Monday, April 30, 2007

Federal prosecutor being investigated turns tables and targets Karl Rove

Special Counsel Scott Bloch has been under investigation for a year and a half. So, he's turned the tables and has started his own investigation. Bloch seems to revel in his notoriety. Some interesting tidbits from the story:
Last year, Bloch abruptly canceled an award ceremony for the federal whistle-blower of the year
Whistle blowers want to be recognized? I thought the whole idea was to blow the whistle without being found out...
This will be a legitimate, thorough investigation. It will be fair, impartial according to the law and the facts," he told CNN. "We are an independent agency, which means that I cannot be removed from office except for malfeasance.
Bloch believes that he cannot be fired except for malfeasance. Define malfeasance, Mr. Bloch. Isn't it whatever the lawyers define it to be? Isn't that how the law works?

The Investigated Investigator -

The next Pat Tillman

Prince Harry, of England's royal family, will be the next war "hero" when he dies in Iraq. Of course, I hope he doesn't perish, but if he does, England and the US will say great things about his "heroism."

Army chief says Harry will go to Iraq - Yahoo! News

World Bank leader Wolfowitz gets a hand from President Bush

I have to start making bigger mistakes, ones that involve ethical and moral issues.
He said had no plans to resign, and President Bush gave him a fresh endorsement.
Wolfowitz decries 'smear campaign' - Yahoo! News

DC Madam giving her phone records to ABC

The best part of this story is at the end:
Palfrey, who has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and once studied law, served 18 months in state prison in the early 1990s after she was caught running a prostitution ring in California. She started her Washington business while on probation in that case.
Alleged Madam Says Strategy Paying Off -

Tony Snow returns to work

Like I said before, I don't like his politics, but I don't wish cancer on anyone (or any other disease). I only wish him and his party political defeat.

Best of luck Mr. Snow. I genuinely hope that you beat this thing once and for all.

White House press secretary Snow returns to work -

Al Gore will never be president of Canada, ay!

Former Vice President Al Gore has ruined any chance of becoming President of Canada, most likely because there is no President of Canada, but more importantly, because he's pissed off Canada's current leadership, Bush-lite.

Gore Calls Canada Climate Plan a 'Fraud' -

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ex CIA Director George Tenet: Bush and Cheney targeted Iraq from beginning

There have been claims all along that the Bush administration targeted Iraq for war long before September 11, 2001. Bush and Cheney, of course, have denied such claims.

However, a guy they liked (they gave him the medal of freedom on his way out) has now said it. George Tenet, former CIA director, has said in his latest book, At the Center of the Storm, that Bush and especially Cheney sought to war with Iraq from the earliest days of their co-presidency.

Paul O'Neill said it, and, while respectfully considered by many non-Blue-Staters, it wasn't taken too seriously.

However, this comes from the bowels of the intelligence community, from a highly-respected, though much-maligned, member of the CIA and Bush's inner circle.

Now all we have to do is wait for Rummy to jump in and say, "We made it all up. Every last bit of it."

Hell has frozen over if that happens.

WP: Tenet says White House eyed Iraq from start - Politics -

Friday, April 27, 2007

When did the White House know about Pat Tillman's death?

Bush Administration and Hookers

Joe Biden is right on Iraq strategy

Curt Schilling pledges $1 million to charity if it can be proved that his sock wasn't bloody

Here's the short story:
  • Curt Schilling had an injury during a game in 2004. He had emergency surgery and pitched in a game where it was apparent that he was bleeding.
  • Red Sox (get the symbolism?) go on to win series against Yankees, and thanks to God almighty, win World Series
  • Curt Schilling becomes hero to all small children, ends world hunger, professes his allegiance to God, and becomes kookier than your Aunt Selma
A sports reporter the other night proclaimed that the whole thing was a hoax. The blood was paint and it "painted" a good story.

Curt got his breeches in a bunch and has challenged everybody to prove that it wasn't blood on his sock.

Here's the rub:
  1. Curt doesn't know where the sock is and
  2. The challenge is whether there's blood on the sock. A careful reader will note that Curt never says it's his blood.
So, there could very well be blood on a sock of which nobody knows the location. And it could be pig blood.

The guy's a kook.
If you haven't figured it out by now, working in the media is a pretty nice gig. Barring outright plagiarism or committing a crime, you don't have to be accountable if you don't want to.
Can't the same, or worse, be said of professional athletes?

Schilling criticizes media, offers $1 million blood bet on his blog - MLB - Yahoo! Sports

High School kid arrested and tossed from school for creative writing essay

Bush will veto war spending bill

Two interesting things about Bush's warning about vetoing the bill Congress has passed that contains time tables.

  1. Bush never liked time tables. Multiplication is as over-rated as reading.
  2. By vetoing this bill, Bush will be solely responsible for denying the troops the funds that he claims they need. What kind of stupid logic is this?
Bush's veto of this bill will be only his second use of the veto pen. His first was in vetoing stem cell research.

Until his first veto, Bush hadn't met a spending bill, or any bill for that matter, that he didn't like. Pork has run rampant under his watch. So much for being a conservative.

Now he and his clowns crow about "artificial time tables" and "pork." What a hypocrite.

Bush vows to veto troop withdrawal plan - Yahoo! News

Former CIA Director George Tenet slams Bush Administration on slamming him

My recently alluded-to "slam dunk" reference in my last post preceded this story about George Tenet. It looks like George is sore about how his "slam dunk" comment was received.

It seems that he was saying that selling an Iraq war was a slam dunk, not that finding WMDs would be a slam dunk.

Words. Sometimes they just don't convey the meaning one is trying to get across.

Interestingly, Mr Tenet was given the medal of freedom by President Bush after all this went down. Just who did Mr Tenet free? How did he spread freedom?

It seems as though he's saying, "Thanks for the medal. Now piss off." Doesn't it?

Tenet: Bush administration twisted 'slam dunk' quote -

Bush Administration violates Hatch Act


Who even knows what the Hatch Act is? It sounds like an excerpt from "Are You My Mother?"

I do know that the President is supposed to conduct official presidential business apart from his political business (getting re-elected). Here's the problem for Bush:

He is not running for re-election. Therefore, any political undertakings his staff conducts cannot be confused with official presidential business.

