December 31, 2007

Tips for New Years



Of course, why you would want to avoid drunkenness tonight? I really just wanted to steer you to 1. Burn Notice and 2. Hulu.

Party on.

December 30, 2007

Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex

Let's get some porn google hits over here.

Its the song title I swear:

December 29, 2007

Swell

For those who think the Rihanna video is a little "much" I give you an alternative:



Pretty sweet eh?

December 28, 2007

December 27, 2007

Bhutto Assassinated

Oh Boy. This can not possibly be good.

Pervez Musharraf is just a magnificent bastard. He takes our money, shelters our enemies, and his political opponents die in ways that can't be traced back to him. Plus Bhutto's death is a handy excuse not to hold elections.

What a mess.

December 26, 2007

Work, Work, Work

The calender of this election cycle is about to produce the weirdest week ever. The week between X-mas and New Years, the deadest week on the calender, the week where nothing gets done, the week where everyone is on vacation, even if they aren't on vacation. And this is the last week before the Iowa Caucus, the week where the deal gets closed, the undecideds decide, and all the campaigns get frantic.

The week where everything happens is also the week where nothing happens.

Its a paradox.

December 21, 2007

Craig Landslide!

Craig Newmark, the guy who created Craig's List and a fine example to Craigs everywhere, is endorsing Obama. That's right, 2 out of 2 Craigs in recent surveys support Barack Obama. That's an unprecedented show of support in the vital Craig demographic. This of course, is a key indicator of inevitable victory.

December 20, 2007

Kids These Days

So it turns out that John McCain's daughter Meghan is doing a campaign blog. Everybody has a blog these days. Seriously, soon you will just be issued a blog at birth. Now TBogg has been having a lot of fun with 5 Brothers Blog, which is done by Mitt Romney's five iron-jawed sons and documents their robotic pursuit of the Presidency. So I expected some similarly comical on-message scribblings from the McCain daughter.

Turns out the McCainBlogette is, well, kind of charming. Its mostly pictures - the behind the scenes, War Room stuff that got me into politics in the first place. Plus, she's not afraid to go off-message and includes shots like Dad getting his make-up done and some guy in a snowman outfit protesting against global warming at a rally. Admittedly, the girl is a total fox, so my professional judgement may be compromised. I don't think the debate over "hottest candidate's daughter" will be as competitive as last cycle.

UPDATE:McCain up a bit in the polls. I'm blaming the daughter.

December 19, 2007

Tsar

Vladimir Putin is Time's Person of the Year. The cold bastard is doing his best to get rid of Russian democracy and should be recognised for his work.

No, really. We need to recognise that Vladimir Putin has turned Russia into a dictatorship.

December 18, 2007

Like a Rolling Stone

Go read Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone on Barack Obama.

On an unrelated note, the California Field Director for Obama is named Buffy. Buffy Wicks. She's sending me e-mail. I just thought you would like to know.

December 17, 2007

Money for Nothing

Ron Paul just raised six million dollars in one day. Its a pretty staggering achievement. Its also pretty much the biggest waste of money I've ever seen in politics. Please keep in mind that Ron Paul is running as an anti-war canidate in the Republican Party Primary.

Not to mention
that Paul wants to abolish the Federal Reserve and the Voting Rights Act. He wants to withdraw from NATO. Dude is crazy. And people just gave him six million dollars. In one day.

December 16, 2007

Circumstance

Back during the Great Florida recount of 2000 (Boy, how's that for a What If?) Michael Kinsley made the great point that where you stood on the issues of the recount had everything to do with who was your guy:

The issues involved in the recount made it a laboratory experiment in spin. Most had enormous partisan consequences but no ideological component. When Republicans and Democrats disagree along party lines about, say, a tax cut, it's at least theoretically possible that everyone involved is expressing carefully considered and sincerely held views. When they become excited about the dangers or benefits of affirmative action, it's not out of the question that their displays of emotion are sincere. But until Nov. 7, there was no obvious liberal or conservative view about manual recounts or absentee-ballot applications. A chad was not a subject to invoke the passions.

So when a vigorous argument about dimples breaks down precisely along party lines, that is a coincidence that requires explanation. The most obvious explanation is that everybody's view on dimples depend on their view about the logically unrelated subject of who should be President. If fate had put Gore and Bush in the other's place on election night, the drama of the next five weeks would have had everybody playing the opposite role. Katherine Harris would have been flexibility personified. Laurence Tribe and David Boies would have been eloquent sticklers for the precise rule of law. Do you doubt it?


The outcome of the recount left us with an idiot for a President. Again, driven by circumstance, conservatives and Republicans were forced to defend the notion that it didn't matter if the President didn't know anything. Now, there is nothing inherent in conservative philosophy that requires a moron for a President. Most political philosophies do better with people who know a thing or two running the show. Its just that the GOP was saddled with an idiot for a leader and had to make a virtue out of necessity.

But now, with Huckabee, its time to pay the piper. Here's Balloon Juice documenting the conservative freak-out over Huckabee. And here's Kevin Drum noting David Frum's dismay that both Huckabee and Ron Paul know nothing about anything, and that perfectly fine according to conservative rhetoric of the last seven years.

Conservative leaders and intellectuals are jumping up and down, saying "Huckabee doesn't know anything" and maybe he doesn't. But for the last 7 years knowing stuff has been a bad thing. "Having a good heart" and "being firm" are good. Having no freaking clue how the worlds works is wonderful. That's been the party line too long to switch now.

Sing

I really don't like Christmas music. But the season is on us and its time for like fraking spirit around here:

December 15, 2007

Moment of Nerd Zen



Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars and Heroes in the Princes Leia gold bikini outfit. Its from an upcoming movie called Fanboys which (acording to IMDB) is about a group of "Star Wars" fans who travel to Skywalker Ranch to steal an early copy of The Phantom Menace for a dying friend.

Nerdy goodness.

December 14, 2007

Huckmentum

Mitchell Report

Man this is a really long list of cheaters. 81 total, including 33 all-stars, 10 most valuable players, and two Cy Young winners. Sadly, it almost gets the individual players off the hook and taints the whole era of baseball. This will be know as the steroid era. Every record, every stat will come with a *.

December 13, 2007

Keyes!

Alan Keyes is back! The nuttiest nut of all got back up on that stage at the latest GOP debate. Keyes was last seen being crushed by our man Barack Obama by a laughable 70%-27% margin for a Illinois Senate seat. Now in the unlikely event Keyes gets the GOP nomination and the increasing likely event that Obama gets the Dem nomination, the historic parallels are clear:

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Thats right, first they fight over a Illinois Senate seat then the Presidency of the United States. Of course, Lincoln lost the Senate seat and won the Presidency. So if Obama is Douglas and Keyes Lincoln, that means Keyes will win the Presidency. And a civil war will break out...

Second though, lets stay away from historic parallels. Safer.

December 12, 2007

I protest.

w00t! is not a word, much less anything that should be honored by anyone as word of the year. I demand real made-up words! Alternative spellings are not new words. X-stream is not a new word.

December 11, 2007

How Quaint

Huckabee is the new news. Polls show him picking up support everywhere polls are being done. But with the points comes the attention and Huckabee has got some rather interesting positions. In 1998 he signed onto a statement that

A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.


