Friday, November 30, 2007

Hostages Taken at Clinton's New Hampshire Office

Photo from source, CNN

This is all unfolding right now, so it is difficult to do anything but speculate on what's going on. Apparently the hostages have been released unharmed, and the hostage taker is still in the building threatening to blow himself up. Wow.

My best guess, some whack-a-doodle right-winger, convinced that "Democrat" is on par with "terrorist," and "Hillary" equals "the Devil" has taken matters into his own hands. I could be proven wrong, sure. But I think that my odds are better than even, don't you? More later, I'm sure.


Police: Hostages taken at Clinton campaign office

Two people are being held hostage by an armed man at Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign office in Rochester, New Hampshire, police said Friday.

The man walked into the office at about 1 p.m., Maj. Michael Hambrook of the New Hampshire State Police told CNN affiliate WMUR-TV. . .

Read more at: CNN

The 12 Days of the War on Christmas (FOX "News")

The problem with The Twelve Days of Christmas is that by day 8 or 9, you're starting to tire of the song. But with each verse, getting to hear the creepiest of the FOX "News" hosts, John Gibson say "Weirdly neutered wishes come true tree" just cracked me up.

Once again let me state that I believe the whole "War on Christmas" is a load of garbage.

FOX "News" Hates Bush Mugshot Exhibit

Image from source, Raw Story

Wait, FOX "News" is upset about an exhibit of photos featuring that rogue's gallery, the Bush Administration in faux mug shots? Well boo-frickin'-hoo, I love it! It's a window into a possible future, or even confirmation of a weird feeling I get that we are in an alternate universe, and in the real world this is what happened! Hey, a guy can dream.

Anyway, what's it to FOX? Aren't they fair and balanced or something?


Fox: Library's White House mug shots might confuse little kids

When the Daily News reported on an exhibit at the New York Public Library of photos of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Condoleezza Rice doctored to look like prison mug shots, it touched only lightly on the artistic purposes of the display and appeared to be deliberately aiming to stir up political controversy. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Challenge Taken: The XXXMas Shoes

In my earlier post, Anatomy of the Christmas Shoes, I mentioned that the song was ripe for parody. Friend and contributor, Stupid Monkey Planet took me up on the challenge, and wrote a new song, using the cadence of the original.

That is where the similarities end, however! The Monkey has a dirty mind, you see, and he envisions the song a little differently than NewSong. Oh, it's still a Christmas tune, but with a decidedly adult take on things.

For this post, I'm instituting a new feature that allows me to put part of a post "below the fold." So, if you're not easily offended, and you hate "The Christmas Shoes" as much as we do, by all means read more. You've been warned. . .


“The XXXMas Shoes”
© Copyright 2007 Stupid Monkey Planet
(real name on file at Greenlee Gazette)

It was almost breakfast time
I stared into my glass of wine
Already had a drink or two
Which really gets me in the mood
Sitting down right next to me
A dirty woman I'd rate a three
What else was I gonna do
So, I asked her where'd ya get those shoes?

She was kinda worn & old
"A whore" is what I've been told
Oh what the hell, it’s Christmas Day
I leaned towards her just to say

How much to wear your shoes?
For a Christmas tease
They are darling & I really like them used
And one more thing, please
May I also wear your hose?
For starters, run them under my nose
Slide them all the way up to my knees
Let us go somewhere so that no one sees
How much for all of this tonite?

I counted pennies for what seemed liked years
I said, "I sure hope that there is enough here."
She counts the pennies frantically
She turns & is smiling at me
She says, "Let's you & me head down to my house."
It was at 3rd & Holy Cross
I tell ya what I couldn't wait to do
Was put on her hose & dirty, dirty shoes

She pulled the hose up & down
Tightened the strappys around
I will never forget the look on her face
Seeing me all dressed up in used lace

How much to wear your shoes?
For a Christmas tease.
They are darling & I really like them used
And one more thing, please
May I also wear your hose?
For starters, run them under my nose
Slide them all the way up to my knees
Let us go somewhere so that no one sees
How much for all of this tonite?

I knew I'd caught a glimpse of heaven's love
These shoes fit me like a glove
I knew that God had sent that dirty girl
To remind me, that ten more, gets me 'round the world.

Oral Roberts University Saved?

Photo from source, AOL News

I covered the multi-layered Oral Roberts University scandal some time ago, and it's back in the news again. It seems the beleagered college has a new benefactor. To the tune of $70 million dollars.


Oral Roberts University Gets a Lifeline

Oral Roberts University, the debt-ridden evangelical institution riven by scandal, has been handed a $70 million lifeline.

Mart Green, founder of the Christian office and educational supply store chain Mardel, said Tuesday he would immediately give $8 million to the university, with the rest to come after a 60-to-90-day review of the university's financial records. . .

Read more at: AOL News

Lott's Brother-In-Law, Nephew, Indicted for Bribery

Photo from source, Huffington Post

Prior to Senator Trent Lott's resignation announcement last week, I don't believe I'd ever typed his name. Suddenly there are stories aplenty on Lott (and humorously Lott's Wife, or rather her brother). Most are speculation on why he resigned so suddenly after just getting re-elected.

Here is yet another possible reason.


Prominent Mississippi trial attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, the brother-in-law of outgoing GOP Sen. Trent Lott, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges that he and four other men tried to bribe a Mississippi state court judge. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Obesity Epidemic Plateauing?

Photo from New York Post

Hey, finally some good news. We Americans are fat, but we're not getting any fatter! Apparently, they forgot to survey my household. . .


Obesity Epidemic In America Shows Signs of Plateauing

The obesity epidemic that has been spreading for more than a quarter-century in the United States has leveled off among women and may have hit a plateau for men, as well, federal health officials reported yesterday.

While the proportion of adults who are obese remains high at more than 30 percent, the rate in 2005 and 2006 was statistically unchanged from the last time government researchers took a national snapshot two years earlier. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

Giuliani Used Obscure Agencies to Pay for Trysts

Photo from source, Politico

Oh, Rudy. You had to know eventually the spotlight would fall on your many marriages and your infidelities, didn't you? It was the question bandied about among my circle of friends and coworkers when Rudy first announced: "Didn't he cheat on his wife, and try to cover it up?"