Therefore, in the words of George Tenet, this case is a "slam dunk."

White House Held GOP Prospect Briefings

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sheep sold as poodles in Japan

More evidence that Mike Judge was right in his latest movie, Idiocracy.

Dog owners 'fleeced' in poodle scam |

White House admits to breaking the law

Only shocker here is that they admitted it. But the cowboys that they are, they did it with machismo. Here's to Davey Bush, king of the wild frontier.

White House held Republican election briefings - Politics -

Condoleeza Rice subpoenaed by Congress

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Henry Waxmax, has subpoenaed Secretary of State Rice in order to ask her questions about the long-dispelled claim that Saddam Hussein attempted to buy enriched uranium from Niger.

Rice didn't take too kindly to the subpoena, indicating that she may not comply with it since "I addressed these questions, almost the same questions, during my confirmation hearing. This is an issue that has been answered and answered and answered."

She says she will answer the questions in a letter but not in person. There must be a reason. If she really thought that the questions had been answered. Furthermore, she's hiding behind executive privilege, the concept that presidential advisers cannot be forced to testify before Congress.

If all this is true, then why is she bothering to answer the questions in a letter? Why not just say "No."

I think it's just one more pissing match that Congress and the Bush administration are so apt to engage in. It's sad that our government is so broken that it has come to this.

Congress should have asserted its power while these things were going on, not 4 years later. Too bad nobody in Congress had the fortitude to do the right thing at the right time.

Rice signals rejection of House subpoena - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

VP Cheney to recieve honorary degree from BYU

Yes, that's Brigham Young University, founded by its namesake, leader of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

When did the Mormons take up residence with the devil? I thought they were for bigamy and against sodomy.

Salt Lake Tribune - Vice president to receive honorary degree from BYU

Bush "sympathetic" to Tillman family?!

As if he didn't know. It's amazing that anybody buys this crap anymore. Giving the prez the benefit of the doubt, the question becomes even more difficult: If Bush didn't know, why not?

You mean to tell me Donald Rumsfeld was not honest and forthcoming with the President of the United States?

Bush said sympathetic to Tillman family - Politics -

NEWSFLASH: Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York City on 9/11

...and George Bush was president. For anyone to suggest that 9/11 happened because Democrats are weak on terrorism, I say this:

Come back to Planet Reality.

Dems rebuke Giuliani over attack comment - Yahoo! News

Unshocking Virginia Tech massacre, by Ted Rall

Amazing how our President got out to VA Tech in time for memorials and services and TV coverage but he couldn't do the same for the many more victims of Katrina and FEMA. I wonder why? Does President Bush hate black people? Just kidding. I am no Kanye West. I think he hates poor people.
The President of the United States, or at least the guy who plays him on TV, rushed to the scene of a tragedy where(unlike Katrina) most of the victims were white. Cameras swept over a sea of VT sweats.


Rosie O'Donnell leaving The View after only one year

I am saddened by Rosie's leaving The View. Not because I like her or watch The View, but because I'm afraid she might show up on something that I like, like World's Strongest Man, Deadliest Catch, NHL Stanley Cup, or American Chopper.

Seeing her go "Man-to-Man" with Phil Pfister or compare biceps with Paul Teutul Sr would make me vomit.

At least while she was gainfully employed by ABC, I knew I could avoid her. Now I'm not so sure.

NOTE: It wasn't long before Donald Trump got his grimy little hands into this.

Rosie O'Donnell leaving ABC's 'The View' - Yahoo! News

Dennis Kucinich's letter to VP Cheney

Dennis Kucinich sent this letter to Dick Cheney. If Kucinich were a bigger player on Capitol Hill, Dick just might have another heart attack. I'm sure, though, that Cheney will survive. thing Congress should have been doing for, oh, the last 6 years!

Ex Abramoff associate going to jail to join ole Jack

Not sure if corruption is genetic or just contracted via airborne germs, but it seems like it's a disease that has no cure, except for cutting off its source -- the almighty dollar.

Is the entire political playing field corrupt? Or is it just a few rotten apples spoiling the entire barrel?

Ex-Hill Aide Pleads Guilty in Abramoff Probe -

Kucinich files articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney

Of course, talk about impeachment is always serious. It is such a rare occurrence that it must be taken seriously, and it is (except for the last time, maybe. After all, Clinton did lie to Congress, which is always a no-no. "Alberto" Gonzales, George Bush, and Dick Cheney always lie to Congress, but I guess that's okay).

However, this is a very funny article, at least the first part. Some gems:
"I do not stand alone," Dennis Kucinich said as he stood, alone, in front of a cluster of microphones yesterday evening.

A reporter from the Cleveland Plain Dealer encouraged USS Kucinich to contact planet Earth.

Kucinich has every right to file the articles of impeachment. I just wish he had the strategic thinking to do this in the right way. You gotta get consensus, or at least a lot of people to support you, on something this epic.

Even though Cheney could, and should, be impeached for all of the atrocities he has led and supported, he won't be impeached this time around. Kucinich is a quack. He is not a leader and I have no idea how the guy ever got elected. He's got no political skill whatsoever.

Just a loon.

Dana Milbank - Kucinich's Battle Against Cheney Not So (Im)Peachy Keen -

McCain jumps with both feet in race for president, 2008

McCain jumps into presidential race because he's doing so well...

Tillman, Lynch: On the Hill to dispel the legends

Pat Tillman's mom and brother testified before Congress yesterday, as did Jessica Lynch. All went to great lengths to discount (dare I say, "call the Bush administration liars") the stories behind the sensationalism surrounding Lynch's rescue and Tillman's death by friendly fire.

It's one thing to keep things secret while an investigation is going on. But the measures, extreme measures, the Army took in covering up the story behind Tillman's death is beyond anything any of us civilians could imagine. They almost immediately cut off Internet and phone service (standard procedure) as well as ordering everybody to keep mum about it. Then they made up a story and sold it to the public.

Same with Lynch.

The Republicans claim that they are "true Americans." This doesn't seem like an American thing to do: Make up heroes and lie about it.

