Two-year-old Ali Hussein is pulled from the rubble of his family's home in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq on Tuesday, April 29, 2008. The child, who later died at the hospital, was in one of four homes destroyed by U.S. missiles. More than two dozen people were killed when Shiite militants ambushed a U.S. patrol in Baghdad's embattled Sadr City district, bringing the death toll in area on Tuesday to more than 30, a U.S. military spokesman and Iraqi officials said. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
In your name
Well, that Apocalypse can come anytime now
Male-skewing US cablenet G4 is confident its viewers will swallow a novel new gameshow format, in which contestants have to avoid vomiting a stomach-load of food for as long as possible while undertaking full-on physical activity.
The half-hour format, unashamedly entitled Hurl!, will begin with an intense eating contest during which competitors will consume massive portions of All-American favourites, including chicken pot pies, New England chowder, fish sticks, hot dogs and blueberry pies.
Those able to consume, and keep down, the most will move onto the next stage in which they will be subjected to the likes of carnival rides, belly flops and a mechanical bull.
"Idiocracy" is becoming more true every day...at an accelerated rate:
What's a thousand Millenia with your tax dollars?
Forget a mere 100 years in Iraq!
Dude appeared out of the primordial ooze (and quickly invaded the non-ooze) so a million-years seems like nothin'.
With regard to Reverend Wright ... I did not see him on Moyers. I did not see his speech before the National Press Club. And I did not see Obama's most recent denunciation/renunciation/rejection/repudiation of Wright. But after watching the aforementioned horror shows, I can tell you one thing.
Whatever Obama said, it will never be enough.
Obama could murder Wright at a place where three roads meet live on national television during an "American Idol" finale station break and it wouldn't be enough for the dingbat denizens of that once-charming island of Nantucket. Why, I can hear the Bobbleheads clinking their glasses and gnashing their teeth at the next gathering on Jack and Suzy's deck as they prep for the Sunday shows.
TWEETY: Does anyone really think Obama put this Wright thing to bed with that speech?
JOESCAR: Well, he killed him, but he didn't stamp on the corpse afterward.
MRS. GREENSPAN: He could have burned the corpse, too. And he didn't.
TIMMEH: Yes, I don't know that he really went as far as he needed to go. He could have thrown the ashes in the sewer.
TWEETY: So it's like that movie "Superbad." The kids trash the cop car. Then they burn it. Then they shoot at it. Should Obama have gone "Superbad" on Reverend Wright?
FINE-MAN: "Superbad" sounds an awful lot like "Superfly" and that's an association I don't think Barack Obama wants to make in minds of white rural voters.
COKIE: Oh, dear, I hope Obama hasn't overplayed his hand.
TWEETY: Guys! He killed the guy in Times Square!
JOESCAR: In New York, Chris. Why, he was practically on the Upper West Side!
MRS. GREENSPAN: Joe's got a point. Why didn't Obama murder Wright in Indiana? It would have played better with those non-college-educated voters he needs to attract.
JOESCAR: Why, he might as well have been carrying a latte instead of a knife.
TWEETY: And not even a Dunkin' Donuts latte! It was a Starbucks latte. Why can't Barack Obama get it right?
CHARLES DeWOLFE GIBSON: What are all those middle class people -- the ones struggling on $200,000 a year -- going to say about this? They're very wary of a black man wielding a weapon.
TIMMEH: Joe just reminded me -- he killed Wright with a knife, not with a gun. What does that say to all the Second Amendment enthusiasts out there?
COKIE: Tim's got a point. He's got a problem with gun owners. He needs to embrace those people, and I think he missed a big opportunity here.
TWEETY: And did you see what he was wearing? A suit! HA! Why can't he just dress like a regular guy does when he goes out to murder his pastor? I mean, put on a hunting jacket, for Christ's sake. Would it kill the guy to pick up something from Carhartt or even L.L. Bean? I don't know...
COKIE: Chris is right. The question is, "Why can't Barack Obama make us all feel better about the choices available to the little -- oops! I mean, regular people?"
MRS. GREENSPAN: What's more, this is a flip-flop. First Obama embraced Wright. Then he denounced him. Then he double-denounced him. Then he murders him. Is he for Wright? Against Wright? Really against Wright? Which is it?
TIMMEH: If he's going to equivocate on a pastor, what's he going to do with Ahmadinejad? He needs to make a pledge ...
COKIE: If Obama murdered his Christian pastor, what does that do with regard to the rumors that he's a secret Muslim? I mean, it bolsters them, doesn't it?
CHARLES DeWOLFE GIBSON: It certainly doesn't help him with middle-class Americans earning $200,000 per year. I mean, things are hard for these people. And Obama makes everything he does look so easy.
FINE-MAN: True. I noticed that he hadn't even broken a sweat as he was stabbing Wright to death. So how can the American People be blamed for asking themselves, "Has Obama had it too easy?"
TWEETY: Wouldn't it have resonated more with Christian voters for Obama to have crucified Wright? This is a Christian nation, after all ...
COKIE: But Jewish voters would have been offended, and with Obama's stance on Israel, oh dear, he just can't afford to alienate anyone at this point.
FINE-MAN: I just wish he'd kicked the corpse or something. Just to really let us know he really meant it.
TWEETY: Is Wright Obama's Osama? I mean, is this the guy who's always going to be elusive, out there taunting Obama from a pulpit in Chicago instead of a cave on the Pakistan border?
JOESCAR: Look. We're missing the overall. How do we know that Wright and Obama didn't set this whole thing up? They were thick as thieves, those two, why Wright ...
Speaking of "Reject & Denounce"
This was first put forward by some other blogger, but I forget whom.