Just to be clear, he did this in 1998 not 1898. Do Southern Baptist women really sign on to this crap? Or is it more like "Oh sure honey I "submit" to your sacred leadership. Now take out the trash." I can't imagine this going over for real in this day and age.

Conspiracy

I'm going to pitch you a movie idea. The government is engaged in a systematic effort to conceal the fact that the Earth is in danger of destruction.

Or maybe I'll just read a House Govern Reform Committee report.

December 10, 2007

Divided

Ross Douthat (Official Chant-Approved Conservative) makes the case that no one can win the GOP nomination, that every candidate is clearly fatally flawed in some way:

McCain is still poison to a large chunk of the base and probably doesn't have enough money to capitalize even if he wins New Hampshire - and if he loses there, he's cooked. Mitt Romney is running on a record that would have made him a moderate Democrat in any state except hyper-liberal Massachussetts. Rudy Giuliani is running on a record that would have made him a moderate Democrat in any place except hyper-liberal New York City. Fred Thompson is more ideologically appropriate, but he's lived down to his lackluster record as a politician by running a remarkably lousy and (perhaps unremarkably) lazy campaign. Ron Paul is, well, Ron Paul.

These guys aren't suited to lead the GOP in a Presidential race. It has to do with who they are as candidates. If Obama doesn't get the nomination it because Hillary beat him and vis versa. Same for Edwards, Richardson and the rest. Giuliani can't get the nomination cause he's a damn liberal on social issues. Huckabee can't win because he's a damn (rhetorical) liberal on economic issues.

Actually, the problem is deeper than that Different GOP candidates represent different parts of the GOP coalition and are unacceptable to others. Mahablog lays it out-

...the top three candidates appeal to separate slices of the Reagan Coalition pie. You’ve got Rudy Giuliani, who has become the great white hope of the neocons. You’ve got Mitt Romney, who has some support among moneyed interests. And you’ve got Mike Huckabee as the Christian candidate. Pat Robertson’s endorsement notwithstanding, Giuliani is simply not going to get the so-called “values” voters. Romney faces hot anti-Mormon prejudice. And apparently Huckabee doesn’t know “The Islamofascist Enemy” from spinach.

Bush combined a love of war, a love of tax cuts and a love of dogma in one neat little package. But this current crop makes the GOP chose. What do you like better tax cuts or war? War or control of woman's bodies? Hurts, doesn't it? Having to pick? Me, I don't have to pick. I get close but not all the way to universal health care and a not-fast enought withdrawel from Iraq no matter which canidate wins the Dem contest.

Race!

Here's a round of polls that shows the race getting tighter in both races and in all states as both Obama and Huckabee pick up ground in a bunch of places. Have to keep it close, have to keep it interesting.

December 9, 2007

Golden?

Well, my faith is shaken to its very core. Oh please. If this movie shakes anything, you are on pretty weak foundation. The Golden Compass has a lot of nice parts, but add those parts up and you don't get much of a story. The setting is a cool, Victorian England but with magic technology. The concepts are cool - dæmons as a kind of external soul in animal form have got to be the neatest fantasy "pet" untill they make a Dragonriders of Pern movie. The Armored Polar bears are just as cool as advertised. The cast is great - Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott. Eva Green as sexy/deadly witch. The only way to make an armored polar bear warrior cooler is to give him the voice of Ian McKellen. Of course, none of these folks get enough screen time. That all goes to the Kid. Lord The Authority spare me from precocious child actresses named Dakota.

The story is where all these fine parts fall apart. The central mystery of the story, something to do with magical "dust", infinite parallel worlds, the central church, and the dæmons of kids made no sense to me at all. And I have bought into a lot of scifi and fantasy concepts in my day. Its like they weren't even trying. If I can believe that when the robots take over they will rely on humans body heat for power, I can believe a lot, but throw me a bone here people.

So with nothing to hold it together, the story plods from place to place. A bit of jeopardy here, a bit of battle there. Nothing too compelling. The whole thing is a just a set-up for the next movie. Not so golden, I say.

December 7, 2007

December 6, 2007

Not JFK

A big part of the legend that is JFK is his famous September 1960 appearance before a group of Houston Ministers where he confronted issue of his Catholicism. Mitt Romney is confronting his Mormonism today. I feel its important that a hack like Romney not be allowed to impinge on the ground of sacred Kennedy, so here's Andrew O'Hehir in Salon to knock down the idea of this being Mitt's "Kennedy Moment"

The sad fact is that while Kennedy gave an impassioned speech on the need and importance of the separation of Church and State, Romney cannot do any such thing:

Romney needs to appease a constituency that conspicuously does not believe in the absolute separation of church and state, that favors public funding of religious education (or at least certain varieties of it) and has frequently sought to impose theological ideas or religious structures in the public sphere. He's not trying to convince right-wing evangelical Christians that he would govern as a secular president; he's trying to convince them that his ideas about religion are close enough to theirs, in some general way, that they should overlook the differences.

December 5, 2007

Repeal!

Today is Repeal Day.

Drink.

Its a right.

Hammer

"The nail that sticks up gets hammered" is a saying, um, somewhere, Japan I think and a completely viable approach to dealing with the GOP Presidential field. The rise of Huckabee means he needs to be hammered. Economic policy: Jonathan Chait attacks! Foreign Policy: He didn't know about the Iranian National Intelligence Estimate. The biggest story yet on Iran and he didn't know.

Boo I say. Boo.

December 4, 2007

Games Changed

Finally putting the intelligence back into intelligence reports. Yesterday, the release of a National Intelligence Estimate just cracked the march to war with Iran. An NIE is a consensus report of all the nation's intelligence services. And that conclusion is rather shocking, given what's been said by the administration recently. Iran ended its nuclear weapon program in 2003. Let me say that again. Iran ended its nuclear weapon program in 2003. That is the high confidence conclusion of the best intelligence we have. This is a conclusion that the White House has had for a year. A year in which we heard increasing heated rhetoric: Iran is getting a nuke, Iran will give that nuke to terrorists, WWIII is coming, and so on. It all sounded very familiar, and it was. All crap. There is no Iranian nuclear program. There is no threat. No need to go to war.

No more reason for Dick Cheney to even get out of bed in the morning.

December 3, 2007

Get this over with

Ok, it's time to speed this along. Gentlemen, could everyone who has not had sex with Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) please take two steps back.

December 2, 2007

December 1, 2007

Getting Sane

Here's an interesting bit of polling. According to Gallup, Republicans rate their mental health as excellent at much higher rates than the rest of us. Now some might claim than members of the GOP are more sane than the rest of us. But its important to note that this poll only asks people to rate their own mental health, its not a mental health evaluation. So Republicans think that they are sane. They are not sane. I refer you to this quote from Lost:

Jack: I think I'm going crazy.
Locke: Oh, you're not going crazy.
Jack: No?
Locke: No, crazy people don't know they're going crazy, they think they're getting saner.

Case closed.

I miss Lost.

Caucusing Is Easy

November 30, 2007

Epic Godly Violence

The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses

Trouble, they Name is Sex. Or Money.

