Friday, August 31, 2007

US lawmakers slimed in the green zone

Lawmakers Describe 'Being Slimed in the Green Zone' -

If you've read anything here, you know I abhor our Congress people going overseas to do "business" (whatever that means). Why don't they just stay here and do something?

Anyway, they go to Iraq and some get royal treatment and others get royal jelly treatment. 3 Democratic Congressional members took a little jaunt over to Iraq and got the royal jelly treatment:
Under “latest Iraq vote,” Tauscher’s bio noted that she had voted in favor of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days of the bill’s enactment.

She did vote that way — in May. On Aug. 2, Tauscher voted in favor of her own bill, which mandates that troops be granted a leave from combat at least as long as their last combat deployment before being shipped back to Iraq. That vote might have been a little too popular with the soldiers she was meeting, Tauscher said.
These statements were embedded in Tauscher's bio that was handed out to the rank and file military during the visit. Way to go, Bush Co spinmasters! Karl Rove lives.

Senator Craig close to resigning?

Craig considering resignation - The Crypt's Blog -
Scandal-stained Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) is pondering his resignation in the face of political pressure in Washington and Idaho following revelations that he was arrested last June in an airport restroom, the Associated Press and CNN have reported.
You've got to get a kick out of the beginning paragraph...

Plane with US Congressmen on board fired upon in Iraq

Plane with U.S. lawmakers fired on while leaving Iraq -

Oh, there's too many funny things about this. First, let me say that it's NOT funny to be shot at. However, now that they're okay (well, not dead -- they're still in Congress so, by definition, they're not okay), let the hilarity ensue.

First, why are US lawmakers, as the headline says, in Iraq? Shouldn't they be, um, making laws, um, in the US? What the hell are they doing in Iraq? I don't get it.

These guys, surely, peed their pants. Maybe even left a few brown stains. I would have too. But now they've got some stories to tell the rest of their short lives (they're all old dudes, so time is not on their side). And, boy, will they tell them. Here's the beginning of the fish stories (the stories will get more dramatic as time goes on):
"We were shot at by three rockets," Shelby said in a statement Friday. "It was dark as the dickens, and I was looking out the small window on the plane and I saw a shell. We saw them, they were popping, and we saw the flares."
I'm no missile or ballistics expert, but can you see a shell? Were they really rockets?
Our plane leaving Iraq was fired upon, and it was a close call, but this is something that our men and women in combat face every day. The flight crew was outstanding, and I credit them for the way they handled the situation."
Did he just do what I think he did? Did he compare he and his misguided cohorts to our military men and women? Did he suggest that we should envision him in the same light as our soldiers? Is he serious?

Tony Snow stepping down

Tony Snow to step down - Mike Allen -
The spokesman, who came to the White House from Fox News, used his talk-show host's glibness and thick hide to fend off questions that grew increasingly hostile over his 16 months in the job.
I still don't like him, but I'm glad that he appears to be winning his battle with cancer.

Here's more on my ranting and railing against Tony Snow, aka the "Snow Jobber."

Here's the really scary thing: Dana Perino is taking over. She's, like, 14 years old and cannot divert, obfuscate, confuse, or deflect like Snow Job. Not even sure she can drive. But she's cute, so I guess that makes her qualified.

Happy Labor Day not quite so happy now as it was 7 years ago for many

A Sobering Census Report: Americans’ Meager Income Gains - New York Times
The median household income last year was still about $1,000 less than in 2000, before the onset of the last recession. In 2006, 36.5 million Americans were living in poverty — 5 million more than six years before, when the poverty rate fell to 11.3 percent. And what is perhaps most disturbing is that it appears this is as good as it’s going to get.
Well, that sucks. But I bet the President is richer now. And that's all that really matters, right?

Bush to invade Iran not with military troops but with air strikes to debilitate the country

The War Criminal in the Living Room - by Paul Craig Roberts

Oh, this is such a good idea that I think we should use it on Syria, too. Ideas come along like this only once every lifetime, so let's not miss the chance for a two-fer (if you add in Afghanistan and Iraq, call it a four-fer)!

This guy might seem like an anti-war whacko, and maybe he is: He worked in the Reagan administration, no stranger to beating people up if the opportunity presented itself.

Every day we find out that, months ago -- if not years ago -- we lost another privacy right

U.S. Cites ‘Secrets’ Privilege as It Tries to Stop Suit on Banking Records - New York Times

The Bush administration is amazing.
The “state secrets” privilege, allowing the government to shut down litigation on national security grounds, was once rarely used. The Bush administration has turned to it more than 30 times in terrorism-related cases, seeking to end public discussion of cases like the claims of an F.B.I. whistle-blower and the abduction of a German terrorism suspect.
fI guess it's good that our government is watching out for us, but it seems that it may be watching us in a perverted way. It just feels icky. Like you're in the restroom and somebody's watching you. Afterwards, you need a shower.

High schooler punks rival school -- gets them to hold up signs that say "We suck"

High schooler pulls off ultimate prank vs. rivals - Other Sports -

Not that this is especially clever, but the logistics of it all says this kid is pretty resourceful.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Democratic Leadersheep! That's a crack-up!!!

Terrorism Policies Split Democrats -
The American Civil Liberties Union is running Internet advertisements depicting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) as sheep. "Bush wanted more power to eavesdrop on ordinary Americans, and we just followed along. I guess that's why they call us the Democratic leadersheep," say the two farm animals in the ad, referring to Congress's passage of legislation granting Bush a six-month extension and expansion of his warrantless wiretapping program.
I, for one, am very disappointed in my party.

Let me say again that for most of my life, I was a staunch Republican. I believed in them. I drank the Kool-Aid. I still believe in small government, a government that doesn't infringe upon my privacy, a government, in short, that leaves me alone.

That all changed with George Bush and his reaction to 9/11. We now have BIG government with BIG deficits, huge military spending, privacy rights curtailment, intrusion upon my home in the guise of "keeping me safe."

BUT, the Democrats are no better. Well, they're better, if intentions matter. I believe that Bush wants to be King; I don't believe the Dems do. But, they don't DO ANYTHING.

They got a mandate, one could say, to turn around the Bush undoings. But they haven't done anything except say they were going to take action and then fail because they have no backbone, a weak constitution, no guts, no brains, cunning the size of an ant, the courage of...the Tin Man (a not-so-veiled reference to Henry Reid, "leader" in the Senate).

So, the ACLU calling Pelosi and Reid "leadersheep" is fitting. They just go along with Bush and his Nazis, saying one thing, doing another. It's time somebody stood up, took charge, and beat the bullies down.

The Dems deserve all the ridicule they've ever gotten. And then some. Babies.

Japan kicks US ass in broadband speed, cost, adoption, and innovation

Japan's Warp-Speed Ride to Internet Future -

As Ronald Reagan might say, if he were still alive, "Here we go again." They beat us in electronics, then cars. Now Internet.

It's an Asian revolution:
  • Japan -- high tech
  • China -- low tech (but some high tech, too)
  • USA -- entertainment, lawyers, and doctors
I feel SO SPECIAL to be an American.

Pentagon disputes findings in GAO Iraq report

Pentagon disputes parts of Iraq report - Yahoo! News

"The benchmarks are too hard!" whines Bush administration. What a bunch of pansies.

More on Republican attempt to change winner-take-all rules in California

GOP maneuvers to change take-all system - Martin Frost -

I guess they're tired of Hollywood and Berkeley hogging all the electoral votes, and hence, not getting their fair share of all the votes. California has been traditionally a 'blue state' but only because all the metropolitan areas, like Los Angeles and San Francisco, vote for Democrats. If you look at a map, most of California, geographically speaking, votes Republican. However, a lot of people live in the metropolitan areas.