Of course the cheating and such is only the gossipy part of the story. The real red meat is that he used various city agencies to pay for his tryst. And while the morality issues may trouble some (particularly the Republican base), the cover up may have well included criminal activity. . .


Giuliani billed obscure agencies for trips

As New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons, according to previously undisclosed government records. . .

Read more at: Politico

Did Clinton Campaign Plant Questioner in GOP Debate?

Photo from source, Raw Story

Republicans are all atwitter over possible "planted" questions in last night's debate. Sean Hannity is bloviating about it (and lying a bit too--big surprise) as I type this. I'm not sure that the YouTube format of this debate precluded Democrats--or anybody--from asking questions. But of course, if some Democrats did ask questions, somehow they are all "Clinton plants." Mmm hmm. The old "all-powerful Clintons" chestnut again. Whatever.

But as the FOX "News" Democratic Strategist (that's what they always call them) on Hannity & Colmes just asked, did the Republicans tear apart the Democratic You Tube debate so intently, looking for Republican questions? Didn't think so.


Clinton campaign: We didn't plant gay soldier

An openly gay retired soldier who quizzed Republican candidates about the military's don't ask don't tell policy was not acting on behalf of Hillary Clinton, despite his role on her campaign's gay-rights steering committee, the campaign said Thursday. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

White House Must Comply with Subpoenas

Photo from source, CNN

I never thought I'd say this, but Pat Leahy ROCKS! As a liberal blogger, I've gotten my hopes up over and over again, each time to be let down. Big, huge corruption and scandal stories get a bit of a splash, Congress talks a big game, and then the story quietly dies, never to be heard from again.

I figured that was the case with the Congressional Subpoenas that the White House ignored this summer. Pat Leahy to the rescue!


Leahy: White House aides must comply with subpoenas

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected White House claims of executive privilege and demanded Thursday that key White House aides testify in the case of the controversial firings of U.S. attorneys.

The committee's investigation has found "significant and uncontroverted evidence that the president had no involvement in these firings," Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said. Thus, the White House can't claim executive privilege or immunity, which are meant to protect private communications between a president and White House aides, he ruled. . .

Read the rest at: CNN

Good Germans: GOP Wants Loyalty Oaths

OK, if you're a Republican or generic conservative who's happened by this site to read about she who will not be named, or The Christmas Shoes, don't leave just yet, just answer this question. If you were asked by your local, state or national party to sign a loyalty oath; to agree to vote for their preferred candidate in advance, would you do it?

I find this to be one of the most un-American things you could ask someone to do. And that's why I used the Good Germans line. Hey, GOP! This is America dammit! You guys claim to be the rootin'ist-tootin'ist pro-Americans out there. ACT like it!


GOP will demand 'oath' of February primary voters

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- If you're planning to vote in Virginia's February Republican presidential primary, be prepared to sign an oath swearing your Republican loyalty. . .

Read more at: WDBJ7
And more commentary at: Crooks & Liars

Scary News: Uranium Thieves Busted

Photo from source, Times Online

My first scary story in a while is a doozy. I find the constant usage of "the politics of fear" generally abysmal, especially when that fear is used to further policies that could not be enacted otherwise. In this case, I think it's OK to be a little wigged out. But hey, at least they caught the guys.


Gang arrested trying to sell enriched uranium

A gang arrested by Slovakian police was trafficking uranium so enriched that it could have been used by terrorists in a dirty bomb, it emerged today.

Two Hungarians and a Ukrainian man were arrested as they tried to sell the uranium last night. The consignment had been tracked by police after it came to their attention inside the former Soviet Union.

Read more at: Times Online

Song Review: Anatomy of The Christmas Shoes

I’ve been wanting to write my own version of "The Annotated Christmas Shoes," since I read the original on Diary of a Blood Ray (now known as The B Pryde Machine) years ago. The first time I heard the song, my reaction was much the same as his. I wasn’t moved to tears. I didn’t find the song precious or heartwarming. The song actually kind of pissed me off.

The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that this song was brainstormed (if you can call it that) to be as manipulative of people’s emotions as possible. I can envision the writers sitting down to write a sappy Christmas song, trying to pluck the heartstrings until they frayed. Now that the season is upon us, this hideous song has already started to play. And play. And play. And I just can't take it.

So, taking a page from Blood Ray (and hopefully, not stepping on his toes too much), here is my own version, which I call "Anatomy of The Christmas Shoes." Put on your glasses, I'm shrinking the font because of length.

The Christmas Shoes by NewSong

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line OK, It sets the scene, and it’s not so bad yet. It does manage to telegraph what’s coming though.

Tryin' to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood Still setting the scene, and there’s the obligatory tryin’ as though "trying" wouldn’t be heartwarming enough.

Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously Here’s where my cynic antennae start going up. I’m thinking the writers picked a boy, because a girl would just naturally do something nice for her mom. So, yeah, let’s make it a boy, to make it more poignant.

Pacing 'round like little boys do Filler. You can’t really pace in a line, and little boys don’t do it more than anyone else, do they?

And in his hands he held a pair of shoes Yes, the titular shoes. Why shoes? I’ll tell you why shoes. Because if the writers made it a hat, bra, panties, dress, or almost any other item of clothing a woman might wear, he’d seem gay. Believe it.

His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe The scene was set, but this goes wayyy over the edge. Apparently, this is to show that the boy is poor. What it does for me is tell me that his parents aren’t taking care of him. He’s wandered away from home, unsupervised. He’s wearing rags, and he is filthy. What kind of home does this kid come from?

And when it came his time to pay I couldn't believe what I heard him say Cheesy writing to get to the chorus. You couldn’t believe it? Really?

[Chorus:] Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please Because a dress would be too gay, remember. Also, this line is jarring. "Shoes" is so far from rhyming with "please," it almost audibly shrieks out, doesn’t rhyme, doesn’t rhyme!

