Sunday, September 30, 2007

Beef Recall Expands to...like...ALL of It


Photo from Wikipedia.com

Wow. I hadn't heard of the recall at all, and then I see it's jumped from 300,000+ pounds of beef to 21.7 MILLION POUNDS? That is an astonishing number. And, I suddenly feel like chicken tonight. Maybe a nice potato and leek soup. . .

[Excerpt]

Ground Beef Recall Expanded Across U.S.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The Topps Meat Co. on Saturday expanded its recall of frozen hamburger patties to include 21.7 million pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria that sickened more than a dozen people in eight states. [snip]

The recall represents all Topps products with either a "sell by date" or a "best if used by date" between Sept. 25 this year and Sept. 25, 2008. The Elizabeth-based company said this information is found on a package's back panel. . .

Read the rest at: AP.org

Read Topps Meat's News Release on the recall at: ToppsMeat.com

Classic TV Themes: Saturday Morning

I know, I know, it's Sunday morning. But I feel the blog needs another dose of fun, and I got to thinking about how boring Sunday morning TV was when I was a kid. Religious sermons, Meet the Press (which I never miss today!), and Davey and Goliath. Ugh. No, Saturday morning was where it was at, and these were some of my favorites.

#1 - Superfriends - The ultimate for a DC Comics fan like me. This was in the unfortunate "Wendy, Marvin and Wonderdog" first season, but it has a warm spot in my heart anyway.

#2 - Scooby Doo, Where are You? - The first version of Scooby Doo, a show that changed a little too much and too often. The first season was the best, and the theme song rocked.

#3 - Josie & the Pussy Cats - Yeah, I know, apparently I would watch just about anything. But, the theme song was pretty cool, eh?

#4 - The Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm Show - Yabba Dabba Doosy! One of the early cartoon "spin-offs," one you don't see much anymore. Maybe for a reason. . .


Iran Calls CIA and US Military "Terrorists"


Photo from source, FOXNews.com

This is right in line with the "I know you are, but what am I" sort of stories that Congress has started with its ridiculous non-binding resolutions. Iran has responded to having Congress call their military "terrorists," by doing the same thing, in return. Next I'm expecting an "I'm rubber, you're glue" non-binding resolution out of the US Congress, in retaliation.

Hey, it's better than a war. Let's hope this is as far as they get.

[Excerpt]

Iran's Parliament Signs Resolution to Label CIA, Army as 'Terrorist Organizations'

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's parliament on Saturday approved a nonbinding resolution labeling the CIA and the U.S. Army "terrorist organizations," in apparent response to a Senate resolution seeking to give a similar designation to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The hard-line dominated parliament cited U.S. involvement in dropping nuclear bombs in Japan in World War II, using depleted uranium munitions in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, supporting the killings of Palestinians by Israel, bombing and killing Iraqi civilians, and torturing terror suspects in prisons. . .

Read the rest (if you can't tell by the phrasing) at: FOXNews.com

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Word on Political Speech


I don't want my readers (all two dozen of you) to get the wrong impression about the recent spate of articles about Rush Limbaugh and his comments about "phony soldiers." Faux outrage runs thick on both sides of the political divide, and I want to clear up my position on it.

I believe that all of the protestations of the MoveOn.org "Petraeus/Betray Us" ad were big heaping helpings of faux outrage, being used to refocus public attention away from the real issue: the sad state of the Iraq War/Occupation. And it is only the latest in a long string of phony outrages and diversions.

My reporting of the Limbaugh comments do not come from a place of outrage--not exactly. While I do find his comments outrageous, it's sort of his schtick. I'm not personally any more offended than I am by his comments on any other particular day.

What I am trying to point out is the hypocrisy between the two stories. Republicans (and apparently some cowed Democrats) were soooo incensed by the MoveOn ad, that both houses of Congress actually passed meaningless condemnations of the ad and its tactics. Hey, I even got an "Action Alert" from the Christian Coalition of America today, listing every Democrat that voted against it!

For those same people to give Limbaugh a pass on his "phony soldiers" comment is textbook hypocrisy. At the same time, condemnation--by Congress--of unpopular political speech is textbook un-American behavior. Political speech is probably the speech requiring the most protection. So, Limbaugh can say what he wants. He just doesn't get to be hypocritical without being called on it.

Keith Olbermann Takes Rush Limbaugh to Task

OK, Keith does what it took me a couple of posts and several revisions to do. Watch.

Rush Limbaugh Tries to Cover His (Ample) Butt

UPDATED at bottom of post.


Photo from Wikipedia.org

I mentioned the other day that I occasionally catch Rush Limbaugh's 90-second "Morning Update," and that it is loaded with misinformation. On September 25th, I caught a particularly egregious installment, about a man who claimed to be an Iraq War vet, and is in reality a fraud.

Of course, Rush wasn't content to just report on the story, he had to tart it up in "Democrats are hypocrites/traitors/evil" clothing. He claimed this man, Jesse Macbeth, was a "liberal poster boy" for the war, and that his unmasking as a fraud was somehow indicative of the methods of the entire anti-war movement. Now, prior to Rush's story, I--a liberal, lefty, moonbat blogger--had never once heard of Macbeth.

But if I had, would it be somehow the anti-war movement's fault if they were snookered? This reflects more on our infotainment, celebrity-for-15-minutes society, than it does about the anti-war movement. And incidentally, Rush portrays anyone against the Iraq war as "the anti-war left." Rush, unless 70% of the country is now on the left, you are just lying when you say that.

The timing of Limbaugh's comments about Macbeth was fortuitous. It provided him some cover for his comments (the very next day) about "phony soldiers," his new term for veterans who are against the Iraq War. See what I mean, here:

[Excerpt]

“I never said what you think I said, Congressman Pallone, congresswoman Schakowsky, Senator Kerry, or any of the rest of you in the Drive-By Media,’’ Limbaugh said today on his radio program. “I was talking about a genuine phony soldier.

“And, by the way, Jesse MacBeth is not the only one,’’ Limbaugh continued today. “How about this guy Scott Thomas who was writing fraudulent, phony things in the New Republic about atrocities he saw that never happened? How about Jack Murtha blanketly accepting the notion that Marines in Haditha engaged in wanton murder of innocent children and civilians?"

