Thursday, January 31, 2008

Clinton and Obama Debate One on One


Photo from source, Huffington Post

We end the month with a field of candidates that has dwindled from double digits down to basically two on each side. Sure there's still Mike Huckabee, but he's seeming like a long shot. And from the extreme long-shot field, I believe we still have Alan Keyes, Mike Gravel and Ron Paul. But the writing is on the wall: it's Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Tonight's Democratic debate offered little in the way of thrills. Clinton and Obama have seemingly buried the hatchet in something other than each others' skulls. Even their digs at each other were rather ouchless. What they looked like more than anything was a ticket. I wonder if that will go anywhere, or if they'll pick up where they were last week?

[Excerpt]

CIVILITY RULES...CLINTON AND OBAMA PLAY IT SAFE

The much-anticipated Tinseltown one-on-one Democratic debate tonight lacked much of the drama that had been widely predicted and proceeded on a relatively cordial tone, with candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama refusing to directly confront each other during much of the near two-hour long showdown.

Some verbal skirmishing briefly flared over the issue of Iraq and health care but those expecting any sort of knock-down drag-out battle in this final debate before next Tuesday's avalanche of primaries came away disappointed as the candidates often emphasized the differences they have with Republicans over their own disagreements. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Karl Rove to Join FOX "News"?


Image from source, Think Progress

Oh well why not. This won't surprise anybody who's a critic of the Bush Administration, or of FOX "News." And it won't bother Bushies or FOX-heads. But, man, am I ever ready for this surreal span of time to be over. If there was ever a new century (millennium?) that needed a "do over," this is it.

[Excerpt]

Fox News political contributor Karl Rove.

President Bush’s close political adviser
Karl Rove will reportedly be joining Fox News as an on-air contributor to be “used throughout Super Tuesday coverage.”

Science is (Still) Cool: Space Race 50th Anniversary


Photo from source, CNET News

Just a little while ago, I posted a Science is Cool post, highlighting one of the latest examples of our space program's accomplishments. What I didn't yet realize, is that today is actually the 50th anniversary of the US entry into the "Space Race." Of course, the space program had been up and running at least long enough to get a satellite ready to go, but it was launched on January 31, 1958.

[Excerpt]

Golden anniversary--U.S. enters space race

After some spectacular failures, the United States successfully launched its first satellite, Explorer 1, into Earth's orbit on January 31, 1958. It was an important step for the United States in the Cold War and its first response in the space race after Russia had successfully launched two satellites. . .

Read more at: CNET News

George W. Bush Does Vegas!


The Other Half had to work today, and happened to be in Washington, D.C. He swears that he didn't go there simply because George W. Bush was coming here to Las Vegas. But the timing was mighty suspicious.

I had the opportunity to listen to one of our local right-wing talk shows on the way home from work. The show is hosted by Casey Hendrickson and Heather Kidd, two winners of "Radio Star," an American Idol-type contest. Kidd, a 23-year-old Republican Party activist prone to malapropisms, got to share some time with President Bush at the local GOP event. She was star-struck, virtually bubbling over with enthusiasm for The Decider. If you hadn't lived through the last seven years, and only had this one talk show to go on, you'd believe that George W. Bush was the best President ever! Whatever. I think The Other Half had the right idea.

[Excerpt]

Bush, in Las Vegas, defends troop surge

The progress has improved the lives of Iraqis and given the government time to add 100,000 new soldiers, he told the National Policy Research Institute this morning.

Bush is now en route to a private fund-raiser at the home of Sheldon Adelson, a political conservative and chairman of the Sands Corp. Adelson and his wife greeted Bush at a loading dock of the Venetian hotel-casino and rode with him to the speech. . .

Read more at: Las Vegas Sun

Ex-9/11 Chief's Secret White House Ties?


Photo from source, ABC News

Secrecy. Deception. Dirty tricks and outright lies. These are the sorts of things many American voters are tired of. It's what is behind the mantra of "change" in the current Presidential primaries.

Often, dissenters to "the official story" of virtually anything out of the current administration are characterized as conspiracy theorists. They're all lumped together as tinfoil-hatters, unhinged loons. But the story below is a prime example of why so many people are immediately suspicious of Bush & Co. Particularly as it pertains to 9/11. Stuff like this just keeps coming up, stoking the conspiracy theories, and making them seem much more plausible.

[Excerpt]

Ex-9/11 Panel Chief Denies Secret White House Ties

The former executive director of the 9/11 Commission denies explosive charges of undisclosed ties to the Bush White House or interference with the panel's report.

The charges are said to be contained in New York Times reporter Philip Shenon's unreleased book, "The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation," according to Max Holland, an author and blogger, and generally confirmed by the book's publisher. . .

Read more at: ABC News

Science is Cool: More From Planet Mercury


Photo from source, AOL News

More pictures are coming back from planet Mercury, and they're showing scientists a view of the planet they didn't quite expect. I know a lot of people find the space program to be a waste of money, but I'm glad we still have it. I just eat this stuff up.