It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size Maybe he’s a little gay after all. What little boy knows his mom’s shoe size?

Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time Where was Daddy when you needed a bath, and your clothes wore out?

You see she's been sick for quite a while Another line to make you feel sad, Mama’s dying on Christmas. OK, I won’t pick this one apart yet. . .

And I know these shoes would make her smile One of the more baffling parts of the song. Shoes might be the very last thing on Mama’s mind right now.

And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight OK, back to Mama dying on Christmas. Apparently, she’s not only dying, she’s dying of one of those women’s movie/soap opera diseases that doesn’t disfigure you. I mean, if all it takes to make her beautiful is a yummy pair of shoes, she can’t look too bad, can she?

And I haven’t even mentioned the cloying, syrupy, calculated to make you cry "if Mama meets Jesus" part. People! If this stuff works on you, you need to know that you’ve been played!

He counted pennies for what seemed like years
Because that makes the story somehow more precious. If he simply was short a bit of paper money, it wouldn’t seem so annoying/cute.

Then the cashier said, "Son, there's not enough here" This kid is not only alone, filthy and in ratty clothes, he’s too young to know how to count money. Interesting.

He searched his pockets frantically I’m with Blood Ray, this kid’s a grifter. And a good actor too.

Then he turned and he looked at me Sizing you up, no doubt. . .

He said Mama made Christmas good at our house Though most years she just did without Laying it on a little thick there, kid.

Tell me Sir, what am I going to do, This kid is far too articulate to match up to the rest of the song. Maybe he’s not just a grifter, but a midget grifter.

Somehow I've got to buy her these Christmas shoes
I’d swallow it if it were almost anything but shoes. What kid—especially a boy—would get so set on shoes? Does Daddy force Mama to go barefoot at home? Is that what’s going on here? Is Daddy abusive? Maybe Mama’s going to meet Jesus, and Daddy says there’s not much time because Daddy’s gonna kill her?

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out
I’d have rhymed that better. Finish it with, "’cause my heart had come around" or something.

I'll never forget the look on his face when he said Mama's gonna look so great Sorry, I still don’t get it. If Mama’s only problem with "looking great" is footwear, she had options. Socks, maybe? And it still doesn't rhyme. They should've spent less time being cloying, and made the friggin' thing rhyme.

[Chorus] Worse the second time around.

[Bridge:] I knew I'd caught a glimpse of heaven's love What? How? Maybe being an agnostic obscures this for me, but how does an untended, filthy kid, lousy at math, but speaking in verse, whose Mama is dying on Christmas Eve from a mystery disease that leaves her pretty except for her gnarly feet--show you heaven’s love?

As he thanked me and ran out As fast as his feet would carry him, I’m sure, just in case you caught on to his con.

I knew that God had sent that little boy Couldn’t God have worked a slightly more relevant miracle? What’s more important, a little boy being robbed of his mother and Christmas in one fell swoop, or for a bad singer/songwriter to learn the meaning of Christmas?

To remind me just what Christmas is all about. Yeah, yeah, we could have written that line, knowing what came before. It’s like when there was a hurricane in Mexico that destroyed a church, killed almost everyone, but it was a "miracle" that a plaster statuette of Jesus survived intact. The miracle, apparently, that Jesus saved his own butt. And the singer of this song? I really don’t know. And neither does anybody else. It’s worth mentioning that the last chorus is sung by a children’s choir, and the last line delivered by a single boy’s warble: If Mama meets Jeeeesus. . .tonight. . . Which really. Pukes. Me. Out.

The song is quite simply calculated to make you tear up, say "awwwww," and have a vague feeling that you should play it over and over again every year. The song is also ripe for parody, and I hope one day a talented writer (you listening, Blood Ray?) comes up with a song that simultaneously skewers this song, and outsells it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Karl Rove Investigator Now Being Investigated

Photo from source, Raw Story

Karl Rove left his official position at the White House some time ago, and yet still keeps turning up in the news. This is at least the third post today that I've put up that had something to do with the man.

Randi Rhodes of Air America Radio was reading this story on her program today, and laughed through most of it. That's because, though this story is sleazy, dirty, and disgusting, it has a strong element of humor. It's sort of like Hot Shots! Part Deux, when they send in the rescuers to rescue the rescuers who were rescuing the rescuers. . . I don't think it's a long shot to guess that the investigators investigating the investigator of Karl Rove will likely also have to be investigated!


Official probing Rove now under investigation himself

The federal official helming a probe into potentially illegal partisan political activities conducted by Karl Rove and other White House officials is himself the focus of a federal investigation.

Scott Bloch, the Bush-appointed head of the US Office of Special Counsel, is under investigation for the alleged improper deletion of emails on office computers, The Wall Street Journal's John R. Wilke reports. . .

Read on at: Raw Story

More on Trent Lott's Resignation

Photo from CNN

Trent Lott's resignation from the Senate has prompted a flurry of speculation on exactly why now? There's even been the specter of a sex scandal (one I'm not completely convinced is 100% illegitamate, but I digress). Now, even Right-wing World has some ideas. Thanks again to the Monkey for the link. Read on. . .


Right-Wing Magazine: Veco Oil Scandal Contributed To Lott’s Resignation

Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) refuses to say why he is retiring from Congress. Many in the media have reported that Lott likely wants to enter the lucrative world of K Street before “tougher restrictions in a new lobbying law” take effect.

But the right-wing American Spectator magazine
speculates that brewing corruption scandals may have contributed to Lott’s decision . . .

Read the rest at: Think Progress

RNC Spending Big Bucks to Find Rove's Emails

Photo from

Yes, yet another Karl Rove story, forwarded to me by Stupid Monkey Planet (a "brother" blog starting up in January, stay tuned). It would seem that Karl Rove is costing the RNC--an organization with less money in its coffers than usual--because of his email scheme. I'm having trouble feeling sorry for them, having used Karl's "skills" so extensively.


