Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto killed in blast at Pakistan rally: report

Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was reported killed Thursday in an explosion at a rally in the city of Rawalpindi that killed at least 20 others, according to media reports.

An unnamed party aide told wire services that Bhutto had died in the attack at the city's Liaqat Bagh park.

Bhutto had just finished speaking to the crowd of thousands when the blast occurred, freelance journalist Graham Usher told the CBC from the capital, Islamabad.

Shit shit shit shit.

This is not going to end well for Pakistan I fear.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Queen Elizabeth II

Because I am Canadian and have a soft spot for the Royals for some odd reason.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rachel Maddow Does a Pilot on MSNBC?

TVNewser posted that a pilot for MSNBC has been taped, with Air America’s Rachel Maddow and MSNBC’s VP Bill Wolff (who frequently appears on Tucker) as hosts.

Please Please Please let this be true.

Rachel Maddow is one of the smartest and most engaging people on the air in America. If they don't try to sit on her too much I think this is a terrific opportunity to show that Liberals can be smart and entertaining at the same time with being named Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart.

From Crooks and Liars

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Crooks and Liars Being Stupid With a Faked Screen Capture

I love Crooks and Liars but this is just fucking stupid.

You never, ever give your opponents a stick to beat you with and this one is just begging to be all over Fox on Monday!



The half-assed "april fools" thing doesn't really help. It was stupid, just say so.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rachel Maddow on the GOP strategists

Have I mentioned that someone should hire Rachel Maddoow and put her on the teevee box every single day?

Roughriders end Grey Cup drought

Defensive back James Johnson set a Grey Cup record with three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, as the Saskatchewan Roughriders won their first championship in 18 years on Sunday.

Saskatchewan defeated Winnipeg 23-19 in the 95th Grey Cup at Rogers Centre in Toronto. The Roughriders last won a championship in 1989, when current coach Kent Austin was the starting quarterback.

I miss watching the CFL some days.
From CBC

LOLtriots at Sadly, No!

Even though the Pats barely pulled this one out this is still worth seeing just for the pictures.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Stick a Fork in Fred

Thompson came into the GOP race late with the hope of winning social conservatives unsatisfied with the rest of the party's field, and racked up a key endorsement from the National Right to Life Committee last week.

But the former star of the television drama "Law and Order" has trailed the GOP front-runners in early voting states since entering the race in August, and his support in New Hampshire dropped from 13 percent in a September poll to 4 percent in November's survey.

He's done

Saudi Government needs a new PR firm

The government statement said that according to the woman's signed confession, she called a man on her cell phone and "asked to be with him alone, illegally." The two met at a marketplace, then rode in the man's car to "a dark area of the beach, and stayed there for some time," the ministry said.

The group of attackers "saw her in a compromising situation, her clothes on the ground," the statement said. "The men at this point assaulted her and the man with her."

Well Of course that makes all the difference in the world. If a group of thugs sees two people making out they naturally should assume that it is ok to gang rape the woman. Especially since they know that she is unlikely to report the crime because the assholes that run the country think that women are evil temptresses and should be treated as such.

Why exactly does the Saudi government think that this bit of information makes them look any better? As a father I would like to think that it was Ok for my daughter to make out in the park with her boyfriend without risking gang rape from passing assholes.

Go read the full story at

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stupid Headlines

Ticker: 'Law & Order' star bashes NYC, Giuliani

This was the headline on a CNN story link about Fred Thompson commenting on how stupid it was that our friend Rudy was talking up what a great mayor he had been.

Now, I don't know about you but I think that is just stupid. Granted old Fred isn't exactly setting the world on fire as a candidate but don't they think that just maybe they should identify him as "Thompson" or "Fred" or even "other candidates" in the link text? I honest to god thought it was going to be something about Sam Waterston.

To be fair, the actual article had a sensible headline but that isn't what got me to click through now is it?

I am not sure why this pissed me off when I saw it given all the really egregious crap that goes on in the world but it did.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Party of the Rich

Dems may indeed have made the most marginal of gains among generally wealthier districts, due to Dem successes in the suburbs and other stuff. But so what? They gained just about everywhere else, too -- this just means that wealthier Americans, along with everyone else, have figured out that the GOP made a hash of everything and that the Dems are the better choice. And it certainly doesn't have anything to do with the small question of, you know, which party's policies best serve the economic interests of the rich. Pathetically weak stuff.

You know that wingnuttery is smelling defeat when they start trying to portray the Democratic party as the "party of the rich". Well, of course unless you look at such rich folks as Warren Buffett, who actually seems to get that the current system is fucked up. But then again, Warren Buffett would make a better Baseball Commissioner than George Bush too.

Greg Sargent does a nice job on this stupidity over at TPM Horse's Mouth

Because the Muppets Rock

Heard the song .. had to post

A Friday Funny

Dedicated to my buddy Tim.

Dexter's Presidential Platform

I've got mine.. now get lost.

Yes... Dexter is a Republican.. I am so ashamed

Did I mention that I am addicted to Scrabulous on Facebook

Anyone that gets the urge .. feel free to play me .. I am not good, not bad .. I just play regular old games for fun and i don't use word builders.


As many as 60 percent of the foreign fighters who entered Iraq in the past year have come from Saudi Arabia and Libya, according to documents discovered in a raid in September near the Syrian border, a senior U.S. military official in Baghdad confirmed to CNN Thursday.

Forget the bullshit about calling it an al Qaeda rolodex. Beyond that, I am waiting to hear when the US will be calling for economic sanctions against Saudi Arabia since obviously that many Saudi nationals couldnt be fighting in Iraq without the tacit approval of the government. And I betcha that one or more might have had training in the Saudi military.

Hmmm .. wouldnt that make Saudi Arabia a sponsor of terrorism.. at least by the grossly weakened version of that term used by the Bush Whitehouse?

Just thinking out loud, dont mind me

'Al Qaeda rolodex' found in Iraq -

How to guarantee nobody ever licenses one of your songs again

The band's attorneys tell the Detroit Free Press for Thursday's edition that Activision properly secured permission to use "What I Like About You," allowing it to record a cover version.

But they say by creating an imitation so much like the Romantics' original, the California-based company infringed on the group's rights to its own likeness.

The game is called Guitar Hero. What the fuck did they expect. Of course it was going to be a cover version as close as possible to the original.

This doesn't even pass the laugh test. Stupid stupid stupid.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Lest anyone forget what a talent Freddy Mercury was

Elastica - Connection

Sometimes you just need music

The Candidates on Jailing Rape Victims

CNN has the headline "Candidates slam Saudi rape verdict". The Story then tells about how Biden, Clinton and Edwards have made statements, of the appropriate sort, about this.

