Thursday, July 31, 2008

Red State Update: Do Aliens Exist?

I thought I'd finish out the month with a humerous post, devoid of politics. And even though the ridiculously funny Red State Update is usually political, this time they take on last week's story about an astronaut that thinks aliens exist. Enjoy.

Rachel Maddow Slams Pat Buchanan

The news meme yesterday all over cable news was that Barack Obama was presumptuous, and acting too much like he'd already become President. Trouble was, this all hinged on a hearsay quote, taken out of context.

Rachel Maddow (who is quickly becoming a daily feature here on the blog) does an exceptional job shooting this meme down. I'm most impressed at her refusal to let Pat Buchanan prattle on, as though the quote had not been discredited. I'm also tickled by her grumpy appearance while she waits for her turn. One of these days, Rachel is going to blow her top when the spin and silliness gets to be too much. I can't wait.

Court Rules White House Aides Must Testify

Image from source, TPM Muckraker

Well, what do you know? The claim of executive privilege that Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten and Karl Rove have used as an excuse to refuse to comply with Congressional subpoenas has been shot down. Now, Rove is saying he never exerted such a claim. OK then, Turd Blossom. . .what is your excuse?

Crossing my fingers very hard on this one. . .


Senate Reacts To Court Ruling With New Call For Testimony From Rove And Bolton

Just hours after a federal judge shot down the White House's claim to sweeping immunity from Congressional oversight, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) fired off a round of letters renewing his demand for testimony from Karl Rove and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten.

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman sent a letter to White House Counsel Fred Fielding asking whether the two officials will agree to testify in light of today's
ruling against the Bush administration's blanket claim of executive privilege. . .

Read more at: TPM Muckraker

John McCain "In the Tank" for Big Oil?

I know there's an awful lot of posts on today's blog that start with "John McCain," but there's a reason for that. McCain is up to a lot of bad and/or stupid stuff. Stuff that would probably have him counted out by now if he didn't have a "special" relationship with the press.

The article excerpted below makes a case for McCain being "in the tank" (heh!) for Big Oil. Shouldn't this be big news?


Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has made his complete reversal on offshore drilling a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, insisting that expanding offshore drilling into protected areas would lead to more oil supply on the market “within a matter of months” — regardless of the Energy Information Agency’s projection that oil would not reach the market for nearly a decade and “would not have a significant impact” on oil prices. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

The Commander in Chief Test

Sometimes, humor and parody can spell out simple truths better than reasoned discussion or heated debate. That is certainly the case with this video, The Commander in Chief Test. It's built around a classic bit from the children's show of the 70s, The Electric Company. It's been spoofed many times, most recently with promos for South Park.

Here, it is used to great effect regarding John McCain's qualifications for President. Simply brilliant.

And because I can, an original clip from The Electric Company. Enjoy.

Exxon-Mobil's Historic Profits: More than Anybody Ever

Image from source, Los Angeles Times

Yeesh. ExxonMobile's profits lead me to ask a few questions of any conservatives who may have happened upon my blog on accident.

First, if demand is down, and supply is static, how do oil and gas prices remain so high? Second, if ExxonMobil only raised the price of gas enough to keep its profit margin, why did they make so much money? Shouldn't profits remain static? And third, while I understand why people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are carrying water for Big Oil, why are you?

I've seen and heard ordinary Joe Citizen conservatives leaping to Big Oil's defense. Enthusiastically, they swallow whole the utter bull crap that off-shore oil leases and drilling in ANWR is the answer. They want to give Big Oil even more wealth. Assume it was all true, and that oil would flow freely. Do you think that's for us? No, it would be sold on the world market, and ExxonMobil gets even richer. I seriously don't see how this comes down to conservative vs. liberal.


The net profit on those sales: $11.68 billion, which just happens to be the largest quarterly profit ever earned by a U.S. company.

But Exxon’s net profit margin of about 8.5% -- net income as a percentage of revenue -- pales when compared with what many other blue-chip companies earned in the latest quarter. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

John McCain's Oil Drilling Hoax

Photo from AMS Bow Fishing

I think it was P.T. Barnum who said, "You'll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." Whether it was Barnum or not doesn't matter, because the sentiment is absolutely true. Dangle a bit of "truthiness" in front of the average American, and he'll swallow it whole.

Fortunately, this election season, it would seem that a few more than usual Americans are paying attention. I can only hope that's true, because the Frank Luntzian phrasing and logic are in overdrive at the moment, particularly as it applies to oil. We've got Newt Gingrich with his "drill here, drill now, pay less" campaign, and John McCain is trumpeting that line too.

Logically, it falls apart. But it makes a great soundbite. If you're one of those people who has swallowed that line though, take a read of this article, and then tell me if you still feel the same way.


McCain's Oil Drilling Hoax

Forced to cancel a planned visit to an oil platform off the Mississippi coast last week because of inclement weather — and the untimely leaking of hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil by a shipwreck in the vicinity — John McCain finally got his photo op at a Bakersfield derrick on July 28. Speaking on site, the Arizona senator delivered extraordinarily good news to the beleaguered gasoline-consuming public as he explained why we must drill offshore. . .

Read more at: Yahoo! News

John McCain "Proud" of Britney Spears/Paris Hilton Ad

Yesterday, I posted a couple of pieces on the ludicrous (heh) John McCain attack ad, featuring Paris Hilton and Britney Spears alongside Barack Obama. The ad is nonsense, and could even be seen as subliminally racist, without having to pull your tinfoil hat down very hard.

Surprisingly, when asked about it, John McCain says he's proud of it. Really?


McCain: 'We're Proud of That Commercial'

ABC News' David Wright reports: Who knew Paris and Britney would ever be a campaign issue???

The McCain campaign's decision to feature the women in a 30-second spot accusing rival Sen. Barack Obama of being a shallow celebrity has consumed the campaign debate today. . .

Read more (with video) at: ABC News

John McCain Doesn't Speak for the McCain Campaign?