When will Republicans and the media be called upon to reject and denounce a man associated with more deaths of innocent civilians through illegal bombing then any living man on earth...and perhaps history? No, not Osama -- not even any current member of this Administration (though he's been an unofficial inspiration). I give you the world's greatest living war criminal:
And I give you his greatest crime:
"Operation Menu" and it's related Cambodian bombing calamities.
And, of course, in addition hundreds of thousands of innocent Cambodians killed from this illegal bombing -- one must consider the consequences of the bombing, the popularity that accrued to the Khmer Rouge from it, indirectly leading to the Killing Fields and the deaths of another 4 million people.
Yet, Henry Kissinger is able to attend the parties of the swells of the Washington establishment, where quasi-journalists like Ana Marie Cox are able to make snarky jokes, rather than report his whereabouts to Interpol.
And not one Republican, not one journalist, not one talk show pundit is called upon to be guilty by association with this most infamous of war criminals.
The Merde Touch
Leave it to his Administration to bring back one of the great environmental travesties in the nations history for a 21st Century visit:
More than half of Yellowstone National Park’s bison herd has died since last fall, forcing the government to suspend its annual slaughter program...More than 700 of the iconic animals starved or otherwise died on the mountainsides during an unusually harsh winter, and more than 1,600 were shot by hunters or sent to slaughterhouses in a disease-control effort, according to National Park Service figures.
As a result, the park estimates its bison herd has dropped from 4,700 in November to about 2,300 today, prompting the government to halt the culling program early.
“There has never been a slaughter like this of the bison since the 1800s in this country, and it’s disgusting,” said Mike Mease of the Buffalo Field Campaign, a group seeking to stop the slaughter program for good.
Government officials say the slaughter prevents the spread of the disease brucellosis from the Yellowstone bison to cattle on land near the park. Brucellosis can cause miscarriages, infertility and reduced milk production in domestic cattle. [..]
The USDA acknowledges that bison-to-cattle transmission is difficult to document, but it says investigations indicate that bison were the likely source of infections in cattle herds in Wyoming and North Dakota.
But critics call the culling an overreaction. There is no documented case of the disease passing from bison to cattle, they said.
Goddammit, I'm exhausted!
I can only imagine how Clinton & Obama and their staffs feel. Just to save time, maybe they could each get "two Reject & Denounce" cards in advance.
If I lived in another country.....I'd laugh and laugh at how ridiculous our media is and how bizarre they force campaigns to be.
Believe me, it would be tempting to leave the U.S. except, sadly, I could only live in an english speaking country that did not like hockey or soccer -- and giant marsupials freak me out man. So I guess I'm stuck here. I have to love it because I'm not smart enough to leave it. See, you can't call me unpatriotic.
Since I still live in America, I get to say that each election seems to get more critical on issues, yet more trivial on coverage.
In the last three weeks the ONLY policy issue that has gotten substantial coverage is the ridiculous idea of a gas-tax holiday.
To paraphrase Lili von Shtupp, when it comes to the electronic media in this country "Let's face it, everything above the neck is kaput."
And at this pace, so soon shall we.
(Reprinted from Firedoglake because it did not get enough attention to assuage my fragile ego - I reject & denounce*).
*I keed, I keed
The John McCain Health Care Plan
You can read this...or allow me to summarize:
1. Don't get sick.
2. Here's a tax break that will not help you one iota, because you can't afford health insurance in the first place.
3. Let me make sure your employer takes away your HMO, which is sadly all you have -- voila! now you don't even have that.
4. Now, divorce your spouse and look to marry a rich person -- worked for me.
Glenzilla does snark
I think the most important thing to note about the Jeremiah Wright Story is that we're a Nation plagued by exceedingly few significant problems; blessed with a quite healthy political culture and very trusted political and media institutions; composed of a citizenry that is peacefully content with its Government and secure and confident about their future; endowed with a supremely sturdy economic foundation free of debt and other grave economic afflictions; vested with the ability to command great respect and admiration from the other nations of the world; emancipated from the burdens of war and intractable conflicts which have toppled and destroyed so many other great nations of the past; and, most of all, we're becoming freer and more prosperous by the minute.
Not only that, but we have an extremely impressive, serious and honor-bound ruling imperial class devoted to the preservation of all of these blessings.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
McCain Campaign Literature...
It's definitely Gassy
If you look closely you'll see Bush is turning on McCain's ancient pilot light.
Late Night Discussions... We're back...
So, what do we all think of the media's flogging to effin' death the reverend Wright comments?! Personally, I think we should take a look at all of the sermons of the religious nutwing and subject their statements to the same intense speculation and faux scrutiny.
I do recall that there were several disturbing statements made by Oral "60 foot Jesus" Roberts, Jerry "God has turned his back on America" Falwell, and Pat "destruction in New York is a result of America's heathen ways" Robertson. One has to wonder how these statements sound out of context. Not very sane or jingoistic at all, are they?
What do you all think?
Remembering Rock Against Racism
Great story, with a surprising inspiration. It is a fascinating account. I never knew about Clapton and Bowie's attitudes. Quite racist remarks from Clapton -- a musician whose fame came from interpreting the blues, which if memory serves was created by African-American musicians...
It was 5 August 1976 and Eric Clapton was drunk, angry and on stage at the Birmingham Odeon. 'Enoch was right,' he told the audience, 'I think we should send them all back.' Britain was, he complained, in danger of becoming 'a black colony' and a vote for controversial Tory politician Enoch Powell whom he described as a prophet was needed to 'keep Britain white'. Although the irony was possibly lost on Clapton, the Odeon in Birmingham is on New Street, minutes from the Midland Hotel where eight years earlier Powell had made his infamous 'Rivers of Blood' speech. But if the coincidence was curious, the hypocrisy was breathtaking: Clapton's career was based on appropriating black music, and he had recently had a hit with Bob Marley's 'I Shot the Sheriff'.
Monday, April 28, 2008
"Just pretend the dames aren't here, my love"
You're run of the mill Harmony Korine movie has more appealing main characters.