Anyway, the Electoral College, at least where California is concerned, has been winner-take-all, which is a disadvantageous system for the Republicans. So, they want to change the rules. I guess the moral is, if you can't win the game, change the rules.

More on this.

Senator Larry Craig in cartoons

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Larry "I'm not gay but I sure like sex with men" Craig has lots of splaining to do

Larry Craig Investigation | Idaho Statesman

Senator Larry Craig leaves a lot of open questions...the Idaho Stateman, the newspaper that brought this whole sordid affair to light, has a complete rundown of the saga.

Craig's guilty plea
The arrest report

Maybe he's gay, maybe he's not. But he's certainly weird. And admitted he was guilty...of something. Who the hell knows?

Monday, August 27, 2007

"Family values" code words for "I'm totally gay"

The Raw Story | GOP Senator Larry Craig arrested in 'bathroom incident'
"At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions. I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct," said Craig, who is married, and up for reelection in 2008. "I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty.

"I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously."
Is he talking about the arrest or the lewd act? He's a Senator (Repugnican, no less, those bastions of family values and morality), so I guess his words could mean anything.

Read the entire story here.

Larry Craig also, up until today, "backed" Mitt Romney:
Explaining why he's backing Romney, Craig says in the video that it's in part because "he has very strong family values." "That's something I grew up with and believe in," Craig explains.
Oh, really? Of course, the Romney campaign took down the YouTube video of Craig's endorsement, attempting to distance themselves from the alleged homosexual (my view is what does it matter the sexual proclivity but rather it does matter in the comparison of your purported stance to your actual actions).

Fed eases banking rule to assist big banks in liquidity crunch

Federal Reserve allows Citigroup to elude key banking rule - Aug. 24, 2007
So, how serious is this rule-bending? Very. One of the central tenets of banking regulation is that banks with federally insured deposits should never be over-exposed to brokerage subsidiaries; indeed, for decades financial institutions were legally required to keep the two units completely separate. This move by the Fed eats away at the principle.
$25 billion each for two of the US' largest banks? Wow.

It's actually a little ironic, or obvious, that the liquidity crunch was precipitated by one of the most illiquid financial assets around -- housing.

I think that's part of the problem: Housing securities (not the houses themselves) became extremely liquid. Liquid beyond belief. Liquidity is usually (not always) associated with low-risk securities. Not so here.

Pope is immune from lawsuits in US

Gonzales to spend more time eavesdropping on his family (satire from Andy Borowitz)

The Borowitz Report .com
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned today, effective immediately, telling reporters that he wanted to spend more time eavesdropping on his family.

Mr. Gonzales, a champion of domestic surveillance and warrantless wiretaps while in office, said he was “totally stoked” about turning his prying eyes on his own family.

Bush: bin Laden "dead or alive" 6 years later

The Ongoing Hunt for Osama bin Laden - Newsweek: World News -

It's got to be frustrating working for the military, what with all its paperwork, approval processes, and red tape.
"We'd be typing in 130-degree heat while we're crapping away with bacillary dysentery and sometimes the brass at Kandahar or Baghram would kick back and tell you the spelling was incorrect, that you weren't using the tab to delimit the form correctly."
Here's the saddest part about the difficulty (stupidity?) of staging two wars, neither of which we could, by definition, focus fully on:
In 2005, the CIA gave President Bush a secret slide show on the hunt for bin Laden. The president was taken aback by the small number of CIA case officers posted to Afghanistan and Pakistan. "Is that all there are?" the president asked, according to a former intelligence official, who declined to be identified discussing White House meetings. The CIA had already embarked on a "surge" of sorts, and doubled the number of officers in the field. But many were inexperienced and raw recruits, and they produced little improvement in "actionable" intelligence.
It's sad that we've lost thousands of troops and killed and maimed many thousands of others, not to mention all the Iraqis we've destroyed, for nothing.

The world consensus has always been that Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind 9/11. Priority Number One ought to have been to kill the son of a bitch. Or, better yet, capture him and hold a public trial that ended in his execution.

But, no, we let him go. Don't even get me started on why we let the bin Laden clan out of the US right after 9/11 or the fact that bin Laden and Little Bush shared the same sandbox.

OMG: Bush to appoint Chertoff to run Justice?

Think Progress » CNN: Bush Plans To Install Inexperienced, Bush Loyalist Clay Johnson At Homeland Security

Attorney General "Alberto" Gonzales' resignation prompts speculation about who will take over his post. Michael Chertoff is at the top of the list. Scary.

The silver lining is that DHS head Michael Chertoff is more qualified to run the DOJ than the DHS. The cloud is that he's not qualified to head up anything, except his head up Bush's backside.

Add another Bush loyalist to the steaming heap of shit we call the American government:
Asked about his relationship to Bush, Johnson told the New York Times recently that “there’s a lot of devotion to George Bush the person.” Johnson, who “is probably the only person to have spanked” the president’s dog, Barney, “keeps a George Bush doll on his desk.”
Clay Johnson attended both prep school (I think that is high-priced high school) and college with President Monkey. Can't ever trust a guy named named after sculpting material.

AG Gonzales resignation: Let the games begin!

Oh, the hilarity ensues over Gonzo (that's "Alberto" Gonzales) leaving (from Wonkette):
His sons are named Jared, Graham, and Gabriel??? Those are the whitest fucking names we have ever heard.
Bedtime For Gonzo Dept.: Fredo's Resignation Speech - Wonkette

Here's a joke that is not really funny:
Anyway, Democrats won, hooray, and all they had to do to win the resignation of a criminal they should’ve impeached was agree to sign away all of our rights in a wiretapping bill that they were angry with Fredo for illegally trying to enforce in the first place. Shit, is it Labor Day yet?
A Farewell To Assholes Dept.: HEY EVERYONE, GONZO FINALLY RESIGNED - Wonkette

Bush flip flops on comparison of Iraq versus Vietnam

If Bush were not president, he'd be the backup fry cook at the Waffle House. His flapjacks would be exquisite!
Perhaps the most startling aspect of President Bush’s speech is that his assertion about Vietnam is diametrically opposed to his own public position not long ago, when he argued that the wars in Vietnam and Iraq were nothing alike. Most experienced military people agreed with him then and thus can’t possibly agree with him now. Of course everyone, including the president, is entitled to his opinion and is entitled to change it, too, but he’s not entitled to fabricate evidence to support it.
Oh, but he's the commander in chief, the war president, the decider. So he CAN lie about stuff.

Bush wades into water over his head...again - MSNCB TV Experts -
It has always been something of a public amusement to make sport of President Bush’s apparent ignorance. And it would be regrettable if neither Bush, nor his speechwriter, nor even his chief of staff has any substantive grasp of the events the president cited in his speech. It would be far worse however, if Bush does indeed understand the lessons of history but believes that his audience is easily convinced to ignore them.

Well, hotdog, Alberto Gonzales quit. I wonder why...let me count the felonies

US Attorney General Gonzales resigns - Yahoo! News

More on the scoundrel who called himself "Alberto."
It has been one of my greatest privileges to lead the Department of Justice," Gonzales said, announcing his resignation effective Sept. 17 in a terse statement. He took no questions and gave no reason for stepping down.
Maybe it was the US attorney scandal. Or the warrantless wiretapping. Or the waterboarding. Or the "quaint" provisions of the Geneva Conventions. Could have been anything. Dipshit wouldn't tell us why. I'd say all of the above.

