Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rudy Giuliani and Bernie Kerik

If your friends are corrupt, is it a good indicator that you are too? We shall soon see how this all plays out, as Giuliani's top cop, friend, and business associate gets thrown under the spotlight of federal prosecutors for tax evasion, wire tapping, and other misdeeds.

WP: Kerik may face felony charges - Highlights -

Friday, March 30, 2007

Bush warned on Tillman

President Bush was warned by a top military official that if he tried to use Tillman's death by friendly fire for political purposes he'd be embarrassed. Well, let the embarrassment begin.

General tried to warn Bush on Tillman - Military Affairs -

Bush apologizes for Walter Reed mess

Is this scandal #4,631 or 4,632? I lost count at Katrina.

Tyco ex CEO Dennis Kozlowski speaks on 60 Minutes

I thought he died and went to hell...but he speaks with Morley Safer. I'm sure he'll maintain his innocence. I just want to know if he's gotten to know Bubba in a real bad way?

The Good News: Pet food not tainted with rat poison

but it is tainted with a deadly fertilizer compound, known to cause kidney failure, from China. Thanks, globalization!

Melamine in pet food, wheat gluten from China: FDA - Yahoo! News

16 year old kicked off plane...for coughing

I know that the airlines only hire people who flunked out of customer service school, but WTF?

Girl, 16, kicked off plane for coughing - Yahoo! News

Rudy Giuliani and Bernie Kerik

Rudy Giuliani will be facing some harsh criticism of his support of Bernie Kerik and his failure to remember being briefed about Kerik's ties to organized crime. It goes something like this:
  1. Giuliani hires Kerik as NYC police chief
  2. Giuliani recommends Kerik for Department of Homeland Security chief
  3. Kerik withdraws his name from consideration due to an unseemly extra-marital affair he was having
  4. Kerik pleads guilty to crime involving him and the aforementioned company with ties to the mob
Somewhere before #1, Giuliani was briefed about Kerik's ties to organized crime, but he "forgot." Then he hired Kerik to be New York City's top cop. These guys never learn. It all eventually catches up to them -- this filth, the lies, the deception, the "forgetfulness."

Despicable. I hope these stories come out about these louses. They do not deserve consideration for high public office.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Novel telephone idea or compleat waste of time?

I had heard about Grand Central a while back, but my interest has again been piqued by a reference to it from one of my favorite financial geniuses, Andy Tobias. So I went looking for some other reference material. David Pogue of the NY Times gave Grand Central a pretty complete review with both thumbs up.

Have any of you tried it? It sounds great and daunting all at the same time. I'm also afraid it will take over all my phones and that my wife will hate it? Is there a simple way to break into Grand Central?

U2's Bono now a knight

But is he a 'black knight?' As in Monty Python? I think he is. The guy just never gives up. He is so passionate about his causes that people better believe him and his convictions. He's one of the world's true 'do-gooders.'

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Transsexuals to continue to get alimony?

This is one of those bazaar, yet totally legitimate and real, cases that nobody thought of 10, maybe even 5, years ago -- if a man and woman divorce, and the man agrees (or is legally compelled) to pay alimony to his ex-spouse, and the ex-spouse turns into a man, can the ex-husband quit paying? After all, he married a woman, agreed to pay alimony to a woman, and now there's no woman.

How does this affect other legal arrangements? 1/2 of the transacting parties no longer technically exists, do they? Or do they?

Bill Maher's brow-beating of Bush/Cheney

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

White House spokesman Tony Snow: Cancer

Personally, I think the guy's a hack of a spokesman and a partisan to the nth degree. But all of us are human and bring some humanness to the world. Hopefully, Tony can survive his bout with cancer and come out a stronger, smarter, and more passionate man.

Good luck, Mr Snow!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Fired US Attorneys headed for Iraq

*** SATIRE ***

The 8 United States federal attorneys that were fired that sparked Congress' fury and ire are headed for Iraq in a compromise move by President Bush. While the link takes you to Andy Borowitz' site, which is made up news like The Onion, I bet Bush has wished he'd have sent them over there already :)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Vilsack to endorse Clinton

Former Dem Prez hopeful Tom Vilsack to endorse Hillary Clinton.

Tom DeLay didn't write his own book

Apparently, Tom DeLay has a horrible memory or he didn't write his own book (so he's a liar because he's listed as the author -- but you knew that).