Look Tweety's fulfilling their mutual fantasy by dressing up as John McCain giving Russert BBQ and a hand-job.
(pic TV Newser)
But in contemplating what poor people The Maverick knows, it occurs to me that this son of a son of Admirals, this man who married into a 9-figure fortune, has only spent a prolonged period of time around one group of poor people.
His North Vietnamese guards at the Hanoi Hilton.
Which, I would hope, is NOT his source material for an understanding of the poor.
When can we get that Baghdad Amusement Park Built?
Reuters reports that militants “bombarded Baghdad’s Green Zone with rockets on Sunday, taking advantage of the cover of a blinding dust storm to launch one of the heaviest strikes in weeks on the fortified compound”
The Texass Oilman
The one thing he succeeds at, is making his friends rich(er).
His actual job as President, not so much.
Oil prices hit an all-time high near $120 a barrel Monday after a weekend refinery strike closed a pipeline system that delivers a third of Britain's North Sea oil to refineries in the U.K.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Vote Early, And Often
Click the link to vote for the five to top of the list. But whatever you do, don't vote for Robert Kagan, which would give Attaturk fits.
Pour Your Misery Down
The public-private face-off at West Point illustrates just what Bush envisioned when he proposed the "competitive sourcing" initiative in 2001 as part of his management agenda. It turned on a simple idea: Force federal employees to compete for their jobs against private contractors and costs will decrease, even if the work ultimately stays in-house.Bush has all the power he needs to put the Norquistian Bathtub Plan into action and he even manages to screw that up (a development for which we should probably be thankful). As Condi Rice would say, "Nobody ever could have imagined..."
But as Bush's presidency winds down, the program's critics say it has had disappointing results and shaken morale among the federal government's 1.8 million civil servants. Private contractors have grown increasingly reluctant to participate in the competitions, which federal employees have won 83 percent of the time. The program fell short of the president's goals in scope and in cost savings. Between 2003 and 2006, agencies completed competitions for fewer than 50,000 jobs, a fraction of what Bush envisioned.
Moreover, the Government Accountability Office found that the administration has overstated the savings from some competitions by undercounting the costs of running them. Collectively, they cost $225 million, or about $4,800 per job, according to White House figures.
Another Sunday Morning
I wonder who will be the apologists-of-the-week for the latest crypto-fascist Bush-Cheney policy this week on the Sunday morning talking head shows? (no, not those Talking Heads, because that would be cool!)
How much influence do these shows have anymore? I know that I have lost all respect for the last of them I could stomach after watching the ABC News-"The Debate" debacle where George Stepuptothemicrophone systematically deconstructed years of his hard earned credibility. Yes, George is always about the political analysis... sigh...
And it has been years since the analysis or softball questioning from Lil' Tim mattered much except as another way to turn his family life into books that he can hawk on the nostalgia party train. Take that Tom Brokaw!
Or you might bring up Faux News? They were tainted and biased out the gate. Although it is worse because they have made a very concerted effort to reach into high schools and influence a generation of teachers. And as a parent I have seen first hand some of the damage.
What about CNN? Did the so-called analysis from CNN ever really influence political or intellectual debate in this country? Did something someone said on a Sunday news-analysis program from CNN ever change your mind? And Headline News, sheesh... most of the debate from HN centered on who has the best hair or best legs; typical non-analysis sexist fluff.
Perhaps the most important concern is whether these architects of mass delusion really make a difference in how their viewers think about the worrisome creeping corporate state that Bush-Cheney have exacerbated. Where is the necessary discussion on the slow death of due process? Where is the realistic analysis of the maddening mess in Iraq?
Sunday mornings remind me that the "news" industry -- and especially the analysis Sunday morning staple of that -- is in bed with the politicians, especially those on the right and as the Australian politico-pop band Midnight Oil commented on in the late 1980s: the beds are burning!
Will any of these so-called "heated discussions" improve the standard of living for the rest of us? That is, besides worse. Have they ever improved the quality and content of real debate in this country?
Yeah, I didn't think so either.
While the Geneva Conventions prohibit “outrages upon personal dignity,” a letter sent by the Justice Department to Congress on March 5 makes clear that the administration has not drawn a precise line in deciding which interrogation methods would violate that standard, and is reserving the right to make case-by-case judgments.
“The fact that an act is undertaken to prevent a threatened terrorist attack, rather than for the purpose of humiliation or abuse, would be relevant to a reasonable observer in measuring the outrageousness of the act,” said Brian A. Benczkowski, a deputy assistant attorney general, in the letter, which had not previously been made public.
Again, were ruled not by the standards that founded this country, but by a bunch of mouth-breathing sociopaths that think life is like the script of "24".
And don't think you can't google up in 10 minutes the number of times various Republicans from the Chimperor to Supreme Court Justices don't somehow think that is the way it should be and is.
James Madison should bring all 5 foot 4 of himself out of the crypt and kick their asses.
Late Night/Early Morning Chat (Part Deux)
Here we are again fellow insomniacs... another evening or early morning (your call for which is the correct interpretation) and we have another call for discussions.
So, here are some of the thought provokers we have going:
1. If big ticket money supporters of the Rethuglican party are running away from the sinking ship, will this hurt the state level races? Will we see more Democratic governors? Will they have better hair than AHnold?
2. Do we all believe that Cindy McCain can pull her hair back any tighter? Anyone?
3. Which is more disturbing Senator Clinton's odd I see through you with my x-ray vision smile or Senator Obama's I speak like I am in a high school play?
4. If a blogger writes in the early morning hours and no one reads it, does it still fall crashing to earth?
Or do you have a better topic to get us going... come on, you know you do. It's time to toss aside the false modesty and revel in your witty banter. I double dog dare you. I really do.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Domestic Terrorism on the...