And MORE. The frightening thing, history will show us, is what we don't know. You think all of the above was bad? Wait til you find out what we don't know.

I bet the guy moves to South America and spends the rest of his life with his idol, Adolf Hitler.

RSS feed for some of the 2008 Presidential hopefuls

I've assembled a set of links to the 2008 Presidential hopefuls here.

Notables include Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Tom Tancredo, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards.

Notable by their absence: Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, Sam Brownback, and Michael Bloomberg.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rudy Giuliani is soft on illegal immigration, and therefore, by his own logic, soft on terrorism and national security

Is Rudy's Teflon Gone? | The New York Observer
Mr. Giuliani’s response was weak: He explained what looked to all the world like a blatant flip-flop by saying that advances in technology have created methods of fighting illegal immigration that were unimaginable when he made his 1996 remarks.
It's great when the people you want to beat make their own mistakes rather than you having to point them out. It's even better when the other side brings down the other side.

Dems would do well to let the Repugnicans cannibalize themselves.

Friday, August 24, 2007

At least they show up for work. Perhaps drunk, drugged, or just terminally stupid

What would Jesus spend his money on?

Here's a picture that'll whet your whistle for some good ole warmongering: The US (that's your tax dollars) spends 89% of it's allocation for "national security" on the military (i.e., Iraq) and only 7% on homeland security and 4% on preventive measures.

This is why the Iraq war is such a big deal to the Executive branch: In order to justify spending 89% (or $450 billion) of its national security budget on fighting one little inconsequential Middle Eastern country, it has to make that country seem really bad. For if Iraq weren't so bad, so evil, would you condone spending so much of your money to fight it?

Think there's no cost to the Iraq war? Think again

National Priorities Project - A Vote for More War: States and Congressional Districts

This site tells you how many soldiers have been killed and injured (separately) from your state as well as the opportunity cost (i.e., how many schools could have been built with the money).

Very interesting. Pick your state from the map, get a two-page report.

Director of National Intelligence admits telecom firms assisted Bush administration in illegal wiretapping

Telecom Firms Helped With Government's Warrantless Wiretaps -
McConnell also said telecom firms should have immunity from lawsuits. "If you play out the suits at the value they're claimed, it would bankrupt these companies," he said.
Congress won't have the balls to stop this, either.

Inspecting 100 percent of cargo untenable

Bill directs ports to inspect all cargo - U.S. Security -

This bill seems ridiculous given the number of containers we import every day and the fact that it calls for cargo inspection at the originating port -- how can a US law make foreign ports do anything?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

AT&T wants to bring down entire forests on its own

AT&T’s Overstuffed iPhone Bills Annoy Customers - New York Times

300-page cell phone bills. Priceless.
$7.10 in postage just to send the 300-page bill. Ludicrous.

I love politics! John Edwards thinks he's Karl Rove's target

I just got an email from Joe Trippi, John Edwards' campaign manager, asserting that Karl Rove's latest attack on Hillary Clinton was a tacit attack on John Edwards. Here's the full text:
To: Interested Parties
From: Joe Trippi
Re: Karl Rove's Worst Nightmare

You may have seen Karl Rove's recent attacks on Hillary Clinton in the news.

This is a page straight out of his tired old playbook—Rove is attacking Hillary Clinton because he doesn't want John Edwards to win the Democratic nomination.

Rove knows that Democrats will rally around whomever he attacks—so he attacks the candidate he thinks Republicans can most easily defeat.

It may seem backwards, but Rove and his cronies did the same thing last time around. In 2004, they were scared of John Edwards, so they attacked John Kerry.

Don't take it from me—take it from Rove's own lieutenant on the Bush-Cheney 2004 reelection campaign, Matthew Dowd:

"Whomever we attacked was going to be emboldened in Democratic primary voters' minds. So we started attacking John Kerry a lot in the end of January because we were very worried about John Edwards." [Los Angeles Times, 8/19/07]

Rove and the Republicans want our opponents to win—because they know John will be the strongest candidate in the general election.

We may not be the richest campaign—but John is the strongest candidate. This time around, the candidate with the boldest ideas for changing America—the candidate who can take on the special interests in Washington, D.C. and win—is also the most electable. We know it—and the Republicans know it, too. But they won't be able to stop us if we have the support of people like you.

Can you make a contribution today—and send Karl Rove the message that his efforts to influence the Democratic primary won't work this time?

It is no secret that John is the only Democratic candidate who can beat any of the Republican candidates hands down. Just look at the polls conducted by Rasmussen Reports—a major national polling firm—over the past few months. They show that John is the Democratic candidate who consistently beats all of the Republicans candidates in head-to-head match-ups in battleground states—and by the widest margins.

Rove and the Republicans are seeing the same numbers we are—and drawing the same conclusions. So Rove is using his sneaky, underhanded tactics to try and trick Democrats into rallying around a candidate who won't be as strong as John in the general election.

But with your support, we can make sure that Rove's plan doesn't work this time. We are building a strong grassroots organization in the key early states and across the country. John has the best and boldest ideas for bringing big change to America, he can take on the special interests and win, and of all the Democratic candidates he will be the strongest in the general election—in other words, John Edwards is Karl Rove's worst nightmare.

All we need is your support to drive right past Karl Rove's see-through tactics—and keep our campaign on the road to victory.

Thank you for all you do to support this campaign.


-Joe Trippi
Senior Advisor, John Edwards for President
August 22, 2007

Car pooling

This article starts the (for now) two-part series on car pooling, where readers of financial blogger Andrew Tobias debate pros and cons of car pooling.
Ever since I joined Genentech in 2005, I have carpooled with several other employees who live in southern Marin County. Genentech has its main campus in South San Francisco some 25 miles from my home in Tiburon. My commute is certainly scenic. I cross Sausalito, the Marin headlands, the Golden Gate Bridge, The San Francisco Marina, San Francisco Civic Center, and then a dreary drive down the 101 south to near SFO.

If I drive alone I have a $5 toll southbound on the Golden Gate Bridge, there is no toll northbound on my return trip. My 1990 C280 Mercedes has an average fuel efficiency of 23 miles to the gallon combined city and freeway that is representative of my commute to work. Therefore, if I drive alone each day I would consume slightly more than 2 gallons of premium gasoline. The Bay Area has perhaps the highest gasoline prices in the US so gasoline would cost me approximately $7 per day. My car is paid for and pretty close to fully depreciated so I will only account for out of pocket maintenance and repair expenses. The car costs $500 to service every 10,000 miles (5 cents a mile), needs a new set of tires costing $600 every 30,000 miles (2 cents a mile),and needs brakes costing $600 every 30,000 miles(2 cents a mile). This totals 9 cents a mile, therefore the 50 mile round trip commute equals a cash maintenance and repair cost of $4.50 each day I drive to and from work. The total cost for tolls, gasoline, and cash maintenance costs is therefore $16.50 per day. A new car that is not fully depreciated would cost substantially more than the $16.50 per day.

Carpooling to work, I only have to drive about one quarter of the time. We have 6 members but it is a casual carpool and sometimes we have only 2 or three in the car but mostly we have 4 or 5 in the car. Let's assume I drive 6 times a month to work and that there are at least 3 people in total in my car when I drive. I save the Golden Gate Bridge toll because a car with 3 people or more can travel toll free. My monthly out of pocket cash costs for the 6 days I drive total 6 times $11.50 or $69 per month. Had I driven alone, my monthly out of pocket cash cost would equal 22 (workdays in a month) times $16.50 or $363 per month.