E-Mail Search Takes Byte Out of RNC Coffers

Nothing comes cheap in Washington, including Karl Rove's missing e-mails. Just ask the Republican National Committee, which seems to be spending a pretty penny looking for them.

Earlier this year, it was discovered that Rove and other White House aides had been using private e-mail accounts at the RNC to send messages about controversial government matters, such as the firings of U.S. attorneys. When investigators came calling, the RNC couldn't find the e-mails but promised to look. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

State Department Guilty of Plagiarized Iraq Report?

In another story I didn't see or hear anywhere today, John Aravosis of AmericaBlog has a post up comparing a State Department report on Iraq with pieces of several articles. There are amazing similarities. . .


Kind of pathetic when the official report from the US State Department on what's "really" happening in Iraq is actually just a bunch of plagiarized paragraphs from the major media in the US. To wit, the following analysis an anonymous friend just sent me. I just checked it out and he's right. State outright plagiarized much of the major media in making its "report." And what's really funny, they even stole a number of paragraphs from a New York Times article when, as I recall, the NYT is the newspaper that George Bush refuses to read because it supposedly has such a "liberal bias."

See what he's talking about at: AmericaBlog

FOX "Business" Channel Already Distorting

Image from source, ValleyWag

Is anybody surprised that the new FOX "Business" Channel is already distorting their reporting? Did anyone think it wouldn't? I have no first-hand knowledge since our cable company does not carry FBC. But in this instance, I'm willing to not give them the benefit of the doubt. . .


Fox says retail lobbyist "didn't disclose" identity.

. . .Fox Business Network interviewed an "online shopper" named Peter Perweiler who turned out to be the marketing director for the National Retail Federation. The NRF says it organized a media event so reporters could interview "real" shoppers. Silicon Alley Insider got one explanation from the NRF. We got another, very different explanation, from Fox News. . .

Read the rest at: ValleyWag

Uncle Jay Explains the News: Holiday News

Stupid Monkey Planet referred me to this site, which is full of videos from kindly "Uncle Jay." It's presented like a kid's show, explaining the news. And this is appropriate, because there are a lot of simple people out there who desperately need some of this stuff explained to them!

I asked Uncle Jay for his permission to post some of his videos, and it turned out they were free for the taking at YouTube. But rather than doing that, why not visit his site after watching the video?

From Uncle Jay: Hi James. . .you can find embeddable versions of Uncle Jay's episodes at his YouTube channel. But don't forget to remind your readers that the Uncle Jay Website ( has more stuff, like extra questions from viewers, plus an option to get e-mails every time there's a new episode. --Thanks, Uncle Jay

Rudy Giuliani's Ties to Qatar Terror Sheikh

Image from source, Village Voice

I'd heard nothing about this story anywhere today, and finding it online after seeing the story on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, turned up very little as well. I'd imagine that will change very soon.

Rudolph Giuliani has had several bumps in the road over the last six weeks or so, none of which seem to be sticking--yet. But if he manages to secure the nomination, a truckload of muck is going to fall on him in 2008. And on the plus side, the Democrats don't have to make anything up.


Rudy's Ties to a Terror Sheikh

Three weeks after 9/11, when the roar of fighter jets still haunted the city's skyline, the emir of gas-rich Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani, toured Ground Zero. Although a member of the emir's own royal family had harbored the man who would later be identified as the mastermind of the attack—a man named Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. . . [snip]. . .Rudy Giuliani, apparently unaware of what the FBI and CIA had long known about Qatari links to Al Qaeda, appeared on CNN with al-Thani that night and vouched for the emir when Larry King asked the mayor: "You are a friend of his, are you not?"

Read the whole story at: Village Voice

Keith Olbermann Takes Karl Rove to the Woodshed

Actually, all Keith does is point out Rove's lies, and basically laugh at him. Along with Arianna Huffington. For a supposedly "liberal mainstream media," it's rather odd that this is the only show on cable news to even approach this level of dissent against right-wing ideology. And ironically, all it takes is the truth. While I don't consider any particular person to be my hero, Keith Olbermann is quickly turning into an icon on cable news. Of course, his competition is slight. . .

Cute With Chris: Lotion Makes You Slippery

Cute with Chris isn't for everybody. But for some reason, he tickles my funnybone, and the blog feels like it could use a little funny right now. Chris usually has a "cute down" with various viewer-submitted pets. But lately, people have been submitting deformed or injured critters, which is a little less than cute.

But I like his style, even if he hasn't used my own cute kitty yet!

Rove Says Congress Pushed Bush to War

Photo from

This blog isn't very old, and already I feel using terms like "alternate reality" and "parallel universe" are becoming a cliche around here. But what else can you call it with a story like this? Karl Rove is actually trying to get us to believe that it was Congress who pushed a reluctant Bush to war? He really must think we're stupid.


Rove: "Congress Pushed Bush to War in Iraq Prematurely"

You are not going to believe this, well, actually you will... According to Karl Rove (on Charlie Rose), the Bush Administration did not want Congress to vote on the Iraq War resolution in the fall of 2002, because they thought it should not be done within the context of an election. Rove, you see, did not think the war vote should be "political". . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Making Your Own Reality: Conservapedia

Hilarious image from source, AlterNet

Wikipedia is a great site, that is hours of fun and will steal whole days from you if you're not careful. As anyone can edit the entries in this online encyclopedia, all information must be taken with slight skepticism. This is not to the site's detriment, however, because there would really be no reason to lie in most entries. The more political stuff is a bit dicey, but even there, entries are constantly re-checked and re-edited for accuracy.

Curiously, many conservatives seem to think that this openness leads to liberal tampering (even though it has been proven that FOX "News" is guilty of some of the tampering). So, they've created their own version, called "Conservapedia." And what, you might wonder, would be the most travelled entries on such a site? The answer might surprise you. . .then again, maybe not.


1. Main Page [1,897,388]
2. Homosexuality [1,488,013]
3. Homosexuality and Hepatitis [516,193]
4. Homosexuality and Promiscuity [416,767]
5. Homosexuality and Parasites [387,438]

Read more of this list (all with the same theme), with commentary, at: AlterNet

Gore at the White House

Photo from source, New York Times

I'll admit, the sight of Al Gore in the White House was enough for my mind to wander into the alternate universe where he's been there all along. In fact, that would make a very good movie, but it would ultimately depress us, returning to reality.