According to the Council on Foreign Relations white paper on domestic terrorism and future trends related to domestic extremism, we need to look to home grown extremists as likely future terrorists.
... The September 11 attacks—the biggest and deadliest terrorist plot ever executed in the United States—were carried out by foreigners, but the twenty-four terrorist incidents that occurred between 2002 and 2005 were carried out by domestic extremists, according to the FBI. The most notorious recent case of domestic terrorism was the April 1995 truck bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people and injured more than 500.
It just warms the heart doesn't it? Doesn't it?
Of course the CFR does have a pretty apparent right wing bias and even they are concerned. Although, some of their definitions are a little humorous. Take a look at some of the definitions of types of terrorism... however you slice it, we have a great deal to be concerned about.
Great. Just great. Idiots in the "White" House have run the country into the ground and that has only exacerbated the problem with domestic extremism. Thanks George... on a completely new level of screwupness.
Following the NFL Draft
I only have two questions -- will the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals be able to help themselves? I wouldn't mind if North Carolina got some help too.
Does Brett mean retirement in the same way the rest of us use the word?
And, I suppose some of us are wondering if Tapegate is about to get far nastier for the New England Patriots... Right?
Bush & McCain -- how they support the troops
Ah, awesome on all things
Looks like we'll eventually get this white elephant built just before the Iranians take it over.
“The new U.S. Embassy complex does not have enough fortified living quarters for hundreds of diplomats and other workers, who must remain temporarily in trailers without special rooftop protection against mortars and rockets,” government officials told the AP today. The lack of housing may “further delay moving all personnel” into the embassy, already mired in construction delays, until next year. The issue has become increasingly relevant since Shi’ite militias “resumed steady attacks on the enclave in late March as part of backlash to an Iraqi-led crackdown.”
Friday, April 25, 2008
Late night Discussions
So I thought I'd encourage an actual discussion this late Friday night here at the RH. We can wait and see who jumps in to this little endeavor.
So when one thinks about writing a blog entry there must be a few requirements met. One is to write something provocative, snarky, or what one think's is witty...let's see...how about we discuss one of the following:
1) I think that John McCain would be the best person for President because he will do the best job protecting America from terrorists and also make sure that the wealthy keep all their wealth that they truly deserve...
2) All this talk about the environment is really stupid...if the Earth can't take care of itself, why should WE care?
3) Why don't people stop picking on President Bush! He's doing the best job anyone could do, and criticizing him just makes you a supporter of terrorism!! Or worse!!!
Okay - maybe someone out there has something else to talk/write about such as the fact that three NYC cops who pumped something like 60 bullets into an unarmed man at his wedding celebration had the audacity to demand a bench trial and actually got it. Then after the evidence was presented in front of a judge rather than a jury trial, the judge, who I'm SURE was completely unbiased, simply ruled that they were all NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES, even the smaller ones. And we can all wonder whether that verdict will be a green light for more killings of unarmed young men in New York City.
What are you waiting for? Begin discussing these or other issues in the comments section.
"My Friends, I have no fucking idea..."
John McCain, more than hugging Bush -- starts channeling Dick Cheney's economic theories:
John McCain Said 1.3 Million People Make a Living On eBay
Moving from the latest Bonehead, to the current one, behold the economic Genius of Bush:
President Bush says the economic-stimulus tax rebates will begin going out Monday and will help people cope with lofty energy and food prices, as well as giving the economy a jolt.
Because nothin' flights inflation like dumping money into the economy.
Caution, Sports Related
Thereby officially ending the Madden Curse.
Unless, of course, Brett Favre is afflicted with beri beri or something this year.
Not 'The Onion'
At the cost of nearly $500 million, a Los Angeles-based company is “developing the Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum.”
At the moment, if I had to think of an idea that would be the crowning achievement of the Bush years it would be to build a children's amusement part in downtown Baghdad in the near future.
What would we call it?
And don't act all naive and shit that you don't know what you are getting when you click that link.
...although it is safe for work.
Awesomest War Ever!
“The new high in Iraq war opposition is also notable because it is the highest ‘mistake’ percentage Gallup has ever measured for an active war involving the United States — surpassing by two points the 61% who said the Vietnam War was a mistake in May 1971.”
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Not quite as fast as Ann Coulter
Let's wait six months and then do that again!
By the way, 4,050 is the latest death count of just American soldiers in "Mr. Suck.On.This's" little war.
*via Atrios through Friedman's own words.
First in War, First in Peace
First to express an opinion on the Chimperor.
Dude couldn't tell a lie ya' know.
(modified from REUTERS/Larry Downing)
Will Charle Gibson or George Stephanapolis ask
John McCain about his associations with GOP candidates like Tony Zirkle?
Indiana politician Tony Zirkle is in a heap of trouble after this photos of him celebrating Hilter's birthday surfaced on Monday.
Hilter's birthday is on 4/20, so while the stoners were getting high; the Nazi's were celebrating Adolf's 119th.
Right in the middle of the festivities was Zirkle spoke to about 60 neo-Nazi's/ white surpremacists in Chicago.
Zirkle is a candidate for the Republican nomination for United States Congress in Indiana's 2nd district.
I'm guessing, based on this picture, that Zirkle (that's him speaking) will deny any knowledge of what this group was about.
Fuck you broads, and all you other minorities
Senate Republicans yesterday blocked legislation to make it easier for women and others alleging discrimination to sue their employers over unequal pay...
...At issue is the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Lilly Ledbetter, who for 19 years was the lone female supervisor at an Alabama tire plant. Months before she retired in 1998, Ledbetter learned that she was being paid thousands of dollars less than her male co-workers. She filed suit and was awarded more than $3 million by a jury. Last May, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that Ledbetter had waited too long to file her case. The court said she should have complained within 180 days of a specific discriminatory event.