There is still another offset to my commuting cost. Genentech for commercial and societal reasons wants to limit the number of vehicles that are parked on the main campus. They have instituted a reward program titled gRide. For every day that an employee does not bring a car on campus the company pays the employee $4. Therefore for the 16 days that I was in another member of my carpool's vehicles, I get $64 added to my paycheck. After taxes this equals $40. My $69 out of pocket monthly commute expense is therefore reduced to only $29 a month. The gRide reward program also saves Genentech a bunch of money. To build a seismically braced parking structure in the Bay Area requires an investment of some $15,000 to $20,000 per parking space exclusive of land acquisition cost. Genentech pays less than $1,000 per year to the employees for the elimination of a parking space under the gRide program. The money that would have been spent on a parking structure is better invested in research for a life saving drug and the company has motivated the employee with an added reward. This is the perfect example of a "win-win" situation.

The gRide program is very successful. 10 months after its inception we now have over 2,000 employees participating and over $1 million in rewards will be paid out this year. Each month the gRide program saves over 50,000 gallons of gasoline and eliminates a million pounds of CO2 emissions. This example shows the benefit of carpooling to employees, corporations, and society. We call our carpool participants "Carpooligans" but we are a tight knit group who enjoy our companionship during the commute, we all care about the environment, and we definitely appreciate saving money.

The federal government should give corporations a tax credit for a gRide type program. The money would be far better spent and provide immediate fuel savings compared with all the nonsense about fuel cells, hydrogen, clean coal, carbon sequestration, ethanol and the myriad programs that simply line some special interest's pocket
2nd in a two-part series.
Lisa Strong: “I’m all in favor of carpooling, but for most of us it won’t work. Few of us are actually able to leave work at the official quitting time, so, that would leave all members of the carpool waiting for the latest member each day. But at this time, I am fortunate to be a full-time telecommuter. My employer saves over $1000 per month by allowing me to telecommute. This is in the Midwest – bet it would save more on the coasts. I save money and time. And for every telecommuter, there’s one less car on the road clogging up rush hour. We use phone, instant message, email, conference calls, and a software tool that allows us to ‘share’ our computer screen with others on the call. This is practical for many people (not most), but still very few employers permit it. Dr Leveen was correct that carpooling is a great idea. Saves money for all parties, less stress for drivers, and even less traffic congestion for those who cannot carpool. However, I take great exception to the statement, ‘The federal government should give corporations a tax credit for a gRide type program.’ Dr. Leveen noted that this is already a “win-win” situation. The participants and corporations already derive financial and other benefits. By waiving the toll in his case, the local government is already subsidizing his carpool. Why should the federal government take dollars from the people who earned them, transfer them through a government that’s more than broke, and distribute those dollars to other people and organizations who will benefit from the situation without the appropriation of someone else’s dollars? My apologies to Dr. Leveen, who wrote an otherwise thoughtful commentary.”

Tobias: Perhaps a compromise would be a five-year incentive, to draw attention to the possibilities and speed their adoption? Or maybe just a good front-page Wall Street Journal story recounting Genentech’s success?

WH memo: How to deal with protestors

White House Manual Details How to Deal With Protesters -

Here's a link to the pdf --

Think you don't live in a country where characteristics of totalitarianism or fascism exist? This sounds like it came right out of the Cold War-era Soviet Union.

The White House has concocted a manual, known as the "Presidential Advance Manual," by which White House staffers can squelch potential protesters using the detailed techniques presented in the manual. The manual has been made available due to a subpoena filed in a case involving the ACLU and two anti-Bush protesters who were thrown in jail for wearing t-shirts that had slogans on them that might hurt Little Bush's feelings.

This kind of stuff is anti-democracy. So, the President proposes spreading democracy throughout the Middle East and world but doesn't really believe in it here. These guys are nothing if not hypocrites, talking out of both sides of their mouths. Gotta love the Repugnicans.

Part 117: Killers from China -- President Bush is "soft on lead"

Bush is ’soft on lead’ - The Carpetbagger Report
Efforts to crack down on lead paint thwarted by China, Bush Administration
Killers from China

Nice. The very agency whose job is to protect consumers really just protects business. This is a great one, where the testing of kids' lunchboxes for lead levels was being undertaken:
After a handful of tests, they increased the number of times they swiped each bag, again and again on the same spot, resulting in lower average results.
Well, duh, they rubbed all the lead off the first few times.

It's absolutely appalling how much this administration hates itself (the government is the problem, they say. Let the market decide what's best).

The former head of the Consumer Products Safety Commission, Ann Brown, who worked for both President Clinton and Bush (1994-2001), has this to say:
“Today, I would say there should be an outright ban in any lead in any toy product,” she said in a telephone interview. “If I were at CPSC now, I’d say that trying to recall (tainted products) is like picking sand out of the beach — it’s just not possible.”
So, like FEMA, Bush put in place industry hacks to head the department when Ann Brown left. Brown had tried to put testing in place prior to toys hitting the market, to no avail.
Before leaving her post, Brown unsuccessfully pushed for pre-market testing of children’s products. The idea largely died when the Bush administration took over, said Brown, who's working with Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The CPSC has only 100 field inspectors to police problems with all products sold to more than 301 million Americans. None of the inspectors are stationed in China or anywhere else abroad.
More interesting stats on toys "Made in China" --
  • Of the 400 or so product recalls this year, about 60 percent involve products made in China, according to commission statistics.
  • 80 percent of all children's toys are made in China
  • Lead has been banned here in the US for decades. The two main culprits: Leaded gasoline and lead paint. But we let China use it in goods sold to us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This reminds me: I need to read Atlas Shrugged

Crumbling infrastructure recalls novel 'Atlas Shrugged' - Aug. 14, 2007

I've been saying it for years: The machines are trying to kill us. They're in cahoots with the infrastructure now, so there's no stopping the movement. Just don't torture us, Machines!

Fed bailing out the big boys? Of course

Monday, August 20, 2007

WaMu wants in on lending opportunity

Countrywide cuts 500 jobs - Los Angeles Times

One man's trash is another man's mortgage...

From the department of really freaking weird

Howstuffworks "How can whale vomit help me retire?"

Apparently, sperm whales' vomit is very sought-after.

Mortgage fiasco worsens: Who's to blame?

We always look for somebody other than ourselves to blame...

How Missed Signs Contributed to a Mortgage Meltdown - New York Times
But the cast of characters who missed signals like the rise of delinquencies and foreclosures is becoming easier to identify. They include investment banks happy to sell risky but lucrative mortgage debt to hedge funds hungry for high interest payments, bond rating agencies willing to hope for the best in the housing market and provide sterling credit appraisals to debt issuers, and subprime mortgage brokers addicted to high sales volumes.

Congress: Our friendly enemy

Threat Level - Wired Blogs
"Congress has just granted the president sweeping new surveillance authorities, yet no one knows why or whether that was needed," Jaffer said. "The point of this motion is to make the orders public."
There are no bounds on the Congress' ability to bungle damn-near everything.

Army brass more "leaky" than Army bloggers

rmy Reports Brass, Not Bloggers, Breach Security
The audits, performed by the Army Web Risk Assessment Cell between January 2006 and January 2007, found at least 1,813 violations of operational security policy on 878 official military websites. In contrast, the 10-man, Manassas, Virginia, unit discovered 28 breaches, at most, on 594 individual blogs during the same period.
Army auditors concluded, stunningly, that official Army web sites reveal more potential security breaches than what the Army considers the culprit, Army blogs. Big surprise there. The military never ceases to amaze in its stupidity.

Coupons are big business, big enough, in fact, to warrant protection under the DMCA?