By my count there are 17 people running for president under the banner of one of the two major parties. Let's just see as of this publishing what each of them have said about this issue that, let's face it, didn't just happen this afternoon. I went to the web sites of each of the candidates to look for a press release or a blurb or some such and this is what I have found so far. My methodology was simple. I first googled "{candidate's last name} Rape Saudi" and if I got no hits then I looked at their campaign web site. Simple minded I know but then this should be a simple thing for them to have a public opinion on.

I am going to write up something about how I feel about this but the overall results made me too pissed off to write at the moment.

Democratic Party Hopefuls

  • Joe Biden
  • "I'm outraged by the decision of a Saudi Arabian court to punish the victim of a brutal gang-rape," Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee said in a statement.

    "I call on King Abdullah to exercise his powers and overturn this sentence if the Saudi courts do not reverse their decision immediately.

    "I also would urge him to undertake reforms to prevent similar miscarriages of justice in the future."
  • Hillary Clinton
    Calling the decision "an outrage," Sen. Hillary Clinton urged President Bush to protest the decision to the Saudi authorities.

    "The Bush administration has refused to condemn the sentence and said it will not protest an internal Saudi decision," the Democrat presidential front-runner said in a statement.

    "I urge President Bush to call on King Abdullah [of Saudi Arabia] to cancel the ruling and drop all charges against this woman."

  • Christopher Dodd
    • Crickets (Yes, this really pissed me off)
  • John Edwards
  • “Today’s news that a Saudi Arabian court has chosen to punish the victim of a gang rape is an appalling breach of the most fundamental human rights. I am outraged that President Bush has refused to condemn the sentence. We need a president who will reengage with the world and restore our moral authority - only then will we be able to lead other nations in protecting the basic rights and human dignity of every person on this planet.”
  • Mike Gravel
    • Crickets
  • Dennis Kucinich
    • Crickets
  • Barack Obama
    According to news accounts, last week a Saudi court sentenced a 19-year old woman, who was the victim of a gang rape, to six months in jail and to 200 lashes. Reportedly, this is more than a doubling of her initial sentence. The court took this step of doubling the sentence because the defendant’s lawyers raised the case in the press in an effort to call attention to it. That the victim was sentenced at all is unjust, but that the court doubled the sentence because of efforts to call attention to the ruling is beyond unjust.

    I strongly urge the Department of State to condemn this ruling. Moreover, since your Department is finalizing this year’s country reports on human rights pursuant to Sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA), I ask that this unjust case and any efforts to correct this demeaning ruling be given a prominent place in that report.
  • Bill Richardson
    • Crickets

Republican Party Hopefuls

  • Rudy Giuliani
    • Crickets
  • Mike Huckabee
    • Crickets - although to be fair his web site wouldnt load at all so ......
  • Duncan Hunter
    • Crickets
  • Alan Keyes
    • Crickets
  • John McCain
    • Crickets
  • Ron Paul
    • Crickets
  • Mitt Romney
    • Crickets
  • Tom Tancredo
    • Crickets
  • Fred Thompson
    • Crickets

And this is the state department reaction

"This is a part of a judicial procedure overseas in the court of a sovereign country," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack when asked to comment on the case.

"That said, most would find this relatively astonishing that something like this happens," added McCormack.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Support the troops

Just in time for the holidays, there's a special place in Hell just waiting to be filled by some as-yet-unknown Pentagon bureaucrat. Apparently, thousands of wounded soldiers who served in Iraq are being asked to return part of their enlistment bonuses -- because their injuries prevented them from completing their tours.

I am dumbfounded if this is accurate

TPM Muckraker

Monday, November 19, 2007

Why does this sound familiar

Pakistan's newly government-selected Supreme Court judges dismissed all major legal challenges to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's continued rule Monday.

The judges struck down five challenges to Musharraf's right to have run for re-election while still army chief. A sixth petition will be heard later this week.

Musharraf has vowed to step down as army chief and be sworn in as a civilian president once the court cleared his Oct. 6 re-election.

Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar said three petitions were "withdrawn" because opposition lawyers were not present in court. A request from one of the petitioners to postpone hearings had been turned down.

Recall that many lawyers, especially of the type that would be presenting this kind of case are in jail.

Does anyone actually think this is legitimate? A Supreme Court, largely appointed by allies of (or in this case by) a Presidential candidate, deciding in favour of that candidate .... oh .. never mind.

Heckuva job Pervez, you are learning quickly.

From CBC

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Max and Dexter are bonding well

I just wish that it wasn't inside my damned dryer

Why Republicans dont need to plant questions

Reporters covering the event apparently laughed in response to the incessant softballs, but a senior McCain aide swore that "no one from the campaign asked any voter to ask any question or make any statement."

Zuckman seemed skeptical, which is perfectly understandable given the circumstances. But I can't help but wonder: maybe a lot of Republican audiences are just naturally sycophantic?

There really is no mystery here. Republicans seem to be by nature more willing to defer to an authority figure. That also explains Rudy Giuliani as a plausible candidate because if you look at the positions that he has actually taken in his career and the decisions that he has made, as opposed to the bullshit talking points and re-writing of history that is currently extant on his website, they are antithetical to the vast majority of Republican voters. But he is a "tough guy" so it is ok .

I am praying to FSM this infatuation comes to an end before the fall of '08

From TPM

The USA does not torture, right?

The United States does not torture. This has been definitively stated at all levels of government, including by the President of the United States. The United States may perform techniques of enhanced interrogation; it may engage in coercion; it may inflict suffering akin to that experienced at the moment of death; it does not, however, torture. The United States clearly follows the Geneva Conventions in all circumstances in which it has deemed the Geneva Conventions to apply. The United States unambiguously follows its own laws regarding the rights of prisoners in all instances in which the United States has deemed those prisoners to have rights. It does not treat prisoners in a cruel or inhumane fashion. The Vice President of the United States has explicitly endorsed the legality and reasonable nature of this technique.

The United States may have enhanced interrogation techniques, borrowing methods of methodical drowning used by the Khmer Rouge, the Spanish Inquisitors, and various others that populate the cruelest edges of history.

But we are the United States, and that is the difference: the United States does not torture.

Hunter, over at Daily kos, has a truly horrible posting about waterboarding. Please go read it, this is important stuff.

No sharp objects for these idiots please

AS the government of Pakistan totters, we must face a fact: the United States simply could not stand by as a nuclear-armed Pakistan descended into the abyss. Nor would it be strategically prudent to withdraw our forces from an improving situation in Iraq to cope with a deteriorating one in Pakistan. We need to think — now — about our feasible military options in Pakistan, should it really come to that.