[Excerpt]

Mercury Photos Surprise Astronomers

The first pictures from the unseen side of Mercury reveal the wrinkles of a shrinking, aging planet with scars from volcanic eruptions and a birthmark shaped like a spider. . .

Read more at: AOL News

John McCain in Dr. Strangeglove!

Brave New Films has a great new video up, inserting John McCain into Dr. Strangeglove. And, not too surprisingly, it's a pretty good fit. Take a look.

We STILL Don't Know if Waterboarding is Torture?


Image from Boston.com

The headline is of course misleading. We do know that waterboarding is torture. But Mukasey can't say that, because we've done it. Bush (or others in his administration) has ordered it. If Mukasey says so, then Bush is guilty of a crime. So, he has to pussy-foot around it. This is all so stupid.

[Excerpt]


In today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Attorney General Mike Mukasey refused to answer whether Bush had violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act under the Terrorist Surveillance Program. . .

Read more (with video) at: Think Progress

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ron Paul Skewers McCain on Economics

I personally believe that the uh, such as, Presidential race is more fun with the such as, Ron Paul in the U.S. or the Iraq. Or something like that.

This is a really funny clip of John McCain answering an economics question (badly), mashed up with the infamous Miss Teen South Carolina contestant. I don't know if the Paul campaign had anything to do with the making of this clip, but if they did, my estimation of Mr. Paul has risen substantially! For our children, of course.

Oh No He Didn't! Artist Sculpts Oprah


Photo from source, D-Listed

Wow. After my first look at this, all I could think of was MadTV's Debra Wilson, as Oprah on a rampage! I can't imagine O is particularly flattered by this.

[Excerpt]

Oprah In Gold

Sculptor Daniel Edwards is responsible for the Britney Spears giving birth statue and the dead Paris Hilton one. He tackles Oprah for his latest work. He calls it "The Oprah Sarcophagus." He said that he is paying homage to the closest thing America has to a living deity. . .

Read on (if you don't mind adult-type naughty words) at: D-Listed






And here's one of those classic Debra Wilson as Oprah moments:


Bush Still Making Up the Rules as He Goes


Photo from source, Boston.com

He's just unbelievable. Ignoring the role that Congress is supposed to play, Bush thinks he can do anything he wants; obey or ignore any law at his whim. And for some unknown reason, he just keeps getting away with it.

If our next President is a Democrat, it will be very strange to listen to the Limbaughs and the Hannitys, who will be picking at every tiny crumb; shrieking about ethics, morality and rule of law. It will be our duty to make it plain that they ignored the unethical, immoral and illegal actions of The Decider for eight years.

[Excerpt]

Bush asserts authority to bypass defense act

President Bush this week declared that he has the power to bypass four laws, including a prohibition against using federal funds to establish permanent US military bases in Iraq, that Congress passed as part of a new defense bill.

Bush made the assertion in a signing statement that he issued late Monday after signing the National Defense Authorization Act for 2008. In the signing statement, Bush asserted that four sections of the bill unconstitutionally infringe on his powers, and so the executive branch is not bound to obey them. . .

Read more at: Boston.com


Ralph Nader Mulls Presidential Run


Photo from source, Bloomberg

In 2000, it's fair to say that Ralph Nader's candidacy helped George W. Bush become President. Not as much as the Supreme Court helped, of course, but still. Voters didn't make the same mistake when Nader ran in 2004, when he really had little effect. Now--for some reason--Nader is talking about running again. My first guess? Ego.

[Excerpt]

Nader Says He's Considering a New White House Run

"Look at the major areas of injustice, deprivation and solutions that are not being addressed by the major candidates,'' Nader, 73, said in a telephone interview today. Among other issues, he cited the need for a "practical timed withdrawal'' from Iraq, programs to crack down on corporate fraud and a rearrangement of the U.S. tax system. . .

Read more at: Bloomberg

John Edwards Quits the Presidential Race


Photo from Fire Dog Lake

Bummer.

[Excerpt]

Edwards to Quit Presidential Race

Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters' sympathies, The Associated Press has learned. . .


Read more at: AOL News

FOX "News" Soon to be Irrelevant?


FOX "News" has spent the last seven years on top of the cable news heap. They've been the White House's mouthpiece--as only the most die-hard right-winger would dispute. But if a Democrat takes the Oval Office this fall, will they even be relevant anymore? Here's an opinion piece to show where FOX's fortunes may fall this year.

[Excerpt]

Fox News is in for a very rough 2008

Bottom line is that Fox News is in for a very rough 2008. And the umbrella reason for that is quite simple: Eight years ago the all-news cable channel went all-in on the presidency of George Bush and became a broadcast partner with the White House. Proof of that was on display Sunday night, January 27, during Fox News' prime-time, "Fighting to the Finish," an "historic documentary" on the final year of Bush's presidency. Filmed in HD and featuring "unprecedented access," according to the Fox News press release, the show was pure propaganda. (I must have missed Fox News' "Fighting to the Finish" special back in 2000, chronicling the conclusion of President Bill Clinton's second term and his "extraordinarily consequential tenure.") . . .