Rudy Giuliani is facing crippling trouble. Turns out that when he was bonking his current-mistress and future-lucky-wife-#3 out in the Hamptons he was charging the City the cost. And doing so in a rather tricky way, paying for cops with money from other, obscure city departments. In fact, it seems that the NYPD was shuttling the mistress around like a taxi service. Putting your girlfriend on the public dole is pretty much the classic political sex sandal.

And this scandal cuts so deep because it breaks down the compartments of the Rudy! machine. So far he's been able to keep the bad (epic disaster of a personal life) away from the good (His term as Mayor of New York and all it includes, the drop in crime, 9/11, etc.) But here we see Rudy's personal life corrupting his term as Mayor. That cuts out the very heart of his campaign. Without the idealized term as Mayor to recommend him, Rudy is just a borderline personality whose politics don't match his party.

November 29, 2007

Fight, Fight

The Republicans have stopped being nice last night, both to each other and the evil Mexican hordes. I know some of the questions are dumb, but I still think the YouTube debates have been the most interesting on both sides. Come to think of it, these have been the only debates I've really watched

No heart for Huckabee. This guy is trouble. He's very good at this stuff, funny, friendly and nice. His is also way out there on social issues. This guy is sell bad stuff and he sells very well. Go read Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone for a good summation of the Huckabee problem.

November 28, 2007

America Today

Ok so His Dark Materials is a trilogy of novels, the first of which has been made into a movie, coming soon the theaters. These books are notable for a few things including Armored Polar Bear Warriors (Coolest. Thing. Ever.) and be very anti-religious. An evil church is the big bad they fight in the first book. In later books the big bad is God himself.

Naturally this source material leads to two things. One, the anti-religious themes of the book will be toned down in the movie so as not to offend. And two, people who's job in life is to be offended will be offended. Which pretty much much sums up America today.

The Catholic League and its president Bill Donohue will be offend no matter what. Its their whole purpose in life. So why not just be faithful to the material?

But still, Armored Polar Bears. I'm so in.

November 27, 2007

Peace in Our Time

Peace conference today. I'll be glade if the Bush administration managers to get though the day without setting the table on fire. They may be bad at war, but peace they take pleasure in screwing up. Seriously though, all three parties - Olmert, Abbas and Bush are politically crippled. I don't see how they come to an agreement that they can enforce. Better Presidents than this one have tried and failed. I'm not hopeful.

November 26, 2007

Not so Fast

Hold it there cowboy:

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Monday signed a deal setting the foundation for a potential long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq, with details to be negotiated over matters that have defined the war debate at home — how many U.S. forces will stay in the country, and for how long.

This is Bush trying to lock the United States into a permanent commitment in Iraq. Think of it as a way of hamstringing common sense before it can set up shop in 2009. Only problem is treaties have to be ratified by the Senate. And there is no way on God's green earth the Senate will sign on to a permanent presence in Iraq. Bush's strategy has been to stay in Iraq despite the clear desire of the American People to leave. Now, as Commander-in-Chief he can order the military to stay. But his has no power to put that commitment into law. The desire to stay in Iraq will end with his Presidency. Assuming, of course, that we keep this maniac out of the Oval Office.

Ha Ha

Al Gore to be honored at the White House today along with other American recipients of Nobel Prizes.

November 24, 2007

Fear Not

TPM has an amazing stat for you. Of New York City's roughy 500 (or less) murders this year, only 35 were committed by strangers. Think about that. Think how we are taught to fear strangers. From infancy we are taught that its people we don't know are the danger, when it turns out that its the people we know that could kill us. Think of all your friends, family and coworkers. If you don't know anyone on that list who wants to kill you, turns out that you are pretty damn safe.

Whole political movements are based around this fear. Here's LG&M knocking down a effort to turn pranks and false alarms into a global terror threat.

Terrorist are not going to kill you. Random strangers are not going to kill you. Just be nice to people you know and you will be safe.

November 21, 2007

Gunning for an Argument

The Supreme Court is going to hear arguments over a second amendment challenge to the DC City gun ban. Interestingly enough, its been over 70 since any second amendment case has gotten this far. Despite the long running debate on what rights, exactly, the second amendment is giving, SCOTUS has never ruled on the matter.
Which is really strange considering how many fights break out over "right to bear arms." Is it an indivigual right or just a right connected to military service? Count me in the latter camp, but at least this argument is going to get a hearing.

November 20, 2007

Racing

Just going to throw out some horserace numbers for you. Obama is ahead of Hillary for the first time in Iowa. Mitt is surging ahead of Rudy in New Hampshire.

The weird little States that have way too much influence in this process are doing exactly what I want them to do. I'm so conflicted.

November 19, 2007

Moment of Zen

Mike Huckabee has been endorced by Chuck Norris. The rest of them can just give up now.

November 18, 2007

Ouch

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans



I really have to step things up around here. More big words.

November 17, 2007

November 16, 2007

Great

Sure, why not give Victor Davis Hanson the National Humanities Medal. Its a fitting for our times. The Bush Administration: Where no act of stupidity goes unrewarded.

Cover-Up

As always, its not the crime, its the cover-up. Barry Bonds has been indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He is accused of lying to a grand jury about taking steroids.

Well damn. Its not just about should the record count anymore. The man is looking at serious jail time now.

November 14, 2007

Everything!

Here's a something scandalous that I'm pretty sure touches every single aspect of the United States I don't like. Judith Regan, former publisher for News Corporation, the evil empire of Rupert Murdoch (Ding!) and home of Fox News Channel, (Ding!) was fired in the wake of the OJ Simpson (Ding!)"If I did it" book scandal. She had an affair with Bernard Kerik, the mobbed-up former police commish for Rudy Giuliani (Ding!)Kerik, who came this close to being in charge of the department of Homeland Security (Ding), is now under indictment for a bunch of corruption-related activities. Judith Regan is now saying in a 100-million dollar lawsuit that a senior executive with NewsCorp encouraged her to lie to federal investigators about her past affair with Kerik in order to to protect the Presidential run of Giuliani. (Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!)

So if I figure this right, this whole affair has the potential to damage FoxNews, Rupert Murdoch, the Wall Street Journal, The White House, Rudy! and OJ Simpson.

Excellent.

November 13, 2007

Torn

In following the Presidential race, I've got two competing and contradictory rooting interests. I'm rooting for my preferred candidates in both parties and I am rooting against our current messed-up primary system. A few small, unrepresentative states have way too much influence, just because they vote early. But it turns out that these two interests are opposed to each other. Let me explain.

I'm still pulling for Obama. It may be that I just like the idea of Obama more than the actual man, but anyway, that's who I'm going for. Obama trails in almost all polls right now, but is very close in the first contest of Iowa. His best chance at this point is to beat Hillary in Iowa and then use the momentum from that win to overcome her national poll lead. I hate the fact that Iowa has so much influence in the current primary system. But that influence is my preferred candidate's best chance.

Likewise, the situation over in the Republican side has me all conflicted as well. Rudy Giuliani is pursuing a very unusual strategy. He is winning in national polls but losing to Mitt Romney in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. His plan is to just eat the early loses and go for the big wins in February, California and New York and so on. Now I would love for someone to win a nomination despite losing these freaky little early states. It would really undermine their influence in the future. But I don't want Giuliani to be the one to do that. The man is the best chance the GOP has in the general election. An he's a threat to the Republic.