Tillman, Lynch accounts slammed -

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vonage gets minor win in Verizon patent infringement case

More details at the link. I use Vonage. Love it. I don't ever want to have to go back to Ma Bell or any of its offspring. I hate monopolies. They're anti-American.

The government should be in the business of securing critical infrastructure while not killing the innovation baby. Patents and digital rights are two new-age issues that the government ought to fix right away, but they won't because there's no money in it.

Vonage wins permanent stay of patent ruling - Network World

Froomkin on the White House Correspondents Dinner

Dan Froomkin oftentimes sheds the right light on the things of importance:
But I was struck by what seemed to be among the sentiments emanating from the head-table:
  • That the tragic Virginia Tech massacre required solemn observation and expressions of great respect, while the seemingly endless war that often claims as many victims in a day deserved virtually no mention at all.
  • That a has-been impressionist was a more appropriate choice for entertainment than the acerbic and brilliant political satirist (Stephen Colbert) who last year hurt some people's feelings.
We're in "a war" for which dozens of our boys and girls are getting killed daily but we put our humor aside because it's been a "rough week" for those associated with VA Tech. Amazing.

Shouldn't we be saddened by both and do what we can to ensure that neither form of useless death never rears its head again? We have much more control over the deaths in the war than we do over some madman hell-bent on killing a bunch of people and himself, don't we?

Dan Froomkin - A Delusional Dinner -

It's about time Washington did its job on fuel economy standards

It's been quite a while since the CAFE standards lapsed, with Washington's politicians turning a blind eye towards global warming, dependence on foreign oil, and funding terrorists.

Let's face it: Every time each of us fuels our fat SUV, we're sending a terrorist to suicide school. Kind of like the United Way fighting hunger. Only worse. Much, much worse.

Detroit Faces Bipartisan Fire Over Fuel Economy -

George McGovern strikes out at Dick Cheney

I'll post more about this one when I get the time; I wanted to get this out there as soon as I saw it because it may be one of the most important Op-Eds we'll ever read, especially when considering his subject.

George McGovern: Cheney is wrong about me, wrong about war - Los Angeles Times

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bush Administration awash in scandals? No, really?

The most amazing thing about this article is that it only takes one page.

Bush Administration Awash in Scandals -

Sheryl Crow is crazy OR here's a reason to make toilet paper squares bigger

In one of her wackier suggestions for saving the planet, Sheryl Crow has suggested that people be "limited to" one toilet paper square per, ahem, "sitting."

This is quite possibly the wackiest, stupidest, and most irresponsible idea I've ever heard regarding global warming counter-measures.

Unless she wants to spend the day with a person suffering dysentery, I suggest she take her suggestion and shove it up her...wait, that would be wasteful.

Seriously, this is silly. You know the marketing whizzes (get it?) at P&G or whomever makes toilet paper, already have a way to skirt the law: Gigantic squares. Think about it: If I'm limited to one square a sitting, then I want a 2 foot by 2 foot square.

Or, to take things a little more to the extreme, I'm a guy. Do I get "credit" for not using any? Do I have to sit down in order to get my fair square? If I pee a lot, but never sit down to do it, do I get more squares than my lady neighbor who sits one or two times a day?

Thought-provoking, yes. Good idea, NO.

Saving the Earth: The Biodiesel Bus Blog -

Paul Wolfowitz's Sweetheart Deal

NYU economist Bill Easterly:
Pity Paul Wolfowitz: Every time he tries regime change, he triggers an insurrection.
Of course, this regime change was from within the confines of the World Bank. Wolfie apparently was trying "regime change" by withholding funds from countries that he, and the Bushies, didn't agree with.

Nobody at the World Bank like Wolfowitz, except his girlfriend, who got a $60k raise and his two cohorts from the Bush administration.

Does He Hear the World's Poor? Don't Bank on It. -

US plan to erect walls everywhere seen as "wall building" not nation building

In the category of "this worked so well last time" comes this entry from the United States -- build a wall around the Sunnis so the Shiites cannot kill them.

Berlin, check

US-Mexico border, check

Iraq, um, no check

U.S. to 'respect' Iraqi wishes for wall - Yahoo! News

Since we're on the subject of tainted food, how does tainted meat sound to you?

I have to admit, 1 year old meat never sounds very appetizing. I also have to admit, I love the name of the company that sold the burger meat to the little kids:

The tainted hamburger patties were served at a concessionaire stand at a Little League field in St. Helena, Calif., about 65 miles north of San Francisco. Health officials found the E. coli strain in remaining frozen hamburger stored by the stand and by the store that sold it the meat, Salami Lady's Cash & Carry.
Year-old meat recalled after E. coli cases - Los Angeles Times

FDA unable to inspect food imports

Food for thought (pun intended):
By its own latest accounting, the FDA only had enough inspectors to check about 1% of the 8.9 million imported food shipments in fiscal year 2006. Topping the list were products with past problems, such as seafood and produce.
Can you say "mmm, food shipments?"

AP: U.S. food safety strained by imports -

AMT: It's about time Congress addresses this old tax hack

The Alternative Minimum Tax, put in place to keep wealthy individuals from getting away with paying little to no income tax, has not been adjusted (it should have been indexed to the cost of living) and nearly 20% of all taxpayers are estimated to be subject to it as early as next year.

Unfortunately, our current budget deficits and national debt will be harmed in some way if the AMT is simply indexed to inflation or some other measure. Those with especially high wages and/or incomes will have to be forced to pay a significantly higher tax bill.

Oh, well, it doesn't affect me! Seriously, something has to be done. Perhaps a revisit of a flat tax?

Democrats Craft New Tax Rules, New Image -

Friday, April 20, 2007

A New Yorker's Take on Rudy Giuliani

I guess the link below tells the story in two words: America's Madman. While I don't think Rudy is crazy, as in insane, I do generally agree that he's, at best, an opportunist, as every "good" politician is, and, at worst, well, a politician and all that implies.

Giuliani clearly has taken credit for a lot of New York's success. He fails to attribute any of his success to the success of the nation's economy. You see, and the article speaks to it, New York had an unexpected cash inflow from the roaring 90s: Wall Street went nuts. And the city benefited. HUGELY.

