Thursday, May 31, 2007

Obama Watch

Fred Thompson's looking a bit too closely:
"From Robert Novak's column on Fred Thompson:
The Connecticut Republicans, down to one seat in Congress after 2006 election losses, cheered when Thompson told them: "I think the biggest problem we have today is what I believe is the disconnect between Washington, D.C., and the people of the United States. People are looking around at the pork barrel spending and the petty politics, the backbiting. The fighting over all things, large or small, is creating a cynicism among our people."
"This is an excerpt from Obama's standard stump speech, as delivered in Richmond a few weeks ago, which I transcribed:
""People feel cynical about the political process. They feel as if politics is a business and not a mission, that power is always trumping principle, especially in Washington. They get discouraged and that cynicism has been fed over the last six years….No wonder people feel cynical. The net effect is that politics has become small, it's become timid…""
As an actor, Thomspon knows not to mess with good lines.

Follow up on Newsom case...

This one sparked some tension at the Word which was set off from a Cros post here. I wanted to post a bit from Earl Hutchinson's column at Huffpo which I think condenses many of the sentiments that Cros and I feel regarding this charged topic. Money quote:

"The seeming nonchalance of many blacks toward black on white crime doesn't mean that blacks are insensitive to the victims of crime. They are. They are far more likely than any other group in America to be the victims of violent crime, and they know first hand the pain and suffering violent crime causes. They don't color-code crime, crime is crime, no matter the color of the victim, or assailant. There is also no evidence that black criminals target whites because they are white. They target them for their money and valuables. These crimes are almost all cases garden-variety street crime.

"Police and prosecutors in trying to determine whether to prosecute an interracial murder or attack as a hate crime or not have to figure out is their racial animus in the crime. For it to be a hate crime they have to prove that a black intentionally targeted a white victim solely because of their color. That's takes hard evidence of racial taunts, threats, writings, or statements by the perpetrator to prove race was the motivating factor in the attack. In the absence of that evidence, the charge that the attack was a hate crime won't fly.

"The suggestion that the national press engages in a cover-up to quash murders committed by blacks of whites because it's afraid to offend blacks is absurd. The better explanation is that crime news is so routine that unless the accused murderer is O.J. Simpson, Phil Spector, or Robert Blake or a name celebrity there's little chance it's going to be the stuff of endless nightly nationwide newscasts."

Sadly, I'm still waiting to hear anything about the Newsom murders on the M$M. But believe when you do, it won't be about them it'll be about the racial debate. Cros is still right. They (and we) deserve better.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Cuban Health System

Yeah yeah, Cuba bad, Michael Moore bad, Ron Paul bad, wave your flag. But Castro gets a few things right:

"Dr. Robert N. Butler, president of the International Longevity Center in New York and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author on aging, has traveled to Cuba to see firsthand how doctors are trained. He said a principal reason that some health standards in Cuba approach the high American level is that the Cuban system emphasizes early intervention. Clinic visits are free, and the focus is on preventing disease rather than treating it.

"Dr. Butler said some of Cuba’s shortcomings may actually improve its health profile. “Because they don’t have up-to-date cars, they tend to have to exercise more by walking,” he said. “And they may not have a surfeit of food, which keeps them from problems like obesity, but they’re not starving, either.”"

The French don't do bad either.

The Anti-Porn Debate

Naomi Wolf claims:

"Here is what young women tell me on college campuses when the subject comes up: They can’t compete, and they know it. For how can a real woman—with pores and her own breasts and even sexual needs of her own (let alone with speech that goes beyond “More, more, you big stud!”)—possibly compete with a cybervision of perfection, downloadable and extinguishable at will, who comes, so to speak, utterly submissive and tailored to the consumer’s least specification?"

Feministing has a different view:

"She [Wolf] claims that all porn this day and age does is demolish straight women’s sex lives because they can’t live up to porn’s image of the “perfect body” and satisfy their more-or-less bored partners. In fact, the entire piece discusses the issue from the perspective of men, seeming to say that a satisfying sex life is defined based on what a man wants."

Both are, of course, correct. As a porn, er, skimmer? I think there is a definite fantasy-reality that's created by porn as it becomes more ingrained in our society. Teens really do believe that porn sex isn't just "good sex" but "real sex" and that big jugs and Friday afternoon cheesecake is "normal". But is the answer rebelling against that paradigm? Or better yet, is a rebellion really possible outside of radical Islam? I was thinking that talking about this is like discussing what political debate should be vs. what political debate is. Fox News, and really the whole M$M is political porn in which the most extreme cases are presented as mainstream. When torture is presented as a military option and suspension of Habeus Corpus is a considered a "useful tool" in fighting terrorism, isn't that the same thing as accepting the pornographic sex dynamic as "real sex"?

What really needs to be discussed is why is radicalism, in all its forms, is so tempting to the general population. My idea? It's seductive because the narrative is so exciting. Just as porn makes the jump from Romeo and Juliet to Debbie Does Dallas, our radical political dialogue jumps from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to 24. Personally, the whole thing probably has to do with our evolution from a written society to the audio-visual. And Michael Bay is directing the whole production.

Civil War

The David Patten article in The Middle East Quarterly has been making the rounds arguing against using the term "Civil War" to describe the violence in Iraq. Yglesias briefly (too briefly) discusses it here. My thoughts? Yglesias has it right when he says the key to Patten's argument is:

"However, it does not follow that Iraq is in a civil war. While the government is weak, there is no political force presenting it with a serious challenge. Iraq is, indeed, an unstable nation, but there is little danger of regime change, the ultimate purpose of a civil war. "

In danger of being redundant, and verbose (I've already covered this topic for what feels like a million times), I'll say that, in terms of Patten's thesis, there are political forces seeking to usurp the Iraq regime, although they aren't presented in the same terms as in the US Civil War, nor are they dual forces: meaning that the "brigades" are numerous although they have one singular goal, which is to install some sort of Islamic theocracy. Is there danger of regime change? Does that matter? Let's say that the Confederacy had of been a "puppet force." Even a puppet force can do damage, which is the realistic issue facing Iraq. But if it does matter to you then yes, there is a danger--and a serious danger. Whenever someone picks up a gun and has an opinion of regime change that is serious and persuasive one must think of it in "serious" terms.

I think that what gets people confused in talking about a civil war in Iraq--or really anything about Iraq--is the inertia that we have in the US in talking about military action. You can see it in the metaphors and comparisons we make about Iraq to Vietnam and World War II. No longer are we fighting another state or government. Instead we are fighting against ideas that come like a fog, a miasma of rhetoric and gun fire. The only thing Bush ever got right about all of this is that this is a war for the "hearts and minds of the people." And then he screwed up the tactics. What were seeing by the sectarian forces in Iraq is an ongoing attempt of destabilization in the region that's funded by Iran, Hezbollah and Syria and helped by the US's continued presence in Iraq. According to our old tactics, we should press forward, ala surge, but in this new game, this Chinese finger puzzle, our best move is to back off and release the pressure.

Thanks for the Scare...

