Thursday, August 30, 2007


If you watch college football, read King Kaufman's latest column. As a fan of one of the non-conference teams that wasted its time with Indiana State a year or two ago, I couldn't agree more. And don't forget, too: we're actually expected to buy tickets to those snooze-fests.

"first we hang 'em, then we shoot 'em, then we drown 'em, and THEN we kill 'em!"

Yes yes yes, it's so good to hear someone else say it. From Andrew O'Hehir at Salon:
Assuming, for the purposes of argument, that some movies are actually worth seeing at that price -- or would be, if doing so were actually fun and relaxing -- some central themes come into focus. You want consistent picture and sound quality. You want comfortable seating. You want little or no pre-show advertising, and absolutely no condescending lectures about movie piracy. "If I wanted to be patronizingly lectured at and be forced to watch ads, I'd watch Fox News," writes one reader. You don't mind a few trailers, as long as they don't go on forever and don't seem totally incongruous with the movie you're there to see. You want decent, reasonably priced food options, and possibly an adult beverage or three. You want the movie to start on time. You want the place to be acceptably clean and tidy, although nobody is expecting your mom's bathroom circa 1973.

You want the people around you to shut up during the movie (I think we can agree that talking, hooting and inappropriately laughing during previews is excepted). You want them to turn off their damn phones and you especially want anybody who somehow thinks it's OK to intermittently consult their BlackBerry or their Treo or whatever liquid-crystal, visible-for-miles, brilliant-oceanic-blue screen they've got, right in the middle of a dark room of strangers trying to preserve a collective trance, to be dragged away in chains, flayed alive and sacrificed to the Dead Serpent God that He may live again. [emphasis mine]

I agree with all the other stuff, but my last 3 movies in a row have been tainted by proximity of wankers getting their texting fix every 5 f**king minutes. I don't like sticky floors, and I don't usually buy the food, and bad sound can be irritating, but people who pull out their cell phones or blackberries and start texting or playing video games or whatever in the theater, even/especially if it's only for a couple of seconds every 5 minutes, bring out in me an emotion I can only describe as murderous rage. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. The little white light shining in the corner of my eye is like having a dead skunk under the seat: you can't ever take your mind off of it, and it becomes more maddening every second. I think I would make the same faces, too. Last time I spent 10 minutes fantasizing about kicking the dude down the stairs of the theater and breaking his phone apart in my hands while he faded from consciousness. I am actually apprehensive about going to the theater again because I just know that next time I'm going to either: 1. actually yell "TURN THAT SHIT OFF!!", or 2. grab the offending tool (I actually mean the phone) and throw it at the screen.

GOP turns down Univision debate

From The Miami Herald:
Univisión planned to air the first presidential debates in Spanish on Sept. 9 and 16, one for Democrats, the other for Republicans, trumpeting a national coming-out party for Hispanic voters.

Except Republican candidates aren't coming. Only Ariz. Sen. John McCain agreed to participate in the event at the University of Miami.

So much for Sept. 16.

''That date is off the table,'' university spokeswoman Bárbara Gutiérrez said Wednesday.
All eight Democratic candidates are slated to show up Sept. 9, and party leaders plan to highlight the contrast. The New Democratic Network, a nationwide political group, is planning news conferences and inviting Hispanic leaders, including Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, former Cabinet member Henry Cisneros and U.S. Rep. Luís Gutiérrez of Illinois.

Most of the Republican field also ignored invitations to attend Hispanic-oriented conferences in Florida organized by the National Association of Latin Elected Officials and the National Council of La Raza.

Foolish. There's one thing W had right, and that's that future GOP success depends on the Hispanic vote. If the GOP keeps blowing them off and, even worse, using them as scapegoats and objects of derision, they could fall out of power for a generation.

By the way, you may notice in the graph above that Univision was even going to give Republicans a debate on Dieciseis de Septiembre, Mexican Independence Day (the reporter appears to have missed the significance of the date). Appearing at a Spanish-language channel's debate on Mexican Independence Day would've been a hell of a gesture after all their nativist bullshit the last year or two.