Image from source, Raw Story

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! For years, liberals like me have felt that George W. Bush wasn't really in charge. We feel he was picked by the usual suspects as an easy-to-control puppet, someone they could use to advance their agenda. They may have gotten more than they bargained for, but they pretty much got everything they wanted (minus a corrosion of the Republican brand).

Could John McCain be in a similar situation? It would certainly seem so, if what he says doesn't necessarily apply to "The McCain Campaign."


McCain still doesn’t speak for the McCain campaign

Following up on an item from yesterday, John McCain has said, repeatedly and on the record, that he would never consider raising payroll taxes as part of a Social Security reform effort. Asked if there are “any circumstances” in which he would consider this, even as part of negotiations with congressional Democrats, McCain said, “No. None. None.”

Over the weekend, McCain
said the exact opposite, explaining that a payroll tax increase is on the table, much to the consternation of conservative activists. . .

Read more at: The Carpetbagger Report

Science is Cool: Water on Mars!

Image from source, MSNBC

Now if they'd only find some Martians!


The Phoenix spacecraft has tasted Martian water for the first time, scientists reported Thursday.

By melting icy soil in one of its lab instruments, the robot confirmed the presence of frozen water lurking below the Martian permafrost. Until now, evidence of ice in Mars' north pole region has been largely circumstantial. . .

Read more (with video) at: MSNBC

Thanks once again to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.

Science is Cool: A Cure for HIV / AIDS?

Photo from source, KVUE

HIV/AIDS has been with us now for over 27 years, and every time it seems there might be a cure on the horizon, it somehow prevails. Now, doctors have a promising new way to combat the illness. Cross your fingers, everybody.


Houston doctors say they may have found a way to destroy HIV

There is real hope that what’s happening in a Houston lab might lead to a cure for HIV.

“We have found an innovative way to kill the virus by finding this small region of HIV that is unchangeable,” Dr. Sudhir Paul of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston said. . . .

Read more (with video) at: KVUE
Hat-tip to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.

Brave New Films: The REAL McCain

Increasingly in this campaign, John McCain is not only going negative, he's lying to do it. All of the negative campaigning McCain was opposed to during the 2000 race is being appropriated by McCain '08. The challenge will be for the Barack Obama campaign to hit back hard, and to get his message out as loudly as McCain does. Already, we've seen the press go McCain's way on the "Obama is presumptuous" meme, fueled by an erroneous quote. Some of them are still at it.

I'm proud to do my little part in my small segment of the blogosphere.

New Barack Obama Ad: McCain's Attacks "Baloney"

I've gotta say, I'm diggin' this new trend in Presidential politics. The Republican candidate attacks, and then almost immediately, the Democratic hopeful hits back! Isn't that cool? At least it's novel. Of course it helps that John McCain's attacks against Barack Obama have been so mindlessly lame of late. Easy to swat that stuff down.

Way to go, Mr. Obama. Keep it up!

Latest News Meme: Barack Obama is Uppity

I'm not kidding. The big story today, from all over punditry and the blogosphere, is that Barack Obama doesn't know his place, that he's acting presumptuous, behaving like he's already President. They didn't actually use the word uppity, but the message was pretty clear. All of this was apparently because of a quote taken out of context. But even after the full context of the quote was revealed, the meme is still out there.

Rachel Maddow (yep, her again) had a terrific analysis of this on her radio program today, with a collage of how often cable news used the phrase "is he being presumptuous?" But I don't have a recording to report. So here, from MSNBC is a little of the basic theme of the day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

John McCain Takes the Low Road

There was a lot more I wanted to say tonight about politics, and such. But I burned up my brain cells on yesterday's posts and a long day at work. So rather than just leave it at that, I'm serving up a couple of clips from the news today.

This one, featuring blog favorites Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, discusses the current "low road" that John McCain is taking in this campaign of late.

Congressional Committee Holds Karl Rove in Contempt

Photo from source, Raw Story

Frustrating doesn't even begin to describe this story for me. A Congressional committee votes--down party lines--to hold Karl Rove in contempt of Congress. He didn't show up for a Congressional subpoena, and somehow every Republican on the committee thought that was just swell. I'd love to see written arguments.

Anyway, Rove is guilty of much, probably much more than we're aware of. And they finally have him dead to rights, and he's probably going to get away with it anyway. I understand it's an election year, and Democrats don't want to rock the boat. But how many Democrats would be energized by seeing Democratic leaders grow a spine? I'm thinking quite a few. . .


Judiciary Committee approves resolution holding Rove in contempt of Congress

The House Judiciary Committee has voted 20-14 to approve a contempt of Congress resolution against former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove for his failure to appear after a Congressional subpoena.

Voting along party lines Wednesday morning, the committee said Rove broke the law by failing to appear at a July 10 hearing on allegations of White House influence over the Justice Department, including whether Rove encouraged prosecutions against Democrats. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Get Active: Join Dennis Kucinich's Impeachment Drive

There isn't much time left, in fact if he's going by EDST, your name must be added by 1½ hours from the time I post this. So, if you happen by this post before 12:00am Wednesday night/Thursday morning, sign up! And if you find it later? Sign up anyway, it sure couldn't hurt!

Sign the petition here:

More on the McCain Obama/Paris/Britney Ad

Photo from source, AOL News

Because I was too stunned to write much about it. . .


McCain Math: Paris + Britney = Obama

In one of the more puzzling uses of celebrity in a campaign ad that we can recall, John McCain is trying to cut down Barack Obama's rock star-like popularity by likening the Democratic presidential candidate to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. . .

Read more at: AOL News

New McCain Ad: Barack = Paris + Britney?

Sometimes, you just don't know what to say. In his latest attack ad (in a long string), John McCain is likening Barack Obama to. . .celebutards Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Yeah, I know, I don't get it either.

This is a stunningly bad ad.

New Song by Rapper Ludacris Trashes McCain

Image from Global-Report

This is the latest "controversy" in an increasingly stupid political season. On one hand, you've got John McCain firing out countless negative political ads, completely heedless of truth. And then you have this, a rapper Barack Obama is acquainted with released a song that trashes McCain, Hillary Clinton and Jesse Jackson.