Instead of No Retreat, No Surrender, DeLay's book should be called: No Memory, No Morals?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Senate to issue subpoenas in Justice Department probe of firings of 8 US attorneys

It looks like the Senate is following the House of Representatives down the subpoena path in getting Bush administration officials to testify, under oath, before Congress. This little spectacle, as the Bush administration would characterize it, is a growing cancer on the Bush legacy and will definitely distract the nation's top dogs from conducting necessary government business. I find it ironic that Congress, of whom many are lawyers, only take the President to task when he's turned on US attorneys. Apparently, the President and his cronies can lie to Congress about terrorism, WMDs, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Syria, torture, the Patriot Act, FBI illegal queries, NSA wiretapping, etc., but don't fuck with our lawyering brothers and sisters!

Here's an interesting quote from Senator Arlen Specter. It is an interesting thing that he says here.
The committee's top Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), said he would prefer to have the White House aides appear in an open session that would be transcribed. But he said it was not necessary to insist that they testify under oath because it is illegal to give false information to Congress and the penalty for doing so is the same as for perjury. He said it was "indispensable that there be a transcript."
Here's the question of the day: If it's illegal to give false information to Congress, then why isn't Al Gonzales behind bars? For that matter, why aren't Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Mueller, and Powell in jail? They have all lied to Congress.

It's time for a good ol' fashioned round-up: Drag them all onto an unremarkable plane, fly them to Syria, and let's just never hear from any of them again. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say.

Letterman infrequent sidekick Larry "Bud" Melman has died

Calvert DeForest has died. He was 85. A frequent guest on the Late Night with David Letterman in the 80s (mostly), DeForest was a seemingly clueless dolt who garnered a cult following, much like Chris Elliott (the "guy under the seats," the "fugitive guy," "Cabin Boy," amongst other characters).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tony Snow on Executive Privilege

Glenn Greenwald of came up with this juicy piece of literature on the topic of "Executive Privilege," that interesting term invoked most often when a president is about to have his shorts pulled off in public (and, by the way, he forgot his underwear):
Evidently, [the President] wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.

Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.

One gets the impression that [the President] values [his] survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in [the President] will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law.
Now, to whom do you think that Mr Tony Snow was referring? Bush Administration Press Secretary Tony Snow wrote the above in an op-ed titled "Executive Privilege is a Dodge" in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on March 29, 1998, obviously before he was Press Secretary.

[The President], in this case, was Mr Bill Clinton. But didn't it sound like he was talking about any President who's just lost his shorts in a strip poker game?

Monday, March 19, 2007

No link between poverty and terrorism

The conventional wisdom says that terrorism and poverty are linked. The oppressed, economically speaking, are willful and good candidates for becoming terrorists. The poor, say the experts, are ripe for becoming suicide bombers, members of Al Qaeda, militants, etc.

Apparently, the link is spurious, at best.
A comprehensive study of 1,776 terrorist incidents (240 international, the rest domestic) by Harvard professor Albert Abadie, who was sympathetic to the poverty-terrorism idea at first, found no such thing. "When you look at the data," he told the Harvard Gazette, "it's not there."
Importantly, there is an economic link between terrorists:
Consider a chilling, but compelling recent paper by Efraim Benmelech of Harvard and Claude Berrebi of Rand. The two ask, in effect, what makes someone become a suicide bomber? Their answer: "Since there are returns to human capital in both the productive and the terror sectors, high-ability individuals will become suicide bombers if the expected payoff from suicide bombing is higher than their skill-adjusted expected lifetime earnings in the productive sector."
Kind of scary stuff, if you ask me. All those things I learned at college about economics are applicable. Except that there's a gruesome twist to this one. I guess you have to think outside the box to be a terrorist.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Today's Dilbert

Today's Dilbert is classic --

Bush creates new intelligence department

** SATIRE **

From the Borowitz Report -- President Bush creates a new faulty intelligence department within the federal government and posts James Frey as the department head.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bush order on presidential papers secrecy overturned by House

Well, it's about time. But is it too late? The Bush house of cards is crumbling, but it may be too late to effect any real change. But I have to say that this law will seriously undermine Bush's so-called "legacy" that he seems so intent on keeping pristine.

Too bad, Mr President. All your secrets are about to be revealed (well, at least once you're gone).

10 things you didn't know about Barack Obama

1. Obama was born on Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu. His first name, Barack, means "blessed" in Swahili and was also his Kenyan father's name.