But nobody benefited any HUGER than Rudy Giuliani. And he's still riding the coattails of the economic success that carried him to the top of the charts.

Not to mention that he got lots of accolades, many undeserved, more overblown, for his "response" to the WTC collapses.


Hundreds of thousands of social security numbers exposed

As a true conservative, I believe our federal government has only a few responsibilities, one of which is to protect us from people, countries, entities, etc., that may wish to do us irreversible harm. The Department of Agriculture, a part of the US government, doesn't hold this belief, apparently.

One of its sites posted the SSNs of hundreds of thousands of farmers and other folks doing conducting agriculture business.

At an estimated cost of $4 million, the Ag Dept is informing all whose SSNs were disclosed and giving them free credit report monitoring, no doubt for a year, like all the other companies that are supposed to safeguard our private information.

Federal Database Exposes Social Security Numbers - New York Times

Even furniture is weighing in on racial slurs

Don Imus is not to be outdone by Chinese sofas. No, sir. This couch almost blurts out the "n-word" when you try to sit on it. If you're a "person of color" (as if I'm not -- I must be clear), you cannot possibly ever sit down again if you bought this sofa.

I guess people really ought to read the label before they buy something. RTFL, rather than RTFM (as in, Read the Friggin' Label). From the idiot, who now has a lawyer and is suing, um, the sofa?:
They should know what they are typing, even if it is a software error," she said. "In order for something to come into the country, don't they read it first? Doesn't the manufacturer? The supplier?

This lady is a pain in the arse. Maybe she doesn't deserve a sofa.
"Something more has to be done. We don't just need a personal apology, but someone needs to own up to where these labels were made, and someone needs to apologize to all people of color," Moore said. "I had friends over from St. Lucia yesterday and they wouldn't sit on the couch."
Digg's comments are hilarious. Check them out here.

Chinese translation error blamed for slur on sofa label -

"Alberto" Gonzales is one cocky SOB

Or he's just the most complete imbecile ever? I love this quote:

I now understand that there was a conversation between myself and the president.
Um, how could he not have "understood" this earlier? He, presumably, was THERE! After all, it was a conversation between himself and the president.

Wouldn't it have been more accurate to have said, "Now I remember that I had a conversation with the president" rather than to have said what he said?

Aren't lawyers supposed to be very careful about the language they use? Did something get lost in translation between Gonzales' brain and his mouth? We know that the president has been infected with this malady. Should the American public be concerned that a horrible disease is spreading in our capital?

Attorney general doesn't satisfy critics - Yahoo! News

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Monkey Money 101

It seems that monkeys, if given money, become assholes just like the rest of us.

'Freakonomics' writer talks monkey business | CNET

CA Rep John Doolittle removes himself from House committee

Al Sharpton holding his own primary?

This qualifies as WTF?

Here's another Democrat screw up, where they're apparently courting the wrong people. Why would anybody want to side with Sharpton on anything? The guy is kooky, doesn't live in the real world, and he's a punk. How many pots does this guy have to stir to keep his facade alive?

Tawana Brawley. Duke Lacross players. Protests that turn to riots. Slanderous remarks. Racial and sexual slurs. Don Imus.

The common denominator in all of the above issues and controversies is Al Sharpton. Get your heads on straight, Dems -- Al Sharpton is not your friend, he's not an asset, and he's not on your side. He'll take you down without a shred of evidence against you.

He serves to inflame situations and keep the racism flame alive. That is his only purpose in life. And, to me, it's a pathetic reason for being.

Do something right and good, "Reverend."

Democrats scramble to court Sharpton - Politics -

"Alberto" Gonzales? It wasn't me

AG Gonzales has his feet put to the fire in Senate hearing on his role in firing 8 federal prosecutors.

Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Senator, said of Gonzales' recollection of his part in the dismissals:
"significantly if not totally at variance with the facts"
This, in case you cannot decipher Senate-speak, is other words for "lying."

I have this fantasy of becoming a Senator or Representative and grilling these empty suits with terse questions and then blasting them for not answering them.

"Mr Gonzales, you are either lying or your stupid. Which one is it?"

Gonzales plays down role in firings - Politics -

Only in Texas: Ass main witness in dispute between 2 neighbors

Ass in dispute goes to court over odor and noise. Ass wins.

Donkey becomes witness in Dallas dispute - Yahoo! News

"Alberto" Gonzales stands by decision to fire US Attorneys

He says the firings were justified, but he doesn't know why because he wasn't involved.

Sounds like faith-based logic to me. "I have never seen or spoken with God, but I know He exists."

That kind of reasoning is only appropriate to religion though. The rest of the world has to stick to facts. Sorry, "Alberto."

Gonzales: Firings were justified - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Overreaction begins

Constitution: 2nd amendment

I find it interesting that people pine over the Constitution and its subsequent amendments as if the words scrawled by our "founding fathers" are tantamount to God speaking directly to us through them. What is so special about a document that was written hundreds of years ago by former Englishmen? Why is it that any proposed changes to this holier than thou document brings forth banter and intellect that would be better used discussing issues that the founding fathers never thought of, like abortion, digital rights, automatic weapons, nuclear devices, etc.?

The latest national tragedy, the VA Tech shooting, has brought forth a new reason, or reminder, that guns are very dangerous, especially in the hands of a psychopath (but so is a hammer).

It will be interesting to hear the 2008 candidates for president opine on gun control, how it affects the 2nd Amendment, and how they pander -- or don't -- to the NRA.

Specifically, the 2nd Amendment reads:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
It seems to me that, despite the fact that I don't necessarily hold our forefathers in the highest esteem (after all, some owned slaves, all believed women to be inferior, and none of them were Stooges fans), we have to take their words in context.

When these men conjured up the ideas set forth in the Constitution and its amendments, there was a deep aversion to the federal government, brought about by the British government the framers had just fled. They were also cognizant of the fact that the British, if not other countries, would invade eventually and try to take over. Hence, the need for a militia. A militia, or any military force, is impotent without firearms and explosives. Just ask our beloved American Indians.