So what is going happen? What do I want to happen? I'm so torn.

November 12, 2007

Freedom

Worth fighting for.

Of course fighting for not-fighting doesn't seem to be allowed.

November 10, 2007

Animation

Mark Ronson - Oh My God featuring a cartoon Lilly Allen.

November 9, 2007

Women in trouble.

Today in democracy promotion:

Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is preparing for talks with with the junta, but remains under house arrest.

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has just been placed under house arrest.

American opposition leader Hillary Clinton remains free, but is besieged by pettiness. But still, you have to say that she's getting a better deal than her fellows.

November 8, 2007

November 7, 2007

Maddess

Political news of the day: Pat Robertson Endorses Giuliani

I just don't get it. The whole point of Pat Robertson is to take away the right of abortion. That's the reason why he's in politics. The man started frakking social conservatism as we know it today: Anti- Gay, Choice, and Feminist.

So why on earth would he endorse the one Pro-Choice and Pro-Gay rights candidate in the Republican field? It makes no sense at all.

November 6, 2007

Department of Pots and Kettles

White House lectures Musharraf on the issue of not ending Constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism.

November 5, 2007

Striked

Writers are striking. No more Daily Show. Soaps are gone in about a week. Primetime shows last till the new year. Movies will take a while.

Pakistan Problems

Pakistan has always been neck and neck with Saudi Arabia to be the most problematic "friend" the US has. Well its making a strong case for number one as President/General Pervez Musharraf is cracking down in a big way, suspended the constitution, arresting dissidents and doing everything he can to keep the US government from pretending that he only sort of a dictator. Pakistan is of course, key in the whole fight against Al Qeada thing. Oh yeah, they have the nukes.

Here comes trouble.

November 3, 2007

Noted

Note how Timbaland adds some strange "catchness" voodoo so that the song stays in your head longer.

OneRepublic feat. Timbaland - Apologize

November 1, 2007

More Fake Fears

As has been discussed previously on this blog, there has never been a real case of a kid being poisoned by Halloween candy. Now we add a new fake fear to Halloween: Sex predators are coming for your children! Snatching them up as go about trick-or-treating! Of course, there are no actual cases of children ever being attacked on Halloween, but sense when has that ever stopped the fear mongering.

October 31, 2007

Rock On

Special Halloween Party Edition

Chris Brown - Wall To Wall



And of course Thriller. You can't have Halloween without Thriller.

Quote of the Day

"A sentence from Rudy Giuliani has three parts: a noun, a verb, and 9/11"

Joe Biden

October 30, 2007

Mistake

Who though that it would be a good idea to let the Vice President go hunting again? Does anyone really think that any good could possibly come of this? Didn't Cheney know better?

I mean, does the Vice President have such a deep, overwhelming need to kill something fuzzy that he just blows past the clear fact that no good will ever come his hunting?

October 29, 2007

Scary

Forget Ghosts and Goblins.

Some Ideas for truly scary costumes.

Bill Maher's idea.

Tom Tomorrow's

I myself will be going as Fear Itself. Pretty scary eh.

Or maybe I'll go as a French Maid. Now that's scary.

October 28, 2007

Up from the Underground

Graffi in my neighborhood:

Google Ron Paul

Thats right, someone is going around with a can a spray paint, try to drum up some attention for a dark horse through a web search.

I am so living in the future.

October 26, 2007

Still Don't Believe It

So I'm watching some coverage of the SoCal fires and Governor Arnold is getting some pretty good press and I still have yet to come to terms with the fact that he's our Governor. It's been over four years and every time he's on the TV I still say, out lound, "Wow, can you believe that Arnold Schwarzenegger is actually in charge of the state of California?"

I'm not sure I will ever come to terms with it.

October 25, 2007

Entertain Me

Salon has a long article up on the looming Hollywood screenwriters strike. This is real danger to my personal entertainment intake. I really like entertainment based on scrips. I live for cleaver dialogue. For the most part I can't stand reality shows. Which will be the only things on should the writers go on strike. I want the writers to get their fair share. I dream of being one someday. But I dread a strike. No more Lost, no more Office. Just 13 versions of Who Want to Marry this Freak. It could be a long winter.

By the By check out Kung Fu Monkey right now for a great behind the scenes look at a new heist show being created.

October 24, 2007

Banned!

It has come to my attention in recent weeks that a number of Craigorian Chant readers are finding that the page is blocked at work for being obscene, subversive, or otherwise not proper for the work environment. I have mixed feelings about this. Of course, I'm proud to be banned. But if I can't keep you guys from doing real work, I feel like I haven't been doing my job.

October 23, 2007

Least Bad

While picking the best Democrat to vote for in the Presidential primary is a worthy task, let us not forget we must also decide who we want the Republics to nominate. Of course there are two main criteria in this selection process. First, who is most likely not to foul up the Country and two, who is most likely to get their ass beat come the General Election. These factors may not always line up. My personal favorite Sam Brownback, (Gone now, Boo-Hoo) was sure to beaten in a general election, but would be a catastrophic social issue-wise if he were ever elected. Mike Huckabee is far scarier, because he brings the same regressive social policy in a much friendlier, more electable package.

But among the top tier, A strong case emerges for Romney. Basically, he was a moderate technocrat like 7 minuets ago, and is such a transparent phony that he could easily switch back and pursue moderate policies once in office. Plus he doesn't seem as committed to staying in Iraq and bombing Iran as the other guys. So Romney is the most likely closet moderate. I'm not saying that's likely and he could easily remain a right wing tool but hey we are picking the least bad option here. Rudy Giuliani on the other hand, would be a real danger to the Republic.

Plus, electability. While Rudy! has the 9/11 halo and general moderate appeal, Mitt!? has no special appeal beyond that of any generic Republican. And generic Republicans right now are doing terrible.

So Romney is the man. For both the not screwing the Country and beatablitiy factors.

What Matters?

So in the race to have the first Primary/Caucus a number of States have run afoul of National party rules and are now threatened with sanctions. The GOP is looking at cutting delegates for five different States. This may or may not matter. Normally, the States that go first have more influence than states with more delegates as the early birds get to winnow the field, get all the media attention and so on. California bitches about this every four years. But with things looking so confused on the GOP side, the delegate count may really matter. If its a close race, it could make all the difference if Florida, for example, loses half her delegates. And if that sort of thing matters, then there will be a fight. As in lawsuits, underhanded rules committee motions, and a fight over seating delegates at the national convention.

Fun times.

November is National Novel Writing Month

Who's with me?

October 22, 2007

SoCal is Burning

Not much to add, other than Run! and oh yeah, Glenn Beck is an Ass.

Everybody Wins

Check out this polling summery from RealClearPolitics. It averages together head-to-head match-ups of all the major Democrat and Republican challengers. Punchline: Every single Democrat leads every single Republican. That's every single combination of candidates. Which really does mean the GOP is in sorry shape this year. It also means that the liberal-minded should just forget about finding the candidate who is the "most electable" They are all electable. Just go with the one who will make the best President.

This state of affairs only makes the GOP race sadder. They are all trying to get the nomination by claiming to be the Hillary-Slayer and every single one of them are getting trounced by her.