Read about it here: Weblogs.BaltimoreSun.com

Read more about Jesse Macbeth at: Wikipedia.org

UPDATE:
Of course, there is a little more to this story. Limbaugh did mention Jesse Macbeth in the same program as his "phony soldiers" comment. But, it was almost two minutes later, and is no credible way what he was talking about before. In order to conflate the two, he replayed the audio, but excised most of the time between the two comments, to make it appear that they were part of the same thought process. Nice try, Rush. You're still a pig.

Read about it (with audio) at:
MediaMatters.org

Daily Show: Bush Says "Childrens Do Learn"

Jon Stewart is at his funniest when riffing on the President (or Cheney). Take it away, Jon!

Another Imposter: 9/11 Heroine or Spotlight Seeker?


Photo from source, NYTimes.com

In my previous post (Rush Limbaugh Tries to Cover His (Ample) Butt) I commented on the famous Andy Warhol prediction, that in the future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. In that post, I mentioned a man who posed as an Iraq War veteran. This story is similar, except this woman appears to be posing as a 9/11 survivor.

If the contradictions in this woman's story prove that she in fact was not a 9/11 survivor, but that she snookered many into believing she was, does that reflect badly on the people who believed her? Would it say something bad about Rudy Giuliani, seen shaking her hand above?

I ask, because that is exactly what Rush Limbaugh was implying about the "anti-war left," as he calls them--people who were taken in by the ersatz Iraq War vet. I find it to be a ridiculous argument, but if you follow Rush's "logic," you've got to go there, don't you?

[Excerpt]

In a 9/11 Survival Tale, the Pieces Just Don’t Fit

Tania Head’s story, as shared over the years with reporters, students, friends and hundreds of visitors to ground zero, was a remarkable account of both life and death.

She had, she said, survived the terror attack on the World Trade Center despite having been badly burned when the plane crashed into the upper floors of the south tower. [snip]

But no part of her story, it turns out, has been verified. The family and friends of the man to whom she claimed to be engaged say they have never heard of Tania Head and view the relationship she describes with the man, who truly died in the north tower, as an impossibility. . .

Read more at: NYTimes.com

Gingrich NOT Running for President


Photo from source, CNN.com

Aww, what a shame! The Republican ticket will remain one cartoon character short of a Saturday morning lineup. I mean seriously, what fun we could have had with Gingrich on the ticket. He's at least tied with Rudy for marital indiscretions, and has as checkered a past as well, Rudy.

I've gotta ask, are the Republicans even trying? All of the front-runners have easily assailable records, attitudes or personalities. Still, it would have been fun with Newt in the race. At least we still have Alan Keyes.

[Excerpt]

Gingrich rules out run for president

Two days after hinting he wanted to try for the White House, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich decided he would not run for president, his spokesman said Saturday.

Rick Tyler said Gingrich realized he couldn't run a political action committee -- his American Solutions group -- and form an exploratory committee to run for president as well.

"He will continue to bring the American people solutions to the challenges America faces through American Solutions, not as a candidate for president," Tyler said in a telephone interview. . .

Read the rest at: CNN.com

Bill Maher: New Rules 09/28/07

Something interesting is happening with this season's Real Time with Bill Maher. Each week, I find myself agreeing vigorously with some things he says, and then stunned by something else he says that I disagree with. Bill's an extremely smart and funny man, but his politics and opinions are really all over the place.

My disagreement with Maher this week was on his opinions of hate crime legislation. Maher thinks that it is basically "thought crime," and is unnecessary. While I kind of get where he's coming from, that is largely beside the point. Intent is already a very large part of criminal law. "Hate crimes" are already on the books. What happened this week was the extension of hate crime protections to gays, lesbians. And the reason they are important is, crimes perpetrated against gays and lesbians are very often treated less seriously than the same crimes perpetrated against others. A "slap on the wrist" punishment is often handed out to people who commit crimes against gays and lesbians. The extension of hate crime laws helps prevent that.

OK, enough of that, and onto this weeks' batch of New Rules! Not his best collection, but there is some great stuff here.

Cheney Goes Apocalyptic


Photo from source, RawStory.com

Well, why not. He's already considered "Darth" Cheney, so he might as well address the Apocalypse "rapture" crowd. Sigh. I don't even know what to say anymore. . .

[Excerpt]

Cheney to address top secret conservative policy group

An ultra-secret conservative group -- so secret that members don't even use the group's name in communications -- will feature Vice President Dick Cheney as a speaker at a meeting in Utah today. [snip]

Founded in 1981 by Tim LaHaye, the co-author of the popular post-apocalyptic Christian-themed Left Behind books, the group holds confidential meetings three times a year attended by a small but powerful cadre of top conservatives.


Read more at: RawStory.com

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kucinich to Force Cheney Impeachment Vote?


Photo from source, RawStory.com

Dennis Kucinich is proof that MoveOn.org and even further left activists are not in charge of the Democratic Party. If they were Kucinich would be the standard-bearer, the shoo-in for the Democratic Presidential nomination. But he's not.

His lefty cred is stellar, but he's a little impish looking, a little too touchy-feely, all-you-need-is-lovey. He's got a knockout wife, so he must be doing something right. But he hasn't got a chance in hell of becoming the 2008 nominee.

That said, I am throwing all of my mental energies into hoping that he pulls this one off! Read on. . .

[Excerpt]

Kucinich 'seriously thinking' about forcing vote on Cheney impeachment

Rep. Dennis Kucinich says he is so concerned about what he sees as the Bush administration's push for a war with Iran that he is considering using a parliamentary measure to force the House of Representatives to vote on impeaching Vice President Dick Cheney.

"We're preparing for another war, and they're going to destroy America," the Ohio Democrat said Thursday on the Ed Schultz show. "We have a government in place right now that has to be challenged. I'm seriously thinking about calling a privileged resolution on impeachment of the vice president and forcing a vote on the floor of the House."

Read the rest at: RawStory.com

Attack on Iran Imminent?


Photo from source, ThinkProgress.org

The possibility of a US attack on Iran has been buzzing loudly for weeks now. It reminds me of the buildup to the Iraq war, where we all were resigned to it as an inevitability. This time, to me, it all feels like smoke and mirrors. Is there any there there? And is there enough of our military to go around?

It's almost as if Bush feels that his Presidency hasn't been a spectacular enough failure, and he needs to put a cherry on top. Geez, I hope this isn't true.