People! This is a man who voluntarily goes by the name Ludacris. Granted, that isn't as bad as "Nelly," who really should buy a slang dictionary, but this is meaningless. I watched Sean Hannity nearly blow a gasket on Hannity & Colmes this evening over this. It was the finest faux outrage performance I've seen this political season. It should be studied. But even Sean wasn't so outraged that he couldn't play parts of the song repeatedly, right Sean?

But listen up, friends and acquaintances of Obama (I'm talking to you Ludacris, Jesse and Reverend Wright): You're not helping! Zip it!


In his new song “Politics: Obama Is Here,” rapper and staunch Barack Obama supporter Ludacris trashes presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain and former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary hated on you, so that b—- is irrelevant. … McCain don’t belong in any chair unless he’s paralyzed. Yeah I said it cause Bush is mentally handicapped,” Ludacris sings. . .

Read more at (oh, why not): FOX "News"

Eureka Returns to Sci-Fi Channel! Season 3

One of the highlights of summer TV is the Sci-Fi Channel's Eureka. Starring the adorably dopey Colin Ferguson as an (extra-) ordinary Sheriff in a town full of geniuses, the show never fails to delight. I've rhapsodized over it in the past, so today I will instead just offer you the promo video for this season. It is in the spirit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's musical episode, Once More. . .With Feeling! And though Colin can't sing, he's still. . .well. . .adorable. Check it out.

PS. Sorry I didn't post this yesterday! But catch up, it's worth it.

Eureka airs Tuesdays at 9:00 pm, though repeats air throughout the week. Seriously, check it out.

TV Review: Eureka
Eureka Returns for Second Season

McCain Going Negative, GOP Worried?

Image from source, New York times

This week, I'm reading a book called Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush by Robert Draper. The read is unsettling, at least so far. The section I've just finished reading detailed the 2000 Republican primary, and Bush's fight against John McCain.

McCain was doing well--too well--so Bush's hit man, Karl Rove, released the dogs. Nothing was too slimy, too underhanded. And true to form, Rove was not afraid to use innuendo and lies to further his objectives. At times, I just want to jump into the book and do something--anything--to put a stop to it. All of it.

But McCain, for the most part, did not jump into the negative fray. And as far as I can see, he didn't lie either. Sadly, after Bush secured the nomination, McCain caved, and fell in line behind Bush. And now that he's running again, McCain seems to have taken on the tactics of his former adversary.

Lately, McCain has been attacking Barack Obama at every turn, with no care for accuracy, hypocrisy or truth. If the attack sounds good--in other words, if it has "truthiness"--he's issuing it. Smacking him down has been a fairly easy exercise for bloggers, left-wing pundits and the like. But the vast uninformed electorate often only gets the high (or low) points. Still, it would seem that some in the GOP are a little worried about the former Straight Talk Express, and its shotgun approach.


McCain Goes Negative, Worrying Some in G.O.P.

In recent days Senator John McCain has charged that Senator Barack Obama “would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign,” tarred him as “Dr. No” on energy policy and run advertisements calling him responsible for high gas prices. . .

Read more at: New York Times

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thank You, President Hoover! Bush's Big Deficit

Photo from Raw Story

Great. And how much do you want to bet, if Barack Obama wins the Presidency, the right-wing blow holes will try to blame this allll on him?


Bush to leave a record budget deficit of $482 billion

President Bush will leave his successor with a record-high budget deficit of $482 billion, according to an administration estimate released Monday.White House officials blamed the slowing economy and a $150-billion bipartisan stimulus package for the worsening picture for the 2009 fiscal year, but Democrats cited the president's tax cuts and fiscal management over his eight years in office. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

Featured Site: Akiyoshi's Illusion Pages

Frivolity break! Really, the site has gotten more than top-heavy with politics. Clear your head, and focus your eyes on this baby!

See lots more at: Akiyoshi's illusion pages

Sen. Ted Stevens Indicted on Multiple Counts

Senator Ted Stevens (R-Obviously) of Alaska has been indicted on multiple felony counts today. I'll confess, while I knew that Stevens was clueless about the internet (a series of tubes!), and had bad ideas (bridge to nowhere), I had no idea he was this dirty. Or that he was eighty-four years old! Yikes. He'll be the elder statesman of the pokey, that's for sure.

For old time's sake: The Internet is a Series of Tubes!


Stevens denies charges that he failed to disclose gifts

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, at 84 the longest-serving Republican in the Senate and one of its most powerful members, was indicted Tuesday on seven felony counts alleging that he lied to conceal his acceptance of $250,000 in gifts and services from a now-defunct Alaska oil services and construction company. . .

Read more at: McClatchy

John McCain Supports the Troops: Or Does He?

Not if you believe Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and guest Rachel Maddow. And I do.

Earthquake Rattles Southern California

It wasn't the cataclysm that gay-rights foes have been crossing their fingers for (because of the same-sex marriage thingy), but southern California nonetheless got a good shaking today. Allegedly, it could be felt in Las Vegas, but in my second-story office, we didn't feel anything.

I was listening to The Thom Hartmann radio show at the time, and he lost all of his waiting phone calls when the quake hit. KTLK (the station I was streaming on my computer) is out of Los Angeles, and the on-air talent was oddly unbothered by it. Anyway, I'm glad that for such a big quake there seems to have been such little damage.


Earthquake strongly jolts "lucky" Los Angeles

An earthquake struck just east of Los Angeles on Tuesday, rocking tall buildings and rattling nerves across Southern California, but causing no serious injuries or major structural damage.
The quake hit at 11:42 a.m. local time (7: 42 p.m. BST) about 30 miles (48 km) east of Los Angeles in suburban Chino Hills and registered magnitude 5.4 -- making it the strongest seismic event centred near America's second-largest city since the 6.7-magnitude Northridge quake in 1994. . .