October 21, 2007

Therapy

You know if his Dad had just named him Sue and not William, maybe Bill Kristol would have gotten into more fights as kid and be less incline to start them now.

October 20, 2007

October 19, 2007

Education

Continuing the ongoing Politics 101 seminar that is Craigorian Chant, here is MICHAEL KINSLEY with a primer on Libertarians and where they fit into the larger conceptual picture. I do differ with his conclusion that Libertarians are the future. Politics is fundamentally about problems and government's answer to those problems. Any movement who's basic approach is "there are problems and they best thing to do is nothing." will have trouble getting anywhere in this problem filled world of ours. Smart loners are not the future.

October 18, 2007

Not Enough

So I'm giving the new version of Bionic Women a try last night, and there are several references to the fact the new Bionicized Women is worth 50 million dollars. I figure they got this amount from original 6 million dollar figure, adjusted for inflation. It turns out 6 million in 1976 dollars is worth 22 million today. So they pumped the number up a bit. But 50 million still seems really low to me. A new F-22 fighter jet costs 150 million to build. I mean a F-22 is awesome (if sort of useless in today's world) but the bionic women is impossible. I think doing the impossible would cost a bit more than 1/3 of the price of one measly little fighter jet. This Country drops hundreds of billions of dollars on defense each year. At 50 million dollars a pop, we should be able to roll out Bionic Women like hot-cakes. And it would be money well spent. No one is trying to take control of the skies from the United States anymore. But lots of people want to punch us out and Bionic Women can totally handle that.

October 17, 2007

24%

My, thats a 24% Presidential job approval rating. You don't see that sort of thing every day, do you?

October 16, 2007

Destiny

A long lost relative, won over to the forces of light, will overthrow the Dark Lord, his distant relation, and claim his destiny.

Money Trouble

Congressman most in need of defeat John Doolittle is running behind in fundraising not only to his Democratic challenger Charlie Brown, but also to a man challenging him in the GOP Primary.

The Republican party is desperately looking for a door to shove Doolittle out of. I'm sure one of the following things will remove Doolittle:

1. Arrest
2. A need for more time with his family
3. Defeat in the Primary
4. Defeat in the General

Just not sure which.

Be not Afraid

For there are no terrorist here:

Six years of investigations and prosecutions have turned up little evidence of Islamic jihadists at work in the United States, according to a study released Monday.

The study, conducted by New York University's Center on Law and Security, tracked 510 cases billed as terrorism-related when arrests were made.
...
he study found only four people -- including confessed al Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui and "shoe bomber" Richard Reid -- were convicted of planning attacks within the United States.

"The vast majority of cases turn out to include no link to terrorism once they go to court," the report found. The analysis "suggests the presence of few, if any, prevalent terrorist threats currently within the U.S."

The report questioned the usefulness of the anti-terrorist USA Patriot Act, passed after the September 11, 2001, attacks, finding prosecutors relied primarily on previous laws.


Really what we have in this Country was one spectacular and singular attack. And then nothing else. Because there is nothing else. The men who performed the 9/11 attacks turn out to be the only real terrorist in America. There are no others. There have been no more attacks. No new terrorists have been arrested. So there where no more terrorist in the United States. All this fuss, this paranoia, is over nothing.

October 15, 2007

Experimentation

Dana Goldstein points out in Tapped that, in the wake of the failure of immigration reform, local jurisdictions are addressing the issue in a bunch of different ways. Some (Oklahoma!) are doing all they can to drive out illegal immigrants, while other places (San Francisco, Surprise!) are doing all they can to welcome the undocumented. You know what this means right? A chance for social experimentation!. Sure national reform would have been nice, but the current state of affairs gives us a chance to see the effects of illegal immigrants. Do they help or hurt the economy? Crime Rate? Quality of Mexican and Chinese Restaurants?

My guess is the undocumented are far more beneficial than harmful. And here is our chance to find out.

Late Night

My Lady Joss Stone does Under Pressure:

October 14, 2007

Left Out

Look at how petty Kristol and Krauthammer get over Gore's Nobel peace prize. I think they are just feeling left out. There is no "war prize" No one celebrates people who work long and hard start wars. Because wars are bad. Kristol and Krauthammer forgot that a long time ago. Wars bad, peace good. 100 hundred times on the chalkboard, both of you.

October 12, 2007

Congratulations

Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace prize for his work on Climate Change. Just to review, the man has won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Nobel and they have all been consolation prizes.

Let us first take in the spectacle of hundreds of conservative head exploding as one.

Let us not forget as Josh Marshall says that "he greatest step for world peace would simply have been for Gore not to have had the presidency stolen from him in November 2000"

Al Gore fights for future of us all. A worthy prize for a worthy man and worthy work.

Congratulations

October 11, 2007

Let Us Praise:

Elmore Leonard, who turns 82 today. Leonard is master of the Extra-Cool crime novel. The kinds of novels that make great movies. Christopher Orr has a round-up. I leave you with this choice piece from Out of Sight:

"Buddy, is that his given name?"

"Its the name I gave him, yeah."

October 10, 2007

IRS V Pimps

Isaac Chotiner finds GOP Dark Horse Mike Huckabee wanting to unleash the IRS on pimps and hos. Interestingly, this is the second time I've seen this policy proposal. There is an element of the GOP that thinks one of the two things certain in life is going to end the worlds oldest profession.

October 9, 2007

Bold

Sure, the clerk might have taken a 100,000 dollar bill, but a million dollar bill is pushing it, don't you think?

Oh and fun fact: there hasn't been anything larger than a Benjamen in circulation since 1969. Good to know.

October 8, 2007

Please Don't Help

For the love of GOD (Just for an aside, what do Buddhist say when then want take The Lord's name in vane? How do Buddhist curse, anyway?) Keep Bill Kristol away from Burma. He wants to bomb. Or invade. I'm not sure exactly what, but under no circumstances should the leading intellectual light of our current disaster in Iraq be allowed anywhere near Burma. Even if in my darker liberal hawk moments I've indulged fantasies of having the 101st Airborne giving Aung San Suu Kyi her country back. But with this crew in power, we would be lucky if the nation didn't break off from the rest of Asia and sink into the sea.

Even when we get some competent leadership back in charge in this Country, the damage to American power, prestige, and standing in the world we have suffered over the last seven years means that we are less able to do good on a whole range of issues, not the least would be to get the government of Burma to stop murdering large numbers of its own people. Mahablog has a good example how the massive debt we've run up under Republican governance weakens us vis-a-vie Burma's friend China.

Worthless Libertarian

Libertarian are never people I would want in charge of things, but I find useful to have around. I wouldn't want to live in world with no public schools, no roads but toll roads and having to take Ayn Rand seriously. But I do check in with Reason's Hit and Run. Libertarians have valid critics of the drug war, militarization of the police, and generally keeping government out of our bedrooms. Plus, they have an excellent nose for really stupid government regulations, which I welcome if only to help clear the air for the regulations that we do need. Nothing hurts good laws and social programs like bad laws and social programs which undermine government.

Which brings us to Ron Paul, "Libertarian" dark horse running in the GOP Primary, who is getting attention for being the only anti-Iraq War Republican and raising a fair respectable chunk of change. But Paul is pretty worthless as a Libertarian. He's pro-life, and against gays in the military, and seems rather ok with government in the bedroom. I'm not giving up public schools and Social Security for this. While his anti-war stance makes him notable for a Republican, that stance is tied to a plum crazy view of the world.