Man with rare TB put under quarantine after traveling from Prague to US:

"ATLANTA - A man with a form of tuberculosis so dangerous he is under the first U.S. government-ordered quarantine since 1963 told a newspaper he took one trans-Atlantic flight for his wedding and honeymoon and another because he feared for his life...The man told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that while doctors told him they preferred that he put off his long-planned wedding in Greece, they didn’t order him not to fly.

"He knew that he had tuberculosis, but didn’t think he was a danger, he said."

I think that after he's cured, they should leave him in quarantine, and maybe stick Paris Hilton in with him. Do you need a doctor to tell you not to go into a public area when you have TB? Stupidity--a national security issue.

Thomspon Gets Closer to Running...

Plans to file papers on June 4th according to

"Fred Thompson makes it (more) official. According to a campaign source, Thompson will file his FEC papers officially on Monday June 4. In FEC parlance, Thompson is opening a "testing the waters" committee, a technical term that allows Thompson to forgo filing a detailed report on June 30 -- though once he's an official candidate, he'll have to file retroactively. The June 4 filing will be coordinated with a first-day fundraising blitz with 100-plus "First Day Founders" raising a significant one day sum in order to send a we're-in-the-first-tier message. The campaign tells us the "first day" blitz totals they report will be "cash" actually raised, not pledges. The source didn't dispute the notion that the one-day goal would be north of seven figures."

See ya later Guiliani. We so won't miss you.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Reasons why Wolfowitz Should be Locked in the Stocks

How cliche. How Clintonesque.

A woman took him down.

Yesterday, after working out a plum deal with the World Bank, Wolfowitz stepped down as its president due to a scandal where he gave a promotion and raise to his girlfriend who was also a WB employee.

In the long run? It doesn't matter, both the crime and the punishment. If cronyism was a crime Bush would have been executed a LONG time ago. Cronyism is the way of the world. As Chris Rock would say, "Every last one of you out there probably has their job because of a friend, or family member." In business they call it networking, and they have seminars on how to do it better. And the punishment? He's resigning, probably easing down that road to another CEO/ US Government job. Where his good ole boy web of friends will sit around an oak table sip Johnnie Walker Blue and smoke Cohibas while telling him what a raw deal he got; and personally, if this was the worse thing Wolfowitz did I'd probably do the same thing, especially if I got a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue.

But this wasn't the worse thing that Paul Wolfowitz did. Not by a long shot.


"On March 27, 2003, Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq war, told a Congressional panel that oil would pay for Iraq's reconstruction. According to his testimony "The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but…We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”[57][58] By March 2005, two years later, oil revenues were not paying for the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, Wolfowitz's estimation of 50 to 100 billion US dollars had not materialized, and, in light of his miscalculation, detractors criticized his appointment to head of the World Bank."

So wait, he's an architect of one of the biggest missteps in American history, and not only is he not punished for it, but he's rewarded for his incompetence with a cushy job with the World Bank. Life is not fair, because if it was Paul Wolfowitz would be put in stocks in the middle of Times Square and the mothers and fathers of American causalities would get free shots at his head. Then he'd be dropped in the middle of Baghdad. If life was fair Wolfowitz's earnings would get garnished until the day he died to pay for Iraqi reconstruction. If life was fair something would happen to him other than what will happen, which is nothing.

Israel and Hamas Mix it up for Old Times Sake

I don't think the Superfriends and The Legion of Doom mixed it up as much as these guys:

"GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli planes pounded Hamas targets early Friday, bringing the toll to 11 Palestinians killed in the past 24 hours of raids, as Israel stepped deeper into fighting between the Islamic militants and rival Fatah fighters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas continued to lob rockets into southern Israel on Friday, with three falling in the town of Sderot. Paramedics said three people were slightly injured by shrapnel and others treated for shock."

By the way Hamas, that whole "lobbing" rockets, not too effective. Really a lob only works in tennis. Either step up your weapons game, or, I don't know, maybe use that money to feed your starving citizens!

PS: Confederate Yankee, stop your yapping, I found the story relatively quickly after hearing about it on NY1, NY Daily News and I hate snarky reporting, which is why I'm serious about everything, all the time.

Jenna Jameson Endorses Hillary!

And she's got good reasons:
" Do you find that the climate of the adult industry changes when there is a Republican administration versus Democratic?
"Jenna Jameson: Absolutely. The Clinton administration was the best years for the adult industry and I wish that Clinton would run again. I would love to have him back in office. I would love to have Al Gore in office. When Republicans are in office, the problem is, a lot of times they try to put their crosshairs on the adult industry, to make a point. It's sad, when there are so many different things that are going on in the world: war, and people are dying of genocide. It's sad that they feel that they have to target the sex industry, and not target the problems with insurance and the homeless and the AIDS epidemic. There are so many things that need to be cleared up before fucking pornography. I look forward to another democrat being in office. It just makes the climate so much better for us, and I know that once all our troops come home, things are going to be better and I think that getting Bush out of office is the most important thing right now.
" Who's your favorite democratic front runner for 2008? Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or John Edwards?
"Jenna Jameson: I love Hillary. I think that in some ways she's pretty conservative for a democrat, but I would love to have a woman in office. I think that it would be a step in the right direction for our country, and there would be less focus on war and more focus on bettering society."
For the record, I support a unity ticket of Ron Paul and Jenna Jameson.
Hat Tip: TPM

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Must Read For Today

Gib looks into the reasons behind media coverage for different criminal cases. His results will surprise you. Money quote:

"In the coming months, the defendants charged with the horrific murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom will slowly make their way towards a courtroom where they will finally be held to account. If there are any bumps on the road there, the local press will pick it up, and I'm sure if there's a reason for it to be a national story, it will be one. And while it goes on, other murder victims will die, and murderers will be arrested, tried, and sentenced without fanfare, because it doesn't fit into any media meta-narrative about race or sex or whatever it is we're supposed to be talking about that month. And while that goes on, different murder victims will die, and different murderers will be arrested, tried, and sentenced without fanfare, because those cases don't fit any counter-narrative. And while these murder victims will differ in age, sex, race, manner of death, they will all have one thing in common.

"They'll all deserve better."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Time Line of Spin

Ready? Ok, let's go backward. Here's the front and back page of the NY Daily News. Study the front page closely, especially the last line "Rudy rips GOP rival for saying the US to blame for 9/11"
And the story inside?
"COLUMBIA, S.C. - Rudy Giuliani indignantly demanded last night that a presidential rival take it back after suggesting U.S. foreign policy invited the 9/11 terror attack.
Giuliani's angry rebuke last night was aimed at Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who said the U.S. bombing of Iraq over 10 years contributed to Islamic anger that led to the suicide bombings of the twin towers and the Pentagon." [Italics mine]
Now I happen to really respect Ron Paul. His grandfatherly looks aside, he seems to be the only real conservative out of the bunch, and what he believes seems based in reason rather than blind faith and jingoism. I needed to look more so I backtracked the GOP debate on Sully's blog and I found this:
"Giuliani, interestingly, openly lied about Ron Paul's position on 9/11. Paul specifically did not make a statement, as Giuliani immediately claimed, that the U.S. invited 9/11. I rewound to double-check. It was the Fox questioner who ratcheted up the stakes on that question, not Paul. Paul demurred on a specific answer and switched the question to the general issue of blowback."
So this is how it goes--Paul deviates from the Bush talking points and the wingnut thugs in the M$M spin it to make it seem that Paul's a radical. What he was saying about blowback is true--there is a cause and effect dynamic that the US ignores at its own peril. Can I say that US foreign policy is the only reason for the Islamic threat? No. But at the same time I'd be an idiot if I completely dismissed our policies, and thought of us as some angelic saint that hasn't antagonized entire regions of this planet. Being a good leader means telling people something they don't want to hear. Of all the guys last night, Paul was the only one doing that, and now he'll get pummelled.
Video is below. Make up your own mind.