Read more at: Media Matters

Ch-ch-ch-change! Bowie & the 2008 Elections

This is pretty funny. And we need the funny now with this tedious primary season. Some creative YouTuber has pasted together the leading candidates for President, singing the classic Bowie tune. And I just had to share it with you.

Absolutely Fabulous: Outtakes

The blog has gotten absolutely tedious with all of the political updates. So, the antidote is Absolutely Fabulous! Here is a fun outtake clip from the irreverent British television series, to lift my (and hopefully your) spirits a little, and make things a little more fun around here, if only for a bit. . .



Giuliani to Endorse McCain


Photo from KEYE TV


Last night we had guests over, and so were focused on other things than politics. But we had MSNBC on in the background because of the Florida primary results. Along the way (with the sound on mute), it became clear that Rudolph Giuliani was set to endorse John McCain for President. Which obviously means he's bowing out. And we found that surprising, as we were half-heartedly listening to his speech this evening, where it did not seem that he was leaving the race.

Maybe we weren't paying close enough attention. . .

[Excerpt]

Romney concedes Florida to McCain; Giuliani handed decisive defeat

With more than 50% of Florida's GOP vote counted, all major cable news networks have called the Florida primary for Arizona Senator John McCain over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who offered his concession to the senator before 9:30 PM. The race also presented a final repudiation of the "victory through Florida" strategy of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was in a distant third place, consistent with poll predictions, but was not yet ready to bow out of the race. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Rudy Giuliani's Presidential Aspirations Gone Kaput


Buh-bye, Rudy. You would have been fun to run against, but it just ain't gonna happen. . .

[Excerpt]

For Giuliani, A Disappointing Fade To Exit

Rudy Giuliani had hoped that his presidential campaign would serve as an example of how an unorthodox strategy could propel a candidate to his party's nomination. Instead, it appears more likely to be remembered as a cautionary tale. . .

Read more at: CBS

Romney In, Giuliani Out



It's not surprising that Rudy is out. If he did poorly in Florida, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Giuliani was not even a factor. But the hedging of Romney is a little surprising. Of course he's in, it's just him and McCain (with a dash of Huckabee). So on we go, with just three players on each side.

[Excerpt]

Romney vows to carry on to Super Tuesday

Republican Mitt Romney, his family and supporters vowed to carry his campaign into the vote-rich Super Tuesday contests next week after narrowly losing Florida's primary to rival John McCain. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cool Cars: Flashy Hybrid to be Made in Detroit?


Photo from source, Wired

Here's just a quickie post, before we begin entertaining guests for the evening. Who says hybrid cars are funky and boring? This one is very, very cool, and I just had to let you know. Check it out:

[Excerpt]

Fisker's $80K Plug-In Hybrid to Be Made in Detroit?

Fisker Automotive, flush with cash from one of the biggest names in venture capital, may build its $80,000 plug-in hybrid in Detroit and use lithium-ion batteries made in British Columbia.

Vic Doolan, the company's director of retail development, says Fisker is considering the Motor City because of its experienced workforce, idle manufacturing capacity and broad network of suppliers. "It does make a lot of sense" to build the Fisker Karma in Michigan, he told the Detroit Free Press. . .

Read more at: Wired

Bush's Lame Duck Speech Not Impressing Congress


Photo from source, AOL News

Many Democrats, such as myself, have been profoundly disappointed by the performance of the press during the Bush Administration. They've often acted as glorified stenographers. And at times when they do get back into fighting shape, they tend to pull their punches. Where is the press of the Clinton Administration, where the tiniest whiff of scandal brought 'em out like a pack of ravenous dogs?

We may never know, but this story is a little better. . .

[Excerpt]

Lame Duck Bush Faces Skeptical Congress

Democratic Congress is poised to heed President Bush's call to help save the economy, but may not give him much else after a State of the Union speech that recycled many of the administration's past initiatives. . .

Read more at: AOL News

Ouch! Foreclosures Up 79% in 2007


Photo from source, CNBC

That is dramatic. Of course, living in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is also obvious. I personally know several people who are very worried about being able to keep their houses, with ballooning payments in their very near future. I've even know of one friend who went through foreclosure. I'm surprised with all of this going on, that the economy isn't in worse shape than it is.

[Excerpt]

Home Foreclosures Were 79% Higher Last Year

The number of U.S. homes that slipped into some stage of foreclosure in 2007 was 79 percent higher than in the previous year, a real estate tracking company said Tuesday.

Many homeowners started to fall behind on mortgage payments in the last three months, setting the stage for more foreclosures this year. . .

Read more at: CNBC

OMG!! Which Celebrities Have The Gay?


Photo from source, WCBSTV

Heh, heh. . . I've published well over 1,500 posts since this blog began, and I've probably not focused on anything to do with "the gay" more than 1% of the time. But occasionally a story or link catches my fancy, and I feel the desire to share it.

