October 31, 2006

More! More!

There is lot of stuff out. Trying to keep up.

A special shout out for Nevada Question Number 7. It would legalize up to one ounce of pot for any purpose. Nevada: Yes, you can do that!

Time to get local.

The Chant is recommending Yes on Measure L which will approve SMUD expansion into Yolo County. SMUD is a publicly owned power company for the Sacramento region. Being publicly owned, it doesn't screw it customers like for-profit utility companies. Power to the people!

I am completely torn on the measure to raise the sales tax in order to pay for a downtown area for the Kings. On one hand, it looks like a great project. To turn the rail yards from eyesore into a super-duper entertainment center would be great. However, giving massive public financing to a new arena is just a sucker move, considering the Kings are owned by the Billionaire Maloof family. Just in case you weren't sure, here's a Carl's Junior commercial touting both their Billion dollar net worth and a $6,000(!) combo meal offered at the Palms Casino, which they own. Yeah, these guys need our help. The Chant says no.

October 30, 2006

Its Voting Recommendation Time!

Once again I present a handy guild to California ballot measures. We have 13 of these suckers to deal with, let’s get cracking.

1A through 1E: The bond measure. Lets put on some debt and build some stuff. All that stuff you need. Roads and Levees and Schools. People keep coming to California (it’s our celebrity trials and the complete absence of winter) and they are going to need all this stuff. The Chant recommends Yes.

83: More restrictions on sex offenders. Cause if theirs one thing I know, it’s that sex offenders get it easy. Please. Whenever a politico is feeling unpopular they kick sex offenders. Sex offenders are indefensible so no one ever says boo. And they keep having to come up with more and more restrictions and more and more penalties. Well, sooner or later we will have a ballot measure that mandates we torture to death everyone convicted of a crime with the word “sex” in it. The Chant recommends No.

84: More bonds. Yeah. Water. Water good. Get thirsty without it. Of course too much water means we drowned. But this measure deals with that problem too. There is no problem with the word “water” in it that this Proposition doesn’t fix. The Chant recommends Yes.

85: Parental notification for minors seeking abortions. California just voted this down last year. And yet they keep trying. The Chant recommends No.

86: Tax on cigarettes. Sure, why not? Tax those suckers right out of existence. The Chant recommends Yes.

87: Tax on California oil producers. This is the big one. It dings the oil companies to fund new alternative energy programs. If we are serious about global warming, this is how we deal with it. The Chant recommends Yes.

88: Parcel tax for kindergarten. Think of the children. The Chant recommends Yes.

89: Public finance of campaigns. You want big money out of politics? This is a start. The Chant recommends Yes.

90: Eminent Domain “reform.” This comes out of the Kelo decision, which allowed local jurisdictions to buy property for private economic use. I was pretty uncomfortable with Kelo and would be happy to support a limited restriction on eminent domain. But this law contains hidden measures to make any kind of government regulation a “taking” that property owners would have to be compensated for. Environmental regulations, zoning, just about everything local government does would suddenly become too expensive to do. I hate it when they play games with propositions. This one needs to go down hard. The Chant recommends No.

Dick Cheney: Evil

Cheney continues to claim that US election are responsible for the death toll in Iraq.

Office of the Vice-President stepping up paper shredding operation:

You better get crackin’, Dick — that evidence won’t destroy itself!


Peter Beinart catches Rove spinning history:

In today's Washington Post, Karl Rove is already spinning midterm defeat. "1938 was a huge wipeout for the Democrats," he notes. "Do you think that was the end of the New Deal?"

Actually, it was the end of the New Deal: Nothing FDR passed after that came close to rivaling the accomplishments of his first term, in particular Social Security and the Wagner Act.

The end of Bushism as a domestic force will be the clearest victim of a Democratic victory. A positive agenda will be hard to do, but the damage will end.