Read more at: Reuters

Same-sex Marriage Ban Costing Las Vegas Money

Photo from source, LVRJ

Here's a big duuuhhh moment. Las Vegas (and the state of Nevada) are known as the marriage capital of the world. We have big extravagant weddings, fleets of limos, fancy wedding chapels. We also have little po-dunk chapels with Elvis impersonators officiating drunken unions of people like Britney Spears. But one place we missed the boat was same-sex marriage.

Some years ago, an unpleasant man named Richard Ziser, with the help of equally unpleasant right-wing radio host Alan Stock, managed to get a constitutional amendment passed (twice!) to restrict marriage to one man-one woman. There was much hypocrisy involved, with a call to morality and "faith." The ironies were abundant.

First, we are a state where gambling is legal, prostitution is legal in many counties, cigarettes are smoked in public (horrors!), booze is consumed with abandon, and our strip clubs are legendary. Also, Ziser (a protestant) and Stock (Jewish) were mightily aided in their effort by the Mormon Church. Mormons have a heavy influence in Sin City--ironically enough. But as far as I know, the three religious influences here rarely mix well. Unless you give them an easy target.

There was no organization in place with enough power to stop them. Nobody stood up and said, "Civil rights of the minority should never be voted upon by the majority." And let's face it, it is very easy to vote against other people, especially when you get to feel morally superior.

The amendment passed handily, and is now in force. But the state that is minutes to the south of Las Vegas has now legalized same-sex marriage. And gays (like yours truly and The Other Half) have gone or are going there in droves to get hitched! When you figure that my marriage--a very simple affair--cost around $600, and that most people are going to do it up a whole lot bigger than we did. . .well, California is raking it in. And Las Vegas, Reno and the rest of Nevada have missed the boat. And in a time when most cities are hurting, and Las Vegas now comes in third in tourism. . .well, I say we blame Richard Ziser. Thanks. . .DICK.

Side note: The comments section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal surprised even me. I expect a junior high school level of discourse on gay topics at Free Republic. Any AOL News story can also be expected to pull in sub-literate bigots on any topic. But I was especially distressed to see such nastiness, and a complete lack of class from many of the commenters found at the R-J.


Same-sex marriage ban might be costing Nevada

And for a great ribbing of Richard Ziser, go to: Las Vegas City Life

The Second Coming of Cheesus!

Image from source, NECN

For a while last year, Jesus was showing up everywhere. He appeared in a pancake, on a slab of granite, a potato. . .even a Cheeto! Well now, Jesus seems to be running out of ideas, because he has again appeared in a Cheeto bag. Perhaps it's the fabled second coming of Cheesus? You be the judge. . .


Woman claims she found 'Cheesus'

A Missouri woman says she has found Jesus in a bag of Cheetos. When Kelly Ramey opened a snack-sized bag of Cheetos, she felt something unusual and checked it out.

Most of her family and friends believe it looks like a mini orange sculpture of Jesus on the cross. Ramey and her husband call it "Cheesus." Others see something completely different. . .

Read more (with video) at: NECN


The Math: Barack Obama Wins Nevada?

Last election season, Karl Rove--in defiance of polls showing massive Democratic wins--claimed to have "The Math." He knew that Republicans would prevail, or so he said. I believe (and I'm not alone) that Rove was counting on some voting "irregularities" to carry the day, and severely miscalculated.

There is no way to know for sure how much "monkey business" will be made this time around, but one way to be sure to avoid vote tampering is for the margin to be too big to game. Greenlee Gazette investigative reporter, Stupid Monkey Planet is on the case, at least here in Nevada. And the margins this time around, Republican vs. Democrat, look to be too big to beat.

In 2000, the ratio of Democrats to Republican in the Silver State was 389,504 to 388,166. A very slim margin indeed, and George W. Bush managed to prevail by just over 3%. In 2004, the ratio was 383,651 (D) to 382,630 (R), and Bush prevailed again by a little over 5%. To me, this shows a very slight edge in Republican turnout.

But this year, Democrats (including here in Nevada) are extremely energized. Republicans, by and large, seem to be supporting John McCain only grudgingly. And another key difference? In 2008, the ratio is 446,003 (D) to 390,443 (R). Given even a modest lead in turnout by Democrats, it seems a reasonable conclusion that if historical patterns hold, Obama wins, and not just in a squeaker!

Now, I'm no poli-sci major (and neither is the Monkey), but on its face, this is encouraging. Maybe our votes will have an impact nationally for the first time since I've lived here. Of course, this discounts the remainder of voters, of which Nevada holds a large number. I am, however, encouraged by the fact that Stupid Monkey Planet, an Independent, is voting for Barack Obama!

If you want to take your own stab at the math, here are our sources:

More Monica Goodling: Gays, Abortion & WMDs, Oh My!

Image from source, Think Progress

Yesterday, I posted a piece on Monica Goodling, the Pat Robertson law school Elle Woods, and the confirmation of her law breaking in the US Department of Justice (Confirmed: Monica Goodling Broke the Law). In that post, there was some detail about how she broke the law. Now there is more, and it isn't terribly flattering. Neither is the photo that accompanies this (or the original) post, and that appealed to my inner child.


According today’s report by the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), former Justice Department lawyer, Monica Goodling conducted detailed “Internet research on candidates for Department positions…designed to obtain their political and ideological affiliations. . .”

Read more at: Think Progress

Hope: It Could Happen to You

OK, this is sort of a silly ad. But they got me at the end.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Liberal Bias My Eye: Obama Gets More Negative Coverage

Image from source, Los Angeles Times

Enough already with "the press loves Barack Obama" meme, 'K?


In study, evidence of liberal-bias bias

Haters of the mainstream media reheated a bit of conventional wisdom last week.

Barack Obama, they said, was getting a free ride from those insufferable liberals.

Such pronouncements, sorry to say, tend to be wrong since they describe a monolithic media that no longer exists. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

Man Shoots Up Church Because of Their "Liberal Agenda"

Image from source, Guardian UK

In another case of "this was bound to happen," a man has shot up a church because of their "liberal agenda," apparently. This is a tragic situation all around, and it is probably unseemly to appropriate it to make a point. But I'm finding it difficult not to.

