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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


September 13, 2007


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.


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.


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


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


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.