October 29, 2006

Only the Lonely

Pity the poor Senate Candidate, who labors and loses in complete obscurity. At least when Katherine Harris loses everyone will be watching. T-bogg show us the sorry spectacle of Dick Mountjoy (snik), who, in little more than a week is going to lose huge to DiFi here in California and who no one knows about:

And few people seem to know who Mountjoy is, despite his role as one of the architects of 1994's Proposition 187, which would have made it illegal for undocumented immigrants to receive many government benefits. Mountjoy's 29% support among all registered voters in the most recent Los Angeles Times poll is less than the 34% of state voters enrolled as Republicans. And in a July Field poll one of the last to ask the question — 62% of voters said they did not know enough about Mountjoy to have an opinion about him.

Little has changed since then. Feinstein entered the late-summer push with more than $8 million in the bank to Mountjoy's $21,000, making it likely that this will be the second California race in a row for the Senate in which the Republican challenger was unable to air crucial television ads in the final weeks of the campaign.

The next financial reports aren't due until today, but even Republicans seem to have given up. The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee — a key funding and organizing tool for Republican Senate incumbents and hopefuls — doesn't even list Mountjoy as a candidate on its website.

Whats so sad about the situation is that Dick has such a low name reconition when he has such a great name. I think we owe it to the people of California to spread the word.

Learn all about Dick Mountjoy.

October 27, 2006

BattleStar Tonight

Last Week's hot drop was one of the coolest things I have ever witnessed.

Prospect article on SciFi and politics found here. All my nerdy pursuits combined as one.

Quote of the Day

Isn't it interesting that Iraq now -- this Muslim country that 10 years ago nobody even heard of, all right, is now impacting on how we live in America.

Bill O'Reilly, Too Stupid to Live.

How does he remember to breath?

October 25, 2006

Now You're Getting Nasty

Democrat Harold Ford is on the verge of becoming the first Black Senator from Tennessee since Reconstruction. The Republican in the race is running a radio ad where Jungle Drums play in the background every time Ford's name is mentioned.

Freaking Jungle Drums.

Don't Change the Subject!

So the New Jersey Supreme Court is about to issue a ruling on Gay Marrage today:

The New Jersey Supreme Court is poised to release its highly anticipated decision Wednesday in a case brought by seven gay couples who say the state constitution allows them to marry, said Winnie Comfort, a spokeswoman for the state judiciary.

New Jersey is one of only five states with neither a law nor a state constitutional amendment blocking same-sex marriage. As a result, the state is more likely than others to allow gays to wed, said advocacy groups on both sides.

Only Massachusetts — by virtue of a 2003 ruling from that state's top court — allows gay marriages.

Now, the court could rule agaist gay marrage. But its likely to rule in its favor. Which I wouldn't mind at all, except two weeks before the election. It would change the subject. And right now we don't want to change the subject. Gay marrage would sudenly become a big issue again.

Right now when we talk about serious issues, we are talking about Iraq. When we are talking about wierd/funny/sad, we are talking the Mark Foley scandle. Both of those issues are great for Dems right now. We are winning on those issues right now. I think that liberals will win on Gay Marrage, but not for 10-20 years. We are winning on these other issues right now.

Don't change the subject.

UDATE: The ruling came down: equal rights for all. It give the NJ leg 180 days to act so it kicks the can down the road past the election. It has become just one more story in the news mix, like Rush being an ass Its not that I beleive that this fight should be won, I question if it can be won.

October 24, 2006

I'll give you this

Fine, we will have to score one for Larry's grand conspiracy of voter fraud theory:

U.S. Senate candidate James Webb's last name has been cut off on part of the electronic ballot used by voters in Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville because of a computer glitch that also affects other candidates with long names, city officials said yesterday.

This is just stupid. The computer is cutting off the names of candidates. You will look for James Webb on the ballot and not find it. Conspiracy of dunces.

Under Pressure

The strain is starting to show. Richard Pombo is now refusing to talk to the media completely.

October 23, 2006

Lies in, Lies Out.

Time for a novel idea: Lies got us in to Iraq, lies have been keeping us there, and lies should get us out.

There were no weapons of mass destruction, no connection to 9/11; we were not greeted as liberators. Those are the lies that got us into the war.

Things are not going well in Iraq. Lots of our soldiers are dying. Lots of Iraqi's are dying. Things are not going to get better. These are the lies that keep us in Iraq.