That is the lede of a truly horrifying op-ed in the NY Times.

It is hard for me to articulate the level of insanity that is contained in the piece but perhaps this will give you an idea.

The most likely possible dangers are these: a complete collapse of Pakistani government rule that allows an extreme Islamist movement to fill the vacuum; a total loss of federal control over outlying provinces, which splinter along ethnic and tribal lines; or a struggle within the Pakistani military in which the minority sympathetic to the Taliban and Al Qaeda try to establish Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.

So in other words, we must support a military dictator or all kinds of horrible things will happen and we will have to send in our military to support the government. however ....

We would also have to be wary of internecine warfare within the Pakistani security forces. Pro-American moderates could well win a fight against extremist sympathizers on their own. But they might need help if splinter forces or radical Islamists took control of parts of the country containing crucial nuclear materials. The task of retaking any such regions and reclaiming custody of any nuclear weapons would be a priority for our troops.

So basically it might all go to shit anyway and we have to make sure that the nuclear weapons are safe.....

For the United States, the safest bet would be shipping the material to someplace like New Mexico; but even pro-American Pakistanis would be unlikely to cooperate. More likely, we would have to settle for establishing a remote redoubt within Pakistan, with the nuclear technology guarded by elite Pakistani forces backed up (and watched over) by crack international troops. It is realistic to think that such a mission might be undertaken within days of a decision to act. The price for rapid action and secrecy, however, would probably be a very small international coalition.

The "Coalition of the Gullible"?

I think I need a drink

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jeff Pitchell

Heading out to see this fella live tonight .... I love blues/country blues so hopefully I will like this

Republicans Filibuster Desperately Needed War Funding

Congress left for its Thanksgiving break Friday without passing a bill to pay for the war in Iraq after the Senate deadlocked over a Democratic demand that the measure include a call for most troops to be withdrawn by the end of next year.

As they have all year, Senate Democrats failed to muster the votes to consider a proposal to condition further spending on a timeline for withdrawing troops. The $50-billion bill, which narrowly passed the House on Wednesday, failed by seven votes.

And Republicans in the narrowly divided chamber fell short of a majority for their alternative proposal to send President Bush $70 billion without restrictions.

but further down is the real story ...

The Democratic funding measure received 53 votes, seven shy of the 60-vote supermajority needed to end a filibuster.

Does anyone think that if the parties were reversed here the headline at the LA Times would have been "Democrats filibuster desperately needed war funding" rather than Congress breaks without passing war spending bill

Just asking ...

Warren Buffett for Commissioner of Baseball

Warren Buffett advised Alex Rodriguez to approach the New York Yankees and go around agent Scott Boras, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Now if we can get him to take on the job of reforming the tax system ...

Read at

Friday, November 16, 2007

Warren Buffett On Inherited Wealth

"Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise. Equality of opportunity has been on the decline," Buffett said. "A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy."

Compare and contrast with the "I have mine, now go fuck yourself" attitude seen too often lately.

I see the wingnut's heads exploding now ...

Story at

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Donita Sparks


Nice show review over at Conversations with Mud. I really have to start going to clubs again. Anyone within driving distance (I am in hardford, ct) want to be a partner in crime?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cat Doors Are Dangerous

St. Johns County deputies recently launched an investigation into what they called one of the strangest accidents they've ever seen when a man was found dead after getting stuck in a cat door.

Investigators said 32-year-old Charles Tucker Jr. was using the cat door early Saturday morning as a way to get back into his girlfriend's St. Augustine home after the woman kicked him out.

My cats stay indoors and I am currently single. Now, that could mean that I am a crazy cat person or it could mean that I am just trying to save lives... you decide.

See Darwin in action at WJXT Jacksonville

Yes, the teen is a victim

"It's my understanding he was grooming her and she wasn't grooming him," Davis said.

"I see true victims every day," he added. "This young man is no victim."

Davis also suggested that the boy -- who authorities say is 13 -- may actually be 16 or older -- too old for a state statutory rape count to apply.

"The information I have is that he might be older," said Davis, declining to elaborate. "The kid is sophisticated. He shaves, he has a mustache. I'll be requesting his original birth certificate from the Mexican consulate. I think he had one here, but I don't know if anyone vouched for its authenticity."

A prosecutor and a relative of the boy rejected Davis' claims.

I understand that an attorney has a duty to vigorously defend his client but this is some of the slimiest shit that I have seen in a while.

Even if (a big if) the kid is 16 instead of 13 it still means that the 25 year old teacher, by definition in a position of trust, was having sex with someone over whom she had a huge amount of control. This is not a romeo and juliet situation, this is abuse.

I predict that the fact that the boy is not in the country legally will either come into play in this woman's defense or it will turn out to be one of the key reasons that she targeted him. Abusers target the vulnerable. How much more vulnerable could someone be than a 13 year old kid who could have his entire family kicked out of the country if he told what was going on.

This woman is despicable.

See the story at

Dexter For President

Why not? If someone can claim with a straight face that Rudy Giuliani or Fred Thompson or Tom Tancredo is qualified to be president why not a 1 Year old Maine Coon Cat?

Especially once as cute as this.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tom Tancredo - Whisky Tango Foxtrot

Tom Tancredo is a candidate for the Republican nomination for the Presidency of the United States of America. He is also a xenophobic alarmist lunatic.

Go join in the commentary on this at any of your favorite blogs .. I am sure they are all talking about this pile of shit.

A few to start with
TalkingpointsMemo Election Central

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Military Buildup

We are hearing a lot in the last few days about how horrible it has been that President Clinton has let the military gone to hell over the last few years (I wish I was kidding).

I thought that it might be instructive to ask the "we need a bigger military" crowd where exactly they think that we will get more folks to staff this bigger military. Personally I think that the only realistic way is the return of mandatory national service. Yes folks, they are calling for the draft but they are too gutless to admit it.

Halfway through writing this I saw that Steve Benen has said a lot of good stuff about what I was going to say. And since I am lazy, go read his stuff instead.

Stupidest Comment of the day

Worldly Democrats
Lee W. Dodson - Los Angeles

Democrats cannot credibly divorce themselves for their pacifist stance even if it is to secure election to the White House. The liberal wing divorced itself from being citizens of the United States after falling in love with being citizens of the world.

This gem, from the comments on an article by everyone's favourite torture rationalizer ALAN DERSHOWITZ, shows the level of insanity extant in the wingutosphere. By definition, if you are against the Iraq occupation then you are a pacifist. Also by definition you cannot care about anything other than narrowly defined neo-con American self interest otherwise you are not a real American.