2. He says he hasn't liked ice cream since working at Baskin-Robbins as a teenager.

3. His childhood nickname was Barry.

4. Obama is the third African-American senator since Reconstruction.

5. He married Michelle Robinson, also a Harvard Law School graduate, who supervised him while he was working as a summer associate in a Chicago law firm. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

6. As an Illinois state senator, he sponsored a bill to require the police to videotape interrogations in capital crime cases. Illinois was the first state to do this.

7. A school in his father's hometown near Lake Victoria in Kenya has been renamed the Senator Barack Obama Secondary School.

8. He loves playing Scrabble.

9. Obama and his wife bought a house on Chicago's South Side in June 2005 for $1.65 million. It has four fireplaces.

10. His heroes are Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Pablo Picasso, and John Coltrane.

Rudy Giuliani tied to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez

Former New York City Mayor, and hopeful 2008 presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani, is a little deeper in the doo now that it's been found that his law firm has been in bed with oil producer Citgo, which is controlled by Hugo Chavez, the outspoken Venezuelan president and Bush critic.

Oh, Rudy, won't you ever learn? You aren't meant to run this country. You could barely run New York City.

Now Showing (if you live in Phoenix): Porn on the local station

You gotta love it when the local cable company airs hard-core porn on its local news station. Apparently, Tom Brokaw was pre-empted by some serious porn on KPPX Monday night.

More fallout from AG Gonzales' botched firings

It's only going to get worse for "Alberto." But he won't leave.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gays in the military: Sound policy

Those military officials are real stupid, aren't they? Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had this to say:
"I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe that the armed forces of the United States are well served by saying through our policies that it's OK to be immoral in any way."
There are people of all sizes, shapes, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. that DO their jobs. There is a small minority of people who don't. It's those people who don't do their jobs that spoil it for everybody else.

You can bet your ass, soldier boy, that the gay dude in the foxhole with you isn't thinkin' about sex with you. First, don't flatter yourself. Second, he's there to accomplish a military objective. He didn't join the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or National Guard to find a homosexual lover. Nobody's that freakin' stupid.

Our military is in such sad shape now that it's really STOOPID to disallow a certain slice of the willing and able pool, just because they're gay. Or female. Or black. Or Muslim.

The military has had to lower its really low standards even further to meet the needs of this ill-conceived Iraq war and its sister, the War on Terror. I guess they're now even taking in ex-cons. (I don't know my military all that much -- maybe they always have???)

But, godforbid, take in a gay man or woman? Preposterous!

Stoopid Defense Department. Don't Ask, Don't Tell, while kind of a ridiculous concept, works. Pretty sure that I wouldn't tout my heterosexuality, just like I'm sure a homosexual wouldn't flout his. So, don't ask me and I won't tell you. Simple. Clean. Nobody gets hurt.

Sign the petition to remove Attorney General Alberto Gonzales from office

Here's your chance to change the direction the United States is moving -- sign the petition to oust AG Alberto Gonzales. He lied to Congress (not sure whether under oath or not -- does it really matter?) and should be fired, charged, convicted, and imprisoned, without, I must add, the ability to confront his accusers or have his case heard anywhere but Gitmo.

There. I'm sure I'll be whisked off in some blacked out Suburban, never to be heard from again.

US Attorney General "Alberto" Gonzales will not step down

In spite of recent evidence that Alberto Gonzales is a complete moron, he has denounced calls for his resignation, in the best Bush Administration fashion. Will he join the ranks of "Heckuva Job" Brown and Rummy or will he survive like Dick Cheney?

There apparently is some noise being made in DC about the firings of federal prosecutors. Gonzales acknowledges that mistakes have been made and that he, and his Justice Department, will learn from them.

But that is not the big news where Alberto is concerned. No, it's the other issue out there about how the FBI, housed in its enclave in the very same Justice Department, broke the law. It has spied on people, used surveillance illegally, and has broken other provisions of the so-called Patriot Act.

Here's the deal: I think this flap over the prosecutor firings is cover for the FBI story. What do you think?

MIT Researchers find novel way to increase internal combustion engine efficiency

Now here's an article worth reading! Researchers at MIT have devised a way to wring more power and efficiency out of the standard, nearly hundred-year-old internal combustion engine. They have taken a small engine, added turbocharging and direct port ethanol fuel injection, and have found significant gains in power, fuel efficiency, and cost reductions.

Couple a smallish engine with these two enhancements and you get about 25 percent more power and efficiency.

