s make a deal. You can't have half a reckless foreign policy. You can't say OK, invading Iran next will be a horrible disaster, let’s compromise and invade Syria. What does triangulation mean when one side advocates complete disaster? Half a disaster doesn't cut it. You can only support the agenda or oppose it. Lieberman supported Bush's foreign policy and paid a price at the polls.

One of the better lines from West Wing goes like this "You aren’t here to end the partisan fights, you are here to win them" When the policy is this bad, there is no compromise. There is only winning at the polls or not.

It’s not like Klien doesn't know this. Its right there: "The Bush Administration has made a mockery of bipartisanship."

Bipartisanship is dead, Bush killed it and Klien should come to terms with the loss. For the good of the Country.

August 13, 2006

Monday, Monday.

A Monday morning to look forward to.

A Middle East cease-fire will go into effect then. The messy will continue, but maybe the death and destruction will stop.

August 12, 2006

Synergy

There's only so much time in the day, so when possible I like to combine my entertainment with learning a little about the world. With a whole lot in the news about British Counter-Terror efforts, I highly recommend MI-5 a BBC show about, well, British Counter-Terrorism. I'm in the middle of season 2 on netflixs.

The show is riveting. Moral murk, real characters, and a ticking clock make for great drama. Not to mention, educational.

The first thing you learn is that MI-5 is not "The British equivalent of the FBI" FBI agents are basically just Federal Cops. Jumped up reputaions, but really just cops. 5 (calling it "5" makes you sound like you know something) is a domestic spy agency.

Its agents are undercover and spy on Britons the way the CIA spys on foreign Nationials. We really don't have an equivalent. The is a lot of talk of the US getting a domestic spy agency, and MI-5 will show you what it looks like.

UPDATE: Richard Posner Makes the case that we should have our own MI-5.

August 11, 2006

Drafty

Random web surfing has led we to a Bill O'Reilly column. It has this gem:

The United States needs a new strategy to deal with this ominous threat. Slugging it out in Iraq may be necessary, but there might be another way. President Bush needs to level with the American people and begin putting this country on a war footing. That means a limited draft and a major commitment to defense. The President needs to shake things up and get people's attention.

Bill wants a draft. I'm sure "limited" means "not effecting me or my family." I would just love this to be a major talking point for Bill like putting the National Guard on the border used to be. O'Reilly's audience is all over 65 so they have nothing to worry about. Let's see Bill's conservative guests squirm when confronted with a call for a draft to fight the Global War on Whatever it is We are Fighting.

August 10, 2006

Barn Door

Man, airport security is amazing good at imposing inconvenience to no good effect. Banning all liquids and gels will result the confiscation of millions of gallons of perfectly innocent hair gel and not stop a single terrorist attack.

This is just like banning nail clippers after 9/11. No one is going to hijack a plan with nail clippers. But it looks like we are doing something.

The horse is gone, man. The plot has been exposed, the terror cell broken up. Why the big show about confiscating perfume and soda? Its not just closing the barn door. Its setting off fireworks and annouching over the PA that we are closing the barn door.

After 9/11 we banned anything that even looked like a blade, no matter how laughable. After the shoe bomber was caught we now take our shoes off at airports.
A plot to use "liquid explosives" and now liquids are banned. The next terrorist will plan on smuggling a bomb stuck up his ass and I will never travel by air again.

Foiled Plot

Red Alert! Red Alert!

Terror Plot Foiled.

This kicks off the 48 hour freek-out media cycle, then we return to normal.

August 9, 2006

Please

A lot of conservatives are going to start putting out crap about how a win by anti-war Ned Lamont over pro-war Joe Lieberman is going to hurt Democrats. How the donkeys are embrancing George McGovern, that big loser.

Please.

60% of the County now opposes the Iraq war.

We are all George McGovern.

Everybody is going to be against the war. The GOP is going to try and distant themselves from the war all fall. Anybody who tells you different is fooling you.

August 8, 2006

See. Darwin.

Ha Ha. Faith in the system rewarded. Lieberman goes down. Still, he's going to try and run as an independent and the drama has yet to play out, but he got way far away from the Democratic middle and paid the price. Everyone got used to the idea in the last couple of weeks, but the defeat of a sitting US Senator in a primary campaign is amazingly rare. Historic even.

A bonus housecleaning moment came with the defeat of the nutty Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in that Democratic Primary. McKinney is an embarrassment (9/11 conspiracies, slugged a cop) that I have no desire to try and defend. And now I don't.

Service

Getting to webpage with anykind of election results is really hard. Everyone is crashing from traffic. Lieberman's page has been down all day, either cause he got hacked or forgot to pay his bill, depending on who you ask.