Personally, I think the Democrats should angle to have their day switched.

trolls and cruisers

You may notice on a different thread that I got my first troll! Now I'm big time!

In other news, here's an eye-opening story, from dKos:
Two weeks ago, the kids and I went on a trip to visit friends in San Antonio, Texas. On the way we stopped at a rest area just off the interstate. What happened next made me very uneasy...

I was drinking coffee heavily so that I would stay awake and needed to relieve myself pretty badly. I pulled into a rest area, locked the car doors, left the kids sleeping in the car, and went into the restroom. When I entered I noticed it was unoccupied except for a pair of sneakers visible under the second stall.

As I unzipped at one of the urinals and began to relieve my burning bladder I heard a voice say "Hey, what's up?". I looked around and there was no one else in the restroom. After a moments hesitation, I answered "Not much".

A little time went by and he says, "What ya doing?".

I didn't feel very comfortable talking to someone in a stall but I didn't want to be rude and answered, "Uh...we are heading to San Antonio to visit friends."

"Want to come over?", he says.

At this point I am really uncomfortable and I finish up and scoot over to the sink to wash up. "No I don't think so.", I replied. Wow, was this something else. I had never even had someone next to me with a wide stance before and now I've got someone in the stall asking me over!

As I reached for the paper towels to dry my hands I hear, "Hey man, can I call you back? There's some asshole in the bathroom answering every thing I say."

Hehe, gotcha.

media double-standard

From AP:
A conservative media watchdog organization charged Wednesday that the network morning news shows have spent considerably more time this year on Democrats running for president than on Republicans.

Of course the networks are spending more time on the Democrats. Whoever wins that primary will almost certainly win the White House, so it's much more interesting to hear them than the GOP's clowns.

Also, it's interesting that these guys got an AP article so quickly. I wonder if any of Media Matters' studies on pro-GOP bias in the media have been treated similarly?

Third point: who got rid of the Fairness Doctrine?

Answer: Ronald Reagan.

You made this bed, assholes. Now you've gotta sleep in it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

worst. idea. ever.

Many people are getting screwed with their property taxes this year, and they're right to cry foul. The government cannot expect to double people's taxes in one fell swoop with impunity; they are going to have to find a workaround until saner heads occupy the White House and repeal the Bush tax cuts, after which the federal government can start giving adequate funding to the states again.

That being said, it appears from here that the issue is not that Jackie Walorski and her supporters have some intellectual or even ideological argument against the concept of the property tax; they just want free stuff. They want the same services they've always enjoyed without having to pay for them.

Why do I say that? Because excitement about ditching the property tax tends to cool when you mention that, in order to do so, we'd have to double the sales tax (to 13.2%), TRIPLE the income tax (to 9%), or add another 50% to both (9.5% and 6%). Still look like a sweet solution to you?

As one would expect, these upstanding Christians have suggested that we recoup some of the money by raising taxes on charities, and by "cutting spending," which the politically-minded recognize immediately as Republican fundiespeak for "screw the poor" (because raising the sales tax, which disproportionately hits the poor, isn't screwing them enough, I guess).

It appears that not enough high school teachers taught the concept of "TINSTAAFL" to their kids. Looks like Sunday school's been forgetting a couple of lessons, too.

Condi's bourgeois entitlement-syndrome

Why does this not surprise me? From ThinkProgress:
In his upcoming biography of Condoleezza Rice, Washington Post correspondent Glenn Kessler shows how the Secretary of State “has lost none of her bluntness” while working “hard to soften her edges.” In one anecdote revealed by Kessler, Rice dressed down a jewelry store clerk who gave her less than satisfactory service:
Coit Blacker, a Stanford professor who is one of the secretary of state’s closest friends, recalls going into a shop where Rice asked to see earrings. The clerk showed her costume jewelry. Rice asked to see something nicer, prompting the clerk to whisper some sass under her breath.

Blacker remembers Rice tearing the woman to shreds.

“Let’s get one thing straight,” he recalls her saying. “You are behind the counter because you have to work for minimum wage. I’m on this side asking to see the good jewelry because I make considerably more.”