Coupon Hacker Faces DMCA Lawsuit
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, last month, Coupons Inc. accuses Stottlemire of creating and giving away a program that erases the unique identifier, allowing consumers to repeatedly download and print as many copies of a particular coupon as they want.
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act really seems to have far-reaching tentacles for reeling in violators. This guy found a way to print unlimited numbers of coupons by simply deleting files and registry entries from his own computer. His problem: He posted the "hack" online and other people followed his instructions.

That seems to be the crux of this case.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

When Texas is threatened, Bush comes to rescue, but any other state? Eff off

Texas gets Bush's OK for early storm aid |

Storms now know not to mess with Texas.

Ron Paul versus a fat guy

Putin warns world of US ambition

Can you really argue with this? It may sting to hear it, but I think he's right.

Putin says U.S. wants to dominate world | U.S. | Reuters
"It has nothing in common with democracy because that is the opinion of the majority taking into account the minority opinion," he told the gathering of top security and defense officials.

"People are always teaching us democracy but the people who teach us democracy don't want to learn it themselves."

We PAY them for this shoddy service!

Concerns Raised on Wider Spying Under New Law - New York Times
The dispute illustrates how lawmakers, in a frenetic, end-of-session scramble, passed legislation they may not have fully understood and may have given the administration more surveillance powers than it sought.
You know, I used to think members of Congress were some of the stupidest people on the planet. They pass stupid bills, say and do stupid things, and generally just appear to be stupid.

But I think they're stupid like a fox. They continually get re-elected, do nearly nothing, have fantastic benefits (perks, health coverage, and other amenities like junkets to foreign lands for free), take TONS of vacation, don't listen to their constituents, and we PAY THEM FOR IT.

Who's stupid now?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

McQueen's 1963 Ferrari sold for $2.3 million

Chinese toys are poisoning our children

Consumers Union: Chinese toys are poisoning our children

The economist in me says to let the market decide: Don't buy any toys with the label, "Made in China." Indeed, some have said that the "Made in China" label is not so much an indicator of where a good was manufactured but rather more a warning label, as in, "Made in China. Buyer beware. They're crappy goods, made of poison, and will slowly kill your children."

But the pragmatist in me says that our government should be doing more. I heard this morning on one of the (hundreds?) cable news channels that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has around 100 inspectors. If this is true, we're in serious jeopardy. The CPSC has virtually no teeth anymore (thank you, big government) and hasn't called for any mandatory recalls; they've all been voluntary.

What do you think? What should consumers do? What should our government do?

More on the killers from China

Friday, August 17, 2007

Which Dick do you believe?

Think Progress » On Iraq Regime Change, 2007 Cheney Contradicts 2000 Cheney While Dismissing 1994 Cheney

Don't believe any of them. They're all out to put you in Gitmo, steal from your family, torture your pets, and murder your neighbors.

Repugnicans want to re-engineer how state's electoral votes are awarded

Dems Oppose Calif. Electoral Vote Split, Democratic Leaders, Allies Fight Referendum That Could Tilt 2008 Race - CBS News
"In a state as large and diverse as California, what can be fairer than using congressional districts to apportion electoral votes," said Kevin Eckery, a spokesman for Californians for Equal Representation, a committee backing the proposal.
I'll tell you how. Vote against this measure, first and foremost. Then, set the districts back to a by-county basis. Then, let's talk again about foregoing a winner-take-all-electoral vote.

While the regressives have been in power, they have redistricted California (and many other states) to their advantage (and good for them -- it's good to be the king) and now want to say that the electoral votes should be cast by the very districts that they've set up.

Yeah, that's fair.

And balanced.

NO. Let's try something different. Keep the electoral voting system the same. Change the districts. And then, let's re-hash this.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Giuliani: Leave my family alone

Giuliani: 'Leave my family alone' - Rudy Giuliani News -
Republican Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that people should "leave my family alone" when asked by a New Hampshire woman why the presidential candidate should expect loyalty from voters when he doesn't get it from his children.
As if he'd leave your family alone.
"I love my family very, very much and will do anything for them. There are complexities in every family in America," Giuliani said calmly and quietly. "The best thing I can say is kind of, 'leave my family alone, just like I'll leave your family alone.'"
This is from the guy who'd do anything -- anything -- to stop a terrorist from blowing something up, including continuing the warrant-less wiretapping that BushCo began.

Nation's soul has long been held against its will by BushCo

Nation's Soul Is at Stake in NSA Surveillance Case
Supporters of the Bush administration's position on warrantless surveillance are often heard arguing that we must use any means necessary to fight terrorism. But "any means necessary" is not the guiding principle of a civilized, democratic nation, especially when the tools we are implementing are often more distracting than effective -- never mind "necessary." When the 9th Circuit rules in these two cases, we will find out if we are a nation at risk of losing its soul, or one that will be governed by the rule of law, and will seek to protect people from arbitrary and harmful government monitoring.

This is how easy it is to lose customer data

Medical IT Contractor Folds After Breaches - Desktop Security News Analysis - Dark Reading

One guy could leave down one firewall and expose the entire customer base to fraud. The company, Verus, has folded after its main investor pulled the plug on further funding.

Would you let your kids write their own report cards?

An Early Clash Over Iraq Report -

If so, I guess you're behind the President on this one. However, I bet most people want their kids' teachers to write their report cards, for numerous reasons, two of which come to mind right away:
  1. Ethics -- The Bush Administration has already demonstrated that it is not wholly honest and open when dealing with the public they are supposed to be serving. Faced with an ethical dilemma, BushCo will do what is in their best interest, not what is right. They stand behind "morals" all the time, but they surely do not really believe in morals, ethics, and they have zero integrity.
  2. Objectivity -- This is the real kicker. How can BushCo be counted on to provide an objective analysis of how their own war strategy is working out? I think, at best, they view the world through their own government-issued rose-colored glasses.
All along, Bush and his cronies have said, "We'll wait to see what General Patraeus says." Everyone thought that meant the report. But now that history is being rewritten. Here's how it breaks down:
  1. We'll get an oral report from General Patraeus.
  2. We'll "consider" his assessment.
  3. We'll pick and choose what we like and include it in our report; what we don't like won't get published.
  4. We'll write a report assessing the success of our own strategy and tactics. Everything will be peachy-keen, Jim-Dandy. Except for reality.
Of course, we'll have to wait and see what happens. But I'd love for Congress to call the General to a special session to hear what he has to say. It would be really interesting to wait until after the report comes out: Compare the report to his assessment and see if there's a shred of his thoughts in the report he originally would be giving.

What a bunch of punks!

So Rummy resigned before the mid-term elections

Rumsfeld Resigned as Defense Secretary on Day Before Elections -

Not sure whether this signals Bush's intent not to play politics or to play politics in a new way...we'll see, I guess.

Countrywide facing serious issues, including bankruptcy

Credit crunch imperils lender - Los Angeles Times

This is worse than I had imagined it could get.
At some branches, managers would buy lunch every day for their staff to keep them at their desks working. One manager at a branch in Van Nuys was known to keep a case of Red Bull by his desk for employees to tap when their energy flagged.
Like in the dot-com boom and bust...
More than one-third of all mortgages sold to Fannie Mae comes from Countrywide.
Nothing like the government putting a lot of eggs in one basket!
A bailout of Countrywide would make the government's efforts to save automaker Chrysler in the 1970s look puny.
Especially since Chrysler is doing so well now (not). It seems to me that Countrywide should be allowed to fail...and Fannie Mae should have to carry the debt, at whatever terms they can negotiate with mortgage holders. It may mean that other mortgage companies could service the debt and be given appropriate (i.e., fair) compensation for doing so with zero risk.