But I think the most interesting part of this story is the White House Press Secretary's comment toward the end. If I'm reading this right, it's Bush who has the right to hold some sort of grudge against Gore. Maybe we're in some sort of alternate reality after all?


Gore and Bush Chat About Global Warming

. . .But the president did personally telephone Mr. Gore to extend the invitation, and the White House changed the date of the event so Mr. Gore could attend. Mr. Bush’s press secretary, Dana Perino, told reporters the president is willing to let bygones be bygones.

“This president does not harbor any resentments,” she said. “He never has.”

Read more at: New York Times

The Governor Who Rove May Have Sent to Jail

Photo from source, Raw Story

This is part two of the post below. It's heavy reading, but it's very interesting. I think you'll agree


The permanent Republican majority: Daughter of jailed governor sees White House hand in her father's fall

To fully understand what the Don Siegelman case is about, please see “Part I – The Political Prisoner” of this series.

Throughout a week of phone and email discussions, Ms. Siegelman spoke and wrote about her father’s conviction and imprisonment on bribery and conspiracy charges and about the continued harassment of the family and those around them. The family home was broken into. Her father’s attorney had his office ransacked. Even the key whistleblower in the case – Dana Jill Simpson – had her house burned down and her car run off the road. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Karl Rove Behind Jailing Governor of Alabama?

Photo from source, Raw Story

There's not a lot that I can add to this, except to say I'm shocked--shocked--that Karl Rove might be a party to something so unseemly. Ahem.


The permanent Republican majority:
Part one: How a coterie of Republican heavyweights sent a governor to jail

For most Americans, the very concept of political prisoners is remote and exotic, a practice that is associated with third-world dictatorships but is foreign to the American tradition. The idea that a prominent politician -- a former state governor -- could be tried on charges that many observers consider to be trumped-up, convicted in a trial that involved numerous questionable procedures, and then hauled off to prison in shackles immediately upon sentencing would be almost unbelievable.

But there is such a politician: Don Siegelman, Democratic governor of Alabama . . .

Read on at: Raw Story

Hillary Clinton's Bad Polls Wrong?

Chart from source,

Much hay was made recently in Right-wing World over some very bad poll results, saying Hillary Clinton would lose to any of the top-tier Republican candidates for President. Those poll results sounded a bit fishy, and they just may have been. Take a look.


. . .The chart above shows all the trial heat data from national polling and the estimated trend lines for each pairing. The data points for the new Zogby data are indicated in the charts as "Zogby Inet" in blue for Clinton and red for each Republican.

What is immediately clear is that the Zogby Clinton numbers are well below the estimated trend for Clinton in each of the four comparisons. Clinton is consistently 8-10 points below her trend estimate based on other polling. . .

Read the story at:

Lawyers to Help Vets for Free

Photo of Bart Stichman, one of the attorneys, from source, USA Today

It's a sad state of affairs when there are so many military veterans who need redress against the government. So many in fact that a horde of lawyers is ready to help them with their cases for free. Our government has been run primarily by Republicans over the last seven years (and only now is in the slim minority in Congress), and yet though they claim to "support the troops," in many cases they have done no such thing.


Lawyers step up to help veterans gratis

"This could be the VA's worst nightmare," Bart Stichman, one of the organizers, enthused from the podium. "Hundreds of attorneys from around the country providing legal service to veterans for free."

Read the story at: USA Today

Shameless Gossip Update: Lott NOT Hot to Trot!

Photo from source, Huffington Post

Heh, heh. . . Just a quick update to the previous Shameless Gossip post.


"There's nothing to be said, as Lott and I have no connection whatsoever," Nicholas wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. "How these 'quotes' have been fabricated are beyond me. The Senator is someone I have had no personal dealings with, ever."

Read more at: Huffington Post

Monday, November 26, 2007

Shameless Gossip: Trent Lott GOP Sex Scandal?

Shameless Gossip is a Greenlee Gazette feature that departs from the usual straight-ahead news and commentary. Stories under this banner should be read with a great deal of skepticism. But you never know, they could turn out to be true. . .

Some bloggers (John Aravosis of AmericaBlog in particular) are reluctant to post this item, and that is why I've elected to put it under the banner of "Shameless Gossip," my take it for what it's worth area. That said, on with the gossip!

Photo from source within a source, TowleRoad


Whole Lott of Trouble?

Is gay hustler Benjamin Nicholas the real reason Senator Trent Lott has suddenly announced his resignation? We all know that Lott's "buddy" Strom Thurmond was the segregationist with a black daughter, so it certainly wouldn't be hard to believe that this anti-gay leader is a Mississippi sissy when no one's looking (he has the official creepy closet-case haircut, after all). And this certainly fits in nicely with what
Larry Flynt promised us in October. . .

Read a little more (and follow the links) at: Kenneth In The (212)

UPDATE: And this from . .

"HUSTLER RESPONDS: HUSTLER Magazine has received numerous inquiries regarding the involvement of Larry Flynt and HUSTLER in the resignation of Trent Lott. Senator Lott has been the target of an ongoing HUSTLER investigation for some time now, due to confidential information that we have received. "

Rudy Giuliani: Wanted to Vote Nixon, But Didn't

Huh? Politicians routinely backpedal and tap dance around issues their "base" might see them as squishy on. But Rudolph Giuliani's vote for McGovern rather than Nixon, and his subsequent explanation, reach new levels of flip-flopping.


Rudy: Yes, I Voted For McGovern, But I Actually Preferred Nixon

As he seeks to court GOP primary voters, one potential sticking point has been his opposition to the Vietnam War in the early 1970s and his vote for Dem George McGovern in 1972. But Rudy has now concocted a new explanation for that vote: He didn't mean it. . .

