Monday, June 30, 2008

FOX "News": Gas Will Drop When McCain Names VP

I'm sorry. What?!?


Fox and Kristol claim McCain’s VP choice will cause gas prices to ‘plummet.’

On Fox News today, host Alexis Glick previewed an interview with Bill Kristol by claiming that the Weekly Standard editor believes “the second John McCain announces his VP pick, gas prices will plummet. . .”

Read more at: Think Progress

Update on Nevada Governor's Marriage Woes

Photo from source, TPM Muckraker

We have some wacky politicians here in Nevada. None more so than our Governor, Jim Gibbons (R-Naturally). Even while campaigning, he was dogged by indiscretions with "other women." And the news keeps dripping out. . .


Gibbons: Romance Disappears With Childbirth

When Governor Jim Gibbons (R-NV) was photographed in a parking lot, arms around a female companion, his reply was that he was merely comforting a friend. "She was upset, crying," he told the Nevada Appeal, who published the pictures on Friday. "She couldn't catch her breath. I put my arms around her. . ."

Likely story.

Read more at: TPM Muckraker

Is "The Google" Making Us Stupid?

Image from source, The Atlantic

Excellent question! I used to be a neverending fountain of trivial information to all of my friends. Now, they don't have to ask, they just Google it. And if they do ask, I Google it. Or I it, or I Wikipedia it. Fortunately, I have a tendancy to retain what I read.

But what about the average Joe? Is all this easy-access information turning his brains to mush? Mushier?


Is Google Making Us Stupid?

. . .I think I know what’s going on. For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. . .

Read more at: The Atlantic

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk: New Milk Jugs

Photo from source, New York Times

I don't know why I found this interesting, but I did. Wal-Mart and Sam's Club are introducing new milk jugs. Stop the presses! Yeah, I know, it doesn't rock you off your feet, but it is a fundamental change in something we're very used to.

Packaging changes happen all the time of course. Every other poured liquid (sometimes even powder) seems to come in an ultra-curvy container these days. With the milk, they've gone in the exact opposite direction: square. And, while I'm sure many like the current jugs for their after-market uses, are we really married to the old plastic jug? I mean, I don't miss the old tear-open paper cartons at all (though I dig the ones with a twist-off cap).

As a notorious klutz, I'm sure there will be some trial and error first. I haven't met a dripless spout that I can't make a mess with.


Solution, or Mess? A Milk Jug for a Green Earth

A simple change to the design of the gallon milk jug, adopted by Wal-Mart and Costco, seems made for the times. The jugs are cheaper to ship and better for the environment, the milk is fresher when it arrives in stores, and it costs less. . .

Read more at: New York Times

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment: Obama & FISA

Still think that Countdown with Keith Olbermann and MSNBC (or Greenlee Gazette, for that matter) are "in the tank" for Barack Obama? You might think otherwise after watching his most recent "Special Comment."

More on Vitter & Craig's "Marriage Protection" Amendment

Photo from source (with editing!),

Yeah, I know. I've commented on this story already. But I still can't get over the hypocrisy of the whole thing. Why is it that the loudest "defenders" of marriage (not just Larry Craig and David Vitter, but Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and many others) are the worst at marriage?


Chutzpah Defined: Vitter and Craig Co-Sponsor Marriage Amendment

OK, so it's not news that politicians are hypocrites. But, my goodness. This just takes the hypocritical cake. As reported by, two infamous senators have signed on to the bill of Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker to establish a constitutional amendment codifying marriage as between a man and a woman. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Double-talk Express: John McCain's Flip Flops

Because nobody--except Countdown with Keith Olbermann--seems to be reporting it. Check it out:

Wesley Clark Not Backing Down on McCain Comment

Photo from Wired

General Wesley Clark made some comments recently about John McCain's war record. He didn't assail what McCain went through as a POW, or trash his military experience. He said that McCain's experience doesn't necessarily make him ready to be Commander in Chief.

He's right. It doesn't. But the press jumped on this, and framed it as a smear. Funny, their reaction was quite different when the soldier in question was John Kerry, and the actual smears came from the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."


Clark won't back down

In a statement to reporters, retired General Wes Clark repeats that McCain is a "hero" but also reiterates his point that McCain's service didn't give him "executive experience. . ."

Read more at: Politico

Horror at Six Flags NOT Their Fault

Image from source, FOX "News"

This story is horrific for many reasons. It's terrible for the victim, for the family of the victim, for the people that were on the ride, for the ride operators, and for everyone involved in the amusement park--even the amusement industry.

So it is unfortunate that the screaming headlines for this story, in virtually every instance (including the excerpt from FOX "News" below), made it sound like the Batman Ride at Six Flags over Georgia went berserk or something. This isn't the case of an amusement ride gone awry. . .it was a case of a person being in a place he should not have been. It's a bit unfair to Six Flags to make it seem otherwise.

It's a bit like having a kid run onto the highway in front of a food delivery truck, and having the headline read, "Child flattened by Grocery Mart semi." A bit different than "Kid wanders onto freeway, killed," isn't it? I'm sorry for the kid, but I'm irritated by the press.


Teen Decapitated by Batman Ride at Georgia Six Flags

A teenager was decapitated by a roller coaster after he hopped a pair of fences and entered a restricted area Saturday at Six Flags Over Georgia, authorities said. . .

Read more at: FOX "News"

Mitt Romney the Hot Pick for John McCain?

Image from source, AOL News

Hmmm. Really? I thought we'd seen the last of Mittens, at least until 2012. I mean, his campaign--while not the spectacular flame-out of Rudy Guiliani--didn't go so well. Millions of dollars lost, and even whackadoodle Mike Huckabee outlasted him. It does however put the Republican campaign on equal footing with the Democrats in one regard: prejudice.

With Barack Obama, there is the allure of having the first African American President. But the GOP has to be very careful in how they attack Obama, because cries of racism will be waiting for the latest slip. And the GOP faithful aren't exactly known for their open-mindedness and tolerence. With Mitt Romney on their ticket though, they'll have the first viable Mormon on the ticket. And prejudice against Mormons isn't exactly unheard of.