I want my idiots to be useful, and Ron Paul is not useful.

Health

From Sunday Morning Chats, Speaker Pelosi v Fox edition:

Wallace: When you pray for President Bush, what do you pray for?

Pelosi: I pray that -- well, at the same as I pray for him, I pray for America's children and that there can be some compatibility in their thinking. But I pray for his health, his well being. I pray that he makes the right decisions for the American people. But when I . . .


Think of Vice President Cheney and pray for President Bush's health.

October 7, 2007

Rock It

Maroon 5 - Wake Up Call



Sex and Violence. Fun Times.

October 4, 2007

Craigs Don't Quit

Larry Craig: not resigning.

Pen of Death

President Bush veto of an SCHIP expansion is only the fourth of his Presidency. The other three are two vetoes of Stem Cell research funding and a measure that would bring the Iraq war to an end. Thats less health care for kids, less medical research, and more war. So basically, every time Bush gets out that veto pen, people are going to die.

October 3, 2007

Obama On War

Obama's speech on eve of the Iraq War. Tape is incomplete, so they have campaign volunteers finish. Nice touch.



From TheGarance. Adding a "The" in front of your name, very trendy.

Death Machine Halts

The One-State killing rampage that is the Texas Justice system comes to a brief halt.

October 2, 2007

Clunk

I don't think I've blogged a bit about Fred Thompson's late-breaking run for the GOP Presidential nomination, mainly because I can't muster up anything more than "The Law and Order guy? Really? Why?" But it appears that the man has gotten to a fairly respectable place in the polls based on nothing more than have a deep and commanding voice. He apparently knows nothing about the world. Steven Benen has a great round-up of all the thing he hasn't know already in his short campaign. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that more flat out ignorance is not what we need in the White House right now.

October 1, 2007

Oh Damn

V for Vendetta:

Dominic: What do you think will happen?
Finch: What usually happens when people without guns stand up to people *with* guns.

Burma

Banned!

Lord Emperor Craig is issuing the following proclamation. Henceforth, the following persons, terms and talking points shall be banned from the public discourse:

Item the First: No more casually tossing around "Nazis" and "Hitler" insults. Its cheap, its easy and no one on ether side deserves it. Except maybe Cheney. No, no, not even Cheney. Hitler is dead. Move on.

Item the Second: No more calling Hillary Clinton "ambitious" like its an insult or disqualifies her. Everybody running for President is ambitious. In fact, everyone calling Hillary ambitious is ambitious themselves. Everyone is ambitious. Its just some of us lack the talent to rise up in the world and thus become political pundits. Ambitious is just code for "uppity women"

Item the Third: When every we talk about Iran everyone must first say "war with Iran is a terrible idea." You then may then go on to discuss Iran in a not-insane manner. Anyone calling for war with Iran shall be sent to the Emperor Craig political reeducation camp forthwith.

Item the Fourth: Bill Kristol is banned from our public discourse. Just go away. Begone.

Let the word go forth into the land. The Emperor has spoken.

September 30, 2007

What a Waste

Newt decides that he's not going to run. After all I the time I put into pimping his run. I feel so used. I was totally going to pledge money. I swear.

New dream: Giuliani get the nomination and triggers a third party effort from conservatives.

September 28, 2007

World Still not Right

Crackdown in Burma ongoing. Protesters shot, beaten, arrested. The Internet has been cut off in the Country. All the old crimes in all the newest ways.

September 27, 2007

Terrible

If you have a player named Hope Solo then you play her. They benched Solo and now they lost the game. Very simple.

No Fuel for the Fire

Richard Just in The Plank:

Of course there are people who want the United States to go to war with Iran, and who therefore had their own set of reasons for giving Ahmadinejad a rude reception this week. I am, emphatically, not one of those people. But does opposing war with Iran really require liberals to act politely towards an illiberal monster like Ahmadinejad--to overlook his repression of dissidents, his sponsorship of terrorism, his fanatical anti-semitism?

I'm sorry but the answer is to this rhetorical question is YES. There is a powerful faction of the United States Government that is intent on starting a war with Iran. If you don't want this war, and Just doesn't, you have to not spend your days saying how horrible Iran is. Because that will only build the case for war. I would love to spend my days denouncing Ahmadinejad. But to do so these days in to invite catastrophe. Denounce Burma. They deserve it too and they're in no danger of triggering a misguided war in the process.

September 26, 2007

My First Cause

Let me tell you how I learned that all might not be right with the world. Back in high school for Academic Decathlon our super-quiz subject was called "Documents of Freedom" a collection of letters, speeches, and well documents that had advanced the cause of freedom in the world. We would study the texts, the history behind them and so on. Declaration of Independence, Letters from a Birmingham Jail, something from Gandhi etc, etc. In the collection was a speech from Aung San Suu Kyi a democratic activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner in Burma. She has fought for years against a military dictatorship in her country, which the junta has renamed Myanmar. What shocked me at time was that unlike Lech Wałęsa, the American Revolution and the rest of the people we were studying, Suu Kyi had not won. When you study history in the mid-1990s, the glow still on the end of the Cold War, you get a sense that freedom really was on the march, that dictatorships were doomed to fail and that the good guys pretty much always won in the end. In fact, despite winning an election overwhelmingly and support for her cause worldwide, Suu Kyi remains under house arrest and the generals remain in charge: a situation that has remained unchanged ever since I learned about it some 13 years ago.

So I note today the growing protests in Burma, led by Buddhist monks, the coming crackdown, international pressure, hope and fear. Hope for change and fear of backlash. And nothing to do but watch.

UPDATE: We do call it Burma. James Fallows explains why.

September 25, 2007

Sweet

I would just like to note that the US Women's National Soccer Team, currently marching inevitably to another World Cup this month, has in goal a person by the name of Hope Solo. This really could be the most awesomely named person ever.

September 24, 2007

My Case

Oh, you want to know why Newt eh? So many reasons! First of all, he would lose and lose big. Johnson-Goldwater big. A few isolated GOP Congressman still left alive in all the wreckage big. But more importunately, he would lose in a very entertaining manner. Unlike, say, Sam Brownback, who would lose in a grim and humorless dirge of a campaign, Newt would go out like a New Orleans Funeral march. The man is ridiculously grand and foolish. Even his name is high comedy. He wants give homeless people laptops. He wants to unleash the innovative power of government by...defunding the government. He writes alternative history with scenarios like "what if Lee had won at Gettysburg" or "What if we had invaded Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia after 9/11" He was boffing a member of his staff the same time he impeached President Clinton. His destruction (and that of the GOP along with him) will be happy fun time.

UPDATE: AddieStan makes her case for Newt. She's less optimistic than I, but does point out the great list of Newt scandals, some of which I forgot about. Also, she has a great quote from Newt about creationism, chaos theory and, and... just read it.

Strike!

Wow, its been a while sense we've had one of these.