[Excerpt]


The New York Sun, a reliable neoconservative outlet that has advocated for a Dick Cheney presidential campaign, declares today: “Attack on Iran Said To Be Imminent.” The article’s lead states:

In a sign that U.N. Security Council-based diplomacy is losing steam, a number
of sources are reporting that a military strike against Iran’s nuclear
facilities may be imminent. France and America also are pushing for tighter
economic sanctions against Tehran, without U.N. approval. Yesterday’s edition of Le Canard Enchaîné, a French weekly known for its investigative journalism, reported details of an alleged Israeli-American plan to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. The frontpage headline read: “A report sent to the Elysée — Putin tells Tehran: They’re going to bomb you!”
Ironically, the right-wing clamor for war is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. . .

Read the rest at: ThinkProgress.org

Rush Limbaugh Scrapes Bottom


Photo available all over the web, this one from ThinkProgress.org

No, he didn't injure his ass. . .it came that way. I'm talking about scraping the bottom of the talking points barrel.

I often catch Limbaugh's "Morning Update," a 90-second clip on the radio. It happens that it comes on right before the news, so if I'm in the car at the right time, there he is. I am often astonished at how many distortions, exaggerations and flat-out lies can be contained in a minute and a half. But, I rarely catch his actual show.

Apparently, Limbaugh has disparaged the reputations of any service member who doesn't toe the Republican line on the war. Support the troops, indeed. He's a pig.

[Excerpt]

Limbaugh: Service members who support U.S. withdrawal are "phony soldiers"

During the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh called service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq "phony soldiers." He made the comment while discussing with a caller a conversation he had with a previous caller, "Mike from Chicago," who said he "used to be military," and "believe[s] that we should pull out of Iraq." Limbaugh told the second caller, whom he identified as "Mike, this one from Olympia, Washington," that "[t]here's a lot" that people who favor U.S. withdrawal "don't understand" and that when asked why the United States should pull out, their only answer is, " 'Well, we just gotta bring the troops home.' ... 'Save the -- keeps the troops safe' or whatever," adding, "[I]t's not possible, intellectually, to follow these people." "Mike" from Olympia replied, "No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media." Limbaugh interjected, "The phony soldiers." The caller, who had earlier said, "I am a serving American military, in the Army," agreed, replying, "The phony soldiers."

Read the rest (with transcript and audio) at: MediaMatters.org

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Senate Extends Hate Crimes Protections

The Senate has passed an extension of hate crimes protections today, with Republicans attempting, but failing to mount a filibuster. "Christian" and "conservative" groups predictably hope that President Bush whips out his veto pen. That may prove complicated, as the measure was attached to a Defense Department bill.

[Excerpt]

Senate Votes to Extend Hate-Crimes Law to Gays

The Senate yesterday approved an expansion of federal hate-crimes law to include protections for gay men and lesbians, defying a presidential veto threat by attaching the measure to a high-priority defense bill.

Republicans said they will try to remove the provision in final negotiations with the House, but if that effort fails, GOP leaders urged President Bush to follow through with his long-standing veto threat. They were furious this week when Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced that he would force a vote on an expanded hate-crimes statute, with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) calling Reid's maneuver a "shameful" attempt to "hijack" essential defense legislation. . .

Read the rest at: WashingtonPost.com

And the predictible (ironically hateful) response from: BaptistPress

Bill O'Reilly Ironically Declares Press Untrustworthy


Photo from source, RawStory.com

FOX "News" and its pundits regularly exempt themselves from "the media," in much the same fashion as right-wing talk show hosts do. Bill O'Reilly is perhaps the most hypocritical of the bunch, considering he adds "the No Spin Zone" to the already ridiculous "Fair and Balanced" motto. Is there any show on television with more spin than The O'Reilly Factor?

[Excerpt]

O'Reilly: Attacks on him mean 'there is no longer an honest press in America'

Bill O'Reilly launched an aggressive counterattack on Wednesday against everyone who has accused him of racism in his expression of surprise that a Harlem restaurant was no different from any other restaurant in New York.

"Media Matters and the corrupt press on the run!" announced O'Reilly, claiming that "Media Matters distorted a positive discussion on race and accused me of racism!" [snip]

"The tragedy here is that there is no longer an honest press in America," concluded O'Reilly, suggesting again that attacks on him are seen as a sure-fire way to boost circulation. "With the exposure of MoveOn over the Petraeus incident and now the blatant dishonesty of Media Matters and their water-carriers, Americans should be very skeptical of the news media. No longer can it be trusted."

Read the rest at: RawStory.com

Oh, My Aching Back!

Posting will likely be light this evening, as my back is thiiis close to being utterly thrown out. I'm home from work, and have spent most of the day flat on my back on a heating pad. Since I don't have a notebook computer, I have to come sit upright to do the posting thing, and that's kind of hurty right now.

If I get tired of the horizontal, I may come in and put up a story or two.

I will be back!

Free Republic Crosses a Line



I've harped (a lot) on FreeRepublic.com, for being nasty, hateful and juvenile. Type "Free Republic" or "Freeper" into the search box at the top of this page to see earlier articles.

To write another post on the subject might be somewhat redundant. But the following topic really crosses a line in my view. The particular thread I'm highlighting below is on the subject of Ahmadinejad's ridiculous claim that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

The Freepers respond to this in their typical Junior High School manner, but with a darker and nastier twist than usual. While the comments are themselves nasty, it is the graphic element that I was appalled by. Namely, images of Iranians (presumably gay) hanging from nooses. And I can assure you, the Freepers are not showing these images because they disagree with them.

Take my word for it, or read on at: FreeRepublic.com

UPDATE: This comment goes lower than I thought even Freepers would go:

"Absolutely I believe the statistics. The AIDS rates are similarly low in free market nations like Singapore that outlaw homosexuality.

Homosexuality is what is primary spreading AIDS in most countries, including the US. So, reducing the amount of homosexual behavior definitely reduces the amount of AIDS in a society.

No what you think of the death penalty directed at homosexuals, the death penalty reduces the amount of a behavior."
by Ol' Sparky

Moon Unit Zappa is 40!

I went to high school in the 80s (1980 -1984 to be exact), and few songs had as much impact on teen life at the time than Valley Girl by Frank and Moon Unit Zappa. Of course, back then a name like "Moon Unit," was so bizarre, it was half the story. Today, parents seem to be in a competition to name their children unusual things (example: my nephew Lux).

The song introduced the whole concept of a valley girl, and added words to the lexicon, such as "bitchin'," "tubular," "omigod," and prases like "totally tubular," and "gag me with a spoon."