Now, back to harping on the government...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stallone charged with attempting to import HGH into Australia

Even the Italian Stallion is not immune from using performance-enhancing drugs.

Injured US soldiers ordered to Iraq

From comes this story about injured soldiers who have been ordered back into battle in Iraq. I guess things are going so well in Iraq that we don't need to fight the insurgents with healthy men and women; any all-limbed men and women will do. It doesn't matter that doctors have reported that simply wearing their protective armor will further damage them; we just won't give them any armor.

Why should we? The healthy soldiers don't get the protection they need, either. Why spend money and throw resources at gimps?

In all seriousness, this story is chilling, terrifying, unbelievable, and sad. Only one word I can think of to describe it (maybe I need to look into one of those books called, hmm, what is it?):


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Giuliani's ex-wives march on Capital Hill

Fun Borowitz Report on Rudy Giuliani's wives. Nice follow-on to my post today about Giuliani, Gingrich, and McCain.

Presidential Fun Facts -- The Republicans / Adulterers

Here are some fun facts about the top 4 Republican Presidential hopefuls:

Fun Fact #1:
Giuliani (3), McCain (2), Romney (1), and Gingrich (3) have a total of 9 wives.

Fun Fact #2:
The only Mormon, Romney, has only 1 wife.

Fun Fact #3:
Rudy Giuliani's first marriage was to his second cousin, Regina Peruggi. The marriage, quite a few years later, was annulled.

Fun Fact #4:
Giuliani, McCain, and Gingrich have all admitted to having at least one extra-marital affair.

Fun Fact #5:
Both McCain and Gingrich had wives who became seriously ill; both McCain and Gingrich divorced their sick wives in very cavalier ways. Read more at the links on Wiki above.

Fun Fiction #1:
According to, "...on Mrach, 9, 2006 McCain came out and annocend he was gay after being caught reciveing oral sex from a 12 year old male stripper." Here's a screen shot proving the entry existed. Hopefully, it will be taken down soon since it is, I presume, false.

You can tell this is false because a 12 year old male stripper wouldn't give McCain oral sex. Maybe anal, but not oral. Seriously, wikis are not the most accurate of chronicles, especially of high-profile politicos or celebrities. You really can tell this is false because the idiot who made the entry cannot spell or use spellcheck.

What I can make out of this, and this is only a guess, is that these guys don't really care about family values. Well, maybe Romney does. He seems to be the only one here who isn't a serial cheater or low-life. Time will tell, I'm sure, since the Repugnicans are sure to find everything possible on this guy if he becomes a contender for the Republican nomination.

As for the other guys, they seem to be scum-sucking pigs who don't give a damn about anything but themselves.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Credit card companies on display in Senate hearing

The credit card industry is under attack as a Senate subcommittee has taken on the task of trying to make some sense out of credit card industry standard practices, like trailing interest, grace periods, and terms and conditions.

Everybody knows that the point of the terms and conditions is to confuse and obfuscate the rules by which the credit card company governs its relationship with you. Such things as "we can change these terms at any time" and having the card holder have to opt out of such changes by closing (and paying in full) his account.

One practice I especially love is the one where the card company will raise your rate if you're late making a payment to somebody else!

I certainly hope that the Senate makes some sense of this and levels the playing field. Bankruptcies, accelerated by the credit card industry-backed new bankruptcy law that went into effect a year or so ago, have increased 609 percent. That is astonishing.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

New math: Pentagon needs 7000 more troops than the 21500 surge will supply

Seems to always be the case with these guys: Give them an inch, they take a mile.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Scooter Libby guilty on 4 of 5 charges

Scooter Libby might spend some time in a federal jail after having been convicted of obstructing justice and perjury. That is, until he gets pardoned by Bush.

Monday, March 05, 2007

John Ashcroft: First, shill for Bush, now shill for broadcast

This guy is amazing. From his aversion to breasts to his stupid and maniacal justifications for overreaction to 9/11, comes this.

First, Ashcroft's lobbying company approached XM Radio. When they rebuffed him, he turned to XM's competition -- no, not Sirius -- broadcast radio. I guess once a parrot, always a parrot?

Real Life Beavis

Here's a real-life Beavis

Good illustration on why pirating movies & music is becoming option of choice

Not saying I'd do this, but the creeps in the music and movie industries really do think we're all stupid and/or thieves. I hate having to watch those friggin' front-loaded ads that you cannot bypass on DVDs. They're absolutely horrible.