My headline above is an allusion to those splashy Star Magazine or National Enquirer headlines (do they still do that?). The link below is a fairly extensive list of openly gay celebrities. No innuendo, no "is he, or isn't she?" So no salacious gossip to be had here. But it is interesting to see, just the same. Most of the individuals in the feature have only come out since the 1990s, with rare exceptions. And though it seems like an extensive list (there's even a sequel post on the page of 65 more), there are few surprises for a pop culture vulture like me.

But check it out. It's a list chock-full of amazingly talented, and amazing people.

[Excerpt]


Actor David Hyde Pierce, pictured here as police Lt. Frank Cioffi in the 2007 Broadway hit "Curtains," came out on national television. After winning a Tony Award, Pierce thanked his long-time parner. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images) Look at the following photos to see celebrities who live openly gay lives.

Source: WCBSTV

GOP Desperate for Money, Sells Pink Elephant


Yeah, I'm being snarky, but this does smell slightly of desperation. The original GOP elephant was cute, hey I even posted a link here (even if that was snarky too!). But "Maxine" hits my funnybone too. "Pink Elephants," after all can be a pop-culture reference to the hallucinations a drunk gets during delirium tremens. It can also refer to Log Cabin Republicans.

But the most likely image to enter some peoples' minds (OK, mine!) is your standard issue GOP closet case. Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, or Mark Foley (but Foley liked elephant calves). And naming the thing Maxine is a little odd, too. Maxine, after all, is the moniker given to the irascible, contrary old woman on countless Hallmark products. Not a warm and cuddly image!

Anyway, if you feel sorry for the beleaguered old GOP, and for any of the reasons above, you like pink elephants, here's the link.

Mitt Romney's "Whisperer" Grows its Own Blog


I was trying to get at this before, but looky here at what's going on in the blogosphere. A political "scandalet" has grown its own blog in just a couple of days. The event, covered previously here, has now got a blog devoted to it called RomneyWhisper.

[Excerpt]

Updates On Both Whispers

I've posted the 'click' processing on YouTube ... it's nothing revolutionary, since the click can be heard on the unedited video, but it can be heard better here, and the whisper is easier to make out as well. Video will play the unprocessed audio first, then the processed audio. There's another video out where the whisper has been enhanced, but that one adds some other artifacts that can confuse the subject of the click.




Read more (with audio and more video) at: RomneyWhisper.blogspot.com

Cool Cars: Alfa, Art on the Road

Posted by NevadaJoe

I know I haven't posted in a long long time, but just this last week I happened across a recent issue of Automobile magazine and went gaga over the new Alfa Romeo. Like a lot of guys, a copy of Automobile, Car and Driver, or Road & Track is akin to porn. And oh baby, this car is sexy sexy sexy. I mentioned it just last night to my friend, Lester, and just the mention of Alfa Romeo is enough to send Lester into his happy place. Since Lester has Italian blood flowing in his veins it is to be expected, but regardless of one's bloodline the new Alfa is jaw-droppingly handsome. If your blood isn't pumping faster watching this video you might want to see your doctor. Picture yourself in this car, and the world looks a whole lot better. Enjoy!!

Barack Obama's Response to the SOTU

I've been hoping that John Edwards would pull out a come-from-behind resurgence, and take the Democratic nomination. But daily, that seems unlikely. So, unless Edwards surprises the world on "Super-Duper Tuesday," I'll have to realign, just like I did here at the Nevada Caucus.

If this video is any indication, that will not be a difficult thing to do. This is Barack Obama's response to Bush's anemic (and thank Jeebus, final) State of the Union Address. He's pretty convincing. And though I may be showing a bit of latent racism (but the good kind, I think), he even reminds me a little of Dennis Haysbert's President Palmer on 24. Take a look.

Monday, January 28, 2008

FOX "News" Loves Rudy Giuliani

Or at least they did. What are they going to do if the rumors turn out to be true, and he drops out by week's end? Do they have a catchy nickname for Willard or Grampa McCain?

Featured YouTuber: What the Buck?

As I mentioned in my previous post, the ideas aren't coming fast and furious tonight. But I have a few backlogged nuggets, so here's one.

If I had this guy's energy, I'd never run out of things to post. He's something of an internet sensation, so I may be one of the few that has only recently run across him. He's hyper, but pretty funny. Plus at about 5 minutes in, he talks about Mike Huckabee, so it's not entirely irrelevant to the site!

What the Buck is off-color, and its star is tres gay, so if that isn't your cup of tea, move along. If you have heard of Buck, and want to see what the fuss is about, click play.

Cool Cars: Disappearing Car Doors

I'm having a little difficulty finding interesting stories to report on today. The big ones I've already covered, and everything else seems to leave me cold. But hat-tip to Voenix Rising, where I found this very cool video. The Other Half is a car nut, so this should really shift his gears. . .

A Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue!

Being a huge fan of horror movies, this parody poster really cracked me up. It's from a blog called NewsCorpse, a source I've used before. If you'd like to check out the post that goes along with the poster, along with video (and lots of other, interesting things), go to NewsCorpse.