So lies should get us out. We could do the classic "declare victory and leave" that was suggested in Vietnam. Sure the reality will be chaos and death. But since when has reality mattered? Or maybe we could leave Iraq and the Bush administration could just lie and say we are still staying the course. That’s the ticket! US troops leave, Bush still give speech after speech about courage and stay the course and victory is near. The administration still feels like manly men and no more troopers will have to die for the sake of Bush's manhood. I bet we could just never tell Bush we've left Iraq and it will work out fine.

Lies get us in, lies get us out.

Only lies can save us now.

October 20, 2006


For those of you who think that Google would be better if it included a scarcastic, exotic-looking library-babe who mocked your search items, I give you

Ms Dewy

October 19, 2006

Trends I love

Sexy Halloween costumes. Mmmmmmm.

New Number

OK forget the death count for a second. Let look at a different number for Iraq. Reason's Hit and Run (Fun Folks those Libertarian) has got a number:

US forces are firing 275,000 bullets per day in Iraq. Per day.

Is it any wonder that Dems are taking it to the GOP on Iraq. Sex scandels have gotten lots of play lately but if when if when we win it will be because we have won the argument about Iraq.

October 18, 2006


Ten US Soldiers were killed in Iraq tody. That makes 69 this month and the overall total to 2,782.

How long, how long must we sing this song.

October 17, 2006

Grave Robbing

So I took a little trip to the saddest store in the world: the once-great Tower Records. It started with old man Solomon selling records out of the back of his dad's drugstore. It grew into a global chain and a Sacramento institution. But then came iTunes and Wal-Mart and Chapter 11 and now, the great crash. So now the mother of all going-out-of-business sales is under way. Two-hundred million in stuff has got to go. Craigorian Chant World Headquarters is not eight blocks away from the Tower district where it all started. And where it ends. All the books, CDs and DVDs you want, everything must go.

They are a week into the fire sale now. The shelves are maybe one-third empty. The staff is putting their best face on it, because when the stuff is gone, the job is too.

So I pick through the stuff grab a little here and a little there. A sale is a sale, but it feels a bit like making off with the flowers at a funeral.

I'm keeping the yellow bag with the red store logo the clerk puts my stuff in. Souvenir. In a few weeks they might be selling off bigger stuff. If I time it right I might get the store sign or maybe the "Tower" itself.

We are all on our way out. Act accordingly.


The United States now has 300 million people.


Can't Be Good

So over the weekend the UN passed sanctions in responce to the nuclear test.

North Korea is calling these sanctions "a declaration of war"

And you thought the Bush Administration used heated rhetoric.

October 16, 2006


In 2004 we all went a little crazy keeping track of the Day to Day swings in polls. Which polls were right which sucked and so on. Well that was just one little Presidential race. The 2006 is actually a whole bunch of races. There are something like 7 or 8 Senate races that are worth following and the number of close House races is growing, not shrinking. Its up to something like 50 races at this point. Crunching all these numbers will drive me rather mad, I think.

My best guess is that the Dems will win the House. I know Larry will get on me for chickens and hatching and all that but the number do look really good at this point.

The Senate looks like a 50-50 battle. Literally. I think its going to end up tied 50-50. If the Dems run the table they could end up in control but there's something in the numbers that just calls out 50/50 to me. It would represent a huge gain by the Dems to get to even, but the Vice President breaks ties.

Wait and See. Wait and See.

Movie Review: The Departed

My oh my, what an excellent movie. Just think of it as the slickest, most adult game of "cops and robbers" you ever played. Leonardo DiCaprio (Who I maintain an irrational dislike for) and Matt Damon (who I maintain an irrational affection for) do fine work as an undercover cop and a mobster's police mole. The plot has a beautiful symmetry, as both men try to uncover the identity of the other. I'm trying to remember what thrillers did before cell phones. One of the best scenes in the movie revolves around caller ID.

The supporting cast is a lot of fun. Between Jack Nickelson, Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg(!) there isn't a piece of scenery left unchewed. Marky Mark makes off with many a scene as a foul-mouthed police sergeant.