Put in modern English, the 2nd Amendment could be written thusly:
The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed upon because the nation needs a militia in order to ensure the security of a free State.
So, taken in context, a militia, with proper weaponry, is essential to maintaining a free state. This weaponry includes firearms (handguns and long guns, including pistols, rifles, and shotguns). However, this weaponry does not apply to all people -- in fact, contextually, it seems to me, the weaponry belongs to the militia.

So men and women don't have an innate right to own or possess firearms. But a militia does. And since militias are governed by the individual states, it is the state that has the right and responsibility to decide who gets to "keep and bear arms." If California, for example, deemed that all men over 18 were members of an involuntary state militia, then men over 18 would have the right and responsibility to possess firearms, but only in the context of their belonging to the state militia.

I don't know what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the words. The only thing I do know is that words mean something, and over time, words, especially in the context of "now," change meanings.

In this world of crazed lunatics, is it a good idea for everyone to own guns? No. But crazy people are prohibited from buying guns. Crazies and bad people will always find ways to skirt laws, the Constitution, and other governmental constraints.

Gun control actually makes it easier for nutjobs to commit crimes, because law-abiding citizens will be the only segment of the population that won't own guns.

However, do guns really kill people? No, bullets do.

2008 candidates on spot over gun-control - Politics -

The Flip-flopping begins: Romney at bat

Mitt Romney has felt the wrath of Hillary Clinton's campaign machine:

To be safe, you might want to wait and ask him again tomorrow. He tends to change his positions pretty often.
The quote above was from Clinton's spokeswoman , Kathleen Strand.


Romney: It doesn't take a village now - Mitt Romney News -

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

John Edwards' $400 haircuts

Do these guys never learn? Why get a $400 haircut when the same result could be gotten with a Flowbee.

Edwards' Haircuts Cost a Pretty Penny | The Huffington Post

VA Tech shooter: His "plays"

Budding playwright, he was not. Present-day psychopath, yep. I didn't read the plays in their entirety, but they're quite awful.

This dude obviously had a mental disorder or two. Conservative talk radio hosts tonight were talking about Cho being a "sleeper cell." Or concealing the real culprit, like Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy conspiracy theory. Or that he hadn't legally bought the guns used in the killing spree.


Crazed loon. Period.

He purchased the firearms in March and April. He chained doors shut during the murders. He planned the whole deal. There is no evidence to suggest that anyone else was involved in the planning or carrying out of the murders. Let's let the professional crime scene investigators, police, and other law enforcement officials carry out their duties and determine, to the best extent possible, the events that occurred this fateful day.

Cho Seung-Hui's Plays - News Bloggers

Personal story that brings home the horror of the VA Tech massacre

Roommate of the first person killed in the VA Tech mass murder...

Student recalls day when roommate was killed at dorm - Los Angeles Times

Career Limiting Move or Dastardly Cunning Diversion?

The headline betrays what really happened: A Secret Service officer shot two other officers, on accident. One in the face.

Was Cheney involved?

Two Secret Service officers injured at White House | Politics News |

New Jersey Governor's SUV traveled at 91 MPH prior to crash

There are a lot of questions raised by the linked story. Here are a few questions that immediately come to mind:

  • Why was the governor's vehicle, driven by a state trooper, going so fast?
  • Why were the emergency lights on? Corzine was going to a meeting between Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team for his disparaging remarks about them being "nappy-headed hos"
  • Why wasn't Corzine wearing a seatbelt?
  • Why did Corzine sustain so many injuries but nobody else did? Were they wearing seat belts?
Speed apparently does not kill (it's the velocity). But today's technology sure sucks when it can point out how fast you were going before you darn near killed somebody.

N.J. gov.'s SUV went 91 mph before crash - Yahoo! News

Interesting details about Virginia Tech 'shooter'

As if it weren't already known, the now-dead shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre, Cho Seung-Hui, was a solemn 'loner' who had disturbing writings (he was an English major -- go figure), mannerisms, and was just simply a weirdo.

The most intriguing part about this whole sad story, to me, is the failure of the Virginia Tech administrators, staff, and faculty to inform its students of the first episode of murder, nearly two hours before the second round of shootings took place.

I'm no disaster preparedness expert, but in light of the fact that the world is going crazier by the moment, as evidenced by daily suicide bombings and mass murders that have become increasingly more and more "productive" (seems like the wrong word, doesn't it?), shouldn't experts be enlisted by schools, Fortune 500 companies, and other entities to install security systems, put procedures in place to mitigate risks, and the like?

It seems so fundamental to me. This sort of thing will happen again. Is it the almighty dollar that keeps institutions from investing the time, money, and other resources in order to effect a safe environment for our kids, teachers, and working public?

I think it is. What happened with all the homeland security money? It's not just the threat of foreign terrorists that we should concentrate on. There have been far more terrorist plots undertaken by "home grown" terrorists than foreign-led (though not as on a wide a scale as 9/11, of course).

I don't know where this will all end. Most likely like it always does: Congress will dream up bills that the President signs into law that puts up more barriers to freedom without reducing our risk to such things.

Our government confuses action with effectiveness. They make a lot of noise, move a lot of stuff around, but in the end, we're still just as doomed as we were before.

It's shameful. Don Imus lost his job over 3 words. He didn't hurt anybody (sticks and stones). The thoughtlessness of the administration at Va Tech contributed to over 30 deaths of future leaders. America has a priority problem. And it starts right at the top.

Va. Tech gunman writings raised concerns - Yahoo! News

Don Imus as a child

Monday, April 16, 2007

Evidence Bush played a role in US Attorney Firings

Our President knows nothing, if not how to hire the right people for the job at hand. Just ask Michael "Heckuva Job" Brown, Rummy, or Attorney General "Alberto" Gonzales.

On second thought, just leave the above at "our President knows nothing..."

ABQjournal: Domenici Sought Iglesias Ouster

Questions "Alberto" Gonzales should have to answer

Some questions a USA Today editorial asks:
  • Which time were you telling the truth?
  • If you weren't involved, why not?
  • Why was David Iglesias, the U.S. attorney in New Mexico, fired?
  • What role did the president's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, play?
  • Have you ever given President Bush advice he didn't like?
Of course, none of these questions will be asked, and even if they are, not a one will be answered.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Snoop Dogg and Don Imus: Two Peas in a Pod or Completely Different?