Rudy Giuliani Hints at Dropping Out of the Race


Photo from source, LA Times

Interesting. And probably obvious, despite whatever hints he's dropping. . .

[Excerpt]

Breaking News: Rudy Giuliani hints at dropping out

Rudy Giuliani appears to be pondering an end to his long pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination.

In a meeting in the back of his chartered plane en route to St. Petersburg, Fla., a short while ago, the onetime, longtime GOP front-runner told a small group of reporters, including The Times' Louise Roug: "The winner of Florida will win the nomination.". .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

Cloture Not Reached on Telecom Immunity (FISA)


You have the left saying that the Bush Administration has run roughshod over the Constitution, and has been listening into regular Americans' phone calls, reading their emails and more. The left also says that Bush wants to give the Telecom companies that aided him "retroactive immunity" from any possible future prosecution or lawsuits. That sounds bad.

The right is trying to say that nothing improper occurred, that the Telecoms were doing their patriotic duty--which in this case is anything Bush asked them to do--but for some reason they need retroactive immunity anyhow.

Now, I know a little about this, and so the left side of the argument is far more convincing. But just take off your partisan hat for a moment, and try to parse what the right is saying here. The Telecoms did nothing wrong, and neither did the Bush Administration. But the Telecoms need retroactive immunity for their actions. Does that fly, logically? In my mind, it doesn't make a bit of sense.

So to the continuing debate (rather than cloture), I say hallelujah. For once, the Democrats didn't cave. I'm amazed, but I guess it ain't over yet.

[Excerpt]

Senate votes to keep debate open over foreign surveillance bill

Senate Democrats on Monday defeated a GOP motion to end debate on a bill overhauling U.S. foreign-intelligence surveillance law, setting up a showdown with the White House over whether to protect the phone companies that participated in the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program. . .

Read more at: The Hill

State of the Union Zzzzzzzzzzz


Image found at Poldraw

I gave it a valient effort, and nearly made it, too. But sometime around 6:45, I was dead asleep. While not nearly as wince-inducing as most of George W. Bush's speaches, it was nonetheless more of the same from him. I had a few eye-rolls, and a few moments where I wanted the ovations to just stop, so that he could wrap it up.

The left-right divide, and the tendency of only half the body to rise or sit on their hands is a little tedious. I understand why they do it. I mean if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton were to clap wildly for something George W. Bush said, they'd be doomed on Super-Duper Tuesday, right? But I have to say, my sympathies were really with the Repbulican half on Congress tonight. How many of them were just playing along? Rising with their, clapping away for The Decider, and just wanting to sit down and get it over with?

Here are a few early reactions to the final Bush SOTU:

[Excerpt]

State of the Union Reactions

"President Bush today said that earmarks have tripled in number over the last decade, but he forgot to tell the public that he signed those earmarks into law. President Bush also neglected to mention that the tripling in earmarks occurred under a Republican Congress." — Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. . .

Read more at: Associated Press

Top 10 Conservative Idiots: January 28, 2008


Wow. Where did the week go? It's Monday again, and thus I bring you the latest edition of Democratic Underground's "Top 10 Conservative Idiots." I never get tired of this stuff, and they never seem to run out of idiots.

[Excerpt]

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 322

January 28, 2007
Fred End Edition

This week Fred Thompson (1) drops out, Rudy Giuliani (2,3,4) drops the ball, and Mitt Romney (5) drops a beat. Elsewhere, Chuck Norris (9) and Sylvester Stallone (10) duke it out.





Sunday, January 27, 2008

Keith Olbermann Explains O'Reilly Bashing


Image from source, Raw Story

Keith Olbermann's skewering of Bill O'Reilly is an almost nightly feature on MSNBC's Countdown. You almost expect that in addition to "Bushed!," "Best Persons in the World," and "Worst Persons in the World," there might soon be a "BillO!" segment.

I understand why some people might find it tedious, but I enjoy it. Primarily because Bill O'Reilly--and the FOX "News" Channel overall--need to be challenged. For too long, FOX watchers have been allowed to believe that they're getting actual news from reputable people. They're not. So keep it up, Keith!

[Excerpt]

Olbermann: Why I keep 'poking Bill O'Reilly in the eye'

According to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, it's not about obsession. He isn't Captain Ahab and Fox's Bill O'Reilly isn't his great white whale, and, in a conversation with CNN's Howard Kurtz, he reveals that he's even getting a little bored of the constant feuding.

Except, just like Michael Corleone, every time Olbermann thinks he can move on, O'Reilly "does something so outrageous," that it pulls him back in. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Video of the Romney Whisper

In my previous post, I discuss a theory that Mitt Romney was wired during the last debate--a theory posited by a right-wing website of all things. For those who are curious, here is the video, with enhanced audio.

Mitt Romney Wired During Debates?



Do you remember back in 2004, when President Bush seemed to be wearing a wire to the debates with John Kerry? It made quite a splash for a few days, then mysteriously simmered down. I believe if it had happened now, with the internet/blogosphere a bit more more tenacious, it may have been more difficult to swat away.