For decades now, the right wing--Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, FOX "News", prominent politicians, Ann Coulter--have been demonizing liberals and Democrats. No matter what ill is affecting the citizenry, it's all the liberals' fault. Price of oil? The economy? Unemployment? Erectile dysfunction? All liberals. Name the problem, you've got your bad guy. In recent years, they put liberals right up there with terrorists as "the enemy." Coulter and Hannity put it right there in their book titles.

I'm smart enough to know that apparent cause does not always equal apparent effect. But in this case, I can't help but wonder.


Tennessee man cites church's liberal values as reason for shooting

A man who shot and killed two parishioners during a children's play at a Tennessee church yesterday attacked the congregation because of its outspoken socially liberal and gay-friendly beliefs, police said.

The 58-year-old unemployed engineer accused in the Sunday morning attack at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, was driven to bloodshed in part by his "stated hatred for the liberal movement" as well as his hatred for gays, said Knoxville, Tennessee, police chief Sterling Owen. "We're certainly investigating it as a hate crime. . ."

Read more at: Guardian UK

You would think that a right wing site like Free Republic would be sobered by news that one of there bretheren had done such a thing in the name of conservatism. You'd be wrong.

Read if you dare: Free Republic

Barack Obama's Hip. No Really, His Hip

Photo of Obama's hips in action from Chicas in the City

Below, I've posted news about a John McCain health scare. I first read about it at--of all places--Free Republic, a rabidly right wing web site. There, commenters speculated that everyone would glom on to McCain's health issue, and ignore Barack Obama's potentially terminal bone cancer--or something.

In the interest of fairness, here is the story about Obama's hip bone.


"Everything's OK" After Obama Visits Hospital

After publicly mentioning a hip injury last week while visiting the troops in Kuwait, Barack Obama decided to have it looked at tonight. . .

Read more at: CBS News

John McCain has Biopsy on Mole

Photo from source, Telegraph UK

That sounds like a goofy headline, doesn't it? But remember, John McCain is a skin cancer survivor, so this isn't just a little thing. Hopefully--and I really mean this--it's benign, and nothing to worry about. But my tinfoil hat makes me wonder if they're giving him an out. . . Stay tuned.


John McCain has mole removed from face

The Republican White House hopeful had a spot of skin removed from his right cheek.

"As I do every three months, I visited my dermatologist this morning," the Arizona senator said.

"She said that I was doing fine, took a small, little nick from my cheek as she does regularly, and that will be biopsied just to make sure that everything is fine," he told reporters on a campaign visit to an oil rig. . .

Read more at: Telegraph UK

Confirmed: Monica Goodling Broke the Law

Hilarious photo from source, LA Times

Little by little, many of the things that liberals like me have suspected to be true about the Bush Administration are being proven. What was once tinfoil-hattery, and Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), are turning out to be fact.

In the latest case, former Pat Robertson law school graduate, Elle Woods clone Monica Goodling has been proven to be a lawbreaker, in part of the politicization of the Justice Department. Think she'll go to jail? Nahhh. Who'd enforce it? The partisan Justice Department?


Justice Department audit says politics affected hirings

Top aides to former Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales employed a political and ideological litmus test to weed out candidates for career and other positions at the Justice Department, an internal department report concluded Monday. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

Ohio Thinks Karl Rove is Gonna Testify?

Photo from PhotoBucket

Karl Rove is being compelled to testify in Ohio on an election fraud matter. I believe that he'll actually do that when pigs fly. I mean, he'd have to actually sprout wings and fly. Ahem. . .


Ohio Attorney Says That Rove Will Be Questioned Under Oath

Last night, Ohio election attorney Cliff Arnebeck appeared on the Peter B. Collins show and told the audience that he will question Karl Rove under oath as part of the targeted discovery in the federal legal case. “A RICO case is not limited by executive privilege … and President Bush cannot stop a civil RICO case with a pardon. Also, because of the Paula Jones case against President Clinton, where the Supreme Court held that a civil case and depositions can proceed against a sitting president, Rove will have to submit to our discovery,” Arnebeck said. . .

Read more (with audio) at: Velvet Revolution

Hat-tip to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link

Robert Novak Has Brain Tumor

Photo from source, Politico

This might explain Robert Novak's recent very odd traffic altercation. And maybe a lot more. How long has he had this thing? Seriously, I wouldn't wish such a condition on anyone, but it would explain a lot.


Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak says he has brain tumor

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak said today he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor but says that, “God willing,” he plans to be back at work soon.

Novak said he was diagnosed Sunday with a tumor and will soon begin treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. . .

Read more at: Chicago Sun-Times

Why is Obama Not Improving in the Polls? I Know!!!

Image from source, International Herald Tribune

The big question in politics this week is, "why is Barack Obama not improving in the polls?" Pointing to the low approval ratings of George W. Bush--often cited as one of the worst Presidents in US history--and other factors, the pundit class thinks this is a Democratic year. Big wins are predicted in the Senate and House. So why is Obama only a few percentage points ahead of John McCain?

Let me take a stab at it, because I believe I have the answer. Over the last sixteen years, voters have become increasingly polarized. There may have always been "die-hard Democrats" and "resolute Republicans," but there used to be a vast middle ground. Not anymore. These days, those two groups have swollen to encompass most of the electorate.

I don't fit in either group, but then I rarely do. Multiple choice questions always frustrate me, because my option is usually between a) and b), or c) with a little d). But I defected from the Republican party in 1992 after the incendiary Pat Buchanan speech at the convention. I could have been turned back along the way, but the tone of Buchanan's speech has only been magnified in the ensuing years. I'm a Democrat by default, because I find the current Republican party offensive in nearly every way.

And in those two paragraphs, you have your answer. You have people who count their political identity as a defining feature of their personality. They can't change their party any more than they can change their sexual orientation. Then, you have people like me who are so viscerally opposed to the other party, they cannot in good conscience vote for anything but their default party. Barack Obama is only up by a handful of percentage points because that is all that is left.