I need to come up with a movie scoring system unique to Craigorian Chant. Any ideas? This one will score high.

October 14, 2006


OK, so no A's in the World Series. Walk off homer, Four game sweep. Guess it just Detroit's year. Well now that the A's are gone and the Niner's suck, I'm a little hard pressed for any kind of sports team worth following.

October 13, 2006


The British want out of Iraq.

We are going to get down to "Bush, Laura and Barney" being the only ones supporting the War in Iraq sooner than you think

October 12, 2006

Video of the Day

Jenna Fisher, who plays Pam on The Office (Mmmmmm) wrote "10 Things You Don't Know About Women" for Esquire. The following is a dramatic reading of said piece by the cast and crew of The Office.

Quote of the Day

"To link me to George Bush is like linking me to an Oscar."

Arnold Schwarzenegger

October 11, 2006

Fine, Fine

I don't want to encourage this kind of behavior, but the anonymous maniac(dude, at least make up a screen name) who keep posting comments on Jerry McNerney-Richard Pombo race does have a point.

McNerney is a good guy and Richard Pombo is a blight on this earth. If Pombo was any more anti-environment he would bite the heads off of bald eagle chicks.

There is no reason for California, of all places to send a man to Congress whose one mission in life is to destroy the Endangered Species act.

McNernery is closing in the polls and has a real shot. Well played anonymous maniac, well played.

Good Job

Study: 655,000 Iraqis die because of war.

If we just stay 50 more years, there won't be any Iraqi's left, no one will fight us anymore and we can go home. Sounds like a good plan to me.

October 10, 2006

Oh Sweet Nectar of the Gods

Beer Flavored Potato Chips

Best idea you will hear today.

Conspiracy of the Fool

Craig's First law of conspiracy: don't attribute to malice what what can be attributed to stupidity.

Well the New Republicahas uncovered the true conspiracy at the heart of the Foley matter. The massive coverup of the fact that the Speaker of the House is a complete lackwit:

I refer here, of course, to the fact that Dennis Hastert is a bumbling half-wit--something that became apparent to the world last week but had been common knowledge in Washington for almost a decade. It was roughly eight years ago, after all, that Tom DeLay installed Hastert as his front-man, knowing full well that Hastert was no more capable of being speaker than the average sheepdog, to which he bears a remarkable resemblance. (Just after Hastert accepted the speaker's gig, a reporter asked him how he felt. Hastert's one-word response: "Scared.") But, rather than call DeLay on this lapse in judgment, House Republicans joined forces with the press to perpetrate an elaborate cover-up.

Reading back over the last several years of Hastert coverage, one is astonished by the lengths to which reporters go to avoid outing him as a guileless nincompoop.

Ah ha! Trueth Revealed!

October 9, 2006

Poll Crack

I can't stop reading polls. So many wonderfully numbers.


After another.

After another.

After another.

Don't Panic

Ok, yes the President of North Korea does seem rather like the villain from a James Bond movie and yes North Korea has just tested a nuclear weapon. And yes this represents a pretty massive strategic failure of the Bush Administration.

But let's not panic. Nuclear Weapons aren't magical. North Korea is still an impoverished little Nation. Its neighbors are much more worried that it will collaspe and trigger a refugee crisis than it start blasting.

Who knows, diplomacy just might happen despite everyone's bad intentions. North Korea can't actually use the nuke without ending as a country. Bush can't attack, no troops and South Korea and Japan would never go alone and we would need their help. And so their is nothing left to do except cut a deal. Or just do nothing. Bush just bring himself to talk to the "evil" and so nothing. Just some fear, and a less stable Far East and a less safe world. So something to worry about.

But don't panic.