Paris caught smoking up at the Coachella music fest. Boy, it's good to be wealthy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Decline in Posts

You may notice a sharp decline in my posts recently. I'm trying to get back to finishing up my novel, getting my second ready for publishing, working on adapting one of my short stories into a screenplay, and trying to figure out what PhD programs I'll be applying to come Fall. With such a full plate it's become mentally tiring (and dull) to continue to write long winded diatribes which usually can be summarized as, "Bush sucks, Republicans suck, Democrats suck, Vote Obama, Go Mayor Mike, the M$M sucks, and here's Friday cheesecake." But when something really new pops up (or one of the above really, really makes an ass of their self) then I'll return.

In the mean time, check out Sully's post on Ron Paul. The more I hear about this guy the more I like him. I can't see the GOP nominating him, but, honestly, could he do any worse than Guilani?He definitely seems better for America.

Update on the Downtown Tax

It's becoming more and more of a reality:

"ALBANY - Mayor Bloomberg got skeptical lawmakers yesterday to give his controversial congestion pricing plan a fair hearing before they close out the legislative session in five weeks.
Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno said the plan to reduce traffic in Manhattan by charging motorists an $8 fee has "a lot of merit."

"This is not a commuter tax, not in any way," Bruno said. "The devil is always in the details in a plan like this, as comprehensive as this. But if it benefits the city, and benefits the state, that means increased everything."
And Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he would hold hearings on Bloomberg's initiative.

"He made a nice presentation, and I think we have to hold public hearings on it," Silver (D-Manhattan) told the Daily News. "This is landmark legislation and I think we need an open and public forum to consider all the things that are happening.""

The more I look at it the more I like it, more so because the arguments against it are so weak:

""The limousines who pick up the corporate lawyers making $400 an hour will just write that off to their clients, but the parent who wants to ride their kid to the matinee of 'The Lion King,' it will be a disincentive for them," said Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell (D-Morningside Heights)."

Um...yeah. First off, if someone did want to drive their kid to see "The Lion King" on 42nd street, they could forget about finding parking, and the price they'd pay to put it in a lot would be three or four times the price of the proposed tax. Furthermore they'd probably be late for the performance dealing with traffic. If I'm going to be persuaded to another side of this debate it's going to take better arguments than this.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Talk About A Waste of Space

Media Matters reports--Fox News shows boobs (And no, I'm not talking about their reporters):
"The May 10 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto featured an interview with human rights activist and former Miss Canada Nazanin Afshin-Jam, who spoke against human rights violations in Iran. While Afshin-Jam was on camera, however, the virtually omnipresent text at the bottom of the screen vanished, offering viewers an unobstructed view of Afshin-Jam, wearing a low-cut top."
You know...just fill in your own joke here. If this was the best that Media Matters could come up then they must not have seen the front page of the NY Daily News.
Speaking of boobs, isn't it time for Friday Cheesecake? I'll be doing some indepth research online...

Quote of the Day

Comes from a TNR Interview from Charles Barkley:

Question: In some quarters Barack has been criticized for not being black enough.

Barkley: Well, that's because black people are fucked up. One of the reasons that black people are not going to be successful is because of other black people. We tell black kids that if they make good grades, they are acting white. If they speak well, we tell them that they are acting white. We have a lot of demons in our own closet--in our own family--that we have to address. But first of all, we want black men to be intelligent and articulate and things like that. That's not acting white. That's the way it should be. ... We become our own worst enemy with random black-on-black crime, teen pregnancy, single-parent homes. You know we cannot blaming white America for our ills. Does racism exist? Of course it does. But, at some point, I have to make sure I am educated. I don't have ten kids and no job. I am not killing other black people. At some point, you have to grow up.

A Reminder...

...radical Islam is a problem. If you're a liberal, this should matter.

Good To Know...

...that God is just as petty as man is, and will withhold salvation if you disagree with Him:

"The priest of the Manhattan church where Rudy Giuliani had his second wedding says he would deny the presidential contender Holy Communion because of his public support for abortion.
"Because he publicly is against church teaching, the answer would be no" if Giuliani requested the sacrament, said Msgr. Thomas Modugno.

"Pope Benedict further inflamed this issue with his comment this week that it is proper to refuse Communion to Catholic politicians who accept abortion."

Now I'm not going to sit here and quote scripture about how the church should be forgiving and tolerant--not because I know scripture (I don't)--but because, it's Christianity and well, it's sorta supposed to be about forgiveness and tolerance and all. But it seems really childish to withhold the sacrament. Like God's that kid on your block with the football and he won't let you play with it if you make fun of his pimples.

Why Aren't I Watching Boston Legal?

When they're doing shows like this:

Hat Tip: Sully

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My Words Exactly...

...well maybe more eloquent:

"Having disgracefully abdicated that responsibility back in September because they wanted to win the midterm elections, Democrats -- now that they have won -- can cleanse their historic sin only by committing themselves, not symbolically but in actuality, to the restoration of habeas corpus. Whether they are willing to do so will speak volumes about their true character and about whether their November victory will result in anything other than some televised hearings. If Democrats are too afraid even to take a stand against the Bush administration in defense of this centuries-old core American liberty, it is impossible to imagine any even minimally risky stands they are willing to take."

I call Glenn Greenwald Allen Iverson...cause he's the truth. The Dems screwed up the Pharma bill, their chances to prove their selves are running out.

Since I Mentioned Him

Orson Scott Card's Rommey connection.

I didn't know Card was Mormon...guess that's why he's such a good Sci-Fi writer.

INTOLERANCE ALERT!!!! INTOLERANCE!!!! Guess I'll go sit next to Imus and Sharpton. By the way...Sully can call Sharpton a bigot for picking on Mormons, but it's alright for him to pick on Scientologists. Rrrrright.

As If the US Didn't Have Their Hands Full...

...with Chavez and Drug Dealers, now they have Hezbollah in South America:

"CIUDAD DEL ESTE, Paraguay - The Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia has taken root in South America, fostering a well-financed force of Islamist radicals boiling with hatred for the United States and ready to die to prove it, according to militia members, U.S. officials and police agencies across the continent.