How'd I do?


Why is Obama not improving in the polls?

It is a question that has hovered over Senator Barack Obama even as he has passed milestone after milestone in his race for the White House: Why is he not doing better?

Top 10 Conservative Idiots: July 28, 2008

Every Monday, I try to put up a link to my favorite weekly column, The Top 10 Conservative Idiots from Democratic Underground. I do this, because weekend blogging is always difficult, both the time I have available, and a diminished news stream. So, late on Sunday nights, I finally have something to post that I can count on.

And thankfully, they did it again. I mean the writers, not the Idiots. It's always a good news/bad news situation. Bad that there are so many conservative idiots doing so many idiotic things, good that DU has such snarky writers to capture it all in a way that at least gives us some schadenfreude to start the week. Happy Monday!


The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 346
July 28, 2008
Supermarket Sweep Edition

This week John McCain (1,2,3,4,5) takes the cake, George W. Bush (6) steals a drink, and Duncan Hunter (10) goes after... wildebeest?

Read the list at: Democratic Underground

Bound to Happen: Man Texting Runs Over, Kills Man

I can't count the number of times I've seen people flip open their phone and make a cell phone call while pulling into traffic. Often times, I've had to hit the brakes as they mindlessly twirl the wheel with one hand while dialing with the other. And many of those times, it has been a tiny woman behind the wheel of a huge SUV loaded with kids. Unbelievable.

So, it isn't too much of a jump from a voice call to a text message behind the wheel. I don't think I'll ever understand why texting is so popular. Just call them, why don't you? And from a stationary position please. Up until now, I thought the worst that was being done by texting was massacring the English language. Unfortunately. . .


Driver Hits, Kills Pedestrian While Texting, Police Say

A York County man has been charged with homicide by vehicle in the death of a pedestrian in York.

Brian Widmayer, 21, of Dover Township, turned himself in Thursday, York police said.

Widmayer's car struck and killed 43-year-old David Peters in the 600 block of East Market Street in May, police said. . .

Read more at: WGAL

McCain Flip-flop in 10 Seconds

OK, it was over two days, but still.

Chuck Hagel & Jack Reed Slam McCain's Tactics

Yesterday's Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer was a little odd for political gab fests. Schieffer had two guests, Republican Chuck Hagel and Democrat Jack Reed, discussing Barack Obama's over-seas tour, and John McCain's series of attacks on said trip.

Usually, in these situations, you have a back-and-forth slap fight, with each side expressing completely opposite takes on the issue (any issue). This time, they were mostly in agreement, and were both coming to Obama's defense. Interesting.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Phrases I Don't Want to Hear After Bush is Gone

File this under: "Pet Peeves." I'm hoping over the next several years to never hear the following phrases:

  • "Conditions on the ground"
  • "Up or down vote/Up and down vote/Up-down vote"
  • "The surge is working"
  • "Activist judges"
  • "Bring 'em on"
  • "Islamic fascism"
  • "Stay the course"
  • "Democrat Party/Democrat Convention (anyplace Democratic should be used, but isn't)"
  • "Mission accomplished"
  • And any utterance whatsoever by Frank Luntz.
Mmmmkay? Thanks.

Some Cheese With that Wine? Yes!

I will not be posting much if anything today, due to an engagement. But I thought I'd let you all know exactly what I'm up to, because it's rather interesting.

Some time ago, friends of ours generously bought a huge batch of grapes to share amongst four couples. You might find that a bit odd, but it's what we were going to do with the grapes that was the treat. Over a period of months, we processed those grapes into wine at a fantastic place called Grape Expectations. In all, each couple will receive over sixty bottles of wonderful red wine, called Sangiovese Cabernet.

Since three out of eight of the people involved (including myself) are graphic artists, we've been working on label designs over the last several weeks. This afternoon, we're having a label proofing party--deciding on which labels everybody likes, and how many they want of each.

This has lead to marvelous inventiveness, a small rivalry between Mrs. Stupid Monkey Planet and myself (she won), and hopefully fun for everyone. We're hoping that with each couples batches of 60+ wine bottles, that they appear to have many different and interesting wines!

I have no idea how much the endeavor costs, since we had generous benefactors. But I've got to think that split between a group of people it would be worth it, if you're interested. Here's a blurb from the Grape Expectations web site:

What is Grape Expectations?

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own wine? At Grape Expectations you can! The first of it's kind facility in the State of Nevada, Grape Expectations takes you through all the steps in a fun and rewarding atmosphere. At the end you will have fun memories, new knowledge, and a quite a few bottles of your own private labeled wine!

Visit: Grape Expectations of Las Vegas

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Activists Attempt Citizens' Arrest of Karl Rove

Photo from PhotoBucket

Bless 'em for trying. Ironically, the actvists were the only ones arrested. Anyway, Karl Rove has proven to be bullet-proof, for reasons we can only assume have something to do with witchcraft, alchemy or a deal with the devil. I'm betting on the last one. And I'm agnostic!


Activists charged with trespassing after attempt to arrest Karl Rove

Four peace activists were arrested on Friday as they attempted to make a "citizens arrest" of Karl Rove, Reuters reported.

Protesters let police know of their intentions to arrest Rove while he was in Des Moines for a private fundraiser for the Republican Party of Iowa. Police arrested the protesters after they stepped through the gate at the entrance of the private club where Rove was speaking. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

ABC News Endorses John McCain?

Sure sounds like it.


ABC News Officially Endorses John McCain For President

After tonight’s broadcast of ABC News with Charlie Gibson, ABC might as well openly declare its support for John McCain.

Hours after first watching it, I’m still stunned at just how blatant its bias was. . .

Read more at: The Jed Report

What You Must Believe to be a Republican (or PUMA)

Randi Rhodes, host of her own radio show on the Nova M Network often runs a comedy bit at the beginning of a new hour called, "How to be a GOOD Republican." It also sometimes has a title (paraphrasing here) like "What You Must Believe to be a Republican."