Full comments on this over at OpinionJournal

My Senator for VP .. again .. WTF

At the risk of raining on the parade, this seems ridiculously far-fetched. As humiliating as Lieberman is on matters of foreign policy and national security, he's also fairly liberal on most domestic policy matters, including abortion and gay rights. Is the Republican Party so devoid of leaders that can win a national election that it has to look beyond the GOP for running mates?


This has been another installment of easy answers to easy questions.

with apologies to atrios

Ron Paul

I don't have anything original to say about Ron Paul. But I figured that shouldn't stop me from saying that I wouldn't vote for him.

Salesmen vs Bankers

A former Countrywide executive who worked closely with Mr. Mozilo and requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the company, said the way his boss dressed had less to do with a desire to flaunt his wealth and more to do with his ideas of how to be a successful salesman.

And herein lies the problem. The mortgage loan business stopped being banking and became sales. When that happens all kinds of shitty loans are going to be written in the name of making the quotas.

Read the New York Times

Pakistan Election + Martial LaW = WTF

Pakistan's Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Sunday that elections will go ahead in January despite a state of emergency that he said was needed to tackle extremists and ensure free and fair elections.

He said the vote will take place before January 9 but he would not say when the state of emergency would end.

Can someone explain to me how it is possible to haVe a free and fair election campaign during a state of Martial law where leaders of the opposition parties are being rounded up and charged with, among other things, treason?

For Condi Rice to say that this is "positive" is such a steaming load of shit that I find it hard to believe that she isnt medicated.

Read the weirdness in full at

Frank Rich Notices Some Parallels Too

Even if Mr. Bush had the guts to condemn General Musharraf, there is no longer any moral high ground left for him to stand on. Quite the contrary. Rather than set a democratic example, our president has instead served as a model of unconstitutional behavior, eagerly emulated by his Pakistani acolyte.

Take the Musharraf assault on human-rights lawyers. Our president would not be so unsubtle as to jail them en masse. But earlier this year a senior Pentagon official, since departed, threatened America’s major white-shoe law firms by implying that corporate clients should fire any firm whose partners volunteer to defend detainees in Guantánamo and elsewhere. For its part, Alberto Gonzales’s Justice Department did not round up independent-minded United States attorneys and toss them in prison. It merely purged them without cause to serve Karl Rove’s political agenda.

Tipping his hat in appreciation of Mr. Bush’s example, General Musharraf justified his dismantling of Pakistan’s Supreme Court with language mimicking the president’s diatribes against activist judges. The Pakistani leader further echoed Mr. Bush by expressing a kinship with Abraham Lincoln, citing Lincoln’s Civil War suspension of a prisoner’s fundamental legal right to a hearing in court, habeas corpus, as a precedent for his own excesses. (That’s like praising F.D.R. for setting up internment camps.) Actually, the Bush administration has outdone both Lincoln and Musharraf on this score: Last January, Mr. Gonzales testified before Congress that “there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.”

Nice to see that Frank Rich agrees with my take on this too.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dexter's Homecoming

Well, I am safely back from Atlanta with my new kitty. Thanks to Susan at Verismo for opportunity to acquire this lovely critter. This is my 3rd Verismo bred Maine Coon (and probably the last for a while) and they are all wonderful (and huge)

Friday, November 9, 2007

New Addition

I freely admit to being a crazy cat person. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I am flying to Atlanta (I live in Connecticut) in the morning to get yet another cat.

Her name is Dexter and she is a littermate to Max

And no doubt a new tormentor for Athena

Glenn Greenwald on Mukasey

"Torture should not be what America stands for . . . I do not vote to allow torture," said Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy. Russ Feingold said: "we need an attorney general who will tell the president that he cannot ignore the laws passed by Congress. And on that fundamental qualification for this office Judge Mukasey falls short." Feingold added: "If Judge Mukasey won't say the simple truth -- that this barbaric practice is torture -- how can we count on him to stand up to the White House on other issues?"

Wow -- it sounds as though there was really a lot at stake in this vote. So why would 44 Democratic Senators make a flamboyant showing of opposing confirmation without actually doing what they could to prevent it? Is it that a filibuster was not possible because a large number of these Democratic Senators were willing to symbolically oppose confirmation so they could say they did -- by casting meaningless votes in opposition knowing that confirmation was guaranteed -- but were unwilling to demonstrate the sincerity of their claimed beliefs by acting on them?

The Post said the vote "reflected an effort by Democrats to register their displeasure with Bush administration policies on torture and the boundaries of presidential power." Apparently, they wanted to oh-so-meaningfully "register their displeasure" but not actually stop confirmation.

As I said. We deserve real leaders.

Go Read the whole story at Glenn Greenwald's place on

Because I hate parallel parking - part II

Using the available navigation screen, the Advanced Parking Guidance System [1] allows you to select icons to choose whether to parallel park or back into a space. Align the vehicle, press a button on the screen, put the vehicle in reverse, then simply remove your hands from the steering wheel and regulate the vehicle’s speed by using the brake.

I need a new car

Because I hate parallel parking

I am the world's worst parallel parker and will do damned near anything to avoid it so this looks just perfect to me

How not to be a leader

Question: On the Nomination (Confirmation Michael B. Mukasey of New York, to be Attorney General )
YEAs ---53
Allard (R-CO)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Carper (D-DE)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-NE)
Roberts (R-KS)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)

NAYs ---40
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Sanders (I-VT)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting - 7
Alexander (R-TN)
Biden (D-DE)
Clinton (D-NY)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Dodd (D-CT)
McCain (R-AZ)
Obama (D-IL)
Vote Details from

There is no rational reason for a member of the Democratic Party to have either not shown up or voted to confirm.

  • "They deserve an AG" is not a rational reason
  • "He isnt as bad as Gonzales" is not a rational reason
  • "This is the best nominee we will get offered" is not a rational reason
  • "He was going to be confirmed anyway so my vote didn't matter" is not a rational reason
Those are the excuses of gutless weasels, not leaders. As regular readers can imagine I am especially unhappy that Chris Dodd thought that campaigning was more important than voting on this one.

I love this song too

Not a real Stan Rogers clip but not a bad cover.

Just because I love this song ... no other reason .. really

Minnie Riperton was a huge talent that died far too young.

Quasi-House Arrest for Bhutto?

The house of Pakistani opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, has been surrounded by police, hours before her party is due to hold a mass rally.

She has not been formally placed under house arrest, and police say the measure at her residence in Islamabad is for her own safety.

Several thousand of her supporters are reported detained ahead of the rally planned to be held in Rawalpindi.

I have a horrible feeling that this is not going to end well.

Story at bbc

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Canadian Auto Workers and Magna reach first deal under new framework

The Canadian Auto Workers union has signed up its first Magna International Inc. parts plant under the Framework of Fairness agreement the two organizations signed last month.