Could be a windfall for banks like Washington Mutual, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Housing bubble? Nah! It's a baloon (that's about to burst -- oh, gosh, no!)

Freakonomics Quorum: Is It Time to Believe in the Housing Bubble? - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog
Bubble is the wrong imagery for today’s housing markets. Bubbles inevitably “pop.” A more useful image for the housing markets is a balloon. Balloons expand and deflate. It is clear that air has come out of a number of local balloons across the nation, particularly in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida and some selected metropolitan areas in the Midwest and Northeast regions.
This is a great way to think of real estate and other so-called "local" market economies (I guess like ice in Phoenix AZ versus ice in Alaska).

The balloon can pop, but most likely it inflates or deflates. That is healthy. Bursting is unhealthy (and in the near-term is a zero-sum game, where there is a winner and a loser).

If you're a real car nut, you'll love this story about Steve McQueen and his Ferrari

Being McQueen for a day - Los Angeles Times

This will bring chills to your body...

WTF: President Bush reads?

With Rove’s Departure, a New Era - New York Times
Just as important, Mr. Rove has been a constant companion for the president; they competed over who could read the most books the fastest, frequently played cards on Air Force One and told stories about their days in Texas.
I hope there wasn't any illegal wagering...

UPDATE: Chinese death squads are killing our children

UPDATE: Mattel to recall 19 MILLION toys!

Mattel recalls 9M toys because of magnets, lead paint -
"There is no excuse for lead to be found in toys entering this country," Nord said. "It's totally unacceptable and it needs to stop."
More on the killers from China

Alleged "nappy-headed ho" files lawsuit against Imus

Rutgers basketball player sues Imus and CBS Radio, alleging defamation of character - Yahoo! Sports

Kia Vaughn has filed a slander & defamation of character lawsuit against Don Imus, Bernie McGuirk, CBS Corp, and CBS Radio.

She has now verified that she is at least a ho.

Sue me, I have no money, at least of the CBS kind. Apparently, MSNBC doesn't have any money either, since she's not suing it, although the words were uttered on Imus' MSNBC morning show (his CBS Radio show was televised on MSNBC -- don't ask me how that mating occurred). All along, I've said that I thought if the words -- admittedly mean-spirited and wrong -- had been uttered just on radio, this would not have become the spectacle it became, with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and their circus-deafening hyperbole. But because it was aired on TV, this became a big deal.

However, Vaughn's lawyers, no doubt very smart but not very careful observers, decided not to sue the television network.

"Ho" is a slang term for prostitute, a shortened version of "whore." A prostitute, in the modern vernacular, doesn't just mean a person who takes money for sex. It is a person who seeks money in return for something. Oftentimes, an actor who does a commercial for some old-age
life insurance company, like the captain from the Love Boat, is called a whore. It is this definition to which I make my claim that Vaughn is a whore: She's a money whore, rather than a sex whore. She's seeking money from entities that allegedly "harmed" her. We know her feelings may have been hurt, but what else?

Ms. Vaughn is a college student. She didn't have a reputation to tarnish. Besides, the Rutgers team showed some class in dealing with the spectacle, at least in public. So, her reputation wasn't sullied. In fact, nobody knew who she was until this happened, and people got to see some classy individuals that they might not have seen otherwise.

While I won't so far as to say -- though the implication is very obvious -- that Imus' comments bolstered Vaughn's image, I will say that it certainly didn't hurt it.


Judge who lost pants is filing an appeal

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Good riddance Dennis Fat-stert

Chinese death squads are killing our children

Mattel recalls 9M toys because of magnets, lead paint -
"There is no excuse for lead to be found in toys entering this country," Nord said. "It's totally unacceptable and it needs to stop."
More on the killers from China

Karl Rove's cut and run strategy

I'd say! He left before his mission was complete: The State of the Union is not completely in ruins (close, but no cigar).

Karl "Marx" Rove is a quitter.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Chinese executive of lead-paint-tainted toy manufacturer kills self

Chinese Executive Kills Self Amid Recall -
It is common for disgraced officials to commit suicide in China.
If only American executives would do the same...but then, they'd all be dead and our economy would sink to third-world status.

China: Killing us from within?
Mattel Toy Recall
Chinese food so bad they kill themselves
The Good News: Pet food not tainted with rat poison

Wonkette Humor: 41 living in shame

More skeletons in Rudy Giuliani's closet

Giuliani selective on questions of religion -
At key moments in his church life, Giuliani's close friend, Monsignor Alan Placa, has been at his side. Placa was best man at Giuliani's first wedding, officiated at the second and baptized Giuliani's son and daughter.
Placa was barred from the ministry after he was accused of sexual abuse, but he received special permission to preside at the funeral of Giuilani's mother, Helen, in 2002. Placa has been working for his friend's consulting business, Giuliani Partners, despite the urging of abuse victims that he be terminated.
Wow, this guy becomes George Bush more and more each passing day. Let's hope he doesn't get elected. The country, which has gone to hell in a handbasket, will never recover.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the priest was accused of sexual abuse, but never found guilty. But he was banned from the church! Shouldn't that be telling enough?

Rudy Giuliani should get same treatment for his Catholicism as John Kerry did

Giuliani selective on questions of religion -

John Kerry's Catholic Problem:
Can Kerry be a good Catholic and yet take positions as a lawmaker that contradict the teachings of the church on "life issues," especially abortion and stem-cell research?

I betcha he didn't even see that one coming.
  • Like 9/11 and putting the emergency headquarters in the heart of the target.
  • Or suggesting to President Bush that Bernie Kerik should be head of DHS.
  • Or appointing cronies to key posts
Read more about Rudy "Disaster" Giuliani here.

Tommy Thompson "ends" presidential bid

GOP hopeful Tommy Thompson abandons presidential bid -

To say "end" suggests that there was a beginning for the former Health and Human Services secretary and former governor of Wisconsin. This guy was something else:

Dead battery and I really had to pee
Thompson offers apology on gay comment

OMG: Karl "Marx" Rove has died!!!

Karl Rove to quit at end of August -

Well, at least he's resigning. That's almost as good.

He's leaving "to give more time to his family." Has anybody asked his family if they wanted more of Karl?

Merv Griffin dead

Merv Griffin dies at 82 - Celebrity News -

Cancer got him. As a young man, I enjoyed his talk show. And who hasn't watched Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

US lifespan shorter than 41 other countries

U.S. life span shorter on Yahoo! Health

Many reasons cited, most two obvious: lack of healthcare and obesity. Americans are fat, not so happy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Barry Bonds: Best hitter of all time? Yes. Absolute asshole? Who cares?

Larry Abrams: Bonds -- In and Outta This World - Living Now on The Huffington Post

I couldn't agree more with the author. I don't care that Bonds may have taken steroids. He's still the best hitter I've ever seen. Most players, even when they know what's coming, still fail to hit the ball 7 out of 10 times. Not Barry.

No amount of steroids makes you a better hitter. Your hits may go farther, but balls you don't get 'all of' just become longer outs.

Plus, count up the number of pitchers who have been popped for, or admitted to using, steroids, and they outnumber the hitters by a long shot. And there are far few pitchers in the league than batters.

So, even if he did take 'performance-enhancing' drugs, so did his competition. Viola! Instant level playing field.

Finally, who's to say that wearing contacts isn't performance-enhancing? So-called "God-given" talent is often shouted out during the steroid debate. If you weren't born with the talent, then isn't everything you do 'performance-enhancing?'

And isn't that the point of sports? To do what others haven't or couldn't?

Angelina Jolie doesn't need hot sex with lesbians, now that she's got Brad Pitt

The Sun Online - Bizarre: Angelina: I quit girls for Brad

Not sure what that says about Brad...