It will be difficult for some Democrats not to play up the Mormon angle, and they'd then be accused of being as prejudiced as a racist. But as luck would have it, a good healthy chunk of anti-Mormon sentiment is in the GOP's own base. This should be interesting.


Romney Seen as a Top Pick for McCain

Surprising many Republican insiders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is at the top of the vice presidential prospect list for John McCain. But lack of personal chemistry could derail the pick. . .

Read more at: AOL News

Top 10 Conservative Idiots: June 30, 2008

Another Monday, and another list. Enjoy this one, because the Democratic Underground column usually takes a week off on holiday weekends. It's no surprise that Larry Craig and David Vitter (highlighted in my last post) topped the list this week. The writers of the column are talented, but c'mon, this one pretty much wrote itself! Enjoy.


The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 343
June 30, 2008
Look Who's Protecting Marriage Now Edition

This week Sens. Larry Craig and David Vitter (1) make a triumphant return to the list as they... well, you won't quite believe it. Elsewhere John McCain (2,3,5) struggles along, Sam Brownback (8) gets it backwards, and George W. Bush (10) drops a clanger. . .

"Marriage Protection Amendment" Sponsored by Who?

Images from source, Page One Q

Quick. Name the two least likely Senators to co-sponsor a new federal "Marriage Protection" Amendment to the Constitution. Did you guess Larry "toe tapper" Craig, and David "I like hookers" Vitter? You can cut the irony with a knife, huh?

Honestly, which does marriage more damage? Furtive restroom sex with a strange man, hiring a prostitute, or The Other Half and I getting married in Palm Springs? I for one am more than a little insulted by all of this.


Sens. Larry Craig and David Vitter co-sponsor Marriage Protection Amendment

Two United States Senators implicated in extramarital sexual activity have named themselves as co-sponsors of S. J. RES. 43, dubbed the Marriage Protection Amendment. If ratified, the bill would amend the United States Constitution to state that marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. . ."

Read more at: Page One Q

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bobby Jindal Signs Creationist Law?

Image from source, Raw Story

I've commented on Louisiana's young Governor, Bobby Jindal before. He's been touted as the saviour of the Republican brand, a "future president," and "the next Ronald Reagan." And as I pointed out before, he's prone to stirring a heaping dollop of religion into his governance.

Here is evidence of that, and it is so incredibly wrong-headed, at least we can be pretty sure that he won't be John McCain's vice presidential pick. Or, hey, maybe he will be, and we can thank our lucky stars for how easy it will be to pick him apart. Hmm?


Louisiana gov. signs controversial education bill

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law a bill that critics say could allow for the teaching of "creationism" alongside evolution in public schools. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

FOX "News" Has Rivals on its Tail

Graphic from source, NYT

FOX "News" is only about a dozen years old, and has had its heyday in the last eight. Not coincidentally, those are the same years that Republicans have had the White House (and for most of it, both houses of Congress). It is no secret that many (including me) believe the station is a propaganda outlet for the GOP, disguised as a news station. The evidence on that is borne out again and again at sites like News Corpse and Newshounds.

But it would seem that with the waning popularity of the GOP, FOX's numbers are stalling a bit, and rivals MSNBC and CNN are picking up steam. Imagine what would happen if a truly liberal cable news outlet were in the mix (some conservatives think that MSNBC and CNN already are liberal outlets, but they are delusional).


Fox News Finds Its Rivals Closing In

When prime-time cable news ratings for the second quarter of 2008 are officially released next week, they will show that Fox News reclaimed the top spot among viewers in their mid-20s through mid-50s, those of greatest interest to news advertisers, according to estimates from Nielsen Media Research. [snip]

But the back-and-forth these last few months masks a more ominous trend for Fox News, particularly as its gears up to cover the general election campaign. . .

Read more at: New York Times

The Fairness Doctrine: The Right-wing's Kryptonite

Image from source, LTR

Does anybody out there remember the "Fairness Doctrine?" It was an FCC regulation that required equal time to both right and left opinion on public airwaves. It seemed pretty fair, and there were ways around it for the very determined. But it disappeared during the Reagan administration. That--not coincidentally--is around the same time of the birth (and afterbirth) of right-wing talk radio. Wall-to-wall conservotalk became the norm on AM radio, with some hosts like Rush Limbaugh even competing against himself on multiple stations.

I'm not sure there is a very strong push to reinstate the doctrine, but the very notion makes people lie Sean Hannity very, very nervous. And anything that does that deserves more discussion!


. . .So, what is this "Fairness Doctrine?" It was enacted in 1949, and mandated that various viewpoints be represented on the airwaves. Sounded okay in theory, but as time progressed, it became clear that you can't lead a horse to water and expect it to drink. In short, you can't force broadcasters to do quality radio. . .

Read more at: LTR - Liberal Talk Radio

Barack Obama and John McCain at the Beach!

I just love the picture.

Read the article here: New York Magazine

George Carlin on Religion

This clip was brought to my attention by my friend (and sometime contributor) John. Since The Other Half and I are still enjoying our "honeymoon weekend" here at Casa Greenlee, I won't have a lot of time to post. So, thanks, John for giving me an easy one.

This clip, of the (unfortunately) late, great George Carlin and his views on religion highlight why I was so sad to hear that he'd passed. We were on virtually the same page with religion, politics and humanity in general. Sure, he was a little more cynical and crusty around the edges, but I probably will be too in 30 years! Take it away, Mr. Carlin. . .

Greenlee Gazette Editor Married, World Still Spins

The Other Half and I were married in Palm Springs, California yesterday afternoon. We were lucky enough to have some dear friends with us to share the event, and the support of our families and circle of friends. It was at once a subdued, simple and elegant affair. And other than some (somewhat annual) wildfires, California still exists as it always has.

Our officiator in Palm Springs couldn't have been nicer or more respectful. Given our mutual distaste for being the center of attention, we were glad to have a nice, quiet ceremony. I don't think a big wedding would have suited either one of us. We'll be having a reception in a couple of weeks, and that we'll be happy to share with any of our friends and family who would like to participate (but no clinking of the glass for kisses, OK? Thanks!).