The Ledbetter decision of the Supreme Court is particularly galling in that it puts a burden on a party not just to win a discrimination suit in court, hard enough, but to literally divine discrimination when it is occurring, without any evidence. If an employer can hide it's discriminatory act well enough, they can pretty much do whatever the fuck they want to a person on the basis of sex, race, age, etc. It was an appalling decision that could only have been made by a group of people with permanent jobs and who have never had to worry about a paycheck since the day they got out of their Ivy League law schools.
Like a discriminated against party screwed over using Ledbetter, without any concrete evidence, I'm convinced if the Democratic Nomination battle wasn't sucking all of the oxygen out of the political coverage, this delay would never have happened.
But right now, the GOP in Congress thinks there is no political price to pay because no one is paying attention, especially the mass media.
And they are coldly correct.
Wanker McSame by the way joined on in, adding yet another embarrassing statement indicating he has no fucking clue what the issue is.
McCain explained his opposition to the bill by claiming it “opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.” He added that instead of legislation allowing women to fight for equal pay, they simply need “education and training“:
“They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else,” McCain said. “
It has NOTHING to do with education or training asshole, equal pay act cases have to do with getting fucked over because of gender when you do EXACTLY the same fucking job.
I'm sure no one will notice this latest malaprop from McSame, because, after all he's a maverick whose errors only make him more and more lovable and sublimely mavericky.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
There goes my Family Vacation
Price of regular unleaded here in the undisclosed Midwest where I reside just passed 3.68 a gallon. And this is before the hike that comes in mid-May and June and early July -- the supposed summer travel season.
Where is the anger? Resigned, resigned, defeated... that is the sentiment of the folks I spoke with at the gas station today. Everyone kept saying, "What ya gonna do?" And I said: "Drive less overall, conserve more, carpool. And buy less gas in any way we can!" The owner of the gas station then told me to leave.
Is anyone going to be able to take a vacation this year? Any travel? Anyone?
Speaking of Karma below, it is funny how things change. And how damn much they stay the same in the music industry. For a moment we will assume that politics has some small possibility for change.
Three recent court decisions show us something hopeful. Something that might shift the balance of power over the fight on digital downloading. We are seeing, perhaps for the first time, a real increased scrutiny over one of the RIAA's -- Recording Industry Association of America (or as we know it, the only industry to sue its fans with malice) -- main legal arguments in prosecuting alleged music pirates on college and university campuses around this so-called country of freedom. And this could actually be a very good development in the sad state of affairs where the RIAA is attacking the fans of digital music.
In those file-sharing suits, judges have wondered aloud and in their written judgements whether the RIAA must prove that music was actually copied and downloaded, not just that defendants had made the music files on their computers “available” to others. This “making available” argument was also called into question last year in the first successful suit against an alleged file sharer, Jammie Thomas.
The three recent court opinions all came to slightly different conclusions about whether making a file available constitutes copyright infringement, so the issue remains unsettled. But we have an opening in which to call into question the assumptions (and the methods) utilized by the RIAA.
If you are interested in seeing this process. I have links to all of the rulings: Atlantic Recording Corp., et al. v. Christopher David Brennan, Elektra Entertainment Group, Inc., et al. v. Denise Barker, and London-Sire Records, Inc., et al. v. Does.
We will see if this is the beginning of a serious reconsideration of these lawsuits, or just a road bump for an industry that has seriously lost its way.
Say what you want about U2
... but there is some soul in there. And in these times of soul-less evil corporate suck, we can all use a little positive karma. Hell, I will settle for good intentions.
Are you listening Ticketbastard? Or are you too busy sharing "fees" and "processing" with the record companies and unscrupulous acts.
How terribly fitting:
Ha ha ha:
President Bush's guest appearance in support of an Iraq War veteran on Monday night's "Deal or No Deal" didn't bring much luck to the contestant -- or the show.
The NBC game show matched its lowest Monday rating ever despite the much-publicized visit by the commander-in-chief.
It's amazing how everything he touches turns to shit.
Funny the coincidences that keep happening
And our bestest buddy keeps spying on us.
Of course, just ask Stormin' Norman Podhoretz or any of the "Israel = 51st State" advocates and they'll tell you...
"It isn't spying, it's managerial oversight!"
Of course, you know what this means...
"Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran!"
"Oh, I love that song, can I join in?"
That Halliburton would make a golden shovel that isn't big enough to clean up all the bullshit.
I could have sworn we paid enough in taxes for a fleet of golden backhoes (suitable for KBR-employees sexually harassing of course).
Say, what's the carbon footprint of a golden shovel used on "Earth Day"?
An entire Continent
Down the shitter.
Fresh off pardoning Jim Beam.
Um, you think I'm going to choose "Deal"?
Unless this is like the beginning of 'Superman II' and we're sending General Zod there off into the ether.
And I wake up to find a few more weeks of wankery before me...before we get back to the more traditional form of it.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Moore for The "Obama Movement"
I agree with Michael Moore that Senator Obama's candidacy has the potential to represent a shift in American politics. I also agree that Senator Clinton's tactics of late have gone from scandalous to creating a deepening divide in the democratic party.
Moore endorsed Obama in a 1,100-word posting on his website Monday. It includes praise for the Illinois senator and harsh words for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic Party and the Bush administration.
Lamenting the lack of a valid primary in his home state of Michigan, Moore writes that Obama's experience and voting record isn't as important as his "basic decency" and ability to inspire.
"What we are witnessing is not just a candidate but a profound, massive public movement for change," Moore writes. "My endorsement is more for Obama The Movement than it is for Obama the candidate."
Come what may from Pennsylvania later today, can we at least be civil about it?
Oh how exciting
Tonight on World News with Charles Gibson, Jake Tapper will report from Pennsylvania and George Stephanopoulos will provide analysis from Washington.