This story pretty much sums up how I feel about the Imus debacle. Essentially, he's a misanthrope who thrived in the radio medium but floundered on, and met his demise through, television. Here's that fount of knowledge and morals, Snoop Dogg, after having just pleaded no contest to weapons and drug charges:
It's a completely different scenario. [Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about hos that's in the 'hood that ain't doing shit, that's trying to get a nigga for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them muthafuckas say we in the same league as him.
So, Snoop, I understand your point -- the women you disparage are do-nothing whores trying to get to you for your money. The Rutgers girls aren't like that. I get that.

What I don't get is this: How can you call a white man a honkey, cracker, or some other derogatory slang word without feeling just a bit -- just a small bit -- hypocritical? It seems okay for black people to call white people names but the converse is not true. Many will say it's because racism is only a one-way street: Those in power (presumably white) are the only ones capable of racism. That is wrong-headed.

Others might claim it's because of the hardships and cruel conditions blacks have had to endure (the almost 200-year-ago-slavery issue). Both these ideas are old.

Let's call it what it is: A double standard. A "reverse" racism. The over-arching point might be this: We're all a little racist. We've all called a member of a race other than our own some derogatory term, whether it's on the playground, the sports arena, or the car. Some of us just have a hard time admitting it. Furthermore, I think you can be a racist against your own race. Blacks using the "N Word" amongst each other immediately comes to mind. It's either racism or a double standard. Pick your poison.

We're also all a little sexist.

Imus' gaffe was both racist and sexist. Let's not forget that he offended an entire race and sex. From what I've heard from others pontificating about Imus' past, he has always been an "equal opportunity" offender. He just did it on TV; that was his biggest mistake, from a PR point of view. If he had said this only on radio, which nobody other than devoted fans listen to, there would be no flap. For if radio could have brought him down, couldn't it most definitely bring down Dr Laura, Rush Limbaugh, and Michael Savage, to name just 3 out of hundreds of racists and misogynists on the radio today, talking about this very same stuff?

The Blog | David Bromwich: Imus is Gone, Snoop Dogg Remains: Are We Happy Now? | The Huffington Post

Thursday, April 12, 2007

DEVELOPING: More on the White House email scandal

Email Proof

UPDATED: Oh boy, White House at it again -- "Countless" emails purged, gone forever

UPDATE: The more I think about this, the more I get pissed off about it. Bush can look at my emails but I can't look at his? Is this the epitome of hypocrisy? I'm thinking there's a way to force the government into "finding" all those "lost" emails.

Are you still doubting that the Bush administration has something to hide? Still skeptical about the skeptics? How 'bout this one:

Let's delete thousands of emails and see if anybody notices. Let's get rid of the evidence before Congress can investigate us.

It's high time the Justice Administration investigate the White House. Bring in some computer forensics experts and bring all those "lost" emails back.

Oh, wait a minute! The Justice Department is not independent of the White House! In fact, it's the Justice Department that is under investigation!! In fact, Bush and his buddy, "Alberto" Gonzales are figuratively, if not actually, in bed together on many a scandal.

What the hell was I thinking? Justice Department should investigate...(shaking my head in disgust at my own naiveté).

Dan Froomkin - Countless White House E-Mails Deleted -

New York to Denmark? Swim across the Atlantic Ocean, according to Google!

Not sure how this will render, but try this google maps search:

Begin in New York, end in Denmark. Instruction # 23 instructs you to "swim across the Atlantic Ocean"

Gee, um, thanks, google.

from: new york to: denmark - Google Maps

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Amateur Chinese pilot lives to crash and die another day

Li Xianfeng, an amateur pilot from China, built his own plane and flew it. He subsequently crashed. He vows to rebuild his plane and fly (and die) another day.

As a friend said, "If at first you don't succeed, fly fly again."

"Birdman" in hospital after test flight | Oddly Enough |

Flat tax: Fair and simple or Unfair and simple?

The so-called "flat tax" concept has been floating around for about 20 years now. I remember folks like Jack Kemp and Steve Forbes shouting about its virtues. But opponents of the concept, mostly "libs," proclaim that it's a regressive tax, it's unfair, it may lead to bigger deficits, etc.

So who's right? Well, no first world countries have embraced the idea and put it into use. Some former Soviet countries have (read the linked article); therefore, there is no test bed we can look to in order to see its effects.

In theory, though, we can discuss its benefits and drawbacks. First, opponents of the flat tax say it's regressive. I don't see it. It's not progressive, in that higher incomes do not pay a higher rate of tax on each incremental dollar earned. But it's not regressive. Regressive would suggest that each incremental dollar earned would incur a smaller rate of tax. This is simply not the case. In fact, the flat tax is "perfect" in terms of incremental dollars earned. There is no penalty for making more money as with a progressive tax system, nor is there a benefit to working less. If you want to earn more, you can. And at the same effective rate of pay as normal.

I don't see how the flat tax, in its current incarnation, could be considered unfair. Generally, when the media talks about fairness, they mean fairness with respect to the poor. In fact, if anything, the flat tax is unfair to higher income earners. It's just less unfair than a progressive tax.

Here's how the conservative in me sees this: We all can derive the same benefits from the government (federal) by virtue of being a citizen (or legal alien); therefore, we should all pay the same "membership fee" for the right/privilege to derive those benefits. "Rich" people actually use less of the federal government's programs than "poor" people. In fact, most entitlement programs serve poor or less well-off folks. Why should they get to use the benefits of, say, food stamps, and I can't?

Now, before you go off and send me an email telling me what a jerk I am, let me tell you how the liberal in me sees this: Inertia. Let me explain. Poor people tend to stay poor and rich people tend to stay rich; plus, there are a lot more poor people than rich people. It behooves society to provide a safety net that benefits the poor so that anarchy doesn't break out. Plus, I don't want to see homeless and hungry people suffer in the richest nation on the planet. It simply doesn't make sense. And, it's not fair that poor people, en masse, don't have a chance to break out of the rut.