Moon (in the song) was the quintessential Valley Girl, but I'm not sure that the fans of the craze the song inspired ever caught on to the irony of the song. Moon & Frank were definitely riffing on the ridiculousness and shallowness of teens of the day. Maybe Moon and Dweezil should revisit the idea, as we are now more shallow than ever.

Another place irony was never acknowledged was Solid Gold, an awful (but popular) show in the 80s. Here is Moon's performance in a craptacular bit on Solid Gold. Check out Marilyn McCoo's headband! Oh, and happy 40th, Moon!

Bionic Woman: A Mini Review


Photo from NBC.com

The fall TV season is underway, and it is chock-full of serialized dramas, many of a sci-fi nature. Last season, I picked and chose carefully which shows I was willing to lend my time to. Fully aware of how few new shows make it to a second season--let alone all the way through the first one--I didn't want to over-commit, only to be quickly disappointed.

Even with that strategy, I still got burned (RIP, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip). This season, I've watched Chuck, Life, Reaper, and now, Bionic Woman. I may sample Reaper again, and I'll definitely be back for the next installment of Bionic Woman.

The first episode was another show that felt like it should have been granted a two-hour premiere (Heroes 2nd-season debut being the other). Too much ground needs to be covered, what with introducing all the characters, setting the origin story, and introducing the premise.

Still, it was enjoyable. It's very much in the same vein as the new Battlestar Galactica, with it's moody vibe, dark camera work, and grim outlook. Small wonder, since apparently some of it's people are present here, notably Katie Sackhoff (BSG's Starbuck) and Aaron Douglas (BSG's Chief). I also felt a Dark Angel undercurrent.

The fight scene between Jaime and Sarah was very cool, and the acting, writing and camera work were top-notch. I like the addition of quick-healing powers for our lead cyborg. That'll help, since she still has that human arm, eye and ear. I do hope they offer Lindsay Wagner a role in the future. Maybe as a Fembot?

My one hope for this show (and the other serialized dramas), is that they don't rely too heavily on show "mythology." If you can't jump in at any episode, or skip a couple without getting lost, the show will be stuck in cult status. My advice is that they hire whoever was responsible for the "previously" bits on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Those recaps did a fantastic job of filling in the blanks.

I can't say I was blown away. This is essentially just the setup. It was certainly better than the review I reported on earlier this summer. I'll be back next week to see if this show stays on my list.

Official site: NBC.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Portions of Patriot Act Unconstitutional


Image from Wikipedia.org

Well, duh. Did anybody think that this huge act, passed by Congress without having been read by Congress, was entirely Constitutional? I'm glad they're finally being called on it.

[Excerpt]

2 Patriot Act Provisions Ruled Unlawful

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Two provisions of the USA Patriot Act are unconstitutional because they allow search warrants to be issued without a showing of probable cause, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended by the Patriot Act, "now permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment."

Read more at:
AP

Was Bush Determined to Go to War No Matter What?

This story doesn't surprise me one bit. I think nearly everyone now believes Bush would have gone to war with Iraq, somehow, even if 9/11 never happened. 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq, after all, and here we are.

This story provides a sort of proof. I can't say it is definitive proof, due to a quirk in how this story was presented. Apparently, Bush was speaking to the prime minister of Spain. A translator (who clearly had his work cut out for him) had to convert Bush's "Texish" into Spanish. And this story converts the text of that discussion back into English, via Google's translator.

The funny thing is, the garbled syntax in this story is no worse--perhaps better than Bush's usual speech patterns!

[Excerpt]

Scoop for Spanish Daily: Transcript of Private 2003 Bush Talk Promising Iraq Invasion

NEW YORK El Pais, the highest-circulation daily in Spain, today published what it said was the transcript of a private talk between President George W. Bush and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar on February 22, 2003, concerning the coming U.S. invasion of Iraq. It took place at the ranch in Crawford, Texas.

The conversation took place on the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The confidential transcript was prepared by Spain's ambassador to the United States, Javier Ruperez, the paper said.

Bush purportedly said he planned to invade Iraq inf March "if there was a United Nations Security Council resolution or not....We have to get rid of Saddam. We will be in Baghdad at the end of March."


Read on: EditorandPublisher.com

Photo of the Week: Navy Barracks "Swastika"


Photo from source, LATimes.com

I thought the house on the freeway the other day took the cake for strange photo of the week. Nope! This is a shot of a Navy barracks, built in the late 1960s. How is it possible that this wasn't noticed in the original blueprints? Amazing.

[Excerpt]

Navy to mask Coronado's swastika-shaped barracks

CORONADO, Calif., -- The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air.

The four L-shaped buildings, constructed in the late 1960s, are part of the amphibious base at Coronado and serve as barracks for Seabees.

From the ground and from inside nearby buildings, the controversial shape cannot be seen. Nor are there any civilian or military landing patterns that provide such a view to airline passengers.

But once people began looking at satellite images from Google Earth, they started commenting about on blogs and websites about how much the buildings resembled the symbol used by the Nazis.

Read the rest at: LATimes.com

Pelosi Still Contends "Impeachment is Off the Table"


Photo from source, RawStory.com

There are a few realities which I can accept as it regards impeachment of the President and Vice President. One of the biggest ones is the time factor. To engage Congress in an impeachment battle, this late in the administration's term, would likely take the entirety of that term. It would also eat up so much of the Congress' time, that they would not be able to focus on other important issues.

Another problem is public perception. I believe that it is possible to lay out this administration's transgressions, and show how serious they are. But the right-wing spin machine would be in Category 5 mode, preventing much of those arguments from sticking. It would be played (by the right-wing) as a political vendetta, revenge for Clinton's impeachment.

Those realities aside, it is profoundly unfortunate that impeachment is not even going to be considered. This administration's transgressions are so many and varied, it makes Clinton's--even Nixon's--foibles pale by comparison. It will be a great injustice if the members of this administration are allowed to finish their terms with no reprimand whatsoever. But I believe that is exactly what is going to happen.

Nancy Pelosi's "impeachment off the table" story:

Pelosi: Democrats will hold Bush 'accountable,' despite inability to end war, unwillingness to impeach at: RawStory.com.

An article on valid reasons for impeachment:

The case for impeachment of President George W. Bush at: SourceWatch.org

And another, older one:

The Case for Impeachment By John Dean at: Alternet.org

Meat Loaf's 60th Birthday is on Thursday

I know, I know, meat loaf again? Yes, Mr. Loaf is turning 60 on Thursday, so get your old Bat Out of Hell CD out, (or Part II, but not Part III--hey, Two Out of Three Ain't Bad), put it in the player, and repeat after me:

"On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?" Happy birthday, Mr. Loaf!