Read the rest at: TalkingPointsMemo

Presidential Signing Statements: Bush's Law

Photo from source,

This blog has only been in existence since June 2, 2007. But I've been interested in politics for far longer than that, and most intensely since George W. Bush was selected President. I've grumbled and groused for many years, and now I finally have an outlet for expression. So, from time to time, I like to revisit some of the things that irk me in politics, even if there isn't necessarily a story on it in today's news.

Friend and contributor, John Asmussen, sent me the following article, because of his own irritation with the issue of signing statements. As John pointed out to me, this President has used his power of veto precious few times (a total of six so far, five of those in the Democratic 110th Congress), and instead just announces what parts of a law he is not going to follow.

Bush apologists will tell you that Bush isn't the first President to use signing statements. That is true. But other Presidents tended to use them to "tie a bow" on the law they'd just signed, a platitude, something they want to say about it. Bush, on the other hand, announces what parts of the law he is not bound by. That's virtually unprecedented, and used by Bush an astonishing amount of the time.
From John: "[One of] the only bill[s] he ever vetoed was, while obviously pandering to his evangelical Christian "base," Federal funding for stem cell research. But why bother? [He can] just pass the bill and then ignore it. His imperial majesty, as The Decider, has taken upon himself the Emperor's robes, or at least the robes of the Supreme Court Justices, and interprets laws that Congress has passed, often with compromises necessary for passage, but which are subsequently ignored.
Here is the article with some background.


Bush challenges hundreds of laws

President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. . .

Read more at:

If He Only Had a Heart: Cheney Medical Drama

Photo from (of course): FOX "News"

Vice-President Richard Cheney (Tin Man to George Bush's Scarecrow), has a bum ticker, we all know that. It's telling that this has become fodder for comedy, on virtually every late-night talk show and political cartoon page. Heart problems funny? It's probably because of the irony: Dick Cheney isn't known for his boundless big heartedness.

While I wish no particular human ill will, I am frankly more troubled by the political ramifications on this issue. If it is determined that ol' Darth is no longer medically fit for his office, what then? Bush would have to nominate a replacement, and that person would have to be confirmed by the Senate. The same Senate that contains contenders for the Oval Office.

Being confirmed the new Vice-President would give a John McCain or Mike Huckabee quite the leg up. On the other hand, the confirmation process could be brutal. It will be interesting political theater, in any event, should it come to pass.


Cheney Recovering at Home After Being Treated for Irregular Heartbeat

Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering at home Monday night after being treated for an irregular heart beat, found Monday morning during a checkup for lingering cold symptoms, Cheney's office said.

Doctors found atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart. . .

Read the whole story at (where else): FOX "News"

Trent Lott to Retire from Senate; Become Lobbyist?

Photo from source, CNN

All of the old guard seems to be cashing in their chips. Whether by election or retirement, the big bogey-men (at least to the left) Republicans seem to keep vanishing. Just a few years ago, there was Bill Frist, George Allen, Rick Santorum, Denny Hastert, Tom DeLay, and of course Trent Lott. He of the fabled porch that Bush would reconvene on after the Gulf Coast cleanup, post-Katrina.

Lott apparently couldn't wait to get out, even though he was just re-elected last year. There's some sort of Congress-to-lobbyist law going into effect next year, and if Lott stayed in much longer, he'd have to wait two years to rake in some cash.


Pro-Business Republican Lott To Retire From US Senate

Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott's decision to retire from the U.S. Senate by year's end shocked Washington Monday, catching lawmakers and lobbyists alike off guard.

The departure of the pro-business, conservative Republican, who as minority whip was the No. 2 GOP senator, also sent the clearest signal yet that Republicans could be in serious trouble in the 2008 election. . .

Read more at:

Are You Pro or Con?

The Center for American Progress has a couple of new ads up, both in the same vein, laying out the difference between Progressive (the new word for "liberal") and Conservative. Take a look!

Fred Thompson Thinks FOX Isn't Fair & Balanced

Photo from source, Raw Story

Yesterday morning, I slept in a bit and missed the Sunday morning political shows. But I have my DVR set to record FOX "News" Sunday. Why? Because I usually watch the others when they air, and prefer to watch FNS with the fast-forward button available. I mean who cares who FOX's "Power Player of the Week" is (if you're wondering, it was Ashley Judd--seriously)?

So today that was the show I watched. And their guest today was Fred Thompson. Fred sounds like Foghorn Leghorn, and looks like. . .well. . .like this. His biggest ideas seem to be even more tax cuts (particularly for corporations). And he seems to have had an epiphany, one that I wish a lot more people would realize, or admit to as the case may be: FOX "News" is not "Fair & Balanced."


Fred Thompson: Fox 'skews things' against me

After a Fox News anchor used two of the network's own pundits to "show how" the Thompson campaign was experiencing negative buzz, Fred Thompson hit back hard, suggesting that Fox "skews things" by presenting only the opinions of their own analysts. . .

Read on at: Raw Story

The Holiday is Over, Prepare for the Holidays!

Now that we've finished Thanksgiving IV: The Revenge at our house, we can finally put away the roasting pan, and eat like normal people. For a few days at least, before the Christmas parties (and, ugh, cookie baking) start. But for a while, life should be reverting to normal.

And so should the blog. I'm in good company in the blogosphere, taking it a little easy these last four days. It's funny, on those days when I actually have more time to get creative, it's actually harder to fill this space with interesting things. The news basically going on vacation at the same time doesn't help.

But hey, something must have happened that was newsworthy in the last four days, right? I'll be digging, and hope to bring it to you later this evening. Until then, loosen your belt a notch to make room for the overindulgences of the last few days. No sense in being uncomfortable! Going back to work after such a stretch is uncomfortable enough!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ted Stevens: The Internet Is TUBES! Music Video

Photo from Wikipedia

Thanks to John Aravosis of AmericaBlog for the link to this hilarious video. You folks all remember Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), don't you? He's the guy with all the pork spending for a bridge to nowhere. Need another hint? He's under investigation for all sorts of bad stuff. . . More? OK, he's the guy who was famous for saying that the internet was a series of tubes. His hilariously bad analogy is put to great effect in this video:

There's another great video covering the same ground with a different twist at AmericaBlog, at the link above.