"From its Western base in a remote region divided by the borders of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina known as the Tri-border, or the Triple Frontier, Hezbollah has mined the frustrations of many Muslims among about 25,000 Arab residents whose families immigrated mainly from Lebanon in two waves, after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and after the 1985 Lebanese civil war.
An investigation by Telemundo and NBC News has uncovered details of an extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group founded in Lebanon in 1982 that the United States has labeled an international terrorist organization. The operation funnels large sums of money to militia leaders in the Middle East and finances training camps, propaganda operations and bomb attacks in South America, according to U.S. and South American officials."

Suddenly border security got alot more important.

Wake Me Up When September Ends...

Because according to the Wapo, that could be when the troops come home:

"Congressional leaders from both political parties are giving President Bush a matter of months to prove that the Iraq war effort has turned a corner, with September looking increasingly like a decisive deadline.

"In that month, political pressures in Washington will dovetail with the military timeline in Baghdad. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commanding general in Iraq, has said that by then he will have a handle on whether the current troop increase is having any impact on political reconciliation between Iraq's warring factions. And fiscal 2008, which begins Oct. 1, will almost certainly begin with Congress placing tough new strings on war funding."

Sounds like Sept is going to be a perfect storm of rationality. Sully's take here. My thoughts? In September they should start pulling troops back to Kurdistan.

And Just to Prove My Point

Utah Republicans debate whether illegal aliens are "influenced by Satan:"

"Don Larsen, chairman of legislative District 65 for the Utah County Republican Party, had submitted a resolution warning that Satan's minions want to eliminate national borders and do away with sovereignty. In a speech at the convention, Larsen told those gathered that illegal immigrants "hate American people" and "are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won't do.""

Hat Tip: Sully

A Must Read

Empire by Orson Scott Card. I'm not going to give you a plot summary, I think the cover says it all, but it's an easy enthralling read, that is correctly topical.
From the afterward:
"We live in a time when moderates are treated worse than extremists, being punished as if they were more fanatical than the actual fanatics.
"We live in a time when lies are preferred to the truth and truths are called lies, when opponents are assumed to have the worse conceivable motives and treated accordingly, and when we reach immediately for coercion without even bothering to find out what those who disagree with us are actually saying.
"In short, we are creating for ourselves a new dark age-the darkness of binders we voluntarily wear, and which, if we do not take them off and see each other as human beings with legitimate, virtuous concerns, will lead us to tragedies whose cost we will bear for generations."
Obama for president.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Worth the Read

The Times summary of the Sharpton-Hitchens debate. One of my favorite points:

"Mr. Sharpton also aimed a barb at Mr. Hitchens, who has broken with left-wing commentators through his staunch defense of the war in Iraq and President Bush’s policies there.

“At the end what is refreshing is that you are a man of faith,” Mr. Sharpton told Mr. Hitchens, to much laughter, “because any man that at this point has faith that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has more faith than any religious person I know.”"

The thing that's most enlightening to me about this debate is that Sharpton, a protege of the church, is never questioned by the media about his religious beliefs, but they may be the most liberal, and intelligent thing about him, especially when he can make such inspired rhetorical remarks as:

"We are sitting in a room that because of lights, we assume that there is electricity in the building. Electricity can light the room or burn it down; it does not mean electricity does not exist because it burns a building down, or that it is inherently wicked. Clearly people have misused God, as they have misused other things that are possibly positive, but its existence is not in any way proved or disproved by you giving me a long diatribe on those that have mishandled and misused God."


"I would say that many people, I among them, in our own lives have had experiences that make me believe that there is a God. And make me believe that my seeking God and seeking the guidance of a supreme being is real to me. I’m not going by Moses, I’m not going by Peter, I’m not going by the man that you said was a legend, Jesus of Nazareth. … I’m not here to defend Scriptures. I didn’t write those Scriptures. I live my life, and in my life the existence of God has been confirmed to me in my own personal dealings and in my own faith being vindicated and validated. That has absolutely nothing to do with Scriptures, whether they are right or wrong."

Seems to me that Sharpton's ideas of religion are almost libertarian (if such a thing is possible) in the way that he's so divorced from scripture. It seems to be about his experiences with the spiritual without the need for doctrine. This might be a relatively new idea to you, but for us poor black folk it's sorta how the Baptist church works. You can worship God on your own time in your own way (usually with alot of good food, music, and dancing) but make sure the plate is full at the end. I can dig that. Maybe Sharpton might return to his roots someday and come out with a religious text. As mentioned before, the fight against religious radicalism can use all the allies it can get and his ideology seems pretty incompatible with fanaticism.

Hat Tip: Sully

Found It

The PHARMA bill was amendment 1010 to S.1082 (Introduced by Ted Kennedy). Details are here. Notables:

Biden--Not voting
McCain--Not voting
Obama--Not voting

Anyone seeing a pattern here? Well it seems that a majority of Republicans voted for the proposal. Why, when the Dems are supposed to be the party aginst big PHARMA? The Left is oddly silent. What are they talking about? Well Kos has a fictional debate between Bush and Truman (guess who wins), Crooks and Liars? Well I suppose Jon Stewart jokes are more funny, while Atrios needs to diss on Fox News. My cold comfort? The Right isn't doing their job either.

This is one of those things that makes me want to move to Iceland. I'm a Democrat till the end, but the only way you get the government you want is to demand it and hold the flame to your Representatives' feet. And the only way you can do that is if you're informed about it. I want to know if Obama dodged the vote and if Clinton voted nay. They should be held responsible for their actions. Real conservatives who dislike Bush got him because their side was blindly partisan, will Dems get the same thing in 2008? With reporting like this it's a strong possibility.

Since No One Mentioned It

Big PHARMA won their war against the governments bid to import drugs at a lower cost:

"WASHINGTON - In a triumph for the pharmaceutical industry, the Senate on Monday killed a drive to allow consumers to buy prescription drugs from abroad at a significant savings over domestic prices.

"On a 49-40 vote, the Senate required the administration to certify the safety and effectiveness of imported drugs before they can be imported, a requirement that officials have said they cannot meet."

Any one watch the Sunday morning talk shows and remembers those PHARMA cares commercials? Well that's what this is all about. Norman Horowitz has his take here, and I'm personally dismayed, not so much because it passed but because there seemed to be no dialogue in Congress or the media about this issue. I understand there's the bigger issues of Iraq, the election and the Gonzalez scandal, but this bill would have lowered the costs on 'script drugs for hundreds of thousands of Americans who can't afford life-saving medicines. And the argument that Pharma made was so weak as to be laughable. This was definitely a loss for the American public.

PS: Does anyone know the actual number of the bill? I'd like to look on THOMAS for the senate's voting record.

More Love, Iraq Style

Car Bomb kills 16 in Iraq:
"BAGHDAD - A car bomb tore through a busy market in the Shiite holy city of Kufa on Tuesday, killing at least 16 people and wounding 70 in an attack sure to further enflame tensions between Iraq’s Sunni and Shiite populations.
"The bombing came a day after Iraq’s Sunni vice president threatened to leave the Shiite-dominated government unless key unspecified amendments to the constitution were made by May 15."
I think the critique is pretty obvious.