Bush Hooked on Phonics, Part II

As reported earlier, George W. Bush's speech to the UN was accidentally released, with phonetic spellings of the complicated words included. The entire speech is now available at ABC News' website. Yes, I know that lots of speakers do this sort of thing, but looking at the phonetic spellings is a helluva lot more fun that listening to him speak.

[Excerpt]

President Bush's Remarks to the UN General Assembly

. . .The United States salutes the nations that have recently taken strides toward liberty – including Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan [KEYRgeez-stan], Mauritania [moor-EH-tain-ee-a], Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Morocco. . . The United Nations must insist on change In Harare [hah-RAR-ray] – and freedom for the people of Zimbabwe. . .

Read the whole speech at: ABCNews.go.com

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

House for Sale: Easy Access to Freeway!


Photo from source, DailyNews.com

I often listen to KTLK on my computer, as Air America Radio is not available in Las Vegas. So, I am subject to traffic reports from Los Angeles, which I usually just tune out (what's a "sig alert," anyway?). But today, the traffic report talked about a house that was sitting on the freeway!

I found this odd, of course. Odder still, it seems to have been there for quite a while. Maybe the owner is getting used to his new digs. I can just imagine him going out to the front porch, and screaming at the millions of cars, "get outta my driveway!"

[Excerpt]

Get house off the freeway now, state officials warn owner

The tiny green house that found a temporary home on the shoulder of the Hollywood Freeway will hit the road again.

The California Department of Transportation will hire a mover to haul the ranch-style home off the northbound freeway shoulder near Universal City as early as today if owner Patrick Richardson of Castaic has not moved it overnight.

"At this point, we are definitely stepping in to make sure that house gets moved," said Caltrans spokeswoman Judy Gish.

Richardson finally threw in the towel and parked his house on the freeway 10 days ago after running into a series of obstacles on an ill-fated trip that started in Santa Monica and was supposed to end in Santa Clarita. . .

Read the rest at: DailyNews.com

Bush Hooked on Phonics?


Photo from source, Reuters.com

OK, I'm sure that if I had to get up and give a speech that contained several hard to pronounce words, I would probably do this too. But I still find this pretty funny.

[Excerpt]

When words get in the way, Bush goes phonetic

NEW YORK (Reuters) - How do you keep a leader as verbally gaffe-prone as U.S. President George W. Bush from making even more slips of the tongue?

When Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, the White House inadvertently showed exactly how -- with a phonetic pronunciation guide on the teleprompter to get him past troublesome names of countries and world leaders. . .

Find out more at: Reuters.com (ROY-terrs dawt calm)

Movies I Can't Wait to See: Justice League of America


Image from Wikipedia.org

I'm a DC Comics fan from way back, actually almost as far back as I can remember. I never cottoned to Marvel Comics, and only dabbled in other publishers' offerings (Charlton's being one, but they were sort of absorbed by DC, so same thing).

DC's biggest team superhero offering has been (for about 45 years) The Justice League of America. The lineups have changed over the years, sure, but any movie version will have to include Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash and Aquaman. So news of a movie version would be a letdown if those heroes were missing. Thankfully, the new Batman franchise is going well, the Superman franchise (while less successful) did fairly well, and superheroes in general are doing big business in cinema. The Flash is set for a movie treatment, and Aquaman has been featured in Entourage, and Smallville.

So I'm hoping that this movie, set for 2010 (2010? That sounds like the Jetsons' time period, doesn't it?), will be an extravaganza that will be the superhero movie that sets the standard.

I'm hoping that by 2010, the Wonder Woman movie will have been a success too, to give the movie a little more viability. A movie featuring all of these heroes would send fans (even old ones like me) into the stratosphere, if done correctly. X-Men, for all of its success, featured a lot of also-ran heroes, those with names unknown to most Americans.

But a movie featuring Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Superman? If it failed, the producers would have no one but themselves to blame.

LarryFlynt.com Under New Management?


Photo from Wikipedia

I've been checking in on LarryFlynt.com with some regularity, anxiously looking for the afore-mentioned "outings" of 30 or so sex-scandals that are supposedly in the offing. On most visits, there is sadly nothing new. All of the sudden though, there is much activity on the site. Is he gearing up for something?

Now, I know that Flynt is a pornographer, and that many people aren't into that sort of thing. I for one, am not much a Hustler fan (as you can imagine, being of the gay persuasion). But I admire Flynt for his first amendment championing, and also for the fact that his magazine doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. It's smut, pure and simple, with no apologies. If you don't like it, fine, don't buy it. But you can't pretend you read it for the articles.

Anyway, I still await with bated breath his disclosures. C'mon, Larry, we're waiting. . .

Check out: LarryFlynt.com

Heroes, Season Two: A Mini Review


Photo from NBC.com

I was eagerly awaiting the 2nd season premiere of NBC's Heroes, and I'm relieved to say, I wasn't disappointed. I'd rather NBC had approved a two-hour season premiere, one that could have showcased all of the heroes we're familiar with, but I'll take what I can get.

They were wise to jump four months ahead in the story. It allows them to fill in the gaps as the season goes on, while propelling us head-on into the story. Hiro's adventure in the 1600s is cute, but I hope they don't dwell too much on that. I'm anxious to see Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Lt. Uhura), too. I don't want the season to unspool too fast, but I am excited to see what happens!
I'm thinking the story of the brother and sister in Latin America will be something like: "Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!" though they are working in a little more of that moral ambiguity, as with Nikki.

The only thing I can say that hit a sour note was the faux-Irish accents toward the end. It did, however set up a new mystery: what the hell happened to Peter Petrelli? And also, I'm so impressed with the acting and presence of Hayden Panettiere. Please, Hayden, I'm begging you, do not turn into another Lindsay Lohan!

I'm hooked, NBC, keep it coming!

Does It Look to You Like "the Surge" is Working?


I mean seriously, does it?



Image from:

Atrios.blogspot.com

(Click image for clarity)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sean Hannity: Investigative Reporter?

I've made no secret of my feelings for Sean Hannity on this blog. He's a blowhard, he's disingenuous, he's got an enormous ego, and he couldn't legitimately argue his way out of an argument with a fifth grader. And those are the nice things about him!