About 250 workers at a plant called Windsor Modules, which supplies door components to Chrysler LLC factories in Windsor, Ont., and St. Louis, Mo., ratified a three-year agreement that increases wages to about $15 an hour immediately from $12 and will boost them to about $17.85 an hour over the length of the deal.

About 87 per cent of workers ratified the deal, which does not give them the right to strike, a contentious point in the Framework of Fairness that has created strong criticism from some CAW members, including the union's largest local in Oshawa, Ont., as well as others in the labour movement.

Layoff and job security provisions in the deal are new benefits to Magna workers under the agreement, the union said in a statement.

I think that this bodes well for the future of labour relations in NOrth America but then I am a hopeless optimist.

The money still isn't great but it is better than it was and the deals have some nice job security provisions in them.

Read the article at

How not to support the troops

Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.

And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job.

This is should make every single person in the country so wildly pissed off that they march down to Washington and camp out on the Mall until President Bush and Congress jointly agree to fully fund the VA Hospital system including a mammoth increase in resources for mental health services. But of course we won't do that and these numbers will grow.

This is not how a nation "Supports the troops".

Read the item atYahoo! News

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Rachel Maddow ... MSNBC please hire her.. please please

Based on some recent posts on DU, I've heard that MSNBC is looking to hire a new host for the 9pm slot. There was also a rumor in another DU post about Tucker being cancelled.

If you would like to see Rachel Maddow get her own program on MSNBC, this is a good time to contact them! I've been watching Rachel on MSNBC these past few months, and she's been amazing! She's poised, articulate, thoughtful, funny, quick on her feet, very smart, and has a good tv presence. She's a class act! Best of all, she makes us progressives look really good!

I heartily agree with this. I know that Rosie is a known quantity and god forbid that a TV network do something original but Rachel is a far more articulate and (sorry Rosie) sane person to be out in front of the camera with the sign "progressive" under her on the chyron. Rosie has a habit of shooting from the lip and while that might be entertaining it risks turning the time slot into a "oh she is just like limbaugh or hannity" and that would be such a huge loss.

MSNBC doesn't need a liberal bomb-thrower, which is unfortunately what Rosie can be. Now, if MSNBC decides to fire Tucker Carlson's lame ass ..... that opens up 2 slots so we could get Rosie for entertainment value and Rachel for content.

Inspired by a post atDemocratic Underground

Microsoft CIO Fired .. the reason .. crickets

Microsoft said it fired Chief Information Officer Stuart Scott for violating unspecified company policies.

The company terminated Scott after "an investigation for violation of company policies," said spokesman Lou Gellos, who declined to give details.

Call me crazy but if a senior executive of one of the world's largest publicly traded companies gets his ass fired one would think that there would be a wee bit more information made available.

Valleywag has an interesting take on it. Irrespective of whether or not the rumour behind it is true the fact that this will be CIO #4 in 4 years is pretty much unheard of in a company of this size.

What does Scott's departure really tell us? That the CIO job at Microsoft, where Scott's chief responsibility was inflicting Microsoft's newest, buggiest software on his colleagues, is deadly boring. Boring enough to make a bit of intramural entertainment plausibly worth the risk of getting caught. Scott's successor will be Microsoft's fourth CIO in as many years.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wingnuts for tort reform?

Five authors have sued the parent company of Regnery Publishing, a Washington imprint of conservative books, charging that the company deprives its writers of royalties by selling their books at a steep discount to book clubs and other organizations owned by the same parent company.

In a suit filed in United States District Court in Washington yesterday, the authors Jerome R. Corsi, Bill Gertz, Lt. Col. Robert (Buzz) Patterson, Joel Mowbray and Richard Miniter state that Eagle Publishing, which owns Regnery, “orchestrates and participates in a fraudulent, deceptively concealed and self-dealing scheme to divert book sales away from retail outlets and to wholly owned subsidiary organizations within the Eagle conglomerate.”

Giggle through the rest at New York Times

Monday, November 5, 2007

Musharraf had "no other choice"

In an address to the nation that ended in the early minutes of Sunday, Musharraf justified his declaration on the grounds that he needed a free hand to battle rising militancy in Pakistan.

But a top adviser conceded later Sunday that the final decision came only after a Supreme Court judge quietly informed the government last week that the court would rule against Musharraf's effort to stay on as president.

"After that, there was no option," said Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League. "He is not happy with this decision, frankly speaking. We are all not happy with the decision. But there was no other choice."

Because of course the other option would have meant that he would no longer be president and God forbid that happen. After all he is the only person that could possibly run that country.

Republicans would do well to study the speech he gave for hints and tips. You never know when a Supreme Court is going to rule against you ... oh .. never mind.

More coverage at

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Activist Judges Are to Blame

I would like to ask the whole nation. Why? Why this state of affairs? In my opinion, it is the judicial activism - which is a pillar of states in clash with the other two pillars, the executive and the legislative. The judiciary has interfered with the other two. And now every one is suffering and is paralyzed in every manner and in every department.

Thats the basic issue.

I wonder if the Republicans are paying attention to this speech by Musharraf because it could come in handy for them in a year or so.

Who would ever think that judges enforcing the rule of law was the thing that was ultimately to blame for forcing a thug ruthless despot democracy loving statesman to declare martial law.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Martial law declared in Pakistan

Faced with increasing violence and unrest, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday declared a state of emergency, government sources told CNN.

Musharraf issued a provisional constitutional order proclaiming the emergency and suspending the nation's constitution, according to a statement read on state television.

The Supreme Court has declared the state of emergency illegal, claiming Musharraf had no power to suspend the constitution, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry told CNN.

In Islamabad, troops entered the Supreme Court and were surrounding the judges' homes, according to CNN's Syed Mohsin Naqvi.
This is very bad. It will be interesting to see if Benazir Bhutto is allowed to re-enter the country, she just left for Dubai to visit family again, or if the Supreme Court is allowed to go to work when it is next scheduled to meet.

Everyone should remember that this is our "great ally in the global war on terror" where, according to President Bush last year

We support democracy in Pakistan. President Musharraf understands that in the long run, the way to defeat terrorists is to replace an ideology of hatred with an ideology of hope. And I thank you for your extensive briefing today on your plans to spread freedom throughout your country. President Musharraf envisions a modern state that provides an alternative to radicalism.

The elections scheduled for 2007 are a great opportunity for Pakistan. The President understands these elections need to be open and honest. America will continue to working -- working with Pakistan to lay the foundations of democracy. And I appreciate your commitment.