Ok, That Was Funny

Bush goofs on the Queen of England at State Dinner:

""Bush reminded the 81-year-old queen that she had already dined with 10 American presidents.

"You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17 -- " he went on, stopping to correct himself before 1776 could slip out. The crowd erupted in laughter, and the president and the queen turned to each other for a long, silent gaze. Then, Bush turned back to the crowd with an explanation.

"She gave me a look," he said, "that only a mother could give a child.""

Voting Machines Suck

As if we didn't know now we have proof:

"Experts testified at a Congressional hearing Monday that states scrambled to meet federal deadlines after the widespread problems back in the 2000 presidential election. But now, many states may have to go back to the drawing board. "The testing labs have approved systems that have lost thousands of votes, approved systems that are unreliable,” said Dr. David Wagner, a computer scientist who testified at the hearings. “They've approved systems with serious security vulnerabilities.""

Top five clues that voting machines had problems:

5) Keeps asking you if you're interested in penis enlargement if you vote Democrat.

4) Adult Friend Finder provides a list of all canidates.

3) Do you want to block spam e-mails?

2) To make a selection you have to 'shoot' the duck. Positives--you get a free ring tone.

1) is the machine's homepage.

The STFU awards

We have a tie for today. First, the father of accused rapist Peter Braunstein who claims that his son contracted an illness by playing bondage games with a former girlfirend:

"If I knew he were a bad person, I'd say, 'Fine.' I'd wash my hands of him," he said. "But when you know your son has done all this because of mental illness, how can you not feel sorry for him? How can you not support him?"

If you follow the same logic than any child who played the robber in "Cops and Robbers" and became a criminal could say they contracted an illness that caused their behavior. This sounds particually weak to me.

Our second award goes to the fans of Paris Hilton who are starting a petition to Gov. Schwarzenegger appealing for clemency. Of course Paris is all about that:

"My friend Joshua started this petition, please help and sihn [sic] it. i LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!"
The holier-than-thou part of me wants to ask Paris' fans where are they cries for the numerous people who suffer as a result of America's draconian drug laws. But I don't need to, obviously they were watching the Simple Life.

Again Good Police Work...

...defeats terrorists:

"FORT DIX, N.J. - Six men described by federal prosecutors as "Islamic militants" have been arrested on charges they plotted to attack the Fort Dix Army base and "kill as many soldiers as possible," federal authorities said Tuesday...The men were arrested Monday trying to buy automatic weapons. The sale was a set-up by law enforcement authorities who had been investigating the men.

"State Police Capt. Al Della Fave said Tuesday that the investigation had been in the works for about a year."

Two things: one, good work by the NJ State Police and two, I wonder if the gun nuts who think we should decrease our gun control laws will give some credit for this arrest to the very laws they abhor.

Assist: Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

It Would Be Funny... actually it is pretty funny. Hamas uses "Mickey Mouse" character to spread hate:

"A ripoff of lovable Mickey Mouse is being used by the terror group Hamas to preach Islamic radicalism and hate to Palestinian kids.

"Meet Farfur, a life-size clone of Walt Disney's star, complete with big ears, a squeaky voice, a tuxedo with tails, a red bow tie and white gloves.

"Starring on Hamas' new kiddie TV show "Tomorrow's Pioneers," Farfur tells children to drink milk, pray daily - and take up AK-47 assault rifles to defeat Israel and the U.S.
Farfur sings, dances and taunts President Bush, Secretary of State Rice, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for months."

And we think Fox News is biased. In other news Nazi Duck feels ignored.

Monday, May 07, 2007

I agree...

...George Tenet is full of shit.

Sometimes Being a Patriot Trumps Being a Good Atheist

Yglesias on Drum makes a good point about the new crew of evangelizing atheists:

"There have long been atheists in the West, especially among the intellentsia, but lately there seem to be an awful lot of what you might call evangelizing atheists who want to publish books about how awful religion is. Kevin names Richard Dawkins, Victor Stenger, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens and I was also add Daniel Dennett into the mix. What's going on?

"It seems especially odd to me because it's so contrary to the spirit of non-theism to go around writing books like this. The whole strength of the non-theistic intellectual enterprise over the years has simply been to go about our business without talking about God. Talk about the origins of the universe. Talk about human history. Talk about ethics and politics. Talk about the nature of truth. Talk about the origin of species. And do it without talking about God. That's atheism -- just doing the intellectual work of explaining and debating things without reference to the supernatural -- not devising ever-more-intricate proofs that there is no God."

But what I think MY misses is how burgeoning wave of religious radicals have profoundly changed the landscape of America and the world. Now I don't want to sound too much like Sully, but the radical Muslim has become a threat (maybe not the extreme threat Bush et al, would like you to believe) to individual liberty, while the fundamentalist Christian has helped pave the road for the fascists, er I mean the neo-conservatives to get into power. While I agree the "spirit of non-theism" has been anti-proselytizing, it has become more important to the atheist movement to talk about the pitfalls and negatives of institutionalized religion to defend individualism against the threat of religious totalitarianism. Then again, maybe they're just out to sell books.

He'll Never Win...

...but Joe Biden talks sense, and despite the M$M's reporting, he's been talking it for a while. And yes, we realize that he may only be imitating someone else.

Small Advance...

NY State recognizes gay marriages. Well sort of:

"Effective May 1, 2007, the New York State Department of Civil Service has altered its prior policy and afforded recognition to any same-sex marriage that is legal in the jurisdiction where it was performed. This recognition is for purposes of providing spousal benefits eligibility in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) and for all other benefit programs administered by the Department’s Employee Benefits Division. This would include:
The New York State Vision ProgramThe Management Confidential Life Insurance ProgramThe New York Public Employee and Retiree Long Term Care Program (NYPERL)The New York State Dental Insurance Program (including the Retiree Dental Plan administered by GHI)
To implement this change, there will be a special enrollment period, from May 1, 2007 through May 31, 2007 for changes in health insurance, and dental and vision coverage."

There will be gay civil unions allowed in NY by this time next year. Bloomy's down with it, now let Spitzer follow suit.

Hat tip: Sully

The Great White Hope? More Like The Great White Whale

Clemens returns to The Yankees:
"About 20 minutes after the pomp and circumstance announcing his return to the Yankees had ended yesterday, Roger Clemens was in his work clothes, throwing off a bullpen mound with only late afternoon sunlight, an empty Stadium and coaches as spectators. The glitz was gone, but Clemens was back to the labor that the Yankees hope will prepare one of the greatest pitchers in history to save their season."
And just like an aged wine, it don't sell for cheap:
"...the two sides quickly finished a contract that this season will pay Clemens a prorated share of $28 million, which likely will amount to $18 million."
Lupica's take here. My take, the NY Yankees are looking more and more like the NY Knicks, but Steinbrenner's going to make a crapload of money on ticket sales. In terms of actually helping the Yanks in the postseason it's akin to Bush's Surge. If you're lucky (really lucky) you'll get a solid 5 or 6 innings out of a Clemens start, but then who are you going to go to in the bullpen? Still it's nice to see them spending money on pitching for a change.
So who are they going to get next? Sandy Koufax? Don't laugh, he's still playing.