Or maybe not. It would seem that Mitt Romney may have been wired in the debates too. There was even some sort of snafu, where a whisper about not raising taxes was heard right before Romney said "I won't raise taxes." MSNBC said somebody's mic was opened, and that the similarity of the two voices was a coincidence. But now we have this, from an arch-conservative website, no less.

[Excerpt]

Who Is Whispering in Romney's Ear?

. . .During Gov. Romney’s speech, one of his handlers mentioned to one of our staff people that any time Gov. Romney needed to wrap things up, he would be happy to let Gov. Romney know through the ear-piece that he wore.

Being unfamiliar with whether or not presidential candidates wear Jack Bauer-like ear pieces, I simply assumed this was common practice.

All that changed during the most recent debate. . .

Read more at: Red State

Keith Olbermann Blogging at DailyKos


Photo from source, NewsBusters

The host of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann has posted a few blog posts at the left-wing site, Daily Kos. I've found a few right-wing sites that are not happy with this development:

[Excerpt from TVNewser]

Some in the blogosphere have raised questions about Olbermann's role at the site, which describes itself as "a Democratic blog, a partisan blog." Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters writes, "Consider again the media firestorm that would come from (Brit) Hume or (Chris) Wallace doing the same thing at a conservative website. Think such a demonstration of rightwing bias and partisanship would raise a few eyebrows?"

Now, far be it for me to defend Keith Obermann, as I'm sure he's well equipped to do so for himself. But this sort of cries out for a response. Because they've forgotten one very prominent news personality. Tony Snow, late of FOX "News," and later promoted to White House Press Secretary, was a frequent writer on ├╝ber-right-wing FreeRepublic. And interestingly, his posts were "scrubbed" from the site after he got the White House gig.

Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, Mort Kondrake, George Will and many other "news" personalities also write political opinion pieces. Why not Olbermann?

Lamentable as it might be, the cable news business often blurs the lines between news, entertainment, punditry, politics and more. There's a reason that I refer to FOX "News" using the quotes. Countdown is on a news network, but is something of a hybrid show. Politically, it is no more biased than just about anything on FOX, but it does have a different format than most shows. If I had to categorize it, I'd call it a news and information commentary show, from a left-wing (or perhaps more accurately, non-right-wing) perspective.

Seriously people, look at just about any personality-driven show on any of the cable news channels. Check out Glenn Beck, Nancy Grace, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs. Most of them are not straight-ahead news shows, and most show some sort of bias. That may be a sad state of affairs, but it is the truth.

More right-wing irritability at: NewsBusters

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Monte Carlo, Las Vegas Must Remove Facade


Photo from source, Raw Story

It's difficult to tell by this story, but I suspect that the Monte Carlo Hotel will have to remove the foam facade from the entire top of the building, and not just the burned portions, at least eventually. Clearly, whatever the material is, it's quite flammable, and not particularly safe.

I drove by the place this afternoon, and it's downright creepy looking. The damage may be largely superficial, but from the ground it doesn't look that way. I give it a week, maybe two before MGM begins vigorous repair work. I know they won't want one of their properties to look like a burned-out hulk for very long!

[Excerpt]

Official orders casino facade removed

The burned exterior facade along the roof of the Monte Carlo hotel-casino will have to be removed or secured before the Las Vegas Strip resort can reopen, the chief county building inspector said Saturday.

Ron Lynn, chief of the Clark County Building Department, said the 32-story building will remain closed until resort owner MGM Mirage Inc. completes work to the roof-line foam building material damaged in Friday's blaze. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Letterman's Top 10 Rejected Bush Movie Titles

I rarely watch network late-night shows, preferring The Daily Show with Jon Stewart/The Colbert Report on Comedy Central. But those shows aren't on on Fridays, so if I'm watching at that hour, The Late Show with David Letterman is my default choice. I've liked Dave ever since his daytime show (yeah, I'm that old).

For many years, Letterman's Top 10 List has been a favorite and funny feature, and last night's did not disappoint.

Top 10 Rejected George W. Bush Movie Titles

Barack Obama Has Big Win in South Carolina


Photo from source, MSNBC

Well, John Edwards' chances keep getting dimmer, and that bums me out a little--I was hoping for something closer to a three-way tie. But, it's OK. As I've said many times before, any of the three is fine with me. Way to go, Barack!

[Excerpt]


Barack Obama routed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the racially charged South Carolina primary Saturday night, regaining campaign momentum in the prelude to a Feb. 5 coast-to-coast competition for more than 1,600 Democratic National Convention delegates. . .
Read more at: MSNBC

ABC Fined for 2003 Episode of NYPD Blue


"Ohhhh! Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children!?" --Helen Lovejoy, The Simpsons

We are a ridiculous, stupid country sometimes. First, that it would take five years for this to be decided. Second, that a single episode of NYPD Blue would cause a fuss when almost every episode featured partial nudity. And third, that this is even an issue in the first place! A woman's naked butt and the side of her boob are "indecent?" Why???