October 8, 2006

Cover Fun

Credit Cards

A few years ago I was over at Craig’s place in Sutter Creek watching TV when this credit card commercial came on. They touted themselves as an essential part of life. Like we’re all super sensitive to bee stings and their the adrenaline shot: Don’t leave home with out it! And Craig kept saying: “What’s the big deal!? It’s a credit card!” So I believe the commercial was for American Express. AmEx may have some nice perks, but it turns out that a lot of credit have some cool benefits themselves

Fast forward to June 26th of this year and I’m driving west on 50 to meet Craig at a bar in downtown Sac to watch a World Cup game. When out of nowhere a rock smashes into my windshield creating a starfish shaped impact mark and 16 inch crack!

Now I didn’t buy the optional insurance that Hertz offered me. And I had a good reason not to: A magazine article I read said don’t do it!

Last December I read a “ways to make your 2006 better” piece in a magazine I bought at the airport in St. Louis on my way out to Sacramento. On of the 50 tips was don’t buy the insurance car rental companies offer you because if you rent the car with a Visa it’s automatically covered (turns out other cards besides Visa offer this).

I arrive at the bar and proceed to tell Craig what happened, then I remembered that article. Hmmm, I wondered if it would actually work.

A day later I called Visa and they said they would cover it. The bill from Hertz actually wasn’t that bad: $209 total for the damage (actually it was only $159, but they added $50 for an “admin fee” because they’re a heartless multi-national corporation). However, Visa wasn’t going to make it easy to get reimbursed because, you know, they’re also a heartless multi-national corporation.

Here is their instructions to me and what I needed to provide them with:

*Copy of cardholder's charge receipt and monthly billing statement verifying the rental transaction

*Copy of initial auto rental agreement (front and back)

*Copy of finalized auto rental agreement (front and back)

*Copy of any correspondence from rental company outlining charges from this loss

*Itemized estimate of repair or repair bill*.

*Copy of police report and/or auto rental company accident report(s)*

*Two photographs of damaged vehicle, if applicable or available

*For holders of personal cards (e.g.: Gold, Classic, and Platinum):
--Copy of your Auto Insurance Declaration Page(s), which provides a summary of coverage
and deductible amount, if you rented within your country of residence.

*If the driver at the time of the accident did NOT have personal automobile insurance, provide a notarized statement indicating that he or she had no insurance

*Copy of your insurance company's settlement for this incident (if applicable)

*If the cost of the rental was included in a travel package or was prepaid, provide a copy of the prepaid voucher and a copy of your travel package invoice

*If the rental was under a company card (e.g. business, corporate, purchasing, or government)
--Copy of a letter from your employer stating that the rental was for business purposes.
--If your rental under the company card, was for non-business use, follow the instructions for
personal cards above.

Well I gave them everything the needed and a week ago the payment finally went through! Turns our credit cards companies aren’t that bad after all. Well, as long as you pay your bills on time, use their credit card regularly, don’t go bankrupt....

But since a lot of credit cards provide this benefit, I guess we’re back to Craig’s original question/criticism...”what’s the big deal? It’s just a credit card.”

The other things to consider are what if I get in 3 accidents in a year? Would Visa handle all of them? Is there a situation where getting the insurance would make sense?

I don’t know, flying out for 10 day trip and absolutely needing a rental car makes that said trip fairly expensive. When you add $15 extra per day for the rental car insurance, it just puts it over the top.

So it’s up to you. I will continue NOT to get the rental car insurance because accidents are sufficiently rare and I know Visa will cover it.

Next time you rent a car, remember this post! But don’t just rely on me. Call your credit card company and ask what benefits they provide. Go to their website and read all fine print about each card. It may pay off in the future!

October 6, 2006


Ok, I'm shifting my metaphor. Speaker Hastert is now an anchor to which the feet of the Republican majority is tied.

Glug, Glug, Glug.

October 5, 2006


In the middle a pretty bad movie called Without a Paddle, about misadventures in the woods, our heroes are confronted with a bear:

Dan: What are you doing?
Jerry: Taking off my shoes
Dan: Why?
Jerry: Because I run faster with no shoes
Dan: You can't out-run that bear!
Jerry: I don't have to out-run the bear, I just have to out-run you!

Its every man for himself with the House Republicans on le affair de Foley. Everyone is passing the buck, blaming others, and otherwise doing their best to screw their fellows. The slowest guy is the one who will be eaten by a bear. The democrats haven't had to do a thing. They just have to let the GOP tear itself apart.