Sadly, some people (a favorite FOX "News" phrase) take nearly every word this Lou Costello lookalike says literally. And now (very humorously) he seems to fancy himself an investigative reporter. And this was the best he could do, in his "expose" of MoveOn.org.

Marie at Newshounds.us has annotated the piece, which is helpful for pointing out the flaws in Sean's "investigative report." By the way, love the ominous negative campaign commercial music! Enjoy.

FCC Finally Cracks Down on "Fake News"


Photo from source, RawStory.com

I'm happy to see that we're finally seeing some action on this issue. Video News Releases (VNRs) are slickly produced videos that appear to be actual news. They are produced by corporations, political organizations, and yes the US Government. They are sent to news stations, and inserted into broadcasts, often without any sort of disclaimer that denotes their parentage.

The Bush Administration has been using VNRs (along with other propaganda methods) extensively. It's about time something was done about it. Now, if they'd only do something about FOX "News."

[Excerpt]

FCC fines Comcast for VNRs

Cable giant Comcast violated the law by broadcasting video news releases without identifying them as sponsored programming, the Federal Communications Commission announced today. The ruling came in response to a complaint from Free Press and the Center for Media and Democracy, a media watchdog group focusing on VNRs. . .

Read more at: RawStory.com

Christian Coalition Upset About Dollar Coins


Image from Wikipedia.org

I somehow ended up on the email list from the Christian Coalition of America. So, I receive regular updates about the latest outrages that have their collective panties in a bunch. This week, it is the new presidential dollar coins. This one falls under "faux outrage" in my view, and is just a red meat item to secure more donations. . .probably not in coins.

The new coins, you see, do not have "In God We Trust" on the face. Instead, the motto is stamped along the edge of the coin, along with "E. Pluribus Unum" and the year of issue. Holy crap, they're trying to obscure the year of issue! I can't see this as much more than a design choice, but the CCA is convinced it is a plot to remove the motto altogether.

Fueling this outrage is an urban legend, an email that was sent out to "everyone you know" saying the motto was gone altogether. This was due to an error in minting that resulted in whole batches of coins leaving the mint with nothing stamped along the edge. Anybody who can type "Snopes.com" can find out that it was just a mistake. CCA members ought to try that next time one of these fishy issues comes up.

In God We Trust has not always been on our money. It is my understanding that the motto was added to coins (in 1864) and on bills (in 1957), at times when religious fervor was stirring, sort of as a consolation prize. It was a half-step to prevent Christianity from having an even stronger influence in government. Throwing them a bone, if you will.

But if the CCA and other organizations make too big a stink over this, they may find themselves in something of a bind. I can't think of a single reason, given the first amendment of the Constitution, that the motto should be allowed to remain. Impartial legislators and judges would be forced to remove it altogether if the issue were pushed. If you find the motto to be that important, you might be wise to calm down, and just leave it as it is.
And, psst, CCA. . .nobody uses these coins for money anyway! They're essentially collectibles.

[Excerpt from the letter]

Congressman Dan Burton, R-IN, was quoted saying that America is "moving in a very, very wrong direction. Congressman Burton said he will introduce legislation mandating that "In God We Trust" be retained in a prominent place on U.S. currency and coinage.
"Recently, there were thousands of coins minted without 'In God We Trust' on them, and now they're talking about putting 'In God We Trust' in an obscure place on coins to that people can't read them, right on the edge of the coin," the Republican complains.

Practically preaching from the pulpit, the congressman warns that "once you start turning your back on the good Lord, I think you are going to reap the whirlwind, and this is something this nation cannot afford to do right now."

Disgracefully, it was the Republican-led 109th Congress which -- for the first time in some 70 years -- took American's national motto -- In God We Trust -- off the face of some American coins in a bill called "The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005." The legislation allowed "In God We Trust" to be hidden on the edge of the new presidential $1 coins. As Americans discover this outrageous travesty, they are demanding the United States Mint change their design. . ."

It goes on an on, but that is the gist.

For a little history on the motto, go here: Wikipedia.org

For a little history on the coin, go here: Wikipedia.org

For information on the urban legend, go here: Snopes.com

Ahmadinejad Speaks at Columbia Amid Protests

I'll bet the Bush White House is thrilled with the reaction to Ahmadinejad's appearance here. Apparently, their months-long strategy to turn him into a bogeyman has worked. I say, let him speak. Better to know how ridiculous he is. Keeping him silent keeps him dangerous, and mysterious (just how the White House likes him).

[Excerpt]

Ahmadinejad speaks at Columbia amid protests

Controversial Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to a packed audience of students and academics in an extraordinary event at Columbia University Monday afternoon, as protests swirled outside and a media frenzy engulfed the school.

In remarks that veered between sermon and stump speech Ahmadinejad quoted freely from the Quran, warning of the corrupting influence of the material world and sidestepping questions on his call for the destruction of Israel and his denial of the Holocaust. . .


Read on at: Newsday.com

And how ridiculous is this guy? Watch and learn.

Bewitched's Alice Ghostley Passes Away

Nooooo! I just found out (via KennethInThe212) that Alice Ghostley (Esmerelda on Bewitched, and Bernice on Designing Women) has passed away. Both shows were favorites of mine, and Ghostley herself was as well. RIP, Alice.

[Excerpt]

Alice Ghostley, Comic TV and Stage Actress, Is Dead

Alice Ghostley, a Tony Award-winning actress who became known to television viewers for her roles as dizzy sidekicks on “Bewitched” and “Designing Women,” died yesterday at her home in Studio City, Calif. Her age was usually given as 81.

The cause was cancer, said a longtime friend, the actress
Kaye Ballard, who said that she was actually about two years older. . .

Read more at: NYTimes.com

And a great clip from Designing Women.

Richard Mellon Scaife Worries About Divorce Papers


Photo from source, CrooksAndLiars.com

Several days ago, I wrote an editorial comparing billionaires George Soros and Richard Mellon Scaife. Soros is held out as a bogeyman by Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, et. al., supposedly the money behind all that is evil (read: Democrat). They curiously omit any reference to Soros' opposite, who sits on their side of the aisle, and probably pulled a few more marionette strings than Soros ever did.