In this age of cable TV and high-speed internet, these "broadcast television" standards are patently ridiculous, archaic nonsense. Who are we protecting, and what are we protecting them from? Listen, you over-protective, spastic parents: I grew up in the 70s, when computers and cable TV were in their infancy. From the age of ten or so, on up, my friends and I managed to find pictures of naked people. Whether it was digging through Grandpa's closet to find a Playboy magazine, or sneaking a look at a nudie calendar at the auto shop, we found a way. Kids will do that. And shutting down terrestrial broadcasts as an outlet for "indecency" will not stop them.

And by the way, 95% of kids never watched NYPD Blue in the first place.

[Excerpt]

ABC Faces Indecency Fine For 2003 'NYPD Blue' Episode

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday proposed a $1.43 million indecency fine against ABC television stations for a 2003 episode of "NYPD Blue," the second-largest proposed indecency fine against a television broadcaster ever.

The agency proposed a $27,500 fine against 52 ABC-owned and affiliate stations in the Central and Mountain time zones, which broadcast the episode before 10 p.m., when the FCC's authority to police the airwaves for indecency expires each day. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

Hat tip to Rich, the soon-to-be ex-house-mate for the story. Happy trails, Rich!

Relax, Bush's Presidency May be Just a Bad Dream


What could the picture at left possibly have to do with George W. Bush's Presidency? Bear with me. . .

There was an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season one, called "Nightmares." In it, as the characters went through their regular lives, individually they began to live out their nightmares. They didn't clue in to what was happening at first. Buffy found herself in class, unprepared for a test, and the time zipped by too fast for her to even start it. Giles, the librarian, found himself unable to read.

Later, the clues got more obvious. Xander found himself naked in school, and then chased by a clown from his sixth birthday party. Popular Cordelia's hair frizzed out like Roseanne Roseannadanna, and she found herself in chess club.

But the one nightmare that made me think of George W. Bush was Willow's storyline. In it, she finds herself on stage. She's all made up for her part in an opera. The spotlight falls on her, the tenor finishes his verse, and then gestures for Willow to sing--and she has no idea what to do. She gives a half-hearted effort to play along, and then runs from the stage. Ultimately, it turned out that a little boy in a coma is causing everybody's nightmares to become real (the town of Sunnydale that they all inhabit is on a "Hellmouth," which causes the wacky to occur every week). My question is, who's dreaming now? And how do we wake up that damned little boy?

This clip from The Late Show with David Letterman, which I may have posted before, feels like a dream, doesn't it? The image that popped up in my mind was of my step-Dad if he found himself living out a nightmare scenario where he became President, but was completely unprepared for the job. I've seen my Dad try to fudge his way through a conversation before, and it looks exactly like Bush in many of these clips. So now we ask ourselves, "why oh why didn't he just run off the stage?"




By the way, in one of those serendipitous moments that seem to clutter my life, the picture of BTVS above was culled from a site called Barking Rabbits. I didn't realize it at the time, but the post the picture was used in was one called: The wit and wisdom of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, as it applies to the administration of George W. Bush. How weird is that?

And just one more thing. David Boreanez (Angel) in the photo at the top of the page has no legs or feet!

Dennis Kucinich to File Impeachment Papers


Photo from source, PressTV

If there's one thing that is certain about Dennis Kucinich, it's that he is not afraid to fight battles that are seen as unwinnable. His bid for President was always unlikely, but he had a forum from which to broadcast his ideas. And in this case, an effort to impeach President Bush, his chances aren't much better. But that won't stop him from trying, and it also won't stop me from waving my metaphorical pom-poms.

President Clinton was impeached for the flimsiest of reasons. There was a concerted effort to impeach him for something, and they did it. And by doing so, they seemingly insulated President Bush from getting impeached for anything. Which may have been the plan all along. But maybe I'm giving the GOP machine a little too much credit there.

President Bush and his administration have committed so many wrongs, and accountability has been almost non-existent. Even though Kucinich's efforts will probably land on deaf ears, at least he's getting it on the record. History will at least show that some effort was made. I applaud his audacity for doing this on the same day as President Bush's last State of the Union Address. That takes chutzpah. And it might explain how he landed himself such a hottie wife!

[Excerpt]

Kucinich 'will file Bush impeachment'

Congressman Dennis Kucinich says he will introduce articles of impeachment against President Bush for deceiving the American nation.

The Democrat said Wednesday that he would introduce the articles on January 28, the day US President George W. Bush is scheduled to deliver his State of the Union speech. . .

Read more at: PressTV

Gospel Dance Aerobics: It's FABULOUS!

In my travels through the tubes of the internets, I stumbled upon this video from a service called GodTube. Yeah, I never heard of it either, but it's a YouTube-type site, but all religious and inspirational. But this video features a little something extra. . .

News of the Weird: Giant Blob in Maine Sewer


Photo from source, WMTW

Well, ain't that pretty? We had one of those several years ago, right here in Las Vegas. But I think ours was mostly grease and hair. One of these days, one of these sewer blobs is going to become self aware, and go on a rampage through a small town, eat up the movie house. . .