There hasn't been a worse three-way since Jeff Gannon went over to Condi Rice & Gwen Ifill's place.
He's Number One!!!
Giant Foam Fingers all around!
President Bush has set a record he'd presumably prefer to avoid: the highest disapproval rating of any president in the 70-year history of the Gallup Poll.
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, 28% of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing; 69% disapprove. The approval rating matches the low point of his presidency, and the disapproval sets a new high for any president since Franklin Roosevelt.
The previous record of 67% was reached by Harry Truman in January 1952, when the United States was enmeshed in the Korean War.
Atrios is going to have to put up one hell of a pony.
Speaking of which...
What the Fuck?!
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Say "Yes" to torture
As time goes by, the list of human rights abuses by the Bush Administration gets longer and longer.
And as we are learning in our wonderful Cable News era, no one will really mention this beyond the original article -- especially if they can obsess about the horse race of the next President.
What a valuable lesson in "how to get away with a crime".
Adel al-Nusairi remembers his first six months at Guantanamo Bay as this: hours and hours of questions, but first, a needle.
"I'd fall asleep" after the shot, Nusairi, a former Saudi policeman captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2002, recalled in an interview with his attorney at the military prison in Cuba, according to notes. After being roused, Nusairi eventually did talk, giving U.S. officials what he later described as a made-up confession to buy some peace.
"I was completely gone," he remembered. "I said, 'Let me go. I want to go to sleep. If it takes saying I'm a member of al-Qaeda, I will.' "
Nusairi, now free in Saudi Arabia, was unable to learn what drugs were injected before his interrogations. He is not alone in wondering: At least two dozen other former and current detainees at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere say they were given drugs against their will or witnessed other inmates being drugged, based on interviews and court documents.
All former detainees...released because, well, turns out they weren't "the terrorizers". So we're just drugging them because ultimately we can.
But we're the SHINING CITY ON THE HILL PEOPLE!!! SHINING CITY ON THE HILL!
"Last best hope of mankind" and all that sh*t.
Naturally, the Bush Administration denies they did anything at all...
Supporting the Troops, my ass
In San Francisco federal court Monday, attorneys for veterans' rights groups accused the VA of nothing less than a cover-up - deliberately concealing the real risk of suicide among veterans.
"The system is in crisis and unfortunately the VA is in denial," said Veterans Rights Attorney Gordon Erspamer.
The charges were backed by internal e-mails written by Dr. Ira Katz, the VA's head of Mental Health.
In the past, Katz has repeatedly insisted while the risk of suicide among veterans is serious, it's not outside the norm.
"There is no epidemic in suicide in VA," Katz told Keteyian in November.
And now comes the lying ass part:
But in this e-mail to his top media advisor, written two months ago, Katz appears to be saying something very different, stating: "Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in our metical facilities."
Katz's e-mail was written shortly after the VA provided CBS News data showing there were only 790 attempted suicides in all 2007 - a fraction of Katz's estimate.
"This 12,000 attempted suicides per year shows clearly, without a doubt, that there is an epidemic of suicide among veterans," said Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense.
And it appears that Katz went out of his way to conceal these numbers.
Why is it that Douchebags ALWAYS have media advisers?
And has Bush given them a tax-write off on "Douchbag Media Adviser Expenses"?
I mean, Jiminy Jeebus! 1,000 suicide attempts a month amongst vets?!!!
How much reporting will this get?
I'm betting this is about the end of it.
God forbid George Stephanapolis ask John McCain about it?
"Does Dr. Katz love America as much as you Senator?"
The full-out lying and criminality of this Administration knows no bounds.
Good thing, even we in the blogosphere are ripping Clinton & Obama apart over imaginary flipoffs and bowling technique.
You know the stuff far more important than the non-stop, Bush Administration Snuff Film that McCain supports whole-heartedly.
The price of New York crude oil surged past 118 dollars per barrel for the first time on Tuesday, lifted by unrest in key producer Nigeria and the weak dollar, traders said.
The good news is, oil rasslin' is now a sport only for the rich.
Combine the Press Corps with a Nomination Fight that's been going on too long
Not just for Steve Doocy & George Stephanopolis anymore:
Stupid anti-Obama diatribe of the day.
Stupid anti-Clinton diatribe of the day.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Are tougher than others.
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)
"Get thee out Satan!"
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)
"Ah, go fuck yourself."
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)
(modified from AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)
Kinky, it's like Richard Quest choreographed it
Altar Boys argue
Over who has to be play catcher.
Bring it On II: Electric Boogaloo
[I]n a supremely wise and responsible move, Condi Rice this morning dared Sadr to bust that gat:
“I know he’s sitting in Iran,” Rice said dismissively, when asked about al-Sadr’s latest threat to lift a self-imposed cease-fire with government and U.S. forces. “I guess it’s all-out war for anybody but him,” Rice said. “I guess that’s the message; his followers can go [to] their deaths and he’s in Iran.”
So Sadr is a coward for making threats from Iran… and Condoleezza Rice is a stateswoman for blustering Sadr into making a move that carries the potential of killing American soldiers. Why is this woman respected again?
I supposed a gin-up Iraqi conflict pitting Al Sadr against American forces will manage to kill just enough American soldiers to get people to vote for McCain.
Yeah, sounds morally bankrupt and criminal...so that must be the plan for the Bush Administration.
Don't tell me how it ends.*
(* ed. He's a Sled)
Sunday, April 20, 2008
What's the Matter With The Wall Street Journal?
But suppose we read on, and we find the news item about the hedge fund managers who made $2 billion and $3 billion last year, or the story about the vaporizing of our home equity. Suppose we become a little . . . bitter about this. What do our pundits and politicians tell us then?Tune in to watch Paul Gigot's explode every Wednesday.
That there is no place for such sentiment in the Party of the People. That "bitterness" is an ugly and inadmissible emotion. That "divisiveness" is a thing to be shunned at all costs.