Hopefully, the non-earth shaking nature of these sorts of ceremonies will finally convince our more uptight neighbors to unclench, and just allow us to be. We ain't out for your husbands, kids or (in the most insulting inferences) dogs, so just live and let live, all righty? Thanks, much.

I'm sure that this topic will come up from time to time on the blog, but don't worry, it still won't be the focus. We'll be back to bitching about politics, and the occasional stupid video tomorrow! Good night, everybody!

If you are interested in getting married in Palm Springs, California, here is an excellent resource (it helped us a lot):

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Clear Channel Radio vs. Clear Channel Outdoor

I was recently reading an article about Clear Channel Outdoor Advertising's refusal to put Harry Shearer's (of The Simpsons & more fame) new album cover on any outdoor billboard. 'Songs of the Bushman' features the graphic you see to your left gracing the cover. I like it! Hard to believe that such closed mindedness in advertising can occur at the same company that this occurs...
Pride: Gay lifestyle radio programming 24/7.
And guess what, it is their break away hit radio station.
Now while each, 'advertising' versus 'radio', claim to be separate arms of the Clear Channel business... are they not of the same octopus? I guess opposites do attract... The Christmas parties at this company must be something to remember.

NEW YORK – January 22, 2007 – FM radio listeners in Denver, Hartford, Las Vegas, Tucson and West Palm Beach can now hear Pride sensations Ryan & Caroline every Sunday night on local FM stations. The crossover of the popular program, whose FM broadcasts begin this week, makes Pride the most successful Format Lab genre to date. Read on...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Guess what??? It happened... They did it.

Congrats guys.

Best wishes.

Much success.

All our love.

~Mr. & Mrs. Stupid Monkey

Image lifted from

Cuteness Break: Baby Falling Asleep

As I said before, I haven't had a lot of time to blog today, so I'm relying on links from others. This one is from my Mom, who has a thing for babies. I myself haven't given much thought about babies until my sister had one a little over a year ago. And this video is pretty darned cute. It's a fitting coda to my blogging for the week. Cute, sweet, apropos of nothing, but worth a view. Enjoy Stupid Monkey Planet while I'm away. He's anything but stupid, and he's at least as cute as this baby.

Wanda Sykes on Gay Marriage

Given that The Other Half and I are doing the "destroy America" bit tomorrow, how 'bout a vulgar take on the matter? Vulgar only in language. Wanda Sykes may be brusque, but she's also smart. Take a look. . .

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Frivolity Break: Mel Brooks' Hitler Rap

I'm preparing for the big wedding trip to California, so I really don't have a lot of time for the blog tonight. So rather than carpet bomb the site with political posts, I thought I'd give you a fun thing or two to watch. And, if you're new to the site, you might not know that means something fun and weird. . .

This was a music video by Mel Brooks to coincide with his early eighties movie, To Be or Not to Be. As far as I know, it does not appear in the movie. Take a little of the rap song he did for History of the World, Part I (It's Good to be the King), throw in a bit of Springtime for Hitler (from The Producers), and for some reason some porny looking Nazi men and women, and you get The Hitler Rap! Enjoy.

BCS: Battered Congress Syndrome

No, not BDS--Bush Derangement Syndrome, an affliction conservatives believe affects liberals (as though we don't have plenty of reasons). Battered Congress Syndrome is as good a reason as any for the constant capitulation of the Democratic-controlled Congress. Yes, I know that they have bare majorities, but when Republicans had similar percentages, they never ever rolled over for the other side.

In fact, over the six years before Democrats re-won Congress, Republicans did everything in their power to shove Democrats into--quite literally--the basement. Why on earth haven't the Democrats returned the favor, at least once in a while? BCS?


Battered Congress Syndrome

President Bush doesn't hesitate to kick Congress around, but Congress just can't bring itself to kick back.

During oral arguments yesterday about whether a federal judge should enforce congressional subpoenas against a belligerent White House, representatives of the judicial and executive branches both noted that Congress hasn't exercised its full constitutional powers. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

If Chat Rooms Were Real

I love short films. It's one of the reasons I loved the short-lived FOX series, On the Lot. Finding them these days is easy, with 1,095 cable channels, and the intertubes at our fingertips. And once in a while you stumble upon one that is really funny/poignant/amazing. I'm not sure what category this film (not new, but new to me) would fall into, but it's good just the same. What if chat rooms were real?

The King! John McCain as Elvis!

More of Stephen Colbert's Green Screen Challenge. John McCain as Elvis!

Set Phasers on Zzzz! Star Trek's Capt. John McCain!

More of the green screen fun!

Vogue! John McCain Strikes a Pose!

OK, now this is funny. But I'm not sure I'll ever watch my favorite Madonna video in quite the same way again. Bring on Grey Ambition!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to Pretend You Give a S*** About the Election!

The blog is in dire need of a mood lightner. And what better way than an informative clip from The Onion News Network?

Today Now!: How To Pretend You Give A Shit About The Election

Barack Obama's Not-so Cozy Relationship with Bloggers

Image from source, Huffington Post

In the many-pronged attacks on Barack Obama, a constant one from the right is that he's far-left, and in the pocket of "the MoveOn.orgs." People who actually read left-wing blogs know that this is nonsense.

The latest diversion from the left-wing "netroots" is Obama's decision to vote for the "compromise" FISA/telecom retroactive immunity/warrantless wiretaps bill. The netroots don't like it. I don't like it. Not one little bit. It's not enough to dampen my enthusiasm for his election, but it's enough for me to want him to explain what is in that bill that would "protect America."


Only weeks into the general election campaign and already a notable tension is beginning to materialize within the Democratic Party. At question is Sen. Barack Obama's relationship with the progressive netroots, the online community that helped aid the Senator's rise to the presidential nomination, but has since seemingly played second fiddle in terms of courted constituencies. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Comedy Break: WTF Was DMV Thinking?

Image from source, WXII12

Hee, hee, hee. Unintentionally funny license plates always tickle my funny bone. There are sooo many possible combinations on the standard issue "ABC-123" plates, keeping up with them must be difficult. Especially for all of the Pattys and Selmas at typical DMVs.