It just occurred to me that if all the faux outrage and stupid (stupid, stupid, stupid) emails that were floating around were genuinely believed by the candidates and voters, you'd almost have to believe that Barack Obama, his wife and Democrats in general, were evil incarnate. We know that they mostly don't believe this stuff, they just use it for political purposes.

But I thought it might be interesting to list a few things that they claim to believe, Let's see, you'd have to believe that:
  • Barack Obama is a crazy Christian.

  • Barack Obama is a covert Muslim too.

  • Barack Obama switched bodies with Keith Ellison, and was sworn into the Senate on the Koran.

  • Barack Obama hates the troops.

  • Barack Obama hates America.

  • Barack Obama probably hates the baby Jesus.

  • Michelle Obama hates America. We're allowed to attack her mercilessly for a few ill-chosen words.

  • Barack Obama doesn't qualify for President, since he was born in Hawaii to a Citizen.

  • Barack Obama is scary because he's too young at 46.

  • Barack Obama's popularity around the world is a bad thing.

  • Barack Obama's middle name is "Hussein" like Saddam, and his last name sounds like "Osama." This make him a bad man, unfit to be President.

  • Barack Obama knows some people who turned out to be bad guys. Ipso facto, Obama is bad too.

  • Barack Obama has changed his position on some issues. he's a flip-flopper.
Then, you have to believe this:
  • John McCain is a straight talker on religion. Even if he's claimed to be both Baptist and Episcopalian.

  • John McCain loves the troops so much, he was against the GI Bill.

  • John McCain--who has said he didn't love America until he came back from Viet Nam--loves America.

  • Cindy McCain has had a few scandals in her day, but she's off limits. Leave her alone.

  • John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, outside America. Do NOT question his citizenship. It's not like it was Hawaii.

  • It would be wrong to point out that John McCain is 72. And an old 72. So what?

  • It would be inappropriate to refer to "J. Sidney McCain," but "B. Hussein Obama" is acceptable.

  • John McCain was one of the Keating Five, and had lots of shifty acquaintances over the years. So?

  • John McCain has changed his positions as conditions changed "on the ground." This is different from flip-flopping. Somehow.
And most importantly:
  • Emails with the tag-line, "Send this to everyone you know!" are to be believed as 100% true, as long as they are about a Democrat. Or a virus that will eat your hard drive.

Do yourself a favor if anything here feels true to you. Go to, and read for yourself why everything you know is wrong! Thankyouverymuch.

New McCain Attack Ad Uses Wounded Vets

You know, if there's ever been clearer evidence of the wedding of right-wing talk radio, FOX "News" and a political campaign, I've never seen it. John McCain is using the themes--and even some of the words--used by talkers like Sean Hannity in this latest attack ad. And, true to form, he's distorting the truth to do it. After the video, Joe Sudbay of AmericaBlog has an excellent write-up on the story.


McCain launches negative ad based on lie: The new Karl Rove version of John McCain is now on full display

McCain has a new, nasty attack ad running against Obama. It's based on pure falsehoods and a fake GOP created controversy -- and the sick thing is that McCain is now using wounded U.S. soldiers as political fodder. No surprise really -- except for McCain's media toadies who still think he's a stand-up guy. McCain has the Bush/Rove crew on board and this is standard procedure for them. McCain has got nothing to offer the American people so McCain is setting out to destroy Obama's reputation. He can't win -- he can only make Obama lose. . .

Read more at: AmericaBlog

The Surge: Did it Work? Are We Winning Now?

Republicans are horrible at governing, but waging a campaign--political or ideological--that they can manage. In the case of the Presidential election, I'm just hoping they're low on mojo (which would appear to be true), but when it comes to framing issues, they haven't lost their magic touch.

Months ago, I started hearing the phrase "the surge is working," and "we're winning in Iraq," from characters like Sean Hannity. Not a lot of people were saying this, but it was becoming more and more common from the pundit class. Eventually, the meme spread like a virus. Now, it would seem everyone except Barack Obama (and lefty bloggers like me) either believe both phrases to be true, or at least are thinking more positively about the whole Iraq thing.

From my perspective, George Bush's, John McCain's, Rush Limbaugh's and Sean Hannity's whole idea of success or winning in Iraq is that no (or less) Americans die over there. I'm all for that happenstance by the way, but is that really a definition of "winning?" That they aren't killing us right now? By that logic, they wouldn't be killing us at all if we weren't there!

I ask, because so far, none of those right wing blow-holes has explained what "winning" even means. How do you have a "victory" in an occupation? The reasons for going there, the reasons for staying there, and the objective and results of the (year-long) "surge" change from day to day. Politicians say our actions should be dictated by "conditions on the ground." What's happening is, our story changes according to conditions on the ground. Like everything else in this sorry administration, the facts are fixed around a storyline, and whatever has a ring of "truthiness" to it is sold as the real story. Until tomorrow, when something else sounds better. Isn't the rest of America as tired of this as I am?


Note to MSM: Stop Saying "The Surge Worked" and the Occupation is a War

. . .I'm so tired of so many in the MSM following the Republican talking point that the surged "worked." This meme has taken the situation in Iraq and twisted them it a pretzel - a point well understood by Obama, as evidenced by his recent interview with Brian Williams. A number of analysts have pointed out that many factors have led to the decrease in violence. Rachel Maddow recently pointed out on her show and on MSNBC, that the Iraqis themselves stated four factors, none of which included the surge. . .

Read more at: OEN

Friday, July 25, 2008

Confirmed: Bush Gives Talking Points to FOX "News"

Yeah, I know, another shocking headline, right? And yeah, I'm using yet another Countdown with Keith Olbermann clip to illustrate the point. And it features Rachel Maddow. Yes, I'm repeating myself here, but our so called "liberal media" exists only with this one show--at least on cable news. And it is worth pointing out that while Countdown has a libaral slant, it presents news stories other shows don't even touch.

The Onion: Gross Pizza Sells!