Open and honest elections and if he doesnt like the results .. declare martial law. Heckuva democracy they have there.

I guess we just have to take him at his word, from the same press conference, that
I will never violate the constitution of Pakistan.

Stay tuned

I feel Like Dancing

OK, well I don't but a friend did and I thought that this ancient Leo Sayers and the Muppets video would give everyone a giggle.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Since Garth Brooks has a new CD coming out on Tuesday

And since I think this is one of the best love songs I know of ...... I just wish it embedded

Thursday, November 1, 2007

John Cole Converts

Long story short, I got up there to register as an independent, said “Fuck it,” and now I am a Democrat. I certainly don’t agree with all their positions, but they are not bat-shit crazy like the GOP. That has to count for something. Additionally, I no longer have to read posts by the 24% crowd calling me a “true conservative” with quotes o’sarcasm (you know who they are). Not any more, bitches. I repudiate you, your party, and whatever the fuck it is you are currently pretending is “conservatism.” It isn’t.

I couldn't have said this better.

Go see his conversion statement at Balloon Juice


US embassy in Iraq

  • on time and on budget

  • or not
  • Westboro Baptist Church Loses Big

    Good. Bankrupt these evil bastards.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    Glass half empty at the Globe and Mail

    No magic cure for Canada's problems in budget
    Is the headline at Now leaving aside that the loonie is at a historical high and unemployment is down and the government is in a position to cut taxes and still balance the budget I guess the economy is in horrible shape.

    The article itself isnt half bad and talks about the fact that companies have to take this opportunity to invest but holy shit who wrote that headline.

    Svenska Akademien with Bonus Snow

    I have no clue what they are saying but I REALLY like this.
    of course, I also like this so YMMV

    YouTube - Danko Jones "First Date"

    I really love this song but whoever thought it was a good idea to do this video for it should be beaten with a stick.
    Go listen to the new stuff

    Danko Jones - Dance

    Have I ever mentioned that I would love to see Danko Jones live?
    Go listen to the new stuff

    Rudy Giuliani Relies on Innumeracy

    Specifically, The Commonwealth Fund report features a chart showing that, in 1997, the incidence of prostate cancer in the U.S. was 136 per 100,000 males and the mortality rate (death rate) was 26 per 100,000 males. By comparison, in the U.K. the prostate cancer incidence was 49 per 100,000 and the death rate was 28 deaths per 100,000. (The prostate cancer incidence rate—which is the number of men diagnosed with the disease in a given year—in the U.S. is thought to be higher because prostate cancer screening is much more common in this country.)

    The Giuliani campaign dishonestly uses the above information to calculate survival rates. It is my belief that he is relying on the fact that the average american thinks that math is hard and so won't look behind the numbers. What I do for a living relies on me explaining complicated numbers in a clear and concise manner. What Giuliani is doing here is simply misusing the numbers and, to my mind, willfully lying.

    I know that I shouldn't be shocked that this asshole lies about something but this is such a basic thing and such an easily checked thing that I have to hope that every single male in the media will call him on it.

    Then there is this recent article from the cbc

    So what would you do if you found out that several of the top prostate cancer doctors think the disease is being over-diagnosed and over-treated?

    Take Toronto medical oncologist Dr. Ian Tannock. "I absolutely refuse to be screened. I don’t know my PSA [prostate-specific antigen level]. I think it’s overdone and men are having surgery they don’t need. Even the most gung-ho urologist would admit a lot of men are having prostatectomies [prostate removal] that weren’t going to die of it. The real challenge is picking up the men who would benefit."

    His thoughts are echoed by one of the top prostate cancer researchers in the United States, Dr. James Talcott of Massachusetts General Hospital.

    "You’re certainly more likely to be harmed than helped by being screened and diagnosed," Dr. Talcott says. "With immediate treatment you pay the price right away in terms of sexual dysfunction and other problems. There’s no question the prostate cancer mortality rate would be zero if we took out the prostate of every 25-year-old man, but at what price?"

    And from the National Cancer Institute

    A complicating feature of any analysis of survival after treatment of prostate cancer and comparison of the various treatment strategies is the evidence of increasing diagnosis of nonlethal tumors as diagnostic methods have changed over time. Nonrandomized comparisons of treatments may therefore be confounded not only by patient-selection factors but also by time trends. For example, a population-based study in Sweden showed that from 1960 to the late 1980s, before the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) for screening purposes, long-term relative survival rates after the diagnosis of prostate cancer improved substantially as more sensitive methods of diagnosis were introduced. This occurred despite the use of watchful waiting or palliative hormonal treatment as the most common treatment strategies for localized prostate cancer during the entire era (<150 radical prostatectomies per year were performed in Sweden during the late 1980s). The investigators estimated that if all cancers diagnosed between 1960 and 1964 were of the lethal variety, then at least 33% of cancers diagnosed between 1980 and 1984 were of the nonlethal variety.[3][Level of evidence: 3iB] With the advent of PSA screening, the ability to diagnose nonlethal prostate cancers may increase further.

    What that means is that when you use PSA to screen you are picking up more cancers that would NEVER KILL YOU ANYWAY. There is an old saying that you are more likely to die with Prostate Cancer than of it. This is something to bear in mind when someone trots out the "ooooo scary cancer" BS about this particular disease. All cancers are not created equal and the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer is not a death sentence either here or in any other country in the world.

    The press release from the COmmonwealth Fund can be found here

    Danko Jones, Not live but still smoking

    A little more Danko Jones.

    "Every time you see her she'll get a little hotter"

    oh yeah!!

    Go listen to the new stuff

    Danko Jones - Smoking Hot Live !!

    Just a very good band. And yes ... Canadian and yes .. this is dedicated to someone

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007

    Genarlow Wilson and the plea deal that he didnt take

    "It might've been lesser time, but then again, I would have nowhere to go because I would have no home," Wilson said during a CNN interview scheduled to air Monday at 8 p.m.

    "I wouldn't be able to stay with my mother because I have a little sister. You know, when you're a sex offender you can't be around kids. Basically, I can't even have kids myself, you know, so what is the point of life?" he asked.

    Genarlow, go and be well. I hope for your sake that you can eventually fade into anonymity and not have this be the only defining moment in your life. I hope you get married, have kids and have a successful career doing something that makes you happy.

    Full story at CNN

    Monday, October 29, 2007

    What is Obama thinking?

    To quote a dear friend of mine ... *headdesk*

    Huckabee - so much for the sane part

    Huckabee, behind in the polls and not wanting to be outdone by the “we must go to war with Iran” Giuliani campaign, went on Late Edition this Sunday morning and tried his best to prove he’s just as capable of starting an unnecessary war based on bad intelligence as any other Republican candidate. Repeating the lie that Ahmadinejad said he wants to destroy Israel, Huckabee swears he will do “whatever it takes,” and will not even rule out using tactical nukes in doing so.
    Someone recently said that Mike Huckabee was a sane and likeble conservative.