Potential problems: FAT, ASS, COW, PIG, HOG, DIK, FUG, FKU, FAG, GAG, HAG, NAG, PEE. . .I'm very immature, I could do this forever. Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.


Potentially Offensive License Plate To Be Replaced For Free

Thanks to some text message-savvy grandchildren, North Carolina drivers whose license plates have the potentially offensive "WTF" letter combination can replace the tags for free. . .

Read more at: WXII12

McCain for Habeas Corpus Before He Was Against It

Image from source, Think Progress

As much as I despise simplistic sloganeering in political campaigns, the term "flip flop" was practically branded on John Kerry's forehead, and on countless other Democrats along the way. Republicans change their positions as "conditions change on the ground." Democrats rarely get the same latitude.

But thanks to the internet, we can now clearly spell out these so-called flip flops for everyone to see. And given John McCain's hardline comments about the Supreme Court's recent decision on habeas corpus, this one should be big news.


Raising the specter of Osama bin Laden being tried in civil court, McCain invoked the Nazi war crimes trials to declare that bin Laden should be denied habeas rights at all costs, Supreme Court be damned. . . [snip]

McCain has invoked the Nazi trials at Nuremberg before to uphold his position on habeas. Unfortunately for McCain, in that instance it was to push for granting those rights to terror detainees. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Obama Leads McCain in Polls; Bush Lowest Ever

Photos from source, Los Angeles Times

Polls! We gotcher polls! As we all should be aware, with the Presidential Election still months away that anything could happen to change these polls--and change them again, and again. A swift-boat style attack might take a bite out of Barack Obama. John McCain could break a hip or something. But it is refreshing to be on the winning side, even if it's a little early to make that call.

It is also refreshing to see that good ol' George W. Bush has finally--finally--lost his grip on at least a few of the solid 25%ers that have blindly supported him. His approval rating has sunk to 23%.


Obama holds 12-point lead over McCain, poll finds

In a two-man contest, 49% of respondents favor Barack Obama, 37% John McCain. With Ralph Nader and Bob Barr added to the mix, Obama holds a 15-point edge. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

California Same-Sex Marriage Brings Out the Kooks

Image from Sydney Morning Herald

And by kooks, I don't mean a Barbra Streisand and a Tina Turner impersonator marrying each other. They're just visually kooky. I mean the real kooks! For instance, from World Net Daily--a source often sited by real news organizations as credible--comes the news that legal same-sex marriage heralds. . .



How same-sex marriage points to end of the world

. . .You don't like this possibility? Don't even believe in the Flood? Doesn't matter. Some things are true whether you believe them or not. How can you be sure? There's a way. Did you know that about one-fourth of the Bible is prophecy? A quarter of the Bible is a lot – it's a big book. And did you know God's standard? Perfection. That means that if even one of those prophecies is wrong, you can discount the whole thing. Kind of like a prophet who makes a false prediction – that made him a false prophet and a candidate for stoning. Did you know that 4,000 prophecies in that Bible have already come true down to the last detail. . .

Egad. Color me unconvinced by everything in that paragraph, and in the rest of the article. I'm not at all religious, but to think that the single calamity that will end the world is me legally marrying The Other Half, strikes me as incredibly stupid. This all-powerful God who created everything in the universe cares that we're wearing matching rings? Ludicrous.

But wait, there's more!

Did you know that after same-sex marriage was legalized in California that God himself sent lighting bolts from the sky to. . .



. . .So in just one storm, a record number of fires has been set. The total number of lightning strikes for this storm “more than 5,000″ is equally impressive. Curiously, this fantastic amount of lightning took place the week after a California court legalized Gay Marriage. . .

Gee, God sure has bad aim. Are West Hollywood and San Francisco going up in smoke? No? Hmmm. . .

Read about the end of the world at: World Net Daily
Read about God's mighty bad aim at: Truth in Our Time

Democrats Who Voted for FISA Getting Telecom Cash?

Photo from Huffington Post

There is a basic difference--in my opinion--between right-leaning media outlets (radio, magazines, blogs), and left-leaning ones. The right will typically stand by a corrupt conservative politician, offering excuses, playing devil's advocate; unless that politician confesses or is convicted. Even then, their guilt is often downplayed. On the left, there is a less strenuous devil's advocate play, and when the politician seems to be dirty they are often called on it.

Ronald Reagan's "Eleventh Commandment," Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican, doesn't seem to have a counterpart on the left. Ask a Democrat to defend Bill Clinton's actions, and you'll likely get some background--that the Republicans were out to impeach him for whatever they could find, and that the action was silly--but you won't get much defending. Same for William Jefferson's infamous "money in the freezer" story.

And now comes the FISA bill, with the retroactive immunity for telecom companies that acted illegally on the President's orders, and allows warrantless wiretapping. Liberals are severely bent that any Democrat would vote for such a thing. And those that do are openly suspected--by liberals--to either be "in the tank" for the telecoms, covering their asses for what they were implicit in, or that they're being blackmailed for their votes.

All three scenarios are strong possibilities, but the first now seems to have some evidence to back it up. Take a look.


Dems who flipped on FISA immunity see more telecom cash

House Democrats who flipped their votes to support retroactive immunity for telecom companies in last week’s FISA bill took thousands of dollars more from phone companies than Democrats who consistently voted against legislation with an immunity provision, according to an analysis by . .

Read more at: Politico

More on 22-Year-Old Military Contractor

Photo from source, Miami Herald

This story deserves a little more attention. For many years, people have bandied around stories of crazy military contracts. Hundreds or thousands of dollars for a nut, bolt, toilet seat, screwdriver, etc. . .money spent blindly and with seemingly no oversight.

But this story may well take the cake. A 22-year-old (younger at the time) scores military contracts for almost $300 million dollars? And then--big surprise--delivers faulty, perhaps illegal merchandise? With the fiscally responsible, military-first Bush Administration in charge? The hell you say!


Military slammed over oversight in Miami Beach arms case

Military officials promised changes Tuesday after a lashing by congressional Democrats and Republicans, who expressed anger and astonishment that a 22-year-old Miami Beach man on a State Department watch list and with a history of failing to deliver on military contracts was awarded a $298 million deal to arm allied forces in Afghanistan. . .