Mmmm Awkward

So the President of Iran is coming to America. This has triggered a whole battalion of controversy (Ground Zero! University Speech! How Do You Say His Name?!) Ahmadinejad puts the the non-insane of this County in an awkward spot. He is a nasty bugger and a figurehead of a nasty regime. But there is a faction of insane people in the world that really really want war between our Countries, despite common sense and all decency. So any recognition of Ahmadinejad's/Iran's nastiness lends credence to a completely insane foreign policy. I have no brief for Ahmadinejad. But there is a large contingent of people in this County who want everyone to believe he's the modern Hitler so they can bring about another disastrous war. So we end up having to defend the nasty but non-Hitler Ahmadinejad, just to ward off disaster. Neat trick.

September 23, 2007

My Town At War

Took in the first of Ken Burn's The War tonight, excellent work, as is expected from Mr. Burns. Sacramento is featured as one of four communities around which the central narrative is formed. So you will get the story of how Sacramento won the war. Or did its part.

In honor of the event, here's a documentary on the Battle of Hoth from Empire Strikes Back. The style may seem familiar.

Put Up

Newt says that he will run if supporters pledge to raise $30 million before November. Put me down for $12.25. That's the entire contents of my wallet at this exact moment.

September 21, 2007

All Hat

No Horses.

According to the former President of Mexico Vicente Fox, President Bush is scared of horses.

Revelations

From Jess, head of the Craigorian Chant San Diego Bureau:

The mayor's daughter is GAY!!!!

So the city council recently passed (5-3) a resolution to support the fight in court to try to overturn the evil CA gay marriage ban. SD passed it by more than most in '04, but apparently our city council is much more liberal than our general population. Until recently, he had said he would veto it. Apparently, he determined yesterday that he couldn't look his daughter in the eye if he did that. So, yesterday afternoon, he publicly outed her (I assume with her permission) and changed his stance. A rare socially liberal moment in the city of San Diego. And today, he officially launches his re-election campaign. We'll see how that goes. While he's still not my favorite person in SD politics, he just took a step up in my book.


Mark down another conservative done in by reality.

September 19, 2007

Snooze Bar Abuse

Right about the same time I stagger out of bed, my neighbor's alarm clock goes off. During the summer when both our windows are open I can hear it. Not loud enough to wake me up but I can hear it. As I go about my morning prep, shower, blog and so on I can keep hearing this alarm go off every eight minuets or however long their snooze bar allows them. This goes on for at least a full hour before I leave for the day job. My neighbor is lying in bed, hitting the snooze bar for over an hour! That can not be healthy. Just set your alarm a little later. You're not fooling anyone. You're not even fooling me and have no idea where you are.

September 18, 2007

Anti-Democracy Twofer

By some weird kink of our Constitution, Washington DC has no representatives in the Federal Government. Also, due to outdated parliamentary procedure known as a filibuster, it takes 60 votes and not a simple majority to pass laws in the Senate.

Well an attempt to rectify the first problem was just foiled by the second. We have a few kinks to work out in this system.

Blackwater Down

This weeks major development in Iraq is the banning of controversial security firm Blackwater by the Iraqi government following a shoot-out that left eight civilians dead. Private security firms have been running wild in Iraq from the start of the occupation. So the US is now left with either loses a major part of its security apparatus or overriding the Iraqi government and showing them up as a US puppet.

Bush thinks his play for time gives us a chance for a lucky break in Iraq, but really, more time in Iraq just gives the Demon Murphy more time to work his magic.

September 17, 2007

OJ

Let me get this straight. He going to go down over a Sport Memorabilia Deal gone bad. Drugs or smuggled diamonds or Incan matrimonial headmasks I could understand but old sports junk?

Then again he is OJ Simpson and thus completely immune to prosecution. Why not bring guns to a sport memorabilia deal?

Wait and See

Ok, Bush is putting up a former judge named Michael Mukasey to replace the late great Alberto "I do not recall, Senator" Gonzales. Initial reaction see to be that he's not a total tool:

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called Mukasey "an extraordinary difference from John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales," President Bush's first two attorney generals, both considered very conservative.

"Mukasey comes out of a New York moderate tradition that goes back to Thomas Dewey; Lawrence Walsh, Iran-Contra prosecutor; Robert Fisk, first independent counsel in the Whitewater case," Toobin said. "These are all sort of moderate Republicans, not especially political people."


Also see Glenn Greewald on signs of independence from Mukasey.

If Mukasey turns out to be the least bit independent that means some pretty embarrassing subpoenas are going to get approved. Its only been the complete toolishnish of Gonzales that has kept a number of Bush administration out of jail for contempt of Congress.

September 16, 2007

Coming Soon

Oh good cause I was spending way too much time outdoors, anyway.



What all are you looking forward to seeing?

September 14, 2007

Check

So now we have Shaheen running in New Hampshire and Warner running in Virgina so its looking like 2008 will be another very good year in the Senate for the Donkeys. People think the Democrats are going to do well - people give more money to Dems - The top Dem candidates jump into key races - People think the Democrats are going to do well. I love a positive feedback loop, don't

President of La La Land

Ludicrous!

September 13, 2007

Hope.

John Judis, political analysis par excellence, raises the yummy possibility of a tie among the GOP candidates for President and that holy grail of political junkies everywhere the brokered convention. Now this possibility is raised every four years but this time there's real hope. There are no less than 4 major candidates on the GOP side, each with support in the polls and each with fatal flaws that keep them from running the table. Unlike the Dems, where the likely outcome is either Hillary unstoppable or Obama/Edwards (one, not both) stopping her Kerry-Dean style, I could easily see Giuliani-Thompson-Romney-McCain trading off wins in a lot of different states and splitting up the Country regionally, Thompson takes the South, Romney the Northeast, Giuliani Mid-Atlantic and so on. No one gets enough delegates to win the nomination and the GOP goes to the convention having to cut a deal. This result would be both 1. super entertaining, and 2. a complete disaster for the party.

Fingers crossed.

Lies!

Oh man, I know you are a spy master and live in a world cloaked in shadow and deception, but don't lie to Congress about major policies and their effectiveness. My God, you just can't run a government like this.

September 12, 2007

Bush's Iraq Policy is a Joke

An old Jewish Joke, as it turns out.

Hmmmm

So let me get this strait. The surge is working so great we have to end it? Of course not. We have run out of troops. The choices are either break the army, end the surge or start a draft. Now if Iraq really was the critical battle in the War on Terror and the surge really was making a critical difference in that battle the Bush Administration would either risk breaking the army or take the political risk of implementing a draft. But Iraq isn't critical in the War on Terror. And the surge isn't making a difference. So despite all the rhetoric, the surge is coming to an end.

September 11, 2007

Forget

Let's not remember this day. Let's just go on about our day. No flags, no video tape. 9/11 doesn't make us any better as a nation. It makes us scared and stupid. It lets foolish leaders do foolish things. It destroys our rights. It destroys nations. It has become a gimmick, a brand name to sell the American people wiretaps and occupations. Let us bury this day forever before it buries us.

The Petraeus Show

The circus has come to town, but we are not learning very much. Well, we are learning just how much FoxNews is in the bag for this administration, but that's really not new. GOP support is dripping away, much too slowly, while the casualties continue to pile up, much too fast.