A Good Rundown...

...of the Paris jail situation from our friend Gib. She is SO NOT getting a bum rap. Weber has her predicted 45 day schedule here.

PS: If you link to something that's linked to you is that like a time paradox or something? I'll ask Hiro tonight when he shanks Sylar Oz style. Yes he is my pick for the dude who takes Sylar down.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Paris Takes Another Vacation

This time in Club Pen:
"LOS ANGELES - Paris Hilton wailed like a baby after a judge sentenced her to 45 days in jail - with no weekend passes or special privileges - for driving with a suspended license a month after a cop warned her not to."
Personally I feel sorry for the girl. Is there justice in this? I suppose, but for my personal satisfaction it would have been better if the judge would have sentenced her to make another movie. And I'm not talking about House of Wax 2.

Now What Do I Have to Look Forward To?

Not much and that probably includes Spidey 4. Now that sounds really negative but Spiderman 3 was the best bad movie I've ever seen. From a writing standpoint it was awful. It hit on just about every cliche in the book, the content was way too large for the time, it did an injustice to every villain and totally stomped on its comic book roots. Unlike Grindhouse which reveled in its B-Movie hammyness Spiderman 3 was cheddar cheese disguised as brie.
And yet I LOVED IT! The special effects were awesome, the action sequences were spectacular and while the critical side of me told me to hate the cornball "dark" Peter Parker sections I still laughed. If you're going for Laurence of Arabia then stay home, but if you're looking for a good time at the movies, or a Spidey fan this is the move.
And yes, it's not as good as Spiderman 1 or 2, but it's eons away from some the real comic book duds, like Superman 4 and X-Men 3. Ooooh did those suck.

To A Special Person

Just to tell you that I remember you and that I'll try not to be such a putz. As hard as that is.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Beyonce and Shakira Nude!

Ah, that'll be good for a hundred more hits. Friday cheesecake folks!

PS: This song is a guilty pleasure of mine, even without the video.

More Spider-Man Reviews

Gib beat me to the punch thanks to his too-awesome-to-be-believed wife. Here's his take.

But will he go see Condemmed?

Hate Crimes

Sully has coverage and follow up here. I'm for them for what I'll call legal 'affirmative action' reasons, meaning that the same arguments made for racial preference in college admissions: the need for dissemination of educational degrees and such throughout disfranchised populations for the good of the nation and the individual, need to be made in terms of justice. Furthermore, I believe that the extra penalties placed on hate crimes serve, not as a deterrent for racism, but rather to highlight society's decision to condemm those crimes that we tolerated before. Thus, as we have certain laws that punish sex crimes to show society's abhorrence of those crimes hate crime laws follow the same rationale. I think Sully's wrong on his Federalist stance, but he's absolutely correct that any hate crime law must include violence towards gays, both for statistical (they are the segment right now most commonly targeted in America) and moral reasons. Anyone who embraces hate crime laws but doesn't include gays in them doesn't get the point at all.

What Could Stop Me From Seeing Spider-Man 3?

Just about nothing. So far reviews have been mixed but who cares? This is one of the biggest events of movie history, and in NY it's packing theaters like a Broadway show. I have tix to see it on the IMAX tonight--so I'll have my review tomorrow.

Why Does Hip-Hop Suck?

Because every year we have to apologize for Busta Rhymes' stupid shit.

Personally the DWI sounds a bit bogus, but he's already up on charges for, "beating down his former driver and smacking around a fan who spat on his Maybach."

Sorry Busta, but Leaders of the New School was along time ago and funky clothing doesn't make up for being a dick.

David Beats Goliath, again...

Golden State beats the Mavs.

Sadly I think this has less to do with how good the Warriors are than how much the Mavs suck. They have now become the preeminent choke artists in the NBA (now that the Knicks just straight up suck). Nowitzki is one of my favorite players but it's now apparent that he just doesn't have 'it'--that killing instinct that allows players to step up and win championships.

Nowitzki fans can send their hate mail to

I Had More Important Things to Do...

...than watch the GOP debate. Like eating cheesesteaks with my woman. But I hear it was quite a yell fest. Either way the results seem to be what every one expected with McCain looking old and angry, Giulani back pedaling from his pro-choice stance, and every one embracing Regan like he was their granddaddy (the one who didn't touch them when they were kids). I think a dead Fred Thompson could beat them all for the nomination, and wins it all if he promises to make Sam Waterson Attorney General, and Jesse L. Martin Sec of Defense. That would be awesome and they would be more competent than the Bush administration.

Hil's Gambit, Byrd's Idea

Give them an A for ingenuity.
Sen. Hilary Clinton has backed Sen. Robert Byrd's plan to revoke Congressional authority for the Iraq action which it gave Bush in 2002:
""Authorization to use force has run its course, and it is time to reverse the failed policies of President Bush," Clinton said, taking to the Senate floor.

"It is time to sunset the authorization for the war in Iraq," she said. "If the President will not bring himself to accept reality, it is time for Congress to bring reality to him."
The bill would yank Congress' approval on Oct. 11 and require Bush to seek new authority.
Byrd said the original reasons for the authorization - Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction - are long gone. "

It's not often you'll hear the words "original thinking" and "Democrat" in the same sentence, but sure enough this is one of the best tactics they've come up with in ages, and while it was Byrd's plan (or at least one of his aides), Hil should get credit for stepping up to the plate and being the first of the Presidential candidates to embrace the policy. It gives her the ability to 'turn back the clock' so to say, and take back the vote that got us in this mess in the first place. Thus, she'll apologize for her vote without having to say sorry. Furthermore, any attempt to pull funding will be a mess and, as I've mentioned before, the timetable idea is dead.

You'd think that the other candidates and Democratic leadership would get behind this--but the Democrats wouldn't be Democrats without division:

"It was not clear yesterday that the push would get much support while congressional leaders work with the White House to come up with an emergency spending plan to replace the one Bush vetoed Tuesday. "It's one of a number of options," said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
"Clinton's Democratic rivals for the White House did not object to the idea, but none - including Sen. Barack Obama - sounded likely to back it.
""As someone who opposed this war from the start, and opposed its authorization by those in Congress, Sen. Obama would support this measure. But he doesn't believe we should wait until October to begin bringing this war to a close," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement."

By the way, when you hear "it's one of a number of options" you should translate that to "it's getting polled as we speak," since politicians can't get behind anything including the proper way to wipe their asses until it gets the crap (pun not intended) polled out of it. To me any Congressman who claims to have regretted, or in Obama's case, didn't have the chance to vote on the Iraq resolution, should immediately jump on this to show, through actions and not rhetoric, their opposition to this war. It's a good plan, and right now, it's the best way to get our troops out of harm's way.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

But Other Times...