Read more at: Miami Herald

Opposite Day: Karl Rove Rips NYT for CIA Leak

Here's another good tip from Stupid Monkey Planet, who will be filling in for me this weekend. While it is known that Karl Rove at least had a part in leaking CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson's identity, he keeps trying to distance himself from it. So far, he still--somehow--has the arch right-wing on his side, and the left couldn't hate him any more than they do, so he's sitting pretty. Wait, this is Rove; sitting chubby? I don't know.

But Rove has managed to make himself appear even more hypocritical, though we didn't think that was possible. Take a look.


Rove Rips NYT For Outing CIA Agent’s Identity And ‘Putting Our Country At Risk’

. . .Yesterday, on The O’Reilly Factor, Karl Rove slammed the New York Times for supposedly leaking the name of a CIA agent. “[T]hey’ve got a very callous view about our nation’s security and interests,” Rove charged:

ROVE: Well, I read their explanation. And basically, it sounded to me like they were saying we put his name out there because we decided we could. And I mean, they didn’t have a good explanation for it. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Kids Today: What's With Bleeding Love?

One of the inescapable facts of growing older is not "getting" today's music. I'm 42, and have always been considered by friends and family as "that pop culture guy." You've got a trivia question for me? I can answer it. Or rather, I could.

Fortunately, my computer skills (though also probably surpassed by "kids today") are good enough that I can find whatever information I'm asked for. And that's a good thing, because music today leaves me cold. Even the new Madonna and Cyndi Lauper albums (two of the biggest from my generation) don't have the feel or fun of the old stuff.

I've stumbled across a song called Bleeding Love by an artist I'd never heard of, Leona Lewis. I mistakenly thought it was a Mariah Carey song, and on the first listen I didn't pay a lot of attention to it. The song kept cropping up here and there, and eventually I listened to the lyrics. Yikes. This is supposed to be romantic, but I couldn't get the cutting and bleeding imagery out of my mind!

With lyrics like: "But I don't care what they say, I'm in love with you, They try to pull me away, But they don't know the truth, My heart's crippled by the vein, That I keep on closing. You cut me open and I Keep bleeding, Keep, keep bleeding love," all I can think about is those disturbing girls who cut themselves when they're depressed.

I know this song isn't brand new, but kids--trust me--when you're in your 40s, and the kids are listening to I Hate Your Guts (But Love When They're Wrapped Around Me), you'll understand what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Actors' Strike May Cripple Hollywood

Photo from source, The Independent

Well, after a kneecapping by the Writers' Strike this past winter, I'd say Hollywood was already crippled. Whatever convalescence it may have achieved since that strike may now be undone with the actors going on strike. Nose, you're about to be cut off to spite your face. Or something.


Cut! Actors' strike threatens to bring Hollywood to a standstill

To have one trade union paralyse Hollywood was strange; two doing it in quick succession feels like carelessness. A threatened walkout by actors, which could begin as early as next week, is throwing major film and television studios into chaos. . .

Read more at: The Independent

Bush Administration Illegally Hired Partisan Lawyers

Image from source, Huffington Post

Once again, liberals--often accused of overblown cases of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS)--are proven right. And once again, we can be sure that conservatives--often suffering from Bush Brown-nose Syndrome (Eww)--will say, "what of it?"

The one thing we can almost be 100% sure of is, they'll get away with it, and most of America either won't care, or won't even know about it. I tell you, if Barack Obama wins this election, we'll be right back to the nit-picky nonsense stuff, and all of the sudden, America will care. George Carlin was right: we're all f***ed.


Ivy Leaguers and other top law students were rejected for plum Justice Department jobs two years ago because of their liberal leanings or objections to Bush administration politics, a government report concluded Tuesday.

In one case, a Harvard Law student was passed over after criticizing the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. In another, a Georgetown University student who had previously worked for a Democratic senator and congressman didn't make the cut. . .
Read more at: Huffington Post

Adam Jones Drops the "Pacman"

I don't like sports. I don't keep up on sports stars' arrests and other foibles, and I don't know them by their nicknames. But here in Las Vegas, a football player named Adam Jones got himself into a spot of trouble. What kind? I don't know. I don't care.

But every time the man's name was mentioned on the TV or radio--and it was very, very often--he was referred to as "Adam Pacman Jones." In the attached story we are told that the "Pacman" was an affectionate nickname from his mother. Fine, that's cool and kind of sweet. But I tell ya, when you've heard the name dozens and dozens of times, it grates on the nerves. We've had Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and William "The Refrigerator" Perry. There's been Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove and George W. "Chimpy McFlightsuit" Bush. But we don't always put those nicknames in there!

Thankfully, Mr. Jones is dropping the Pacman. May it be as successful as the change from "Puff Daddy" to the much more mature "P. Diddy."


No more Pacman? Jones wants to drop nickname

That would be the preference of Adam Jones, the suspended Dallas Cowboys cornerback who has been known by the nickname throughout his life. He’d like to be called by his given name and make “Pacman” a thing of the past.

“There’s really just a lot of negativity behind it,” Jones said. “It’s just time for a change, man. I’m doing everything to make sure that I’m all right as a person, mentally and emotionally. . .”

Read more at: Yahoo! News

Las Vegas is #1! (In Declining House Values) D'oh!

Image from source, LA Times

I remember a few years ago, when home prices were skyrocketing here in Las Vegas, people wondering aloud, "when is this bubble going to burst?" Well it didn't burst exactly, it sort of developed a slow leak, flew around the room a bit, and then fell deflated on the desert floor. Oh, wait that's a balloon not a bubble. . . Oh, you get my point.

But bummer of bummers, while most of the country is feeling the hit, my home town of Las Vegas is right at the top of the list for declining house values. Fortunately, this writer's home isn't upside down. . .in fact it's really OK. But, man, if we'd sold a couple of years ago? Close to $100,000 more than now. Ouch.