A manager quickly brought Rice better baubles.

The Secretary of State who was too busy buying shoes on 5th Avenue and watching Broadway shows to help New Orleanians drowning in filthy water 2 years ago (while her boss was similarly distracted at his "ranch" in Texas) delivers here a very revealing upbraid. She saw herself as superior to the clerk, and by virtue of the size of her pocketbook. Now I understand why such a well-educated black woman who grew up in Birmingham in the '50's would become a Republican, serving in the most conservative administration of the post-war era, and under the first Southern conservative president.

Condi thinks being rich means never having to say you're equal.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I'm just sayin'.

The Sky is Cryin'

(statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn at Town Lake, Austin, TX)

17 years ago today we lost Stevie Ray. Here is a great story about him from one of Stevie Wonder's old sound guys, plus a really cool video of SRV and Stevie Wonder playing "Superstitious."

As Dennis Leary once famously said, lamenting the lack of justice in the world: "Stevie Ray Vaughan is dead, and we can't get Jon Bon Jovi in a helicopter."

Ted Nugent: chickenshit pantswetter

Why am I not surprised? From Richard Roeper at the Chicago Sun-Times:
So Ted Nugent roams a concert stage while toting automatic weapons, calls Barack Obama "a piece of -----" and says he told Obama to suck on one of his machine-guns. He also calls Hillary Clinton a "worthless bitch" and Dianne Feinstein a "worthless whore."

That Nugent, he's a man's man. He talks the talk and walks the walk, right?

Except when it was time to register for the draft during the Vietnam era. By his own admission, Nugent stopped all forms of personal hygiene for a month and showed up for his draft board physical in pants caked with his own urine and feces, winning a deferment.

Check out his new album artwork, proudly displaying his view of women (as if the quote from his concert wasn't enough) here.

"Illegal Immigrant Holding Facility"

A place families are rounded up against their will and herded into in large numbers and not allowed to leave, where a hated minority is sequestered off from the rest of the population while we contemplate their fate.

I can think of another term for it.

And it's not like it's never happened here before; it's just strange to consider that we're doing it now, in the 21st century. Of course, I guess it's not so strange to this person. Ya know, it is just uncanny that she wrote that in 2004, not even 2 years before the erection of the, er, "holding facility." Hmm, ironic, I guess. Hmm.

Friday, August 24, 2007

the armchair quarterback's playbook

Here the good folks at LSU compiled a nearly complete list of all the college football games' TV schedules. Bookmark it: it's a beautiful thing.

got him by the grapes

Now, for some lighter fare. From The Oklahoman:
An Oklahoma City man has been charged with aggravated assault and battery, accused of causing extensive damage to another man's scrotum just because he wore a University of Texas shirt into a local bar.
Thomas said Beckett, whom he had never met, called him "everything under the sun” for wearing a Longhorns T-shirt into the bar.

He said he and his friend sat at a table in the corner and tried to ignore the other man, but other man — who apparently is a University of Oklahoma fan — kept screaming at him.

Thomas said he decided he'd had enough after about 20 minutes of Beckett's abuse so he went to the bar to pay his tab. When he turned around, he said Beckett grabbed his crotch and refused to let go.

Thomas hit the other man several times before several bar patrons intervened, but Thomas said Beckett didn't let go until Thomas heard his scrotum tear and blood ran down his leg.

Thomas, who grew up a Texas fan, said it took more than 60 stitches to close his wound.

Two months later, he said he still is a lot of pain.The injury also caused Thomas to fall behind on his child support payments because he couldn't work.

Are your legs crossed right now? Mine are!

As a bit of unintended irony, here's a screenshot of the article when I looked at it. Note the advertisement:


I've noticed a trend lately that, although it's been going on for some time, it's increased in intensity to the point where it's causing problems. No, I'm not referring to the demonization of liberals, although I spend a lot of time talking about that. No, unfortunately I'm talking about dehumanization of conservatives by liberals.