While conservatives hope for Soros' uppance to come, liberals may be getting their schadenfreude moment for Scaife:

[Excerpt]


Anyone who has dipped a toe in the wild and woolly currents of politics in the last thirty years should be familiar with the name of Richard Mellon Scaife. As partisans go, there isn’t anyone else willing to put so much of their money where their ideologies drive them, $340 million by some estimates. [snip]

Those rumors around Vince Foster’s suicide lay squarely on Scaife’s lap. During the 2004 election cycle, Scaife had his targets set directly on the Kerrys (and specifically Teresa Heinz Kerry), devoting a considerable sum to breaking open records to find dirt to smear the Democratic candidate through his wife. [snip]

Which makes this news story all that much more schadenfreude-licious. Scaife is going through divorce proceedings from his wife, one that has provided lots of fodder for the gossip pages with arrests for trespassing, accusations of abuse and dognapping, of all things. . .

Read past the [snips] at: CrooksAndLiars.com

Top 10 Conservative Idiots - September 24, 2007


My favorite feature at DemocraticUnderground.com has their latest top 10 up, so what are you waiting for?

[Excerpt]

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 307
September 24, 2007
Dead Mandela Walking Edition

This week George W. Bush (1) breaks some sad news, Rudy Giuliani (2,3) finds that his head no longer fits through most doors, Mitt Romney (5) gaffes up a storm, and John McCain (6) loses his religion.

Go there now: DemocraticUnderground.com

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Conservatives After Bill Maher: I Like Him Anyway


Image from source, NewsBusters.org

I went over to FreeRepublic again today, to see their reaction to the Hillary Clinton interviews this morning on the political chat shows. As happens often over there, my eye was drawn to a different story, one about Bill Maher.

They've linked to a story at NewsBusters.org, a (very) right-wing "news" site. NewsBusters has posted transcripts and comments from a Bill Maher interview on CNN. The obvious intent of the article is to anger you, and to make you dislike Bill Maher and his views. Funny thing, even with the spin, I agree with Maher. See what you think:

Maher on CNN: Petraeus and Maliki ‘Stooges’ For President Bush

Original item at: NewsBusters.org

Unhinged responses at: FreeRepublic.com

Polls Show Americans See Iraq War as Failure


Polls are easy to dismiss when they don't go your way, and fun to trumpet when they support your positions. They're kind of like the Nielson ratings for cable news; if Bill O'Reilly still has the most viewers, and you are a "FOX fan," you use that to needle detractors. If you like Keith Olbermann's show, you might say, "yeah, well ratings don't indicate quality". . .until Olbermann starts shooting up in the ratings, that is. Then, suddenly the ratings matter.

Polls are funny things, because they can be useful, or totally worthless, depending upon what the questions are, and how they are asked. An honest, straightforward poll, that does not ask leading or loaded questions can still be useless, if the topic is irrelevant. For instance, a poll asking, "do you believe Iran has nuclear weapons, and will use them on the United States?" would be pointless. Whether Americans believe those things or not won't change the facts of the matter in any way.

Polls of Americans' opinions on the state of the Iraq War tread a line there, between relevant, and irrelevant. Our opinions will not change the facts on the ground. However, our opinions could in this case, change how our government behaves in response to the facts on the ground.

The George W. Bush administration has crowed about "not looking at the polls." I've always felt that was pretty insulting. After all, George W. Bush works for us, the American people, the very people expressing their opinions in the polls. Besides, it's bullshit anyway. Karl Rove (the guy running the show until recently) was armpit-deep in poll numbers. Bush looks at the polls. He knows what they say. He just doesn't give a damn what we think.

[Excerpt]

AP Poll: Most see Iraq war as failure

The public sees the Iraq war as a failure and thinks the U.S. troop buildup there has not worked, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll suggesting the tough sell President Bush faces in asking Congress and voters for more time.

The pessimism expressed by most people — including significant minorities of Republicans — contrasted with the brighter picture offered by Gen. David Petraeus. The chief U.S. commander in Iraq told Congress on Monday that the added 30,000 troops have largely achieved their military goals and could probably leave by next summer, though he conceded there has been scant political progress. [snip]

Two groups that normally support the Bush administration — white evangelical voters and conservatives — remained largely behind its war strategy.

Well of course they are.

Read more at: News.Yahoo.com

My Last (I Think) MoveOn.org "Betray Us" Ad Post

If you've read my blog before, you probably know I'm a fan of Air America Radio. But I'll confess, I've never listened to The Young Turks, their morning show. I don't get to listen until about 7:30 PST, and I listen to The Stephanie Miller Show. My sister turned me on to it, and I never miss it. But if this clip is any indication, maybe I should be podcasting The Young Turks.

I really agree with almost everything Cenk Uygur is saying in this clip. He's talking about the (afore mentioned, many times on this blog) MoveOn.org "Betray Us?" ad, and the faux outrage it spawned. He doesn't spare the Democrats either. Click and check it out.

MAD TV: OSU Buckeye Fans Gay?

OK, I'm having a frivolous post run here today. But hey, I have incendiary political posts in spurts, so why not fun stuff?

Football season is upon us again, and as a native Ohioan, I'm obliged to support the Buckeyes, even if I have no genuine interest in football. If you're from Ohio (particularly Columbus), you're a Buckeye by default.

This video is from a couple of years ago on MAD TV. It was something of a heyday for the show in my opinion, when Josh Meyers (Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers' brother) and Ike Barinholtz regularly teamed up for comedy.

The gag is, of course, the inherent homoeroticism (usually unacknowledged) of team sports, and sports fandom. And you have to give credit to Meyers and Barinholtz for their fearlessness as actors. Even in this day and age, unabashed same-sex attraction--even in acting--is a rarity. Of course it helps that it is painfully funny. (Incidentally, it would have been just as funny if the characters were Wolverines fans. . .)

Match Game Star Brett Somers Remembered

Brett Somers, wife of Jack Klugman, and star of The Match Game passed away last week. Of all the pop culture nuggets in my brain, The Match Game was something of a boulder. The show was one of the biggest slabs of orange shag carpeted slabs of cheese on TV in the 70s. I don't know why my brother and I liked is so much--we surely couldn't comprehend the double entendres in the "blanks."

Maybe it was the drunken behavior of stars, Brett Somers, Richard Dawson, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Gene Rayburn. Watching clips today, it is profoundly evident that they were absolutely loaded during these tapings. And Charles Nelson Reilly was even gayer than Paul Lynde, if such a thing is possible. Pure 70s cheesy goodness.

Brett Somers passed away last week, and I'd just like to acknowledge her contribution to the huge filing cabinet of trivial pop culture knowledge in my brain. Rest in ____, Brett! Enjoy.