April home prices continue steep decline

U.S. home prices continued to fall in April, with Los Angeles and Orange Counties posting some of the steepest declines, according to a major indicator released today. [snip]

The April price drop for the Los Angeles metro area, which includes Orange County, was more pronounced, a 23.1% fall from a year ago. Only three metro areas posted steeper annual declines: Las Vegas (26.8%), Miami (26.7%) and Phoenix (25%). . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

Karl Rove's Strategy: Paint Barack Obama as Elitist

One of the more baffling allegations against Barack Obama is that he's an "elitist." It would be a thin distinction indeed to try to separate Obama from John McCain (or George Bush for that matter) using only the measure of elitism. It apparently works in some quarters anyway.

Karl Rove, "The Architect" of the current state of the Republican Party is still himself trying to float this meme. But some of the bloom is off of the Turd Blossom, and his simply saying something doesn't make it true anymore. He recently went a little overboard, and in trying this tactic instead shone a spotlight on himself. It's the most classic of Republican strategies: projection. Accuse your opponent of what you yourself are guilty of.

As usual, the host of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann has done a much better job summing this up than I could. Take a look. . .

Science is Cool: Does Earth Have a Twin?

Image from source,

This story was brought to my attention by Stupid Monkey Planet, who knows my affinity for space stories, and the tantalizing prospect that there may be intelligent life somewhere in the universe. Notice I don't include humans as "intelligent life." That's on purpose. As is the Mokey's moniker.

Anyway, I hope on this other Earth, my doppelgänger is a little thinner and doesn't have a double-chin. Oh, and lots and lots of money. And a President Gore! So many wishes. . .


Astronomers on Verge of Finding Earth's Twin

Planet hunters say it's just a matter of time before they lasso Earth's twin, which almost surely is hiding somewhere in our star-studded galaxy.

Momentum is building: Just last week, astronomers announced they had discovered three super-Earths. . .

Read more at:

Chris Dodd & Russ Feingold Fighting FISA Bill

Image from source, AOL News

Say what you will about the Congress in general and the Senate in specific, there are a few good ones in there still fighting for us. Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold are vowing to fight passage of the FISA bill, and good for them.

The question of why Democrats would cave on the new FISA bill is rich fodder for speculation. My favorite is the cover your ass theory, where discovery of exactly what has been done would implicate not only Republicans, but also a good chunk of Democrats.

In the days after September 11, 2001, any effort to fight George W. Bush's agenda was met with variations of the "unpatriotic" or "America hater" attacks. So, Democrats--by and large--went along. Some grudgingly, some willingly. And now that the mood of the country is considerably different, some of those actions could come back to haunt Democrats. Tough. The warrantless wiretapping and retroactive immunity for telecom companies defiled the Constitution and many other laws. The single greatest duty of Congress--not to mention the President--is to defend and uphold the Constitution. Suck it up guys. And good on you, Senators Feingold and Dodd. I hope you prevail.


Feingold, Dodd to Fight FISA

After Democratic Senators Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold issued a strongly worded statement opposing the FISA bill that passed the House of Representatives yesterday, rumors of a filibuster quickly began to circulate. But nowhere in the actual statement did it say that Dodd and Feingold would filibuster the legislation. . .

Read more at: AOL News

Many Americans Think Torture is Just Dandy

Graph from source, Raw Story

What's the matter with us? We claim to be an oh-so-moral country, with the right-wing outraged at same-sex marriage as some sort of moral scourge. But 44% of Americans apparently think that torturing terrorism suspects is acceptable. Not terrorists, mind you, terrorism suspects. Suspects that are not told what they did, are held for years, are not allowed to mount a defense. . . That's not immoral?

Seriously, what is the matter with us?


A new poll of citizens’ attitudes about torture in 19 nations finds Americans among the most accepting of the practice. Although a slight majority say torture should be universally prohibited, 44 percent think torture of terrorist suspects should be allowed, and more than one in 10 think torture should generally be allowed. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Young Turks: A History of Michael Savage

I hope I'm not over-using The Young Turks clips here on the blog. Every time I'm about to give them (him) a rest, I stumble across another one that seems blog-worthy.

Recently, The Savage Wiener (™The Thom Hartmann Show), Michael Savage went on a rant against same-sex marriage. There is a Young Turks clip directly addressing that subject, but the clip of the Savage radio show was too long and too much. Then I found a better clip, one explaining where Savage's insanity comes from. Take a look.

The Glass House of McCain

From The Jed Report comes a great distillation of the "pride and patriotism" issue that John and Cindy McCain are trying to claim, while taking hits at Barack and Michelle Obama. It's well worth a look. . .

And more at: AmericaBlog

John McCain's Totally Tubular Video Game

Do you like politics? Are you a John McCain fan? And do you like cutting-edge video games? Well, my friend, you're in luck! John McCain has appropriated the white hot video game Space Invaders. The aliens have been reappropriated into piggy banks, the space ship is now a barrel of pork, and instead of a gun, you have a John McCain for President sign. Um, OK. I guess that's why it's called Pork Invaders. I'd guess they're going to get a few visitors that were expecting something else. . .

Anyway, while the piggies try to poop on you, you try to blast them with VETO power! It's a little slow (like McCain), and the sign makes a pretty big target for the piggy poop. But you don't have to take my word for it. You can play it right here, right now!

Careful not to get "Atari Thumb."

News of the Weird: Woman Dead 42 Years in Home

Image from source, Asylum

Courtesy of my mother comes this link, about a woman who'd been missing for 42 years (coincidentally my age) and found exactly the first place you'd think anybody would have looked. I know a lot of turmoil has gone on in Croatia over the years, but geeze.


Hedviga Golik, who was born in 1924, was discovered by police in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, long-dead and sitting in her armchair in front of her black-and-white television. . .

Read more at: Asylum

Bob Barr a John McCain Spoiler?

Photo from source, AOL News

Heh, heh. The shoe's on the other foot now, isn't it? My hope is, if Bob Barr has enough oomph to drain votes from John McCain, that Barack Obama still manages to get more than 50% of the vote. Even though The Decider didn't even win the popular vote in 2000, conservatives are still squawking about Bill Clinton getting less than 50%. The spoiler that time was Ross Perot. What ever happened to that crazy old guy?
I've got to say that while reducing McCain's chances is in the "pro" column, I'm not a fan of these third-party guys. It'd be different if they worked--in the off years--to grow their party into something viable. But, no, they just jump in every four years to vie for the ultimate job. It's a cheat.