*** CAUTION: There's a really grainy slideshow of a nude Jolie cavorting with women in the linked article. ***

Actions of a man who either REALLY wants to be president or is woefully under-endowed

Scores of Relatives Aid Romney - New York Times
At last count, 96 members of the Romney clan, a veritable army, have arrived here over the last few days to help out at Saturday’s Republican straw poll, bolstering what is already a huge ground operation for the event that far outstrips the efforts of any other campaign.
There's nothing quite as scary as a peloton of white-shirt-and-tie-wearing Mormons coming right at you demanding your vote in return for eternal life.

Nice. Army reprimands in Tillman case will not be part of officials' records

Army Reprimands in Tillman Case Mild - The Huffington Post
"You should not consider this as an adverse action," letters to the officers say. "This document will not be filed in any system of records maintained by the Army."
Wouldn't it be great if YOUR life worked this way:
Oh, Mr Smith, we know you stole that box of staples. And normally, we'd fire you. But we feel good about your past accomplishments and want to keep you on. Please, just don't steal any more office supplies.

Okay, pretty please.

GOP is terrorist's best friend

The Blotter: Are GOP Leaders Leaking State Secrets?
"If Mr. Hoekstra wants to break ranks and disclose that information, that's fine with me," said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert who has long pushed to declassify overall spending on intelligence. "But it is the sort of thing he has harshly criticized in the past."
It's nice to know that they support, even help, the terrorists. Heck, they continue to give them oil money and weapons.

AT & T (At and T?) "sorry" for ripping out anti-Bush Pearl Jam words

AT&T: sorry for cutting anti-Bush lyrics in Webcast
"AT&T's actions strike at the heart of the public's concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media," some blog said.
I wonder how AT&T does any work with Bush up its ass so far.

My kid is smarter than yours

Chris Kelly: Bush Baby Einstein - Politics on The Huffington Post
And of course "Baby Einstein" doesn't work. Bush endorsed it. So it makes kids stupid? We're lucky it doesn't kill them.

There he goes again: Rudy spouting off as if he were somebody important

Giuliani: I misspoke about ground zero - Yahoo! News
"I think he was simply showing what his true character is — a self-absorbed, self-deluded promoter who got caught and is now just simply trying to backtrack," Schaitberger said.
He's such a megalomaniac.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Can you say "Oh, Canada!"

Threat Level - Wired Blogs

BushCo seeks to throw out NSA spying case, citing 4-day-old law. Nice.

Police state in America

Chilling commentary by a Reagan Republican.

The Raw Story | Old-line Republican warns 'something's in the works' to trigger a police state
The people are in the way. The Constitution is in the way. ... Americans need to comprehend and look at how ruthless Cheney is. ... A person like that would do anything.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ben Stein on your money: Credit crunch or made-up story?

Ben Stein gives some compelling reasons why the so-called "credit crunch" is a manufactured story by market manipulators.

Ethanol spurring farmland price inflation

This is democracy

Baghdad without water - 6 Million People, 117 Degrees And No Water -- Signs of the Times News

The tiny amount of water dripping through the pipes is causing many of those who must drink it to suffer acute intestinal illness.
According to reports, not enough electricity is available to run Baghdad's water pumps. This in a country with vast energy resources.
Where did all the freakin' oil go? It's not coming here ($3+ gasoline). Straight to Dick Cheney's fat ass pockets? You betcha!

Your next performance evaluation

Karl "Marx" Rove has an iPhone

Think Progress » Karl Rove has an iPhone.

Just read the comments. There's nothing more for me to say about the vitriol he inspires.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

BushCo pusses out: Seeks UN help in Iraq

Pressed by U.S., a Wary U.N. Now Plans Larger Iraq Role -

Bush and Ken Lay have lot in common: They both say one thing and do another (I know, Ken Lay is dead but so is Bush's presidency, as well as his legacy).

This is the best ad ever

Food and toilets don't should come after the other, but not at the same time

No more crispy duck served at toilets - Yahoo! News

This is severely disturbing. Why do we do any business with the Chinese? They're gross. Prove me wrong.

Your kid is dumber than mine, smarty pants

'Baby Einstein': a bright idea? - Los Angeles Times

UPDATE: Bush endorses it! Maybe that's how his girls became so S-M-R-T.

Quote of the Day: John Kenneth Galbraith

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

John Kenneth Galbraith

Managing by spreadsheet, Dilbert style

I think this really happens.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Leave the pencil in or take it out?

Why does he even give a damn anymore?

Crooks and Liars » President Bush Wants Power To Immunize Telecoms That Aid In Spying On Americans

I guess he wants his legacy to be that he was the most totalitarian president ever. I just hope the next administration uses his weapons against him. I'd put a satellite on Crawford and put the dude in jail next time he pissed outside (you know he does).

How long does food last in the fridge?

Censure resolutions on Dick, George, and "Alberto" (if that's his real name)

Giuliani's daughter supports Barack Obama

This one-legged man doesn't stand a chance in prison

He doesn't have any arms. Poor bastard. I hope prison officials keep him safe. He's going to jail for traffic violations (oh, yeah, drugs, too), not murdering retarded children.
He has already spent more than three years in prison for habitually driving without a license, kicking a state trooper and other charges.
How the heck did he do that?

Amputee driver sentenced to prison - Criminal Peculiarity -

You smell terrific

...compared to this jackass.

I couldn't decide whether to entitle this post as it is now or "Only in Florida." Seems like the real weird stuff can only happen in Florida. I think it's the Bush influence. They make everything stink.

Odor leads agents to dung depot - Criminal Peculiarity -

Nardelli to head up new Chrysler

Ex-Home Depot boss to lead New Chrysler - Yahoo! News

Let's hope this megalomaniac can run Chrysler better than Home Depot. I don't really care how much he gets paid, as long as he builds a car that can beat the competition in terms of quality, functionality, price, and profitability.

I want my bigass truck. With a snow plow. And a jake brake. And 30mpg.

First, the animals. Then the machines and infrastructure. Now the food. What's next?

UPDATE: 6 miners trapped in mine after quake - Yahoo! News

All critical infrastructure is killing us, one by one.

U.S. issues new botulism warning for green beans - Yahoo! News

Everything is out to kill us. Food isn't safe. What's next? Water?

Oh, wait, that's already killing us, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y.

Scorecard for the infidels

Final Vote Results for Roll Call 836

This is the final vote tally for the bastards who voted to give King George uber-status and spy on us whenever the hell he wants (as if he needed this law to do that)!

Handy address list of your members of the House of Representatives

Representative Offices - United States House of Representatives, 110th Congress, 1st Session

In case, you know, they ever fail to represent you, as in, like, EVERY FREAKIN' DAY!!!

And who says religion isn't big business?

The ATM in the Church Lobby - TIME
They were so successful in his own church that he now markets the devices privately and has placed them in 35 congregations across the U.S. "People don't carry cash," he says, noting that total income from contributions has increased 18% since the first kiosk was installed in 2005. Coins and paper money now account for less than 5% of that total.
Yes, they say it's to document a paper trail in order to help church members account for charitable donations, but they've found a dubious, yet very profitable, side effect: People give more. So this preacher man started selling them to other churches.

Rudy Giuliani would be a terrible president

Rudolph Giuliani would be 'terrible' president - Telegraph
"Rudy would make a terrible president and that is why I am speaking now," Mr Hauer told The Sunday Telegraph. "He's a control freak who micro-manages decision, he has a confrontational character trait and picks fights just to score points. He is the last thing this country needs as president right now."