Conservatism, on the other hand, has no problem with bitterness; as the champion strategist Howard Phillips said almost three decades ago, the movement's job is to "organize discontent." And organize they have. They have welcomed it, they have flattered it, they have invited it in with millions of treason-screaming direct-mail letters, they have given it a nice warm home on angry radio shows situated up and down the AM dial. There is not only bitterness out there; there is a bitterness industry.
h/t P. O'Neill
He may be British, but in spirit he's a Republican:
The New York Post reports more information about the arrest and arraignment of CNN reporter Richard Quest.
Quest, who was arrested early Friday morning for loitering in Central Park and criminal possession of a controlled substance, agreed to undergo six months of drug counseling in order to drop the charges, reports the Post...
The Post reports that, besides the methamphetamine in his pocket, Quest was found with "a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his boot."
He's a two-ply wetsuit away from being a fundamentalist preacher.
Petty point of personal irritation
George Washington (David Morse) so quickly tired of the infighting among his Cabinet and vagaries of public opinion that he stepped down from the presidency after a single term.
Um, no, he didn't. Two-terms -- famously, served two-terms. Fourth-grade American History.
It's true that HBO's series has taken some liberties on the time-line of Adams' life (mostly in regard to his personal life, and the lives of his children), but they did manage to get that fact quite clear.
More evidence, Ike was right
A must read article in the NY Times for any American.
The documents released by the Pentagon do not show any quid pro quo between commentary and contracts. But some analysts said they had used the special access as a marketing and networking opportunity or as a window into future business possibilities.
Over time, the Pentagon recruited more than 75 retired officers, although some participated only briefly or sporadically. The largest contingent was affiliated with Fox News, followed by NBC and CNN, the other networks with 24-hour cable outlets. But analysts from CBS and ABC were included, too. Some recruits, though not on any network payroll, were influential in other ways — either because they were sought out by radio hosts, or because they often published op-ed articles or were quoted in magazines, Web sites and newspapers. At least nine of them have written op-ed articles for The Times.
Especially before McCain or Bush open their fucking traps about how AWESOME everything is.
Let the excusifyin' begin!
Not that I'm jealous or anything, but I'm going to have to kill him, probably in my basement bowling alley.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The great unwashed
But only at Drudgico, after the disgraceful performance of Gibson & Stephanopolis, could the consensus on the media be proclaimed by it's two leading assholes*, as being pro-Obama.
*Admittedly a tie amongst a large number of contenders, see Kurtz, Howard.
Mailin' it in
President Bush will make a surprise appearance on the game show "Deal or No Deal."
He and Howie Mandel can compare stories of their "success on the merits".
Bush is appearing a guy who served three tours is on -- and he's thanking him. Of course, he could thank him and others more by supporting Jim Webb's new GI Bill, but that would actually mean something.
Friday, April 18, 2008
That's about right
Accident, injury, and disability
Heart damaged by medication
One brain tumor
Eight years to get disability payments
One flag pin
Not a reenactment of The War of 1812.
Baseball fans love it...
When the Cardinals are in town.*
*Joke first used by Enos Slaughter
Not a rerun
A company of government troops abandoned its positions in Sadr City when the forces came under attack from Shiite militiamen who took advantage of a sandstorm to attack, police said Friday.
The clashes overnight killed two people and injured nine, a police commander said. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release the information, said it was unclear whether there were any casualties among the soldiers.
How awesome, and completely anticipated to the sentient amongst us:
The war in Iraq has become "a major debacle" and the outcome "is in doubt" despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon's premier military educational institute.
The report released by the National Defense University raises fresh doubts about President Bush's projections of a U.S. victory in Iraq just a week after Bush announced that he was suspending U.S. troop reductions...
Is there nothing the Bush Administration cannot do?
Suicide bombers conducted 658 attacks around the world last year, including 542 in U.S.-occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, according to data compiled by U.S. government experts.
The large number of attacks -- more than double the number in any of the past 25 years -- reflects a trend that has surprised and worried U.S. intelligence and military analysts.
More than four-fifths of the suicide bombings over that period have occurred in the past seven years, the data show. The bombings have spread to dozens of countries on five continents, killed more than 21,350 people and injured about 50,000 since 1983, when a landmark attack blew up the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Almost a Broadcasting Company
Statement to an ungrateful world
"I AM HARRY POTTER" - J.K. Rowling.
Ok, she did not really say that but it does seem that this is interesting. Be careful what you Potter-scar heads do with your webpages.
Favorite Music Quotes
Where do you go for great music? With the rise of the new corporate model for music - the 360 deal - where the ugly record company behemoth gets a piece of everything you ever do and American Idol is the supposed standard of finding new talent, where is the great music? Sheesh, three of the people still there on American Idol are industry plants or failed performers who already sold their souls to the corporate machine.
I wanted to remind myself of why a day without real music is like a day without sunshine. How a good song can remind you that there is something inspiring in music. Something that is transcendent and picks you up and turns you around.
I went to Emusic and started finding some great music off the beaten track and I come across a gem of a record by Justin Townes Earle. Turns out he's Steve's kid and he's good. Really good. Nebraska era Springsteen good. His first CD, The Good Life, is one of the best records I have heard in a while.
And the lyrics. Man, the lyrics are evocative, powerful and close to the bone. That led me to wondering outside of the routine of the supposed classics that are shoved at us, where are the great lyrics in popular music?
Three to get us started:
Justin T. Earle - "So I think I can be lonesome far away in another town"
Counting Crows - "I want to be the last thing that you hear when you're falling asleep"
The Connells - "You can't have the world as it once was with Cowboys and Santa Claus"
Anyone else have some great lyrics that speak deeply to you?
Me To Blog
Harsh, angry comment for the day.
Students at Duke University feeling sorry for themselves...