I bring you some examples just from today. Here's the latest "Dear Abby"-type article by Salon's Cary Tennis. The letter he received reads:
How can I love my parents when they are supporters of the most corrupt, willfully ignorant, deceitful, lying administration in our nation's history?

If we were not related by blood, I would have nothing to do with these people. The Bush presidency has ruined our reputation in the world, destroyed many of our civil liberties and increased the divide between the rich and the poor. Plus they think torture is just dandy!

I don't have any Republican friends. I don't like to talk to Republicans mostly. I find them ignorant of other cultures, and smug -- feeling that our country is the best in the world -- period.
Why should I spend time with people I don't like and resent for helping to lead my country in the wrong direction? Will I ever enjoy spending time with them again? It doesn't feel like it's possible. They say that you miss your parents when they're gone, no matter what your relationship was like. That might be true but I don't miss them now when they live 2,500 miles away. Can I change my attitude? I doubt it. Maybe you can shed some light.

I imagine many of you have Republican/conservative parents. I have Republican parents. In fact, most of my family is Republican. I'm also pretty f**king partisan: I hang out primarily with liberals and I tend to feel more comfortable around them, and I generally have snide, mean-spirited things to say when I get into political conversations with GOP types. As you know, I also get pretty raucous on this site. But I cannot imagine stopping loving my parents, no matter how right-wing they get.

How could you?

This goes back to an old point on this site: you can't judge people's character by their politics. I know it sounds logical, I know it makes perfect sense in your head, but it doesn't work. In real life, some conservatives are selfish and some are not. Some liberals are effete bleeding-hearts and some are not. One of the most selfish motherfuckers I ever met in my life was as liberal as they come. Some of the most generous people I've ever met want to privatize Social Security. Some of the most intelligent and well-read people I know are die-hard supporters of the Iraq War. Pretty much every university in the country has conservative professors in their poli-sci depts, not to mention economics, biology, etc. Are they all morons who somehow still got Ph.D.'s from respectable institutions?

Get over yourself, people. Your ideology may be superior to someone else's, but it doesn't make you a better person.

This isn't merely some "can't we all just get along" tirade, either; this kind of thinking leads down a dark path. The letter above shows one of the repercussions of this thought process, wherein thinking less of someone because of their politics strains the bonds of friendship and family.

The comment section here shows another, more alarming response, one that occurs when people on opposite sides aren't bound by blood or friendship. The blog post relates to a Republican party strategist who was murdered in his own home, along with 2 other men. You can look at the comments yourself, if you have the stomach for it, but nearly all 90-something of them are various permutations of jokingly asking how the Republicans will blame Clinton for this and speculation as to whether the 3 men were gay or whether they were "whacked" because they "knew too much." Some of the most illustrative:
What more can you expect from a member of a party whose political philosophy matches the psychological profile of the BTK serial killer?

I find it hard to believe that any Republican is capable of ‘love’. Except, perhaps, self-love….

Not the kindest comment I’ve ever written; but, I believe it’s not far off the mark….

...The point is that core GOPers are a bunch of crazy people. Take your pick pedos, self-hating queers, power mongers by day and submissives visiting the dominatrix dungeon at night, religious fanatics by day and crack snorting salami sucking family type men at night. These are folks who have some serious mental issues...

name any person who will stands up to be counted as a supporter of this White House Administration’s agenda of fear hate and suffering and tell me again why such a person deserves compassion just for dying….?

Three less republicans means the world is a better place.

The number of posts expressing grief or compassion for the dead, on the other hand, can be counted on two hands.

The problem with demonization of a particular group is that it leads to dehumanization. Once you tread down the path from "Republicanism is morally decrepit" to "Republicans are all morally decrepit," the journey to "the world would be better off without Republicans" is surprisingly short. And once you're there, you're practically standing right next to "Republicans deserve to die."

The scenery there is remarkably similar to that of the right wing's darkest corners.

South Bend on the Daily Show

Well, not really, but this segment has a GI from SB in it.


It appears I left a bunch of posts from the 10th unpublished. Sorry 'bout that!