So, is there a compromise? Of course. The negative income tax. I think Milton Friedman conjured this one up. The idea is that if you make under a certain threshold, the government actually pays you to get to that minimal figure. Then that's where the flat tax comes in. The threshold is a moving figure; each year, or 5, or whatever, the government raises it (if there's inflation) or lowers it (if there's deflation). There is a small disincentive for those near the threshold to work. For example, if the income level threshold is $15,000, and my neighbor makes $12,000, he can count on the government giving him $3000. If I make $15,000, I can count on nothing from the government. So my neighbor can work less and get the same income in the end. But this is a small matter. It could be remedied very easily: There could be a sliding scale around the threshold such that the guy who chooses not to work as hard as you (where you are right at the threshold) gets a little bit less than you.

Studies have shown that it's not how much you make that gives you satisfaction. Rather, it's more comforting to know that you're making more than your peers, be they neighbors or co-workers.

I think it's time that the flat tax get another push into the mainstream. It's a sound idea. It seems fair. If the government's accountants can get their heads out of their Social Security asses, they might be able to come up with a rate that actually balances the budget.

What do you think?

The flat tax: It's simple, alluring / But one-size-fits-all idea faces skepticism, too

The price of tea in China? Giuliani dosn't know it either

Okay, so Rudy doesn't know the cost of bread or milk in Alabama. Does it matter? Yes, but not in the way you think it does.

First off, why it doesn't matter much: None of our candidates shop for groceries. They most likely have illegal immigrants doing their shopping for them. That's what the upper crust of American society does. Plus, I do, or at least share, the grocery shopping chore in my house. I don't know the price of milk (don't drink it so I don't buy it) nor do I know the price of bread (I'm gonna buy it no matter the price, darn it, though I do know I can almost always get a "buy one, get one free" deal from the in-house brand).

So, I give the guy a break. However, this is the reason it matters. Politics is like a math contest. The questions you're asked usually serve no good purpose; however, in order to win, you've got to answer the questions.

Giuliani should have been prepared to answer such a silly question. He should have known it was coming. After all, King George I, aka George Herbert Walker Bush, aka "41", lost a lot when he was "amazed" by grocery scanners 15 years ago, as if he had never seen one, leading one to believe, rightfully, that he was out of touch with us folks who have to buy our own groceries.

Giuliani obviously doesn't take this race seriously. None of them do. The person who wins might just be the one who does his or her homework. After all, our current president won largely based on the idea that Americans would rather have a beer with him than his opponent, John Kerry. We want to believe that our leader(s) share commonalities with us commoners. The guy who pulls that off might just win.

Giuliani gets cost of milk, bread wrong -

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Religion: Should it matter in a political race?

The linked story talks about Mitt Romney's religion (he's a Mormon) and how it affects his poll numbers. More importantly, it talks about how Romney's campaign staff are sensitive to the issue of his opponents making his religion an issue.

Which brings me to the real point here, really a question.

Should religion matter in a political race? I think it should not, but I am most likely in the minority. I, for one, believe that anybody can run a business, whether it's a Wal-Mart, a liquor store, a car dealership, a non-profit, or, yes, the government, no matter his or her religious persuasion.

And yes, I believe atheists and agnostics can be president, too.

What difference does it make? None to me.

McCain, Romney Advisers Spar Over Mormon Religion -

Stonewalling Bush

It seems as though our president has taken stonewalling to a new high (or low, as the case may be). There's nothing that comes out of this administration that is, in the words of the president, "transparent." Everything is cloaked in secrecy, on a need-to-know basis.

I, for one, am sick and tired of this administration's skirting the law, flouting its power, and forestalling any and all oversight. Tony Snow said that the Congress had no constitutional right to oversight of the Executive branch. I'm no constitutional scholar, but I think Congress has a bitch here. Seems to me that the founding fathers, so often cited as if they're gods by this administration, intended that there by (grade school civics don't fail me now)...checks and balances.

Our whole government is predicated on this concept of checks and balances: No one branch can impose its will or bully its way into doing something. But President Bush and "Alberto" disagree. They believe that George indeed should be King.

The linked story is just one of many examples of how this administration stonewalls its overseers.

Subpoenas issued in fired prosecutors probe - Politics -

Monday, April 09, 2007

McNugget fat drippings beat a Lamborghini in a drag race!!!

The headline may not be entirely accurate, but it got you to read the story right?

Hummers and muscle cars go green | CNET

Mitt Romney -- Hunter or Hunted?

Everybody is ganging up on Mitt Romney, Republican presidential front runner, for his hunting comments. I echo RJ Eskow's account (below) in that I think it's utter rubbish that a man (or woman) who wants to be president must pander to slices of society. So what if he's never really hunted?

The story here is that he embellished, not that he has only hunted twice though he claims that he's a lifelong hunter.

It's ridiculous that candidates have to kowtow to slices of society in order to get their vote.

The Blog | RJ Eskow: Sssh! Be Vewy Qwiet - Mitt's Hunting Wabbit | The Huffington Post

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Google Launches Google Voice Local Search

Google recently launched Google Voice Local Search, a search engine for your phone. Simply dial 1-800-GOOG-411 and search in the following ways (excerpted from Google's page):
  • search for a local business by name or category.
    You can say "Giovanni's Pizzeria" or just "pizza".

  • get connected to the business, free of charge.

  • get the details by SMS if you’re using a mobile phone.
    Just say "text message".
Oh, it's FREE. I suggest putting this number in your cell phone and never get the $1 or $2 charge that cell phone companies know you'll pay.

Say goodbye to toll 411 calls. Most excellent! Read a really good writeup of Google's new service, and its competition, at TechCrunch.
Google Voice Local Search

Kerik vetting by White House "rushed"

More news today about once-nominated Bernie Kerik as Homeland Security chief -- the Bush administration should have seen all the issues surrounding Kerik at the time of his nomination. Fortunately, Kerik withdrew his nomination.