College students' pent-up fears, prejudices, and demons are coming to light on a new blog started by Duke University students. The blog, which encourages users to post anonymously and promises a safe space to find support, can be seen as an antidote to malicious-gossip sites where students have been lashing out at their peers.
The blog is called Me Too, and the idea is to show college students that they are not alone in their feelings of inadequacy, even if almost everyone else on campus might appear flawless. Users can post comments about any item posted, but the only response allowed is "Me too."
Life is hard. Time to get used to it. Unless your last name is Bush, no help is coming.
But Charlie Gibson would LOVE to have a near-beer with him!
Terrorists are still operating freely in Pakistan along the country's Afghanistan border, despite the U.S. giving Pakistan more than $10.5 billion in military and economic aid, according to a government watchdog agency.
The Government Accountability Office says in a report released Thursday that the U.S. lacks a comprehensive plan to deal with the terrorist threat.
Not that Charlie Gibson cares
But, do they wear flag pins?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Some 300,000 U.S. troops are suffering from major depression or post traumatic stress from serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 320,000 received brain injuries, a new study estimates.
Only about half have sought treatment, said the study released Thursday by the RAND Corporation.
"There is a major health crisis facing those men and women who have served our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Terri Tanielian, the project's co-leader and a researcher at the nonprofit RAND.
"Unless they receive appropriate and effective care for these mental health conditions, there will be long-term consequences for them and for the nation," she said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Ah, who cares about this stuff, take it from Media Love Interest John McCain, starting these wars and their effects are just academic questions.
So fuck all you eggheads.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
"The most important story is Obama's lack of patriotism by not wearing a flag pin, correct?"
"Absolutely, Charlie. That's what they were telling me on Sean Hannity's show when they wrote my questions."
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
"I agree, as does..."
"This other picture of me."
"And my campaign staff."
"My friends, allow me to add my complete agreement on this issue!"
Thank Goodness, there are still some true patriots out there!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Everything that is Wrong with the Music Industry...
Read this. And then weep.
Why I like Spring
Working in the yard, getting my hands in the earth. Seeing the results of my work immediately. An honesty that is sadly missing from politics... Come on Spring! Spring 2008!
What's in a Debate?
I cannot take it anymore.
Unfortunately I watched "The Debate" -- sheesh, who names these things?
Do candidates who engage in a scorched earth policy of attacks and innuendo really believe that they are helping themselves? Are they really moving the process forward? Is attacking intelligent, honest, and courageous discussion a good idea?
Count me out. I have reached a point of disgust that leaves me utterly dispassionate about the Democratic party.
Way to go politicos. Yeah, it was yours to lose. You have just lost me.
Compare and Contrast
Barack Obama on Hardball, April 2nd...Tweety splooges pants.
5 p.m. 639k (total viewers), 223k (25-54)
7 p.m. 754k (total viewers), 355k (25-54)
John McCain on Hardball, April 15th...Tweety splooges pants.
5 p.m. 405k (total viewers), 120k (25-54)
7 p.m. 383k (total viewers), 156k (25-54)
Make of it what you will.
Here's a suggestion
For a political candidate to gain some "non-elitist" and most importantly NON-JACKASS points with the the public IMO. It is not a big thing, but I cannot see how it would not garner positive press.
State you will NOT accept corporate or non-disclosed donations to your Presidential Library...
...HELL go all the way and promise YOU WON'T HAVE A PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY! Turn all that shit over to the National Archives, open to the public, and be done with it.
Each successive President builds a gaudier, and frankly, bullshitier library. Though it is going to be hard to top the George W. Bush Library for sheer worthlessness and wasteful gaudiness:
Bush advisers say they plan to consult historians but will rely chiefly on the veteran design firm they hired to create a museum to showcase his life, works and policies.
Some who’ve studied presidential centers say the lack of independent voices in the design-exhibit process risks turning the library into little more than a promotional venue.
How fitting that the worst President, gets the Presidential Library without an actual, you know, library.
C'mon Barack, Hillary, McSame, promise me you WON'T BUILD A GIGANTIC PIECE OF SHIT DEDICATED TO YOU!
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
Tim Robbins at the National Association of Broadcasters:
I would like to start with an apology. To Rush and Sean, and Billo and Savage and Laura what's-her-name. A few years ago they told America that because I had different opinions on the wisdom of going to war that I was a traitor, a Saddam lover, a terrorist supporter, undermining the troops. I was appealing at the time for the inspectors to have more time to find those weapons of mass destruction. I was a naïve dupe of left wing appeasement. And how right they were. If I had known then what I know now, if I had seen the festive and appreciative faces on the streets of Baghdad today, if I had known then what a robust economy we would be in, the unity of our people, the wildfire of democracy that has spread across the Mideast, I would never have said those traitorous, unfounded and irresponsible things. I stand chastened in the face of the wisdom of the talk radio geniuses, and I apologize for standing in the way of freedom...
Video of the whole thing here.
Comes with a special shout out to John McCain:
Radio has come a long way from the early days when family's gathered around the trusty old Philco to listen to such programs as Superman, Sherlock Holmes and Amos and Andy. Thanks to music and sound effects, this magical medium was able to transport families to a place where a man could fly, a brilliant detective could solve the most perplexing of crimes, and two white guys could portray ridiculously offensive black stereotypes for the amusement of millions.
The first broadcast occurred on Christmas Eve in 1906 at Brant Rock, MA, when a man named Fessenden played his violin, sang a song and read Bible verses into a wireless telephone of his own invention. His goal was to find financial backers, but no investor of the day believed that radio could ever replace the most popular leisure activity of the day; listening to the hoot owl while playing the zither as your 14-year-old niece bounced on your knee. Some of you may remember. It was all the rage in the early century.
But soon broadcasting over the radio caught on and zither playing and child molestation were a thing of the past