Bush will never leave Iraq

Here's Josh Marshall making a point very similar to one of my hobbyhorses:
By that I do not mean we, as America, are bigger or better than Iraq as a country. I mean that that sum of our national existence is not bound up in what happens there. The country will go on. Whatever happens, we'll recover from it. And whatever might happen, there are things that matter much more to this country's future -- like whether we have a functioning military any more, whether our economy is wrecked, whether this country tears itself apart over this catastrophe. But we'll go on and look back at this and judge what happened.

Not so for the president. For him, this is it. He's not bigger than this. His entire legacy as president is bound up in Iraq. Which is another way of saying that his legacy is pretty clearly an irrecoverable shambles. That is why, as the folly of the enterprise becomes more clear, he must continually puff it up into more and more melodramatic and world-historical dimensions. A century long ideological struggle and the like. For the president a one in a thousand shot at some better outcome is well worth it, no matter what the cost. Because at least that's a one in a thousand shot at not ending his presidency with the crushing verdict history now has in store. It's also worth just letting things keep on going as they are forever because, like Micawber, something better might turn up. Going double or nothing by expanding the war into Iran might be worth it too for the same reason. For him, how can it get worse?

And when you boil all this down what it comes down to is that the president now has very different interests than the country he purports to lead.

Exactly. People, Bush needs this war. It's been the focal point of his entire presidency: he was planning it from the beginning (as we now know), he did everything he could and burned all his credibility convincing us to go along with it, he's spent most of his 2 terms waging it, he based nearly his entire 2004 campaign on it, he's sacrificed his approval ratings, his entire domestic agenda, and even his own party's congressional majorities (and, in all likelihood, their '08 presidential candidate) in sticking with it this long. It defines his presidency and will define his legacy. If the war fails, or if we end it before some definable "victory," it's all over for him: he will lose what little relevance he has left and he will be forever branded a feckless, incompetent president who lost a war with the most powerful military in the world. As long as we're still in Iraq, however, there's a possibility, however small, that things might magically turn around and we may snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. And at this point, Bush has bet the house on it, because if we "win" in some way, the central action of Bush's presidency around which most other actions were geared is successful, all the questionable actions along the way are justified, and Bush goes down in history as one of the great war presidents.

For Bush, everything depends on victory in Iraq.

That's why he will stop at nothing to keep this war going, even lying about its success, installing Prime Minister after Prime Minister, arming all the different factions as he bounces between allies, and staying even if funds are cut and letting your kids run out of bullets.

Friday, August 10, 2007

like fishing in an oil spill

The DLC, quite honestly, baffles me. I understand the allure of "centrism," and I get their tactic of tacking right to capture the center (though considering what Americans actually say their views are in polls, I think it's delusional), and I certainly understand that they feel like they're losing the battle for the soul of the Democratic party (if only that were so!). But I think they're stuck in an earlier time. If there was ever a time when the values of the majority of the electorate tracked closer to the Republicans than the Democrats, this ain't it. In fact, judging from the pluralities of most opinion polls, the American people currently oppose the GOP on virtually every issue. It makes no sense, in light of these facts, to emulate the Republicans.

Of course, then again, the head of the DLC, Harold Ford, is a Democrat who did exactly that in a state where the people actually are pretty conservative, and what happened? People chose the actual conservative over the GOP-lite candidate, which is why he's heading the DLC as his day job instead of representing the people of Tennessee in the US Senate. Go figure.

But here's where I'm really stumped. If you're the head of the DLC, which supposedly embraces a blue-dog Democratic ideology to appeal to the middle, why would you go bash Democrats for being too extremist? I mean, if you don't want people to think your party's full of loony leftists, why go on TV and call them a bunch of loony leftists? And more to the point, why would you do it on FOX News? Surely Ford isn't so ill-informed that he never saw the poll that showed that 88% of FOX News viewers voted for George W. Bush in 2004, right? Does Harold Ford, the head of an organization committed to electing Democrats, not know that FOX News viewers vote more reliably Republican than gun owners, white Evangelical Christians, self-identified conservatives, and supporters of the Iraq War? Who does he think he's convincing here? Why not just have the RNC send an email to its supporters about this?