Lazy Sunday

Photo from Wikipedia

We're wrapping up the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in a very special way at our house: another Thanksgiving dinner! I mean, what the heck, the 21.5 pound turkey was only $6, and none of us feels quiiiite fat enough yet. So, the big fancy-schmancy dinner was at friend Lesto's house, and the low-frills version is over here.
As a consequence, I will likely only get a post or two up today. I know, no big loss, right? I've perused a few of my favorite blogs, and found them to be remarkably light for the last four days. And you should see my SiteMeter (a service that tells you how many visits you get each day) graph for the week. It's plunged lower than George Bush's, Dick Cheney's (and yes, Congress') approval ratings! I hope everybody comes back after the tryptophan and starch wear off. . .

Saturday, November 24, 2007

War On Christmas. Really? Again?

I flipped on FOX "News" just briefly today, while eating lunch. Weekend news is usually bad: second-stringers with no useful information, on second-string shows. Well, when you add in the fact that it's a holiday weekend, you are on the D-List of news people and stories.

If I'd woken from a coma, I'd have no idea what year it was based on the news today. There are California wildfires again, that missing blonde chick in Aruba (who will not be named) is still in the news, even though there is almost no information to relay. And, yes, the first signs of The War on Christmas!

Let me first say that "the War on Christmas" is a ridiculous myth that is only believed by drooling, mouth-breathing FOX-heads. It's stupid, sooooo stupid, and yet every year they get energized by it. The very fact that "Christians" are all up in arms because the holiday of Christmas is not commercial enough, is part of the stupid.

Let me lay this out for you, Christmas Warriors: "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons' Greetings" are not a new invention. They've been around for decades, possibly over a century. People who say these phrases and print them on cards, packaging and advertising are not trying to insult anybody. They're not trying to denigrate your religious beliefs or anyone else's. It's a nice thing to say, and is universally relayed with the best of intentions. You taking offense is stupid.

Get this through your thick skulls. Christmas is one day. Two if you count Christmas Eve. It makes no sense to be wishing people "Merry Christmas" from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day. "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons' Greetings" are nice catch-all phrases that not only spare you from having to guess your intended's religious holiday beliefs, the phrases cover: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, not to mention Advent, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Chanukah. It's not a freaking war on Christmas.

Christmas is the most over-celebrated, over-prepared for, over-abundant holiday there is. The fact that any sane person thinks it is somehow under attack; in some sort of danger of being cancelled; or somehow not celebrated enough is stupid.

Romney Judge's Freed Murderer Kills Again

Photo from source, AmericaBlog

Yow! What a headline! Yes, every murder is a tragedy. No, the Judge probably isn't 100% wrong all of the time, freeing murderers willy-nilly. And no, Mitt Romney can't be held responsible for every appointed Judge's every action. But this is a chink in the armor that Karl Rove (and Lee Atwater before him) would have pounced all over in a Democratic race during their time.

Now, I wouldn't advocate that Democrats take on a Rovian/Atwatery method of operation. But it would be nice if they were as tenacious, and go for the throat--but with a distinction from those guys--using only the truth.

Ahem, I got sidetracked, here's the story:


Romney is desperately trying to short-circuit his own little Willy Horton controversy before it gets started, calling on the judge the resign. But the fact remains that Mitt Romney is a huge liberal, even by Massachusetts standards, and he appointed judges in his liberal image (not that I think liberal judges are pro-murder, but whatever the judge's reasoning, Romney appointed this judge because he approved of her reasoning - he can't now say "oops" after two more people are murdered because of his best (aka poor) judgment - how many more life-threatening "oopses" can America afford from yet another incompetent commander in chief?) . . .

Read more at: AmericaBlog

Talking Rumsfeld Doll. Yes, It's for Real.

Photo from source, FireDogLake

I saw this posted on a few lefty web sites, and honestly thought it was just a joke. It's not.

What parent would buy this for their kid? I've got to think this product only exists for political junkies, and gag gifting. I mean, what the hell? By the way, the company that makes the doll also makes dolls featuring Elvis, Dr. Laura, Ann Coulter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and several others. Unbelievable.


It’s a 12-inch “Rummy” doll that looks vaguely like him and features bits of his historic news conferences that you can play just by pressing a little button on the back of his coat.

Yes, you can listen to 28 of former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s greatest displays of impeccable logic:

– “What they do with themselves is up to them, and what the people around them do with them is up to the people around them.”

Read more at: FireDogLake

Fred Thompson Out of Gas?

Photo from source, Politico

I have to say, in the days before Fred Thompson declared himself as a candidate, I was a little worried. I heard an interview on Sean Hannity's radio show (I know, I'm a political masochist), and thought, "Uh oh. This guy's full of it, but he sells it well."

I thought he'd take the country by storm, despite being a well-spoken version of Bush. Luckily, he hasn't quite caught on.


Thompson motivation hard to pinpoint

Fred Thompson prefers plain talk. So he might bridle at using a famous Winston Churchill quote to sum up his presidential campaign: "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."

But with fewer than 50 days to go until the Iowa caucuses, no piece of the primary puzzle is more perplexing than just what sort of impact the former Tennessee senator will have. . .

Read more at: Politico

Movies I Love: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Thanksgiving may be over, and the Christmas spending orgy already commencing, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a good Thanksgiving movie this weekend, does it? I would say the list for that genre is pretty short, but even if it wasn't, Planes, Trains and Automobiles would still have no trouble making the top of that list.

Starring Steve Martin and John Candy, it contains more laughs per minute than most comedies, maybe even surpassing Airplane! and What's Up, Doc? Marred only by a sappy ending, and an atrocious 80s soundtrack, it is simply one of the best comedies of all time. Surely John Candy's best movie, and possibly Steve Martin's as well (though All of Me might nudge it out), PT&A can leave you laughing days later, and you'll be quoting it for years to come: "I want a f***ing car, right f***ing now!"