...I speak too soon. From TPM:

"Check this out -- the offices of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are denying a Washington Post story today saying that Congressional Democrats have backed down to the White House by offering to remove Iraq withdrawal language from the now-vetoed Iraq bill.
Pelosi just went before the Democratic caucus and informed them that the story's false, a Pelosi aide tells me. WaPo is standing by the story, and the lead writer of the Post piece, Jonathan Weisman, told me that leadership aides told him that the withdrawal language had to go. But the WaPo story goes further than that, saying explicitly that Dems have already "backed down" and offered the concession of removing the withdrawal language. Those aren't the same thing.", it sorta is. Only the timing is in question. Either way, I stand by my prediction, whether it happens today or tomorrow.

Sometimes... sucks to be right. From Wapo:

"President Bush and congressional leaders began negotiating a second war funding bill yesterday, with Democrats offering the first major concession: an agreement to drop their demand for a timeline to bring troops home from Iraq.

"Democrats backed off after the House failed, on a vote of 222 to 203, to override the president's veto of a $124 billion measure that would have required U.S. forces to begin withdrawing as early as July. But party leaders made it clear that the next bill will have to include language that influences war policy."

And my prediction?:

"Now the ball is back in Congress, and without the 2/3rds needed to override the Dems have to decide how far they want to push the issue. Regardless of Pelosi and Reid's strong stance there's going to have to be a compromise since Bush won't accept a time table, and only radical Dems are willing to completely defund the war. My take? In the end the Dems will give Bush what he wants, in terms of the war, and whatever bill he signs will still be loaded with pork."

The pork results are still be counted.

Obama Update

When Bill Cosby made the point that African-Americans weren't living up to the creed of the civil rights movement, and were deeply anti-intellectual I spoke out against him. At the time I believed he a) used the wrong language, that being language that alienated blacks and was seeped in self-hate (as when he addressed black children as 'it') and b) at a time when there are so many unfair policies against the poor and minority population (drug laws, lack of educational funds in black neighborhoods, the oppression of workfare) I found his ire to be misplaced. Yet, at the same time, I also made the point that his ideas didn't come out of a vacuum. They had been an on going debate in centers of black dialogue from the barbershop to the pool hall to the church. It's a debate that blacks unconsciously hide from the general (white) population. Why? Well when your mother has a drinking problem do you go outside the family to seek treatment? Probably not, even when she drives the family car into the living room. People have a tendency not to seek help from those who aren't kin. It's the exact same force that drives me to almost Bill O'Relly jingoism when I'm overseas and some European attacks Bush. Yeah, we got our problems but don't insult my house.
Of course this silent debate is rather futile. To truly address these types of issues aide must be enlisted from the outside. Much like our Iraq situation, the problems we face over there cannot be tackled by the US alone, and our civil rights issues today cannot be tackled unilaterally. Maybe this has lead to a silence by both parties regarding African-American problems. White politicians don't feel that they have the moral foundation to speak on it, and Black leaders are trying to consolidate what little power they have through methods that are decades old. Politics are a game that is infected with inertia issues and none are more deeply affected by that affliction then African-Americans.
"Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is delivering pointed critiques of the African American community as he campaigns for its votes, lamenting that many of his generation are "disenfranchising" themselves because they don't vote, taking rappers to task for their language, and decrying "anti-intellectualism" in the black community, including black children telling peers who get good grades that they are "acting white."
"In a brief interview, Obama said he is simply giving broader exposure to the problems that African Americans discuss with great frankness in private. "It's what we talk about in the barbershops in the South Side of Chicago," Obama said, adding that he talks about these problems more in the black community because they are more pronounced there. "There's an old saying that if America has a cold, we have pneumonia," he said."
People have said there is a time and a place for everything, so perhaps this is the time (and the person) to begin a dialogue on this issue, or at least bring it into the spotlight. Unlike Cosby, Obama is a wordsmith, able to deliver bad news with tact, and unlike Hilary who comes off as phony, partly because of her whiteness, but mostly because of her northern insulated background, Obama is has a genuineness in addressing black issues. He may not be "from da hood," but by skin tone alone he approaches the topic with more veracity on the issue when addressing the American public.
Even more important is his stance at looking at civil rights, which, if you've read the Audacity of Hope, he views not as a black problem, but an American problem that effects all disenfranchised Americans from poor whites to gays to every minority. He also doesn't see these issues as existing in isolation but will only be solved through individual effort and government intervention (which is why he says "It's a parent's job to take their child for regular check-ups. It's the government's job to makes sure they can afford the visit--how Lincolnesque). Anti-intellectualism is an American problem. Lack of proper parenting is an American problem. Republicans want to frame raising a child in terms of sexuality (that it's a hetrosexual couple that is the key), but they ignore the tools of education and the economic factors that equate to a positive nurturing environment. Finding ways to address these issues in the black population equates to finding solutions for all Americans.
I for one am glad that Obama is making this issue a part of his platform and I hope that he's discussing this with not only black audiences but white audiences as well. He's got the talent, the ideology, and, unlike Cosby, the temperment to make civil rights an American issue. In the year to come, the Democrats are going to have to play hardball with the GOP, and make strong decisive moves in terms of the war and health care, but having civil rights discussions and looking at issues that unite us will go far in overcoming the tactics of polarization and represent the future of this country.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

When His Not Obsessing About AG...

...Josh Marshall makes good points on other stuff:

"For all the endless debate about strategy and tactics, past and present about Iraq, it is astonishing how little the public debate in this country entertains the idea that the occupation itself is the cause of the unrest and violence in the country.

"This isn't an original and unheard of concept. I know that. Indeed, it's common sense. But in our public debate it is what we might call the logic that dare not speak its name. The point occurred to me when looking at the discussion going on at PostGlobal.

"Of course, the bitter irony is that it doesn't have to be one or the other. As I wrote a couple years ago, the really awful thing about the situation we've gotten ourselves into is that we're both the glue holding Iraq together and the solvent tearing it apart. And neither is this to say that there aren't all sorts of hatreds and social pathologies helping Iraq rip itself apart on its own. Iraq's Sunni minority had its heel on the neck of the Shi'a majority long before the US become the dominant power in the region -- for many centuries, by some measures. But like a wound that is not allowed to heal and thus becomes infected again and again it is folly to assume that Iraq can set itself right as long as the occupation lasts. Particularly because it is one that fundamentally lacks legitimacy, which has always been the heart of the matter."

Editor's note: I kid TPM on their awesome and comprehensive coverage of the Gonzalez scandal. Marshall's little band of Woodward's really came through for the American public in investigating this issue when the M$M was ready to completely ignore it. I only miss their critiques on other issues.


Tony Blair: "Within the next few weeks I won't be Prime Minister of this country. In all probability, a Scot will become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,"

In heaven, William Wallace is laughing his ass off. Meanwhile Malcolm X and Susan B. Anthony are watching the 2008 presidental elections very closely.

Hat Tip: TPM

The Other Bush

How much different are politicians when they're actually running for office?:

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is," - George W. Bush, April 9, 1999, criticizing President Clinton for not setting a timetable for exiting Kosovo.