Hillary Clinton: "I have never supported socialized medicine"

Via dKos, we get this quote from Hillary:
"Number one, I have never advocated socialized medicine, and I hope all the journalists hear that loudly and clearly because that has been a right-wing attack on me for 15 years, and it is wrong."

First off, there is ultimately one answer, and only one answer, to our health care woes: socialized f*%king medicine. Private, profit-seeking insurance companies and HMO's lower the quality of care for the bottom 90% of the country by their very existence. The only function they provide is to siphon money out of the system and into the hands of their corporate elite by squeezing patients and denying access. They and tobacco companies share the dubious distinction of being two business models where profit is attained primarily by killing one's own customers, and if Clinton or any of the other candidates had the spine or decency to do what's right, they'd commit to "socialized medicine" if for no other reason than to exterminate those parasites from the American health care system.

In order to oversee the people's needs and keep the system running smoothly, the government, like it or not, has to occupy precisely the position currently filled by HMO's. It's at that spot in the economy, the payer/price negotiator/middleman, where our system goes awry, and the reason for that is that the current occupants of said role are not honest brokers. The problem is that they cannot be honest brokers because their primary loyalty is not to the people they represent (i.e., patients), but rather to the wallets of their shareholders. Thus, the party performing that role in a functioning system is not motivated by profit, but rather it genuinely represents, and is accountable to, the people. Put another way, using the popular "car" metaphor for the state, on the only road in sight to well-functioning health care, there's only place for HMO's: on the shoulder, as roadkill.

Interestingly, however, she follows it with this:
"Do you think Medicare is socialized medicine?" she challenged him. "To a degree it is," Ashanti said. "Well, then you are in a small minority in America because Medicare has literally saved the lives and saved the resources of countless generations of seniors in our country."

Of course, Medicare is socialized medicine. That's sort of the point. We know socialized medicine works not only from foreign examples, but from a program we already have. Perhaps, as some of her supporters have suggested, this is merely an attempt to brush off an unpopular term without replacing the thing it represents, such as people did earlier this decade with the term "liberal." Supposedly Hil is crafting a health care strategy that she will unveil soon; I wonder how close it will actually be to universal health care. How do you think it will treat HMO's? Let's just say that, after seeing SiCKO, I'm a little skeptical of Clinton's commitment to doing what must be done to fix the system.

plastic bags: what's the answer?

Salon has a good article up on plastic bags, their environmental impact, and whether they're better than paper (the answer is "not really"). The answer, so the article says, is "bring your own," as in buying canvas bags you can reuse for years, and that's a great idea for fixing the t-shirt bag problem. Despite conservative belly-aching, bag taxes in other countries have proven the simplest and most effective way to get people to invest in canvas bags; make the grocery stores charge people even a miniscule fee per bag (around a quarter), and plastic bag use tanks overnight.

Of course, conservative irrationality on pollution and taxes makes this a thornier issue on this side of the Atlantic (and this side of the 49th parallel).

On a different note, the article misses the simple point that t-shirt-style grocery bags are far from the only plastic bags we use, and this solution isn't useful for some of these other bags. How many of you are down with reusable garbage bags?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

is Hillary inexperienced, "even naive?"

From TPM:
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, who chastised rival Barack Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons in the war on terror, did just that when asked about Iran a year ago.

"I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table," she said in April 2006.

Her views expressed while she was gearing up for a presidential run stand in conflict with her comments this month regarding Obama, who faced heavy criticism from leaders of both parties, including Clinton, after saying it would be "a profound mistake" to deploy nuclear weapons in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Like I said last week, Hillary's criticism of Obama's utterly sensible statements is totally disingenuous (though beforehand I didn't actually have a quote of Hillary saying the same thing). My problem with her isn't overcriticism, however; it's that she's intentionally obscuring things. It looks to me like Hillary's basing her campaign around misleading people: misleading people about Obama, misleading people about her Iraq stance, and misleading people about lobbyists and the role of moneyed interests in her decision-making, even about health care (about which Michael Moore had some very interesting things to say).