Mr Hauer also accused Mr Giuliani of failing to sort out turf battles between the city's police and fire departments, and of appointing inexperienced cronies to key positions.
Sounds like our current president: He doesn't listen to objective advice and puts inexperienced political friends in key positions.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

New Gingrich: War on Terror "phony"

Political Radar: Gingrich calls War on Terror "Phony"

While I disagree with Newt on a lot of things, on this one we share some similar thoughts.

It's official: # of balls in House -- 366

Saturday, August 04, 2007

China: Killing us from within?

China draws up export blacklist amid health scares - Yahoo! News
In the latest scare, U.S. toy maker Mattel Inc. said on Wednesday that it was recalling 1.5 million Chinese-made toys worldwide because their paint may contain too much lead.
What the hell is too much lead? How about none?

First, the animals. Then the machines and infrastructure. Now the food. What's next?

U.S. issues new botulism warning for green beans - Yahoo! News

Everything is out to kill us. Food isn't safe. What's next? Water?

Oh, wait, that's already killing us, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y.

Friday, August 03, 2007

AT&T "CEO" claims nobody wants his $10 DSL

CE-Oh no he didn't! Part XL: AT&T CEO says no one wants $10 DSL - Engadget

Interesting way to disparage his own company, no?

Nobody wants your second rate "fiber" service either. When you want to play with the big boys, go work for Verizon.

Huge tax break for the hedge funders and private equity managers

Wall Street's Lucrative Tax Break Is Under Fire -

$684 million to co-founder of the Blackstone Group...quite big.

He lost his pants. Then he lost his shirt. Now he is going to lose his job -- the trials of a judge hellbent on winning

Here's a twist on sending jobs overseas: Insourcing

Indian Call Center Opens A Branch In Ohio - Business on The Huffington Post

Love this comment to the story:
Let me see if I have this right. Companies that have been sending their American callers to call centers overseas have discovered that their customers prefer phone conversations with people in their own time zone (or close to) with English as their first language (or close to) who have a similar cultural context and point of view (or close to). I wonder how much they had to pay a consultant to figure that one out.
Consultants always win, just like the lawyers.

NY Times graphic: Tracking face time on the news channels for the presidential hopefuls

he New York Times > U.S. > Image > Tracking Face Time

Nice graphic that shows where the networks stand on candidate coverage.

QVC selling music, as in live music?

QVC's New Product For Sale: Live Bands - Business on The Huffington Post

Strange business idea that just might work. They should hook up with those Time-Life and K-tel people to sell their wares. That little countdown clicker thingamajig moves product!

Fifty-fifty: Great odds when betting against the house, not so great when betting on your life

- Bridge Collapse -

Turns out most of civilized America has over 25% deficient or obsolete bridges. Drive over one of them twice, you're dead.

Premature Ajax-ulation problems?

Snot-nosed Repugnicans took their balls (if they had any) and went home in protest

NY Times graphic: Tracking face time on the news channels for the presidential hopefuls

he New York Times > U.S. > Image > Tracking Face Time

Nice graphic that shows where the networks stand on candidate coverage.

Rummy is rummy in recalling Pat Tillman death details

Dana Milbank - Forget About It! -
The two men handled the questions about Tillman much as they did the questions about the Iraq war: no mistakes, no regrets, and no blame for what went wrong.
Big surprise here.

Border Computers Vulnerable to Attack

Gee, we pay how much in taxes and get what in return? I'd rather pay for Social Security (something I think I'll never get for myself) than pay for this.

"Executive Privilege": The new Fifth Amendment

Bush Aide Addresses Missing RNC E-Mails -

So this guy, J. Scott Jennings (you know he's a real jackass with a name like that), gets up in front of a Senate panel investigating the US Attorney firings, and pleads "executive privilege."

Karl "Marx" Rove doesn't show.

Congress needs to grow some and throw the bums in jail.

Luxury car "performance" is poor in slow crashes

Luxury cars do poorly in bumper tests - Aug. 2, 2007

The Infiniti G35 sustains $14,000 worth of damage (okay, you'd have to be a real idiot, or Paris Hilton, to crash all 4 corners of your Benz). Wow.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Glasgow terrorist dies from burns suffered during attempted plot

Glasgow Terror Suspect Dies From Burns -

Yeah, sure he did. Burns. From fire he started. Right.

Leukemia on the war path: Killing all celebrities

Amazon Fresh: Webvan copycat?

Welcome | AmazonFresh

It only serves selected Seattle communities, but it's worth a look. Hopefully, it becomes successful and expands across the land. I hate grocery shopping and the delivery service arm of my local grocery store (Safeway) is horrible.

Bush: Fallen bridge must be rebuilt "as soon as possible"

Bush offers help restoring fallen bridge - Yahoo! News
"We in the federal government must respond, and respond robustly, to help the people there not only recover, but to make sure that lifeline of activity — that bridge — gets rebuilt as quickly as possible," Bush said in the Rose Garden following a Cabinet meeting.
Let's see if Chimpy makes good on his words. "As soon as possible" leaves a lot to the imagination, unless you're name is George Bush (who has no imagination), in which case it means, "As soon as your stupid state turns red."

Mattel Toy Recall

Mattel Consumer Relations Answer Center - Recall Information
U.S. biz blamed for dangerous Chinese products

Known for its quality control and vendor management processes with respect to its Chinese vendors, Mattel has recalled about a million Fisher-Price toys made in China for lead paint.

If Mattel can get duped by the Chinese, and they're renowned for their tight quality controls, what about the other toy manufacturers that are not necessarily so good at this?

I'm considering throwing all my son's toys away. I'm tired of being able to only buy Chinese "goods" (aren't they "bads?") -- and I'm not some jingoistic a-hole. I do believe in the economic principle of competitive advantage. But somebody's got to put the thumbscrews to the Chinese manufacturers.

I blame Wal-Mart for a lot of this. They put so much pricing pressure on their suppliers, many of which are Chinese, that the suppliers make cost-cutting choices that aren't healthy.

Killer Elevator Pitches

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dilbert's career advice

The Dilbert Blog: Career Advice

Sound advice from Scott Adams

Senator Leahy lets loose on BushCo

Republicans can't shake the scandals

Scandal-ridden GOP tries to carry on - Carrie Budoff -

Too many scandals to list, so little time. Fend for yourself:

Leave it to the Chinese to torture children with toys painted with lead

Fisher-Price to recall nearly 1M toys - Yahoo! News

We need to put a stop to this crap. F-- people live in the Stone Age.

Attack of the killer bridges

Bottled water is for the rich birds

Bush to utter 'executive privilege' one more time -- today

Bush likely to prevent aides' testimony - Yahoo! News

Bush should put Karl "Marx" Rove on the witness stand. For chrissakes, Marx is as good at obfuscating the truth as anybody. He'd have Congress in tears. Keep 'em busy while we blow up Iran.

Rumsfeld denies personal responsibility in Pat Tillman cover-up

Rumsfeld Denies Cover Up on Tillman | World Latest | Guardian Unlimited

There are things Rummy knows, things he doesn't know, things he doesn't know he doesn't know, things he knows he knows, things he knows he doesn't know, and this thing.

One man's thoughts on Iran, nuclear bombs, and sanctions

Nuclear proliferation | The riddle of Iran |

Worth a try. For goshsakes, pre-emptive action in Iraq has done no good. Let's try something old: Diplomacy.

It worked with the Soviets. Why not with the Iranians?

US spying on itself -- Bush orders more than just wiretapping

NSA spying part of broader effort - Washington Post -

I don't know if these guys are super-paranoid or just control freaks.