Oh, and if you have to take bets on who gets eaten, take a look at Speaker Denny Hastert. That is a slow moving man. But for the GOP to dump its House leader a Month before an election is just beyond comprehension. I have no idea how to process the implications.

October 4, 2006


Risk much and you will achieve much.

Or give up an inside-the-park home run.

The inspirational posters never tell you about that second part.

Dear Buddha,

All I want is the A's in the Series and a Democratic Majority in the Congress.

And a pony.

al-Qaeda Wants us to Stay in Iraq

They really do.


Does Great Britain even have a national lottery? I'm asking cause I've seem to have won. Three times this week. Which is funny because I've been playing the Italian national lottery for years without a win, but have I've seem to have won the British version without even trying. Yahoo! Mail! needs to tweak its spam filter.

What's funny is that for being the people who invented the language, these English lotto officials sure have lousy English. Really its about the same level as those poor Nigerian officials who just need my bank account for a short time to hold a spare million.

October 3, 2006

Sex Kills Republicans

So there is a really interesting Washington Post story today on how Democrats survive sex scandals but Republicans don't.

I would say Dems "get away with it" but public humiliation is pretty much a given. But what happens is that Republicans lose their jobs and Democrats don't. Now with Foley I think the creep factor would have done in a Democrat just as fast, but a Republican pol doing the classic cheating on his wife goes down while a Dem seems to survive. Clinton is only the biggest example.

It really does seem like the Democrats just represent a kinder, more forgiving Nation. A Nation that just isn't as hung up on sex. Kinda like France.

UPDATE:I like Tyler's point that Foley isn't a pedophile. Matt Y makes an ever better case, mainly by strategically deploying a photo of Scarlett Johansson. Foley is some sort of ill defined creep. Predatory, very condemable, very sleazy, but not really pedophilia. Really this is more a definitional quible.

Resume the moral condination!

October 2, 2006

Little Picture, Big Picture

So in the little picture, the Doolittle/Charlie Brown fight is heating up. President Bush is coming into town to fundraise for Doolittle. Airforce One makes a lot of noise when it lands in Sacramento.

Brown is bringing in his own big guns with Westley Clark headlining a fundraiser. I'm connected enought to get an invite to tonight's 500 dollar a plate event, but not rich enought to, you know, actually go.

Big picture - Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, is taking some serious hits on the Foley scandel. GOPer's are taking shots and the Super-Consertative Washington Times is calling for his resignation.

The real question is does the big picture connect to the little one. Does the fact that Foley has the GOP leadership running for the hills matter to a local Congressional race like Doolittle-Brown? I hope so, but I really don't know.

Catching Breaks

The forces of light have caught some breaks. First, Bob Woodward has a new book out and its highly critical of the President. Now there have been hightly critical books before, but not Bob Woodward books. In fact, Woodward has written three books about the Bush Presidency and others were so positive that the Bush campaign sold the second book from its campaign web page.

But now the worm has turned. Anything Woodward does has a big impact. Nice for him to be critical for a change.

Break number two is our old friend, the sex scandal. Seems that Congressman Mark Foley (R-Florida) has been e-mailing and IMing underage male Congressional pages some rather explicit messages. This is why I always check ID before sending explicit e-mails. Foley has resigned and checked himself into rehad. For extra icky irony, Foley was the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. He may be prosecuted under laws that he wrote himself.

So now the seat is a great pick-up opportunity. The ballots are already printed, so Foley's name stays on the ballot. The GOP can name a replacement, but people will have to vote for the disgraced pedophile creep if they want to vote Republican in that district.

But wait it gets better. It seems that the GOP House leadership knew about Mr Foley activities but did nothing. To try and prevent what is now happening. Coverup always equals a scandal. Who knew what and when.

So now instead of talking about how if the Dems are elected, we are all going to die, the GOP leadership is going to have to answer really embarrassing questions. Big trouble right before an election.

Thus the fate of the Nation turns on the action of a drunken horny Congressman.