Her own campaign is acting as if people are more likely to vote for Hillary Clinton the less they know about her positions, and the less they know about her opponents'. Why support someone like that when you have people like Edwards and Obama in the race?

interesting results from an Iowa poll

New poll of Iowa Republicans. Romney wins, followed by Giuliani. Guess who's in third?

Barack Obama.

Baptist minister wins!

Are they trying to 1-up each other or something? This is absurd. From AP (c/o Pam's House Blend):
Tommy Tester, 58, of Bristol, Va., was wearing a skirt when he was arrested last week after allegedly urinating in front of children at a car wash, police said.

Police also said Tester offered to perform oral sex on officers who were sent to the scene.

Authorities identified Tester as the minister of Gospel Baptist Church in Bristol and an employee of Christian radio station WZAP-AM in Bristol.

And believe it or not, that's not all he was arrested for. From WGAL in Harrisburg, PA:
A report also accuses Tester of offering police officers oral sex and says an open bottle of vodka and empty oxycodone prescription bottle was found in his car when Tester was arrested Friday. [emphasis mine]

Who'da thunk the '80's rash of ministers getting caught with prostitutes would become "the good ol' days," eh?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

ANOTHER pervert in the GOP moral police-- in Indiana

From Taking Down Words:
Clark County GOP Chair and newly elected Young Republican National Federation Chair Glenn Murphy is under investigation for criminal deviate conduct, a Class B felony, for allegedly engaging in oral sex with a sleeping victim. This is not his first run-in with the law for this kind of offense.

Read the investigative report and a prior arrest for sexual battery in 1998 here: glennmurphy.pdf

Naturally, he's since resigned from all his positions, "for business reasons." Heh. Hehe. HeheheheWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!

The trolls at TDW are pretty funny, too. The best ones prove how this story shows that Democrats are hypocrites. Oh, and about how the liberal Supreme Court is enforcing its morality on good conservatives, or something.

what's wrong with America, and what will you do to change it?


By the way, that guy's from Indiana.

sacrifice, GOP-style

From AP (c/o TPM):
"One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."

That was Mitt Romney's answer to why he didn't ask his kids to serve in Iraq.

Romney, of course, like fellow war supporters Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson: Male Prostitute, chose not to serve when he was of age. He was too busy eating good cheese and irritating Parisians with good news from the angel Moroni.

their usefulness is debatable

From ThinkProgress:
Following the conclusion of tonight’s presidential forum, host Chris Matthews immediately began to focus on the pressing issues. He offered an array of trifling analysis that included musings about Sen. John Edwards’ height, Sen. Hillary Clinton’s use of the word “girl,” and Clinton’s Chicago accent. Watch it:

I think this post is helping me see just why I haven't been all that interested in these media guys' take on any of the debates: they don't actually listen to them. For some reason, whenever Democrats (and perhaps Republicans, too) get up on stage and start talking about issues, Chris Matthews et al. don't listen to the substance of what he's saying. Rather, they're just listening for gaffes, for things that can be spun around to create drama, obviously because, according to their logic, candidates angering large sections of the populace or looking stupid attracts more "eyeballs" than candidates talking substance.

Thus when, as with most debates, there were no big gaffes, the press has nothing but the most banal observations, usually calling the debate a draw or calling it for the frontrunner with some vague "they seemed more poised" argument.

To Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzer and the CNN crowd, the debate apparently sounded like this:
John Edwards: "Blah blah blah, blah blah pretty hair blah blah, blah trial lawyer blah!"
Barack Obama: "Blah blah Hussein blah, 1st black president blah, blah blah I'm not experienced blah."
Hillary Clinton: "Blah blah Giordano's, blah blah blah Polish sausage, blah blah DA BEARS! blah."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

perplexing... or maybe not

From Thinkprogress:
For Oklahomans “looking to show their terror-fighting pride while tearing up the asphalt,” the Oklahoma Tax Commission has extended the deadline to order the global war on terrorism license plate. Officials had set a May 31 deadline for the $37 vanity plate that features a bald eagle transposed in front of the Twin Towers. See the plate design below:

Yes, this is crass and disturbing on many levels. The part of the story worth focusing on, however, is the choice not to use a picture of Oklahoma's own terror-related tragedy, the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. If this plate, like all vanity plates, is a statement, that's the part that "says" the most.