    Personally, I think he has Kool Aid poisoning.

    Go look at Crooks and Liars

    Sunday, October 28, 2007

    Glenn Greenwald Hits A Nerve

    I do enjoy reading your diatribes as they provide comic relief here in Iraq. The amount of pure fiction is incredible. Since a great deal of this post is just opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinions, I will not address those even though they are shall we say -- based on few if any facts. That does surprise me with your training as a lawyer, but we will leave those jokes to another day. . . .

    You are either too lazy to do the research on the topics to gain the facts, or you are providing purposeful misinformation -- much like a propagandist. . . .

    Now, do those sound like the words that would come from a highly trained, professional, non-political military press officer or do they sound like they come from Michelle Malkin or Pam Geller?

    Read the entire bizarre exchange at Glenn Greenwald's spot on

    Chris Dodd -- Leader

    "Mr. Mukasey's position that the President does not have to heed the law disqualifies him from being the chief attorney for the United States. We have seen for too long, and at great expense to our national security, an Administration that has systematically attacked the rule of law and turned our Justice Department into a political wing of the White House. I'm afraid that Mr. Mukasey as Attorney General would be more of the same."

    I am not ashamed to say that this actually made me cry tears of joy.

    The full statement is here but the more important link is here.

    14 Characteristics of Fascism

    1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

    2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

    3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

    4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

    5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

    6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.

    7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

    8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

    9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

    10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

    11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

    12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

    13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

    14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

    I have seen these quoted here and there and thought that my cats would like to be educated by having them here since this is the only blog that their computer is allowed to visit.

    I encourage everyone else to go read them in context at Council for Secular Humanism


    In honour of Fox news Sunday I Bring you L7.

    Go watch the ickiness that is FNS at Crooks and Liars

    Have I ever mentioned that I think that Donita Sparks is just the kind of girl that I would love to take home to meet my mom? .. oh .. well .. never mind then

    A Sunday Funny

    A friend pointed me at this and it made me giggle so I thought I would pass it along here so that the cats can read about it.

    As an added bonus, here is an "interview with mike"

    Magna and the unions-a lesson?

    For more than a year however, Mr. Stronach has been talking about letting both the Canadian Auto Workers and the United Auto Workers unions in as a way to put aside old management-labour divisions in the North American auto industry and ensure its survival. The hope is that the newfound co-operation could foster a new work model -- and keep auto parts and automaking jobs that might otherwise move to other continents. As Dan Luria, an analyst at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center put it, Mr. Stronach "wants to be able to say he remade labour relations in North America."

    And this, boys and girls, is how a CEO with a clue deals with unions nowadays. Frank Stronach is above all interested in making money. If he thinks that making the unions a partner is going to make him more money then that is what he is going to do. Compare that with the stupidity that you often see where union leaders are said to be in favour of making companies uncompetitive.

    Go read the story.

    Ponderings On Fear

    Does it make me hopelessly gutless that I chose not to go to the peace rally in Boston on Saturday because I was afraid that all it would take was being next to the wrong person at the wrong time and I would end up tossed out of the US on my ear?

    Or even does writing this dopey little blog that no one actually reads except my cats constitute something that could put my status here in jeopardy?

    Or am I just being overly paranoid?

    Go read about some people that weren't afraid.

    Saturday, October 27, 2007

    Atlas sings and dances - Nice Boots Pam

    I offer this as a public service to show how completely un-funny the right is.

    OK I also offer it to piss off my new BFF at Mulsims (sic) Against Sharia since I cannot imagine that it would feel very nice to be associated with such a sad attempt at humour.

    As always, everyone should go over to Sadly,No! to get the full story.

    Friday, October 26, 2007

    Another Public Service

    Welcome Sadly, No!ers to a redirect back to LGF so that you don't get the 12 year old bullshit instead of the real idiocy.

    Everyone else go read the real thing at Sadly, No!

    Did I Mention That I Am Pastafarian?

    I am actually currently reading a book by John Shelby Spong but I do have a soft spot for noodly appendages. Especially with clam sauce.

    Acoustic Covers - Jack Hanson does Bad Religion

    This is a nifty take on a great song.

    Compare and contrast with the original.

    Bad Religion - Infected

    I am a huge fan of Bad Religion so ... .. here you go

    Muslims against Sharia (cough bullshit cough)

    Uh… just wondering what a conservative Jew was doing in a group called Muslims Against Sharia.

    Pam Geller is a member of "Muslims Against Sharia". That is roughly like my large and hungry cat Max being on the board of "Mice for Cat/Mouse Friendship".

    I wouldn't normally take a shot at a commenter on my blog, mostly because I dont get many, but when a organization displays the level of deception that this one does then it is time to play Whack-A-Mole.

    Go read more about this foul group at The Freethinker

    Great Big Balls

    Now, in what some see as great irony, Brown is promoting his expertise in disaster management to do for California what some say he failed to do in New Orleans.

    Brown, the man who led FEMA immediately after the 2005 hurricane, when tens of thousands of people on the Gulf Coast went without food, power or water for weeks, is out offering his consulting services to California businesses affected by the fires. He's also defending his handling of Katrina and pointing out that the agency now has some advantages he didn't have.

    Just Wow!

    Heckuva Press Conference by FEMA

    Tuesday the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it was holding a news conference to answer reporters' questions about the federal agency's emergency response to the Southern California wildfires.

    The agency gave reporters just 15 minutes notice to attend, and those members of the media who called in via phone lines could listen to the event but were not able to ask questions.

    FEMA's Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson conducted the event like a regular press briefing, assuring those in attendance that FEMA -- the agency that performed so poorly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina -- was responding well to the disaster in Southern California.

    "The report basically is that were doing a fine, doing a pretty good job," Johnson told the audience.

    The event went smoothly. That is, until the news media discovered that the press conference wasn't exactly a press conference at all.

    Unlike most press briefings, this one was missing a key component: members of the press.

    It is hard to express the level of cynicism that you would have to have in order to think that what happened here was acceptable.

    Read the full story at ABC News

    Condi Rice on sacrifice

    "I cannot by any means make up for the terrible sacrifice," she said. "But I can say that I think nothing of value is ever won without sacrifice. And yes, I do believe that it's been worth it."

    Except for the fact that it has been the policy of the Bush administration to ensure that as few people that they know as possible have to make any sort of actual sacrifice. It is very easy to extol the virtue of sacrifice when neither you nor any of your friends have to sacrifice anything.