Have you noticed that Pizza Hut and Domino's seem to be trying to outdo each other with more and more unusual pizzas? Oreo cookie desert pizzas, stuffed crust pizzas, pizzas on top of pizzas. The Onion noticed, and they have an explanation for it.

Domino's Scientists Test Limits Of What Humans Will Eat

Barack Obama Didn't Snub the "Troops"

Photo from source, NY Daily News

We've moved from the silly season to the stupid season.

Barack Obama has been on an extremely successful foreign tour, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, France and other places, I'm sure. And the press attention is irritating the conservative punditry and blogosphere. They've been desperate for something they could jump all over, and say "Aha! He hates America!" Or something.

They thought they found it. Obama had planned a visit to injured soldiers--called "troops" by the right. Yesterday, the trip was cancelled, and the Obama campaign explained that they believed the trip would look inappropriate, since he was on a campaign tour. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the rest were salivating. They revved up their faux outrage, and tried to make it a story.

Today it was revealed that the Pentagon would not allow the campaign to make the stop--Obama could come alone, or nothing. He chose to phone the soldiers instead, and moved on. But that hasn't stopped the insanity. Hannity was still railing about it today, along with sycophant Dick Morris.

The thing is, Hannity, Limbaugh and all the rest are not upset about anything Obama did or didn't do for the "troops." They were delighted when they thought they had something, and they will continue to beat it to death even though it has been refuted. It's faux outrage, folks. And if you feel genuine outrage about it, might I kindly say you're stupid.


The latest chain e-mail smear against Barack Obama: He "blew off" troops at an Afghan base to shoot hoops for a publicity photo.

The letter was apparently written by a
Utah Army National Guard intelligence officer in a linguist unit at Bagram Airfield who claimed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was rude to G.I.s.

"As the soldiers where [sic] lined up to shake his hand he blew them off," wrote the Task Force Wasatch "battle captain."

But angry Army brass debunked the Obama-bashing soldier's allegations, which went viral Thursday over the Web and on military blogs such as Blackfive. . .

Read more at: NY Daily News

Note: I don't "hate the troops." I hate the term, "the troops" being over-used. A group of soldiers (or boy scouts or girl scouts, for that matter) are "troops." Individually they are soldiers--though I belive the Air Force members are "airmen," and Marines are. . .uh. . .Marines? I don't know, maybe we need a better word that means all of them, but "troops" ain't it. When I hear a right-wing blow hole talk about "troops" when they are talking about individual people--sometimes calling a single soldier a "troop", it irks me. 'Nuff said.

Cracked's Top 20 Bizarre Baby Names

This item isn't really newsworthy, but it is amusing. Today, I had lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Stupid Monkey Planet, and the topic of dumb baby names came up. Mrs. Monkey was kind enough to pass along the link, and now I'm sharing it with you.

Sidebar: Everybody knows of a bunch of people with silly names (you're probably thinking of some right now), and here are a few acquaintances I know off the top of my head. . .

Carl and Carol Christmas, Autumn Dawn Sowers, Roxanne Stone (a music teacher), Joanne Butcher Kitchen (a home ec. teacher), Horizontal Linguine, Hazel Nutt, Wishonna Star, Star Castle, Sharon Oliver, Sharon Seaman, Auggie Orsey and last but not least, Dick Fitzer. Now, on with the story!


The 20 Most Bizarre Celebrity Baby Names

#9. Prince Michael II/Blanket

Child Of: Michael Jackson

You can really chart Michael Jackson's journey into Crazytown with the naming of his children. When his first kid was produced somehow in 1997, he gave him the pretentious but not-quite-insane name Prince Michael Jackson. In 2002, another boy comes along and Michael, completely out of name ideas, calls him Prince Michael II. You'd expect his nickname to be "The Revenge," but instead Michael started calling him "Blanket."

It's such a great example of how a completely innocent word, given the right set of circumstances, can be nightmarishly disturbing. . .

Read more at: Cracked

FOX "News" Using Old Footage So McCain Looks Younger

Image by Editor

Really? Good grief.


MSNBC beats on Fox for its 'anti-aging fix' for McCain

MSNBC's Dan Abrams was all smiles on Thursday as he aired what he described as proof of Fox News going over the line in an attempt to make Republican presidential candidate John McCain look good.

"If you have any question whether Fox News is in the tank for McCain," exclaimed Abrams, "this should wipe any doubt from your mind. Fox is actually trying to make John McCain look younger."

Read more at: Raw Story

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Debated in Congress

As a liberal blogger, and as a gay man, it probably won't surprise you that I think "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a really stupid policy. I understand that lots of straight folks out there have a problem with homosexuality in general, but I'd like to ask people with that view a question. If there were a draft right now--and there was no ban on gay military service--what would you think of a gay draftee that claimed he was exempt because he was gay?

You'd call that guy (or gal) a coward, wouldn't you? Taking the easy way out (like George W.). While I've never been in the military (way too uncoordinated, too lazy, plus I have a lazy eye), I think it is ridiculous that if I wanted to join the military, I'd be banned from doing so. I'm human, I'm a citizen, and I interact quite well with other people. I've never jumped a coworker, never taken liberties at camp (band camp, church camp, Boy Scout camp), never had any problem restraining myself. So why would any (extremely disciplined) military officer have a problem? It's just stupid. And here is a video that illustrates that stupidity.

Little Britain Coming to America!

Image from source, Daily Mail

Like most sketch comedy shows--and particularly British comedy shows--Little Britain is rather uneven and unpredictable. But when the show shines, it shines. There are some groaners in there, but the funny stuff will have you in stitches.

Now, Little Britain is being imported, with its original stars, for an American audience. Will I be watching? Computer says, "yes!"


Coming to America: Introducing Little Britain's new crop of outrageous characters

"Little Britain stars David Walliams and Matt Lucas have unveiled a host of new characters in a bid to conquer America.

The comedy duo's six-part series, Little Britain USA, will see the return of some of familiar faces, including Vicky Pollard, as well as fresh creations."

Read more at: Daily Mail

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