"I think it's also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn," - George W. Bush, June 5, 1999.

Hat Tip: Sully


Yeah I know, big surprise. It's the world's largest tennis game except with every volley people die. Now the ball is back in Congress, and without the 2/3rds needed to override the Dems have to decide how far they want to push the issue. Regardless of Pelosi and Reid's strong stance there's going to have to be a compromise since Bush won't accept a time table, and only radical Dems are willing to completely defund the war. My take? In the end the Dems will give Bush what he wants, in terms of the war, and whatever bill he signs will still be loaded with pork. Politically, the Dems will be like Pontius Pilate washing their hands of the mess and leaving it for Bush's legacy, but pragmatically we're going to end up with more deaths, both US and Iraqi, without any real hope for a turnaround since US's tactics are hopelessly stalled.

By the way, do you think Bush vetoed the bill before or after he went on American Idol? Just wondering.

Looks Like Karl Rove Isn't the Only One Good at Covering His Steps... is Rudy Giuliani:

"Rudy Giuliani's political rivals are digging through his mayoral archives in a search for political dirt - but they may have a hard time finding anything.
More than five years after Giuliani spirited his papers out of City Hall in his last days in office - saying he would pay to have them privately archived - virtually all of the 2,118 boxes he took have been microfilmed and returned to the city, aides say.
But the index offers little detail on specific files, and Giuliani's archivists have yet to deliver a more comprehensive road map to the voluminous collection, now housed in an old court building behind City Hall.

"You would have better luck finding a picture of Rudy wearing a Red Sox cap than locating a meaningful accounting or record of his tenure as mayor of New York," griped one operative from a rival presidential campaign."

Interesting, considering that you'd think he'd want to have sheer transparency about his mayoral career, and especially his much touted 9/11 experience. Then again, if you read Lupica today maybe Giuliani has a few things about that he'd rather you not know:

"...the way Rudy Giuliani knows everything about terrorism because he was mayor when it happened to New York. It is why he tells everybody that only he, a Republican, America's Mayor, can keep us safe from future attacks. As if he knows things that nobody else knows because he was mayor of New York the day we got hit. The only problem with this, now that Giuliani has built both his fortune and his current place in the polls on his response to the attacks of Sept.11, is that his response that day does not measure up to its legend. His command center to fight terrorism was at 7 World Trade Center and his firefighters were using the same radios to communicate with each other that hadn't worked when the World Trade Center had first been hit in 1993."

Ah well, I'm sure none of that stuff is worthwhile anyway.

The Best Interview Ever

Bruce Willis at a Nets Game. Watch at the end and enjoy. The only way this could have been better is if Jason Kidd's head would have exploded.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

How Quickly the Right Can Turn...

Seriously this is a disgusting spectacle, but after what they did to Cindy Sheehan, Max Leland and John Kerry, what do you expect?

Bloomy Criticized For 8$ Tax


"Mayor Bloomberg lambasted Rep. Anthony Weiner, a potential 2009 mayoral candidate, yesterday for opposing the mayor's controversial proposal to charge motorists for entering the busiest sections of Manhattan.

"He was opposed to it before he's even heard what it was about," said Bloomberg, referring to Weiner. "I assume that he won't remain a candidate with that kind of in-depth analysis for very long."

"While Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens) is the only potential candidate to openly oppose the proposal, none of the other prospective candidates has endorsed it.

"We should have an open debate about this because I firmly believe that his ideas are wrong for the middle class," he said."

You know, I've been thinking about this 8 buck tax for a while now, and my perspective has changed since I've moved to Brooklyn. For a while I was against it, and then yesterday I was forced to take a taxi from Fulton Street to 14th Street at around 2PM. It was insane. I mean to get three blocks took five minutes, a three mile drive ended up costing me 15 bucks, and I nearly got into an accident. Simply put, there are way too many cars in the city and especially downtown--bumper to bumper all the time. This forced me to reexamine the issue and I'm wondering now how many people need to drive in the city. Note I said "in the city" and not "into" the city. NYC has some of the best mass transit in the world, hands down. If you're a commuter you know that mass transit is where its at. It's faster, cheaper, and less of a hassle. Not only that but when one looks around at the excess of Beamers and Lexuses (or is that Lexi?) on the streets one realizes that the "middle class" aren't the ones who would suffer from a tax. In fact the middle class aren't doing much driving in the city because they either can't afford cars, or gas, or parking. Not only that but for those who really do need to drive around the city--buses, taxis, delivery vans, and emergency vehicles--fewer cars on the streets means they can get to where they need to go faster and safer. I fear if an attack happens to downtown NYC our police and fire trucks won't be able to get to where they need to get in time with the mass of traffic that will, not might, but will ensue. I understand Weiner's populist stance, but once again Bloomy's talking sense, and acting pragmatically.

A Bad Move That is Inspiring

Prince Harry is heading to Iraq:

"LONDON - The head of the British army said Monday that he had personally decided that Prince Harry, the third in line to the throne, will serve with a combat unit in Iraq.
Commanders reportedly had reconsidered their decision to allow the prince to fight in Iraq for fear he would become a target of insurgents and his presence could endanger other soldiers. Harry's regiment, the Blues and Royals, is due to begin a six-month tour of duty in Iraq within weeks...

"The younger son of the late Princess Diana, Harry has been a frequent face on the front of Britain's tabloid newspapers, which have provided a constant stream of coverage of his party-going lifestyle at glitzy London nightclubs.
But he has said he is serious about an army career. After graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst last year, Harry insisted on an opportunity to serve in the armed forces."

So here we have a real life Prince, and not just of any backwater country, but of the United Kingdom who has actually demanded to serve his country on the front lines. I'm not a fan at all of this war (big surprise, I'm sure), and furthermore I do believe he's going to be a magnet for insurgents (which might be a reason that the military is sending him), but his dedication is inspiring. It's nice to see that there are some in the elite who are willing to sacrifice themselves even if I personally think that the emotions are misplaced.

Good luck Prince Harry--you'll need it.

Venezuela Celebrates May Day... nationalizing their oil fields:

"PUERTO PIRITU, Venezuela - Venezuela stripped the world’s biggest oil companies of operational control over massive Orinoco Belt crude projects on Tuesday, a vital move in President Hugo Chavez’s nationalization drive.

"The May Day takeover came exactly a year after Bolivian President Evo Morales, a leftist ally of Chavez, startled investors by ordering troops to seize his country’s gas fields, accelerating Latin America’s struggle to reclaim resources.

“The importance of this is that we are taking back control of the Orinoco Belt which the president rightly calls the world’s biggest crude reserve,” said Marco Ojeda, an oil union leader before a planned rally to mark the transfer."

What's the problem with populist policies? Either they don't work, or take so long to work that the people you claim to defend suffer deeply. Just ask Robert Mugabe. Then again criticizing Zimbabwe might not be such a good idea.

I'm Back like Spiderman...

I haven't been this hyped since, well since Heroes came back on the air.

By the way, have you seen the last episode? Sylar is quickly becoming one of the coolest villians in TV history.

LabPixies TV