Here are some red flags Bush and his bafoons should have seen and acted on (admittedly they saw them, but they disregarded them):
  • Kerik was fined $2,500 by New York City for using police detectives to help him with his autobiography.
  • He was also a defendant in a civil lawsuit accusing him of retaliation against a corrections official who had disciplined a female prison guard with whom Kerik was having a relationship.
  • One of Kerik's former top deputies was convicted of stealing money from a foundation that Kerik ran while serving as Giuliani's corrections chief. The foundation was funded by rebates from tobacco companies selling cigarettes to prison inmates.
  • Kerik, who filed for bankruptcy as a police officer, became rich almost overnight after leaving office. Just before his nomination, he made a quick $6.2 million without investing a dime by exercising stock options from his service on the board of Taser International, a stun-gun firm seeking business with homeland security agencies.
  • Kerik's tenure in Iraq generated strong criticism of his management. Iraqi officials complained to U.S. authorities about $1.2 billion Kerik spent to train Iraqi police officers in Jordan, spending they called wasteful. Iraqis also questioned why Kerik spent tens of millions of dollars to buy weapons for Iraqi trainees when the U.S. military had confiscated plenty of such weapons after the invasion.
Bottom line: President Bush wanted a 9/11 hero to head the new Department of Homeland Security and Kerik, with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani's sterling recommendation, was his man.

And guess who was in charge of vetting Kerik? Alberto Gonzales. Is "Alberto" the most incompetent lawyer ever? Thank goodness that Bush has finally fired him! (Oh, wait, he hasn't and probably won't.)
WP: White House looked past Kerik alarms - Highlights -

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Invasion of the Party Snatchers: Republican-style

Vic Gold, friend of George HW Bush, writes a scathing book on Bush 43:
"For all the Rove-built facade of his being a 'strong' chief executive, George W. Bush has been, by comparison to even hapless Jimmy Carter, the weakest, most out of touch president in modern times," Gold writes. "Think Dan Quayle in cowboy boots."

and Cheney:
A vice president in control is bad enough. Worse yet is a vice president out of control.
Gotta love those old guys -- they tell it like it is and have learned from their mistakes (even if after a long time in denial)!

Rightist Indignation -

If you love America, you've gotta read Dan Froomkin

Froomkin delivers great synopses about the White House and George Bush's meanderings every day. It's kind of like a White House journal. Very illuminating. He puts together articles from other journalists to make his points. This one is great:
And Baker notes: "With Congress already out of town for spring vacation, the president's news conference was an attempt to have the last word in Washington before flying to California and then to his ranch in Crawford, Tex., for a long weekend. He ridiculed lawmakers for leaving without finishing their war-spending legislation, but he opted not to use his power to call them back or to give up his own break."
I love how Bush always attacks the Democrats based upon his own weaknesses -- dodging the war, Bush made Kerry look like a war weenie; dodging a call to create a Department of Homeland Security, Bush creates one and then says it was his idea, the list goes on and on and on and on...

Even better, as the President becomes ever-more confused, befuddled, and discombobulated, White House correspondents have gotten him to revert to old Bushisms and new alike:
"But reporters' questions further snarled the Bush syntax. NBC's David Gregory got him to say 'My concern, David, is several,' CBS's Bill Plante got him to mention 'suiciders,' while Bloomberg News's Ed Chen elicited the phrase 'air traffickers' in lieu of airline passengers."
I will be unfortunate to witness the POTUS erupt on national TV and start blearing out cuss words and insults...but it could happen.
Dan Froomkin - Blame It on the Democrats -

US Justice Dept fires US Attorney for his military duty

I don't know if the Bush administration is stupid, incompetent, unaware, or just full of shit. It may be all of this. These guys, who got us into the GWOT (Global War on Terror), fired a US Attorney for not doing his job. Problem is, his military duty called him away from his job!

Since modern science, which Bush and his loyalists are loathe to listen to, hasn't figured out a way for a person to be in two places at once, David Iglesias, the U.S. attorney in New Mexico, fired for being an "absentee landlord," chose to comply with his military obligation (or face AWOL charges, discharge, prison, etc.).

Bush and his idiot administration are seriously the most hideous of presidential administrations in memory.

Terror Watch: A Fired U.S. Attorney Strikes Back - Newsweek Terror Watch -

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Office Jester at Motley Fool?

Sounds like the perfect job...for somebody.

Office Jester Job at The Motley Fool

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Double Standard? Republicans visit Syria: Okay Dem Pelosi: Not Okay

I don't know why I don't like Nancy Pelosi; I admit, I know very little about her. But I have to give her props for her retort to the Bush administration over her visit to Syria:
It's interesting because three of our colleagues, who are all Republicans, were in Syria yesterday and I didn't hear the White House speaking out about that.
Why can't people see through the administration's hypocrisy and double standards?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Do Liberals rule the world or are they about to be taken over by over-breeding red-staters?

I love this guy! Such great word imagery.
Seems Generation Next tend to be more socially liberal and much less worried about the trembling "sanctity" of the failed nuclear family, and are overall less inclined to align with a particular religion. Indeed, it almost makes you want to weep and sigh and go buy a large grass-fed free-range organic hybrid vibrator.

When Liberals Rule The World / Stats say the GOP is dying. But red-staters are breeding like drunken ferrets. Who wins?

Can Hyundai beat the luxury brands?

Hyundai is on a mission to beat the Europeans and Japanese at the high-end of the automobile spectrum. I've considered buying a Hyundai after driving them somewhat extensively on week-long vacations where I've chosen rental cars. I've driven both their sedans and SUVs and I've been extremely impressed with their quality, performance, and overall "driveability." From the article:
Bolstered by an incredible No. 3 ranking on J.D. Power and Associates' overall product quality list, putting Hyundai just behind Porsche and Lexus, Hyundai is now implementing a strategy of building better passenger vehicles than any of its European or Asian rivals and selling them at substantially lower prices.
Whether they can persuade people to buy their luxury cars or not is a big gamble. It seems that their niche is value. If they can convince high-profile consumers to make the switch from Porsche, Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes, bully for them. It just might be the wrong move.
Warren Brown - Hyundai's Mission Possible: Beat the Luxury Brands -

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Matthew Dowd, aide to the President, has lost faith in Bush

Matthew Dowd, former Democrat who turned Republican, because he "fell in love" with George Bush, has come out against the President, the first Bush aide to come out against Bush. Let's see what happens as the President continues to fall out of grace with the public (the republic?).

Ex-Aide Says He’s Lost Faith in Bush - New York Times