Meanwhile, take a look at the OK City bombing plate. You wouldn't think a terrorist attack on Oklahoma soil would prompt such a different reaction.

Friday, August 03, 2007

muddying the water

I've given her the benefit of the doubt, I've been trying to keep an open mind, but I'm starting to strongly dislike Hillary Clinton. From Reuters:
Obama ruled out the use of nuclear weapons to go after al Qaeda or Taliban targets in Afghanistan or Pakistan, prompting Clinton to say presidents never take the nuclear option off the table, and extending their feud over whether Obama has enough experience to be elected president in November 2008.
Obama struck the tough tone after Clinton accused him of being naive and irresponsible for saying in a debate last week he would be willing to meet without preconditions the leaders of hostile nations Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela in his first year in office.

Clinton's position was that she would only meet those leaders after careful lower-level diplomacy bore fruit. Obama said she represented conventional thinking in line with that of the Bush administration and would not bring the fundamental change Americans need.

The New York senator and former first lady quickly pounced on Obama's remark about nuclear weapons at a Capitol Hill news conference.

"I think presidents should be very careful at all times in discussing the use, or non-use, of nuclear weapons," she said.

"Presidents since the Cold War have used nuclear deterrence to keep the peace. And I don't believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or non-use of nuclear weapons," she said.

So Hillary's "blasting" Obama because, in the quest to find and destroy individual Al Qaeda officials and small training camps, he thinks it would be foolish to use... a nuclear warhead? In a country with the bomb??? I'm sorry, where's the naivety here? Isn't it basic logic to say that a bomb that wipes out entire cities and the use of which would trigger nuclear war would make a pretty bad choice to use against individuals who can be killed with... gosh, lemme think about this... a regular bomb? Or a sniper's bullet?

But, of course, Hillary doesn't think a nuke is a good idea, either. That's why she has to frame her argument in generalities; when the actual details of the scenario enter the picture, her point becomes ridiculous. Hillary could've made the exact same argument if Obama said he wouldn't kill terrorists in land-locked Afghanistan with navy gunships: "Well, naval gunships have kept the peace since the Cold War...a president should never take the use of naval gunships off the table..."

It may seem like a small point, but this is really bothering me because a) I haven't seen any of the other Dem candidates so brazenly spinning everyone else's arguments, b) this is now the third time in as many weeks that she's spun an argument in the direction of hawkishness.

Tack this onto her plan to "withdraw" from Iraq that would leave as many as 50,000 troops there, her hiring of at least one notorious unionbuster to a high level campaign position, and, of course, her f**king flag burning amendment in the senate, and I'm just not seeing a good Democratic candidate for president. I see some pandering in there, a whole lot of compromising of values, and no small amount of misleading her supporters, but not much of the type of person I want to see be president.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

visualize futility

From Reuters:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The main Sunni Arab political bloc quit the Iraqi government on Wednesday in a blow to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's shaky coalition as suicide bombers killed more than 70 people in three attacks across Baghdad.
The Sunni Accordance Front left Maliki's Shi'ite-led coalition over his failure to meet a list of about a dozen demands, including a greater say in security matters.
Issawi said Deputy Prime Minister Salam al-Zobaie and five ministers would resign on Wednesday.

The Sunni Front's 44 members will remain in the 275-seat parliament. Its withdrawal will have little practical effect on the 15-month-old government, which is virtually paralyzed by infighting but needs only a simple majority to keep functioning.

Maliki's government has already been weakened by the withdrawal of fiery Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's political bloc, one of the biggest in parliament, over his refusal to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The Sunnis are leaving the table. We're watching the slow disintegration of the Iraqi government, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. What more can American soldiers do, forcibly prevent the Sunnis from leaving the government?

We are like the Celts, taking up arms and charging the sea.