    Full story in the Los Angeles Times

    Nice to see a player saying what is in his head

    "I'm actually ecstatic with the way we're playing," Boston third baseman Mike Lowell said. "We're on the verge of winning a World Series."

    While I am sure he will get slammed for saying it and even though I am most emphatically not a member of Red Sox Nation (ask the folks in my office) it does seem that the Red Sox are as inevitable as Hillary Clinton.

    Story here

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    Vacation Time

    I am really thinking that I should do this. Has anyone taken one of these small boat cruises?

    Talk to me people I need advice! Trip Details Page

    Nancy Pelosi Might Just Be Starting to get it

    Last night Speaker Pelosi announced she would bring a slightly revised SCHIP funding bill to the House floor for a vote — today. The revised bill still provides $35 billion in additional funds and health coverage for 10 million children, but it makes a few changes to counter the Bush Administration’s misrepresentations and opponent’s alleged concerns.

    As Pelosi promised last week, the plan is to enact the full SCHIP funding again, and if the President is foolish and heartless enough to veto it again, attempt another override, with the opposition having even fewer excuses to vote no. This type of strategy is exactly what many progressives have been hoping from the Democratic leadership when they know the public is solidly behind them against an out-of-touch, unpopular President. It’s not just good politics; it’s good public policy, because this program deserves passage and has the overwhelming support of the American people.

    I am late for work (as usual) so just go read Firedoglake

    Leadership - A Definition

    Most Senate Democrats voted "the right way" on the Military Commissions Act, but they failed and refused to play any meaningful role in the debate, even failing to speak out against it until the very last day, by which point passage was ensured. "Leadership" requires much, more more than obligatorily issued statements and meaningless votes cast on the "right side" that can be touted in a campaign. That is what is being sought, and -- by leading the filibuster and speaking out aggressively on the evils of amnesty -- it is what Dodd has been providing. It isn't too late for the other candidates to do so, too. These efforts are about encouraging that to happen.

    This is as good an operational definition of political leadership as any from Glenn Greenwald and is further reason why I am thinking more and more that Chris Dodd is going to surprise some people come primary time.

    Purely as a public service

    Little Green Footballs has a redirect that doesnt allow you to see the truly fabulous insights if you come at it from Sadly, No! so as a public service I have repeated the links in this post here.

    Please go to Sadly,No! to get the full commentary though.

    New Republic’s False Stories Now on Drudge Report
    Not a Terrorist, Nuh-Uh, No Way
    Amnesty International: Terrorists Fail to Respect Human Rights
    Mahmoud Abbas ‘Military Wing’ Attempts Murder, US Gives Them $410M
    Zombie: Haters Attack Nonie Darwish at Berkeley
    Bad Craziness in the United Arab Emirates
    YouTube Helps Whitewash Cat Stevens’ History

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    Condi Rice - Mistress of Understatement

    "Our communication with the Canadian government on this [case] was by no means perfect; it was in fact quite imperfect," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Washington.

    "We have told the Canadian government we do not think this was handled particularly well … and we will try to do better in the future," Rice said while testifying before the House of Representatives foreign affairs committee.

    But of course it wasnt mishandled badly enough that just maybe Maher Arar's name should be taken off the "no fly" list.

    Full details at

    Lowell Ponte's Paranoid Fantasy

    Although a new Osama bin Laden video was issued at almost exactly the same time these fires began, and might have contained a coded command to his operatives to carry out planned arsons, it makes sense that al-Qaida has claimed no credit for the fires.

    These blazes have cost Federal, state and local governments an estimated $100 million in fire fighting expenses, and have cost Southern Californians and their insurance companies billions.

    An Oxford-educated engineer, bin Laden knows the power of asymmetrical warfare wherein a few matches and bottles of gasoline can cause millions of times their cost in damage to enemies, from military families in San Diego to morally-corrupting Hollywood stars in Malibu.

    This is just paranoia.

    Thinking Of California

    A very old and dear friend of mine is close to the fires near San Diego
    and it just seemed appropriate to offer up a prayer for all of those who
    are going through that trying time

    David Horowitz is a HUGE wingnut

    Using the term "fascism" in your campaign, you are promoting a negative connotation about Islam in general, even if you say that you are not attacking Islam as a religion and that you are attacking fundamentalist Muslims rather than all Muslims.

    Non-Muslim Americans who know nothing about Islam might very much get affected by your campaign's propaganda and take a negative first impression about Islam.

    If I ran a campaign against German fascism or Italian fascism or the fascist Axis during the Second World War would you say I was running a campaign against all Italians, all Germans, all Japanese. If you have a problem with the association of Islam and terror, you need to take your complaints to Zawahiri, bin Laden, Nasrallah and other terrorists who justify murder in the name of Islam.

    If David Horowitz had the smallest clue about what actually constituted a fascist society he would have somewhat more credibilty. But then he wouldn't be David Horowitz.

    Thanks to Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo for the tip to this bit of "engagement" by David Horowitz in defense of Islamofascism Awareness Week.

    I give high marks to for allowing this fool on. They understand that the best way to discredit an enemy that is a loon is to expose their silliness for all the world to see. The sad part is that Horowitz probably thinks that he came out pretty well.

    Obama nearly gets it .. Clinton ... getting closer to getting it

    Sen. Feingold is also not a happy camper. Obama has stepped up and issued a statement that says he can’t support the bill the way it is.

    “Senator Obama has serious concerns about many provisions in this bill, especially the provision on giving retroactive immunity to the telephone companies. He is hopeful that this bill can be improved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But if the bill comes to the Senate floor in its current form, he would support a filibuster of it.”

    He’s coming around on the right side of the issue which is great, but we need to let him know how serious we are about a fillibuster.

    We’re also are putting out the Action Alert to Hillary Clinton as well. She needs to continue to step up and stay on the bus with Chris Dodd on a fillibuster as well. Here’s her latest statement on the Telecoms:

    HRC: I am troubled by the concerns that have been raised by the recent legislation reported out of the Intelligence Committee. I haven’t seen it so I can’t express an opinion about it. But I don’t trust the Bush Administration with our civil rights and liberties. So I’m going to study it very hard. As matters stand now, I could not support it and I would support a filibuster absent additional information coming forward that would convince me differently.

    We’re also interested in making sure all the Senators stand tall against retroactive immunity. Please call these numbers early and often:

    Phone numbers:
    Clinton Presidential: 703-469-2008 Senate : (202) 224-4451
    Obama Presidential: 866-675-2008 Senate: (202) 224-2854

    No comment necessary. Just do the work, call them, shame them, make them listen!!

    Full story at Crooks and Liars