September 10, 2007

Fight, Fight

The fight over withdrawal from Iraq is not just going on out here in political realm, but inside the military as well:

For two hours, President Bush listened to contrasting visions of the U.S. future in Iraq. Gen. David H. Petraeus dominated the conversation by video link from Baghdad, making the case to keep as many troops as long as possible to cement any security progress. Adm. William J. Fallon, his superior, argued instead for accepting more risks in Iraq, officials said, in order to have enough forces available to confront other potential threats in the region.

The polite discussion in the White House Situation Room a week ago masked a sharper clash over the U.S. venture in Iraq, one that has been building since Fallon, chief of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees Middle East operations, sent a rear admiral to Baghdad this summer to gather information. Soon afterward, officials said, Fallon began developing plans to redefine the U.S. mission and radically draw down troops.

One of those plans, according to a Centcom officer, involved slashing U.S. combat forces in Iraq by three-quarters by 2010. In an interview, Fallon disputed that description but declined to offer details. Nonetheless, his efforts offended Petraeus's team, which saw them as unwelcome intrusion on their own long-term planning. The profoundly different views of the U.S. role in Iraq only exacerbated the schism between the two men.


Bush wants to stay and will "listen" to Petraeus and not Fallon. But those of us who wish to withdrawal from Iraq do have allies in to Pentagon and President Hil-bama-wards will find it very easy to finds generals willing to implement a draw down of US forces once they take office.

September 8, 2007

So Where You Bin?

New Osama Tape. My points:

1. What the hell is he doing still out there in the world, making videos!

2. The actual contents of the tape are a rambling political rant that draws on a whole bunch of different ideologies. Josh Patashnik called it a combination of "Noam Chomsky , Huey Long, and Dinesh D'Souza." The result is a political ink blot in which you can see your political opponents and use OBL to smear them. Case in point. Hitler was a vegetarian! Communists confiscate guns! Osama wants tax cuts!

3. Just for Men

4. What the hell is he doing still out there in the world, making videos!

September 7, 2007

And Now the Economy

Mortgages and Jobs reports and Stocks and thing are not looking so good. The last thing we all need.

September 6, 2007

Look at all that Metaphorical Blood in the Metaporical Water

From Kos, a GOP firm has released a poll showing John Doolittle losing to Charles Brow 51% to 31%. Kos speculates that the firm works for one of the Republicans looking to challenge Doolittle in the Primary, but regardless, this poll show Doolittle looking critically weak.

The investigation continues. Its really only a matter of who gets him first, the Feds or the voters.

September 5, 2007

Encore

It appears that Senator Larry Craig hasn't had enough yet and is reconsidering the whole resign in disgrace thing. It seem pretty futile to me. He's already plead guilty, so there's no legal case to beat and its not like the GOP is going to become cool with gay people based on their close personal friendship with Larry Whats-his-Name from Idaho.

But hey, much like I would like to see Paris Hilton tossed in jail once a month for the good of the Republic, maybe we could have a US Senator resign in disgrace every month. That could really warm the hearts of lots of people.

September 3, 2007

Not True

Lies stacked on lies. Bush sneaks into Iraq, goes to Al Anbar province instead of Baghdad for an exciting change of pace. Actually, he goes to Anbar to highlight "successes" in that province and to take the spotlight away from lack of any political progress in the Capital. "Success" in Iraq must always be put into quote-marks. Because as Juan Cole points out, the "success" in Anbar includes 20 American troops killed in July, 80% unemployment, death squads and car bombs.

The truth is we have lost control of events in Iraq. We cannot change conditions on the ground. The US Army is left pretending that this or that little section of the Country is doing better, while the rest of the Country falls apart.

Rock On

Roy Orbison - I Drove All Night



Hope I'm being ironic posting this.

September 1, 2007

One Less Craig

Taking up valuable media time that could be better spent on me.

Senator Craig resigns.

The lesson here being, that gay people really aren't allowed in today's Republican Party.

August 29, 2007

Punking Karl

Well, you do what you can:

White House pranksters wrapped Rove's Jaguar in plastic wrap on the private driveway next to the West Wing. Rove's car is easily recognizable because of its "I love Barack Obama" bumper sticker and the twin stuffed-animal eagles on the trunk. Oh, and there's a stuffed-animal elephant on the hood.

Its not being lead away in handcuffs, but at this point I'll take what I can get.

Is Bourne Anti-American?

Bill O'Reilly and Mickey Kaus say yes, Christopher Orr says no.

I with Orr on this. Bourne is basically about good and bad elements within US government and the good guys win. The problem is that Kaus and O'Reilly identify with what the bad guys want to do and it disturbs them that these movies show those tactics being used by the black hats. They want to "take the gloves off" which means torture, which means murder. That's what the bad guys do.

O'Reilly:

Damon does work for the far-left MoveOn organization and is on record as requesting the Bush daughters serve in Iraq.

The actor also told the Idaho Statesman that the CIA's use of water boarding is an erosion of our American values.

Guess what? There's a water boarding scene in the flick. What a coincidence!


Why yes there is a water boarding scene in the movie. "Water Boarding" is euphemism for torturing someone by drowning them. O'Reilly hates that movie shows us what water boarding is. He doesn't want you to see what he is advocating. Torture is a tool of bad people both in movies and real life. But O'Reilly and Kaus wants us to torture. Not in movies, but as the official policy of the United States government.

August 28, 2007

Again

So, another conservative caught with his hand in the gay cookie jar. This time it's an Idaho Senator whose was otherwise notable only for having the tasteful name of Larry Craig.

Look, there's a reason why this kind of thing keeps happening. The GOP and the conservative movement at this point are built around hating gay people. But there are a number of gay people in the country who really like church, tax cuts, or invading countries for no good reason. So we end up with quite of few closeted Republicans. Who are still gay, despite all efforts to the contrary. So we keep getting these ludicrous scandals as ideology loses out to nature.

August 27, 2007

Man of Vision

Go check out this write-up in our home town paper of Chris C-B, occasional contributor to this blog and, apparently, a paradigm shattering changer of worlds.

I particularly like the photo included with the story. Chris is peering into distance -no- the future and pointing to humanity's great destiny on the horizon, a destiny only he can see.

They are going to turn that photo in a bronze statue, just you wait.

Nice job, Chris.

Hey, Hey, Heyyy...

Goodbye.

Alberto Gonzales is resigning
. And with one voice the nation crys out "What took so long?"

This is a comforting resignation to me. It restores order to the universe. That someone that bad could hold on to that job for so long is like fire not being hot or gravity repelling objects. It was a defiance of all the known laws of politics.

Order has been restored.

August 24, 2007

Bit by Bit

So senior GOP Senator Mark Warner, The Joint Chiefs and GOP Voters in the State of Iowa all want to see the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Now these these are not full withdrawals Warner and the Joint Chiefs are talking about, but it is moving in the right direction. It could just be a stall tactic, withdrawal a little, so we don't have to withdraw a lot, but I think withdrawal will have a momentum of its own once it gets started. Which is why Bush will do anything to keep a drawdown from beginning.

The Iowa poll number is more interesting. If actual GOP voters check out on Iraq then the politicians will fallow. After all they keep backing massive subsidies for corn ethanol in order to keep Iowa happy, and that is far more stupid policy than withdrawing troops from Iraq.