Freepers Invited to the White House (Barf Alert)


Image from (shudder) FreeRepublic.com

The "(Barf Alert)" is a common item used on FreeRepublic.com to denote stories that they disagree with, and I can't think of a more appropriate tag for this post. This is just a vile development, as far as I'm concerned.

If you are unfamiliar, FreeRepublic (and its members, known as Freepers) is an ultra-right-wing web site. I've written previously about them here, here, here and here.

The White House has apparently invited the DC contingent of Freepers to meet President Bush. For all of the talk of the left-wing "smear sites" (not my term, or my belief), such as DailyKos, MediaMatters, and especially MoveOn.org, this is particularly galling.

For the President to call the MoveOn.org ad (Will Petraeus Betray Us?) "disgusting," and then have a group that is far, far, far more extreme for a personal visit. . .well. . .it is the very definition of hypocrisy.

If you don't believe me, do as I've said in the past. Go to FreeRepublic.com, click the link at the top of the page that says "Homosexual Agenda," and read a topic. Any topic. If you don't find something appalling in the first article (and comments), you will by the second or third, it is a promise. The very existence of the category, an omnipresent feature, should be a tip-off.

I wonder if Congress will have a vote to condemn the meeting?

Hat-tip to John Aravosis at AmericaBlog for the story idea.

UPDATE: While reading the comments at Americablog, a commenter helpfully provided a link to a discussion that has the sort of comments I'm talking about. Keep in mind, this site is heavily moderated, and each commenter has to be registered. Click here.


UPDATE II: If you want to see the Freepers in the creepy flesh, here is their coverage of the event. Careful, I was serious about the barf alert!

Purely Personal Post: Baby Lux

My mother sent me a new photo of my nephew, Lux, today. He had an awfully difficult time entering this world, but he sure looks happy to be here now. Small wonder that he's already an Ohio State Buckeyes fan!
Lux at four months old


Also posting a video (with Grandma). Not sure if it will work or not.


video

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Classic TV Themes: Sitcoms of the 80s

Delving back into the recesses of my mind for another frivolity break. All of these videos are openings to shows that were great at first. . .and then went on for far too long. In their heyday, they were immensely enjoyable, and full of talent.

#1 - It's a Living - This show was only a modest performer in the ratings, but had tons of potential. So, after it was cancelled by the network, it was picked up for syndication, and went on. And on. It was a lot of fun for the first couple of years, and then they rotated casts (and titles) to the point where the show just ran out of gas. It couldn't go on without Ann Jillian. Great theme song, though!

#2 - Perfect Strangers - This was the 80s, male version of Laverne & Shirley. Great physical comedy, outright hilarious sometimes. And then it got stale. Really stale. How long could Balki stay a fish out of water? When they brought in wives, and a (shared) house, and made it part of the childish "TGIF" lineup, it was finally put out to pasture.

#3 - Valerie - A case of a show that was killed by a contract dispute. Valerie Harper is one of the most underrated comedy performers of all time, willing to be the "straight man" to others' hijinks. After a tussle over salary or some such, she was killed off, and replaced by the (inferior for this show, but good otherwise) Sandy Duncan. The show went through three names before it was cancelled--years later. Bonus: Season 1 and 2, plus end credits.

#4 - Family Ties - Definitely the highest rated (by viewers and critics) of this list, Family Ties was one of my favorites at the time. But like most high-rated, long-running shows, the young kid got less cute. So, they brought in a baby and then miraculously aged him four years in a single season. The theme song was great though, and has some of the best editing, with images in time to the music.


GOP vs. Democrats in '08 - So Far


Photo montage from media.myfoxdfw.com

Early in the summer, the conventional wisdom was that Democrats were happy with their choices of Presidential candidate, and that Republicans were not happy with theirs. If the news I'm reading today is any indication, things haven't changed much, at least for Republicans, even with Fred Thompson's late entry into the race. I suspect that is why (extremely) long-shot candidate Alan Keyes decided to throw his hat into the ring.

Democrats seem to be lining up behind Mrs. Clinton, though the other candidates still have strong supporters. Check out these stories from either side of the aisle:

[Excerpt #1]

Clinton Solidifies Edge as Rivals Take a Tougher Line

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has consolidated her early lead in the Democratic presidential contest, showing steady strength as the candidates head toward the first voting early next year.

She has been challenged for fund-raising supremacy and news media attention by Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. Former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina beat her to the punch in introducing big policy proposals. But nothing that her main rivals have done has so far has derailed Mrs. Clinton, leading them to begin rolling out aggressive new strategies aimed primarily at her, including courting black voters in South Carolina and stepping up attacks.

Read more at: NYTimes.com

[Excerpt #2]

G.O.P. Hopefuls Take Varying Paths in Wide Open Race

The race for the Republican presidential nomination remains remarkably fluid, with important constituencies like evangelical voters having yet to settle on a candidate, and the late entrance of former Senator
Fred D. Thompson generating little excitement.

With the state of play so unsettled and
Republicans still grappling with the political implications of the Iraq war and President Bush’s weakness, the leading contenders are plotting out strikingly different road maps to the nomination.

Read the rest at: NYTimes.com

An Inconvenient Truth: America Under Water


Image from source, news.aol.com

Global warming, or climate change has somehow become a strongly partisan issue. Rush Limbaugh has done his part to label anyone who thinks there is truth to the theory as "environmentalist wackos." Hannity pooh-poohs it as well, taking the bizarre position that if Al Gore has a big house and flies in private planes, that fact somehow disproves everything.

The biggest bone of contention is not so much whether climate change is happening or not, but if humans cause it. This story takes the political completely out of the equation. According to the story, sea levels are rising, there's nothing we can do about it, and that much of America's coastlines will be under water in 50 to 150 years. It's sobering, whether you're a conservative wingnut or a lefty moonbat.

[Excerpt]

Sea Level Rise Could Flood Many Cities

Ultimately, rising seas will likely swamp the first American settlement in Jamestown, Va., as well as the Florida launch pad that sent the first American into orbit, many climate scientists are predicting. In about a century, some of the places that make America what it is may be slowly erased.

Global warming - through a combination of melting glaciers, disappearing ice sheets and warmer waters expanding - is expected to cause oceans to rise by one meter, or about 39 inches. It will happen regardless of any future actions to curb greenhouse gases, several leading scientists say. And it will reshape the nation. [snip]

"We're going to get a meter and there's nothing we can do about it," said University of Victoria climatologist Andrew Weaver, a lead author of the February report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Paris. "It's going to happen no matter what - the question is when."

Read the rest at: news.aol.com
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