GOP Frets Barr Could Become Spoiler

A fiery former GOP congressman who gained national prominence for doggedly pursuing impeachment of President Clinton has some Republicans worried he'll play spoiler in a tight presidential contest. . .

Read more at: AOL News

One More George Carlin Post: The 7 Dirty Words

Because I'm still verklempt.

A Tribute to George Carlin

I posted the news of George Carlin's passing just a few minutes ago, and I think he deserves at least one more post. I had the privilege to see Carlin at Bally's several years ago, and now I'm glad I didn't pass the opportunity up. He was brilliant, funny, subversive, and truly an American original. RIP, George.

Very Sad News: George Carlin Dies

Photo from source, Yahoo! News

Celebrity deaths don't often affect me very much. They're no worse than anybody else's deaths in the long run. But George Carlin was one of my personal heroes. He presented controversial material in a time when almost nobody else was doing it. I agreed with his views almost 100%. This is very sad. I know he was 71, and that is just a little less than average, but damn we've lost a national treasure here.

I still remember the first episode of Saturday Night Live, back in 1975, which I somehow managed to watch live. Carlin was the host, and he seemed to give the program credibility as anarchist comedy. I'll miss you, George.



Comedian George Carlin dies in Los Angeles at 71

Comedian George Carlin, a counter-culture hero famed for his routines about drugs and dirty words, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sunday, a spokesman said. He was 71. . .

Read more at: Yahoo! News

California's Same-sex Marriage Ban May Be Thwarted

Image from FOX

Good. At least somebody's trying. As I've said a few times before, The Other Half and I intend to be married next Friday in Palm Springs. The question of what would happen to our marriage if California voters vote to amend their state constitution has been a big issue of discussion. But it could be moot if this measure is successful.

It won't matter to us either way in the long run. We've considered ourselves married for quite a long time now. But it's great that there are people out there fighting the knuckle-draggers out there.


Civil rights groups seek to block California gay marriage ballot initiative

. . .The 55-page petition to the Supreme Court argues that the measure circulated in the spring to potential voters was misleading because it was filed before the justices invalidated existing laws banning gay marriage. The civil rights groups, including the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union, are asking the Supreme Court to take the measure off the fall ballot until the legal challenge can be resolved. . .

Read more at: Mercury News

Top 10 Conservative Idiots: June 23, 2008

Monday again, folks! This week is special for this editor though. I'm taking Friday off in order to travel to Palm Springs to do my part to destroy America. Yes, The Other Half and I intend to finally tie the knot after 10.5 years together. Scandalous! Hopefully I can cajole Stupid Monkey Planet into filling in for me for a couple of days.

Anyway, on to the list!


The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 342
June 23, 2008
Trouble And Strife Edition

This week John McCain (1,5,10) is joined on the list for the first time by his good lady wife Cindy McCain (2). Elsewhere, George W. Bush (3) parties while the Midwest drowns, Jonathan Alcox (4) embarrasses the GOP, and Robert Hurt (7) tries to out-prude John Ashcroft. . .

Read the list at: Democratic Underground

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lindsey Graham is Disgusted

Image from Time

This morning I commented on (McCain lackey) Sen. Lindsey Graham's performance on Meet the Press. My comments were that he looked like a constipated turtle (a trait he shares with Sen. Mitch McConnell), and that disgust on his face looked supremely unattractive. Jason Linkins at Huffington Post has a ever-so-slightly more mature and professional take on the matter. . .


We took note of this on this morning's Sunday Morning liveblog, but Lindsey Graham's hilariously operatic, garment-rending performance on Meet The Press this morning deserves a special mention of its own. Pressed into duty to defame Obama for opting to continue his own fundraising process in lieu of the public financing he agreed to take way before he had any idea that his own superior method of public financing would prove itself to be far more effective, Graham came to show with a pocketful of woe and a story of Barack's broken promises. He quickly spun this into melodramatic gold, pretending to be stung and betrayed and emotionally out of tune over the matter. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

John Bolton: Israel to Attack Iran After Election?

Image from Salon

Oh come on. Really? And are we supposed to believe that George W. Bush has nothing to do with this? I mean, the timing being between election an inauguration day is suspiciously timed.
One thing we really don't need is a third war to fight. And being closely tied to Israel, the US would surely be asked to join in.
Let's hope John Bolton is just running off at the mouth here, and doesn't have inside information. Love the touch that "Arab states will be delighted." Frighteningly similar to "we'll be greeted as liberators," isn't it?


I think if they [Israel] are to do anything, the most likely period is after our elections and before the inauguration of the next President. I don’t think they will do anything before our election because they don’t want to affect it. And they’d have to make a judgment whether to go during the remainder of President Bush’s term in office or wait for his successor. . .

Read more (with video) at: Think Progress

Bill Gates Leaves Microsoft

Image from source, Breitbart

I started using computers around 1989 (unless you count the Commodore 64, which puts the date at about 1982). I started on an AMSTRAD IBM-clone, with no hard drive, two 5.25" floppy slots, and a CGA screen, which means very limited color. All of this was run on a version of Microsoft's MS-DOS. As computers advanced, and the company I worked for grew, we were soon using a 386-DX with a VGA screen, 20 Megabyte hard drive, Microsoft Windows 3.0, CorelDRAW 2 and PageMaker 3! Woo-hoo, the big leagues!

I give you this brief history only to illustrate that my computer experience has always been based on my knowledge of Microsoft operating systems. I've never understood the hostility some people hold for Microsoft, and have usually enjoyed rolling up my sleeves and tinkering with the software (as well as the hardware). And even as a graphic artist, I have zero affinity for Apple Macintoshes--largely due to the condescending attitudes of Mac users I've had to deal with.

So, Bill Gates has always been--what--not an idol or hero, exactly, but an inspirational figure to me. I mean, say what you will about him, he truly embodies the American dream. Starting a multi-billion dollar business in your garage? Sure, Steve Jobs did that too, but big deal (kidding, Mac cult, don't put a hit on me).