WARNING: Clips may contain hilarious profanity. . .

#1 - Car Rental - This clip with Edie McClurg is one of the funniest scenes in comedy history, and was severly butchered in TV airings. Enjoy it uncut here.

#2 - Doin' the Mess Around - I can't hear this Ray Charles song without picturing John Candy. I can't.

#3 - You're Going the Wrong Way! - How do they know where we're going?

#4 - Gus' Son, Owen - A very unplesant ride to Wichita. . .

Naomi Wolfe Gets the FOX Treatment

A while back, I wrote about Naomi Wolfe, an author who has outlined the similarities between the United States and fascism in other countries throughout history. She's a remarkably intelligent woman with a lot to say, whether you agree with it or not. John Kasich, subbing for Bill O'Reilly, never gave her the chance to lay out her case.

In a textbook FOX "News" example of their take on "fair and balanced," Kasich brings on someone with an opposing view, and then scarcely lets her speak. Take a look, and then read our previous piece for a little clarity.

And check out NewsHounds for their piece on the video.

Republicans Getting Desperate

It turns out I'm still on the RNC mailing list. I got another of their money-drive letters, complete with a poll, to be sent in with my contribution. But, unlike previous mailings, this one didn't come with an obvious push-poll.

This time they start of with scare tactics (big surprise), stating, "I need to share with you some shocking news and ask you to immediately take two very important steps to help save our Party from an election disaster in 2008."

"Recent reports of both Parties' campaign fundraising show that after the contributions given to ALL Party campaign committees and our respective Presidential and other federal candidates are totaled--The Democrats have raised nearly $100 MILLION more than Republicans this year." [emphasis theirs]

Boo-frickin'-hoo. I'm surprised it wasn't more. Anyway, they then launch into the "gift giving" to save the party, and follow it with a poll. The poll only includes three questions. 1. Who do you support for the 2008 Republican Presidential Nomination? 2. Please rank the following policy positions and issues [by level of importance] and 3. Which qualities and characteristics do you feel are important. . .?

Most telling to me was number 2, which doesn't include "saving marriage" or abortion, or putting the 10 Commandments in the public square. Those things may be covered by "Appointing conservative judges," but it's pretty opaque. Things it does include are, "Improving ethics in government," and "Reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil," which would seem to preclude a Republican in the Oval Office.

In number 3, there are choices for "Pro-life," "Pro-choice," and "Embraces religious faith," but they only apply to the candidates' personal beliefs, not proposed policy initiatives. Take it for what you will, but the tone of this fundraising drive is decidedly more muted on the Focus on the Family Research Council for Religious Dominance in Politics issues. I find that interesting.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Featured Blog: Dickipedia

Photo from source, Dickipedia

Occasionally at Greenlee Gazette, we like to spotlight noteworthy blogs found out there on the Internets. Usually, featured blogs are those like AmericaBlog or RawStory, sites that bring you "the news behind the news," or that offer a more in-depth analysis of the day's stories than is available in the mainstream media.

This is not that sort of recommendation. Dickipedia is a parody of sorts of Wickipedia, the online encyclopedia. Wickipedia contains entries on everything from apples and oranges to superheroes, movies, politics and geography. It's an endless source of knowledge, though one to be slightly wary of due to the openness of its contributions. Dickipedia, on the other hand, contains entries of--well--dicks. Dicks in the literal sense, like Dick Cheney, and in the figurative sense like the excerpt below of Pat Robertson.

It looks like they're only getting started, so the entries are limited. But what I've seen so far has impressed me, and made me laugh. Oh, and their logo is hilarious. Check it out!

[Dickipedia Excerpt]

Pat Robertson

Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson (born March 22, 1930) is an American televangelist, the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Christian Coalition, the host of The 700 Club, a one-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and a dick. . .

Read more at: Dickipedia

Man Shortening the Life Expectancy of the Universe?

Image from source,

If you thought my last post was hard to fit into your head, try figuring this one out: Man may be shortening the lifespan of the universe, merely by observing it. Hurts your brain, don't it?


Mankind 'shortening the universe's life'

Forget about the threat that mankind poses to the Earth: our activities may be shortening the life of the universe too.

The startling claim is made by a pair of American cosmologists investigating the consequences for the cosmos of quantum theory, the most successful theory we have. Over the past few years, cosmologists have taken this powerful theory of what happens at the level of subatomic particles and tried to extend it to understand the universe, since it began in the subatomic realm during the Big Bang. . .

Read on at:

Your Lyin' Eyes: The Full Moon Illusion

Image froms source,

I'm a real fan of science, and also of logic. But the "full moon illusion" still eludes me. I just can't wrap my brain around it. This evening, we watched the moon rise over the Las Vegas Valley, and as it often seems when the moon is full, it looked huge. Not E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial huge, just ordinary, non-theatrical magic huge.

I've read about this optical illusion before. They tell you that the moon is always pretty much the same size, no matter where we see it in the sky. They'll tell you it's just your eyes (and your brain) playing tricks on you, and that it's just a perspective thing. You can even try a trick: extend your arm, and you can blot the moon out with your finger tip, no matter where it is in the sky. I've done the trick, and it is true.

But I've also tried to un-trick my brain, and remove the perspective issue by blotting out the landscape with my hands. And the moon still looks huge to me. When the moon is high in the sky--and looks smaller--I've tried to line it up with our roof top, or with trees or lamp posts--and it still looks smaller. I'll defer to the science, but I still don't get it. . .


Summer Moon Illusion [Editor's note: It ain't just a summer illusion!]

Sometimes you can't believe your eyes. This week is one of those times.
Step outside any evening at sunset and look around. You'll see a giant moon rising in the east. It looks like Earth's moon, round and cratered; the Man in the Moon is in his usual place. But something's wrong. This full moon is strangely inflated. It's huge!

You've just experienced the Moon Illusion.

Sky watchers have known this for thousands of years: moons hanging low in the sky look unnaturally big. Cameras don't see it, but our eyes do. It's a real illusion. . .

Read on at:
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