City Battles Giant Blob

A large, mysterious blob has taken over a major sewer line in the city of Lewiston, leaving public works crews stumped as to how to budge it. . .

Read more at: WMTW

Friday, January 25, 2008

More Daily Show: Indecisioin 2008

The last clip was a little like Short Attention Span Theater, so here's a long-form Daily Show bit, that goes into the way the press covers the Presidential campaigns. Enjoy.

Daily Show Week in Review 01/21/08

Another great mash-up of the week's events from The A Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Bush & Congress Settle on Free Money?


Photo from source, New York Times

I say "free money" somewhat facetiously, as I'm pretty sure nothing in life--or particularly from the Bush Administration--is actually free. Whether we end up paying for it on our next year's taxes, or the interest on what they have to borrow to give us this "gift" compounds to stratospheric heights, and we just have to pay more later. Probably both. Probably more than that. But hey! $600!

[Excerpt]

Bush and House in Accord for $150 Billion Stimulus

Hoping to give a quick adrenaline shot to the ailing economy, President Bush and House leaders struck a deal on Thursday for a $150 billion fiscal stimulus package, including rebates for most tax filers of up to $600 for individuals, $1,200 for couples and, for families, an additional $300 a child. . .

Read more at: New York Times

Jesus Found in Potato!


Image from (of course), FOX "News"

Jeebus has been a busy little bee lately, making personal appearances all over the place. Just a few days ago, He appeared in a slab of granite. Now, he's showing up in. . .a potato? Sounds like he's slumming to me.

Seriously, religious folks, why does this keep happening? Haven't you ever lain on your back, and stared at the sky, imagining shapes and objects in the clouds? Ever get a little buzzed, and start seeing images in the wallpaper, or in the wood grain on the door, or in the floor tile? Just because you see a shape that looks like the Pink Panther doesn't mean it's actually him. Same goes for Jesus.

[Excerpt]

Florida Pastor Finds Jesus Image in Split Potato

MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35, Orlando) -- Pastor Renee Brewster and her husband Bishop Winston Brewster are a very spiritual couple. But the site of their savior in a potato has reinvigorated their faith and their desire to help others.

“That’s Jesus on the Cross. Just looking at it I don't have to convince,” said Renee. . .
Read more at: My FOX Orlando

FOX "News" Helping Rehabilitate Bush's Image

Fellow Democrats, there's something to be on the lookout for in the coming months: an attempt to rehabilitate George W. Bush's image. Historically, such a thing has been done before. Back in the late 80s, when Ronald Reagan was President, his approvals were mired in the 40% range. There was a concerted effort to romantacize his presidency, and it most definitely worked. Ronald Reagan is now just a smidge short of a deity--at least to Republicans.

FOX "News" is advertising a program that is just one step in this plan. Here's the placard for that program:


Source: Andrew Sullivan The Daily Dish

There is an effort afoot to head off such a campaign. And they're hugely bankrolled. It is essential for history's sake that Bush doesn't somehow obtain a patina of gravitas or anything resembling competance. It's just not right. Karl Rove spent his time in the White House creating a false reality. Sorry, I want real reality!

[Excerpt]

Anti-Bush Campaign Planned

A liberal advocacy group plans to spend $8.5 million in a drive to ensure that President Bush's public approval doesn't improve as his days in the White House come to an end.

Americans United for Change plans to undertake a yearlong campaign, spending the bulk of the money on advertising, to keep public attention on what the group says are the Bush administration's failures, including the war in Iraq, the response to Hurricane Katrina and the current mortgage crisis. . .


Read more at: Associated Press

Cuteness Break: Kitty Cat's Incredible Journey

Isn't it time to lighten the mood around here? Thought so. . .

Monte Carlo, Las Vegas Fire - No Injuries


Photo from MSNBC

I've just posted my exclusive photos of the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino fire, taken from the roof of my office building here in Las Vegas. But for a little of what actually happened, how 'bout I turn it over to the pros?

[Excerpt]

Blaze at Monte Carlo on the Las Vegas Strip

All guests were evacuated from the 32-story Monte Carlo Resort and Casino after a three-alarm fire broke out on the roof Friday, closing part of the Las Vegas Strip and snarling traffic as tourists flocked in for the weekend. . .

Read more (with video) at: MSNBC

EXCLUSIVE: Monte Carlo, Las Vegas on FIRE!


OK, yeah, I know it's everywhere. But I took these pictures as it happened, so they are technically exclusive!

At around 11:00 am, my boss buzzed my intercom, and said, "can you see smoke from the Monte Carlo from your office?" I turned around to my window, and sure enough, there it was. By standing on my chair (not smart, since it swivels), I could see the entire portion that was ablaze.

Not satisfied, I decided to go outside and get some photos. Even that wasn't a good vantage point, so I climbed up on our roof! Here are the shots.


Press the link after "Continued"

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