OK earlier returns show Lamont up, but it will be a while before we get real numbers.

New Plan

I sell my car and buy nothing but oil company stock.

August 7, 2006

Waste of Space

John Doolittle: Pro-Sex Slavery

Darwin

I have totally neglected the most exciting political story that will happen this August: the Joe Lieberman primary challenge.

Joe has gone from VP candidate san reproach to failed 2004 Presidential to Bush's favorite Democrat to now being on the verge of being beaten in the Democratic Primary for his Connecticut Senate seat.

This is just the Darwinian process of elections. For all their flaws, elections do a pretty job of weeding out the unworthy. Think of the impala pack chased by the cheetah. The sick and lame are going to get eaten. As are the stupid impala who wander away from the pack. The "sick and lame" in this metaphor are corrupt politicians like poor Bob Ney, who went down today. Lieberman is the gazelle who wandered away from the pack.

Joe Lieberman has wandered really far a field. He is the first democrat to sign on with Bush's proposals and the last to denounce the war. In fact, he hasn't denounced the war. In a country and a political party that has turned completely against the war in Iraq, he still supports both the war and its conduct. And he's about to be punished for it tomorrow.

August 5, 2006

Cats and Dogs Living Together

Today's clip honors the fact that France and America are working together at the UN to end the Middle East Crisis.

Time Warp

A strange time shift is moving its way through my apartment. By bed-side alarm clock (carefully selected for it annoying buzz) has been falling behind, thus jeopardizing my perfect on-time work record. A new battery has corrected the problem. But now my cable box clock is wrong.

And its off by the same 8 minutes that my bedside clock was! Its like the mysterious missing eight minutes are moving around the apartment. A strange ripple in time.

Weird, eh.

August 4, 2006

Oh Great

My second favorite line in Three Kings comes in the misted of a the big heist. Our (anti-) heroes are making off with Iraqi gold and things are starting to go wrong. People are getting shot and the whole situation is getting out of control. Then clank, clank, clank an Iraqi tank appears. Troy Barlow (Marky Mark)says

Great! A fuckin' tank! That should send us on our way.

I keep waiting for the moment in Iraq that will send us on our way. That will blow through all the BS and make clear that we have no good reson to be there.

So how about:

Thousands of Mr. Sadr’s supporters from Shiite-dominated cities in southern Iraq began converging on the capital today in anticipation of the rally. They boarded buses decorated with pictures of Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasralla, waved Iraqi and Hezbollah flags, and chanted “Death to America! Death to Israel!” according to news agencies.

Great! A major player in the Iraq government we set up has a mob in the street, chanting “Death to America! Death to Israel!” That should send us on our way.

PS My favorite line is the whole "Necessity" speech. Which I've already used.

One Pundit at a Time

I am happy to report that Tom Friedman, New York Times columnist and guy you alway see on TV talking about foreign policy, is now for getting the hell out of Iraq.

For the longest time he's been in the if-we-go-there-will-be-trouble-camp. But now he is done:

[T]hree years of efforts to democratize Iraq are not working. That means “staying the course” is pointless, and it’s time to start thinking about Plan B — how we might disengage with the least damage possible.

…But the administration now has to admit what anyone — including myself — who believed in the importance of getting Iraq right has to admit: Whether for Bush reasons or Arab reasons, it is not happening, and we can’t throw more good lives after good lives.

August 3, 2006

French Victory

I know its a small thing what with the Wars and plans for more wars, but a tiny victory for common sense has been struck in the dead of night.

On Capitol Hill fries are French again.

In one of the dumber actions in human history, back in March of 2003, some over zealous Congresscritters changed the name of French Toast and French Fries to Freedom Fries and Freedom toast in the House cafeteria as a way of protesting French opposition to the wonderful Iraq War.

Now if only the rest of the mistakes could be fixed as easy.

August 2, 2006

Update

A well said call for a cease-fire in the Middle East over at TPMCafe. Ricken Patel uses my schoolyard figh metaphor.

No more complaining about the heat for me. Its hitting 117 this week in Bagdad. And I don't have to wear kevlar to work.

Castro's health situation kind of a mystery.

Bush doing fine. (healthwise)

And the Mongol Rally is well underway. No one has died yet.

August 1, 2006

Hmmm

It appears that California under the Govenator is conducting its own foreign policy with Blair's UK.

Cuba

An interesting development in Cuba, because frankly, there just isn't enough going on in the world. Fidel Castro has temporarily handed over power to his brother Raul due going under the knife. They are dancing in the street of Miami over the news. We shall see if the old Goat at last gives up the ghost. What becomes of Post-Castro Cuba is one of those things that has been speculated about for decades. Continue to speculated.