Some of Gates' tactics are a bit troubling. I mean, he basically stole MS-DOS, and sold people on Windows before the thing was even invented. It's a little like selling a war by bending the facts to fit your story. . . OK, that is too harsh. Nobody is that awful, right?


Bill Gates surrendering Microsoft helm

A Harvard University dropout who ushered in the home computer age and made billions of dollars along the way will have his last official day of work at Microsoft on June 27.

Three people will essentially fill the void left behind when Bill Gates retires from the company he and friend Paul Allen co-founded in 1975. . .

Read more at: Breitbart

More on Michael Reagan's "Shoot Them" Bit

A little while back, I posted a piece about radio host and former first-son Michael Reagan's call to shoot "9/11 Truthers." It's an amazingly brazen (and most probably illegal) thing to say on the radio. Not to mention stupid. Now, I don't know much about this Mark Dice character that is at the center of the issue, except for this.

I am sympathetic to the 9/11 Truthers cause, though far from completely on board with them. I believe we've been told a fabricated story about what happened that day, some surely true, and some surely false. But I have no answers to what exactly did happen, and that speculation is where this group treads on thin ice. Shoot down a few of their conclusions and you've spoiled the whole movement in most people's eyes. They should stick to the facts, and avoid drawing conclusions.

And I don't support the action of sending soldiers letters in the way Mark Dice did, though once again, I'm there in spirit. Just not in action. I don't know what the answer is to get at the truth. But I don't think Mark Dice's tactic is the way to go. And surely, Michael Reagan's way is beyond the pale. Here's a video giving you some of the background story. It's over 8 minutes long, but you can tune out at about six minutes, where it just repeats what has come before. Interesting stuff.

Tom Brokaw to Temporarily Host Meet the Press

Picture from NBC News

When Tim Russert passed away unexpectedly a little over a week ago, it was a shock to political junkies like me, and of course to his colleagues and competitors. The question on everybody's mind--but one people had issues with addressing so soon--was, "who will replace Russert on NBC's Meet the Press?" His death, right after a heated primary race, and at the very beginning of the general election was like losing a major actor in the middle of a movie trilogy.

People can't help asking, who will they replace him with? Well, NBC made a very smart decision with their interim pick, Tom Brokaw. Brokaw used to be one of the three biggies, back when network news had more importance. Of the other two, Dan Rather was wounded by conservative bloggers (deservedly or not, your call), and Peter Jennings passed away. That leaves Brokaw as a lone elder-statesman, unless you go much older to the 60 Minutes crew or Walter Cronkite.

Putting Brokaw in until the election is over is a masterstroke. Everybody likes him, he doesn't look opportunistic, and we Stephanie Miller Show fans can delight in more Jim Ward impersonations of Brokaw! Now, if we can just get some alliterative "L"-word scandals? Llliberal lllesbian llllovers llllock llllips in Llllas Angeles llllove-in. . . Yes, I'm making fun of a man with a speech impediment. . .bad blogger. Baaad blogger.


Brokaw to lead 'Meet the Press'

Tom Brokaw will replace
Tim Russert as moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press” through the November presidential election, the network announced today. Brokaw, 68, filled in for the first post-Russert week. “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams was the host today, and revealed Russert's interim successor during the broadcast. NBC News President Steve Capus said: "A lot has been said in recent days about what 'Meet the Press' means to NBC News and to the nation. To have someone of Tom's stature step up and dedicate himself to ensuring its ongoing success is not only a testament to his loyalty to Tim, but his enduring commitment to NBC News and our viewers. . ."

Read more at: Politico

Sunday Morning: Why Do I Keep Doing This?

By "this," I mean why do I keep watching these Sunday morning political gas-bag shows? You could call it research for the blog, I suppose. It's not particularly enjoyable. As I type this, the third of the major four shows, CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Shieffer has just begun.

On FTN, the first thing I noticed is that New Mexico Governor Bob Richardson has gotten a makeover, sporting a goatee and a nice new haircut. A far cry from his look during the Presidential primaries. Maybe he's trying to increase his chances of being Barack Obama's VP choice?

The "big story" this week on these first three shows is that of Obama's decision to forgo public financing. This is a very "inside the beltway" story, one that you'd likely find little interest among the public. Except that the shows and the right-wing are making a very big stink about it, trying their hardest to make it a big deal. Gov. Richardson is the first I've seen so far to point out that John McCain bounced like a ping-pong ball from public to private financing during the primary. He didn't go far enough though, as McCain actually broke the law doing it.

Over at FOX "News" Sunday, Tom Daschle (a nice enough guy, but very milquetoast) battled out the issue with Tom Ridge (who while fiddling with his earpiece demonstrated an odd tremor in his hand). Ridge was completely willing to excuse McCain's flip-flop on oil drilling as acceptable because of $4/gal. gasoline. Situations change, policies change. Apparently it escaped him that the logic also applies to the public financing situation: things change, policies change. On the pundit side, the most interesting thing to me was that Brit Hume, stalwart conservative, approved of Obama's decision, while the "liberals" on their panel thrashed Obama for it.

NBC's Meet the Press with(out) Tim Russert discussed the financing and oil issues too, showing a disturbing single-mindedness between at least three of the networks. Do they all get together and agree on what to cover? This time it was Joe Biden defending Obama, and Lindsey Graham thrashing him. Biden was very direct about Obama's change in position, and gave clear reasons why--though he did not point out McCain's more serious finance flips. Lindsey Graham--looking more like a constipated turtle than ever--feigned utter disgust at Obama's decision.

[Sidebar: Lindsey, disgust on your face is very unbecoming. I mean it, watch the tape of the show if you don't believe me.]

What I've learned this week is that the Democrats (at least on these shows) defend themselves without getting too twisty or bendy about it, and will cop to a change of position on an issue. Republicans--who sound very much like they've been given an outline with bullet points to follow--will criticize Democrats for "flip-flopping"--and then excuse their own side by saying "facts changed on the ground." Facts didn't change for Barack Obama on campaign finance? Um, yes they did. You can't have it both ways, Republicans, but I know you'll keep trying.
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