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

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stupid Politicians

The federal government said Tuesday it will fix a problem with the newly revamped Elections Act that prevents up to a million rural voters from casting a ballot.

Four months ago, Parliament passed amendments to the Canada Elections Act that requires each voter produce proof of identity and a residential address before being allowed to cast a ballot.

However, more than one million Canadians living in rural areas don't have an address that includes a street name and number.

Rural addresses are often just post office boxes. On native reserves, a resident's address is sometimes simply the name of the reserve.

In Nunavut, more than 80 per cent of registered voters don't have a residential address.

This is so stupid as to make one wonder wtf these people were doing instead of reading the bill that they were voting on.

Read the story at

13 Dems That dont get it

Jason Altmire (PA), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Chris Carney (PA), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Joe Donnelly (IN), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Brad Ellsworth (IN), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Heath Shuler (NC), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Dan Boren (OK)
Lincoln Davis (TN)
Baron Hill (IN)
Tim Mahoney (FL), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Charlie Melancon (LA)
Dennis Moore (KS)
and two progressives (Dave Loebsack of Iowa and Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri) who probably had their own crazy reasons for their bizarre votes, although in the context of their entire records should just get a role of the eyes and a pass on this.

Sorry, No. No one gets a pass on voting for this sad display. Anyone that voted to censure Rep Stark doesn't deserve to wear the (D) after their name.

Read more at DownWithTyranny!

Token Geeky Post

I am by profession a business intelligence analyst. This means that I spend a lot of time getting up close and personal with Oracle databases.

This is a cool little trick from Michael Moore (no not THAT one) to return multiple rows based on a value in the row.

I am going back to contracting

The U.S. State Department is unable to account for most of $1.2 billion in funding that it gave to DynCorp International to train Iraqi police, a government report said Tuesday.

"The bottom line is that State can't account for where it went," said Glenn D. Furbish, who was involved in putting together the 20-page report for the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction (SIGIR).

The Department of State's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) "did not have the information needed to identify what DynCorp provided under the contract or how funds were spent," the report said.

As a result, the audit agency announced it has suspended its oversight of the agency's project until INL gathers the information.

"Their records are just not detailed," Furbish said Monday in a telephone interview. "From an audit perspective, we've identified the problem; they're working to rectify the problem."

Though Iraqi police have indeed been trained and equipment has been provided under the contract, invoices and supporting paperwork submitted by DynCorp "were in disarray," the report said.

In addition, INL "had not validated the accuracy" of invoices received prior to last October, and "INL does not know specifically what it received for most of the $1.2 billion in expenditures under its DynCorp contract for the Iraqi Police Training Program."

The lack of controls "created an environment vulnerable to waste and fraud," the report said.
State Department spokeswoman Susan Pittman said a number of reforms have been made since January. "We are committed to continuous improvement," she said.

Continuous improvement starting with a process that didn't function at all for years seems to be setting pretty damned low expectations. I wonder what happened late last year that might have made State say "hey maybe we should audit this". If this was going on in a private company there would be firings, grand juries would be formed and lawsuits would be be filed to try to get back some of the money. Instead, in our world .. the company gets new contracts.

When i was a consultant, if I fucked around my clients and said "yeah yeah just pay me" I wouldn't get hired again and certainly wouldn't get paid. I guess I was doing something wrong.

Read the whole sad story at

Reality vs Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

Before you put on your costumes to celebrate Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week, let me set the record straight. American feminists do not condone, defend, or ignore jihadist misogyny. In fact, we were warning about it well before Washington turned against the Taliban and have been consistently appalled by the gender dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

But if the facts don't fit in with Islamo-Fascist Awareness, they have to go. For example, in a May '07 column in The Weekly Standard Christina Hoff Sommers listed me as one of the "feckless" feminists who refuse "to pass judgment on non-Western cultures." What? If Sommers had even done 10 minutes of research she would have noticed, among other things, a column I wrote in the New York Times in '04 stating that Islamic fundamentalism aims to push one-half of the Muslim world -- the female half -- "down to a status only slightly above that of domestic animals."

Yes, feminists tend to hate war and sometimes even guns, and this may be why Horowitz and company hate us. They should know, though, that we especially hate a war that seems calculated to inflame Islamic fundamentalism world wide. If many Muslim women around the world willingly don head scarves today, it's in part because our war in Iraq has, tragically, pushed them to value religious solidarity above their feminist instincts.

Or maybe I'm missing the point of Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week. Maybe it's really an effort to show that our own American anti-feminists (and anti-Semites) are just as nasty as the ones on the other side. If so, good job, guys! No need to continue with the trick-or-treating, you've already made your point.

Personally, I think that the wingnuts just make shit up and really don't think anyone will ever check. Sadly that seems to work a lot.

Read Barbara Ehrenreich's excellent piece over at The Huffington Post

Glenn Beck is still a big fat idiot

"I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today."

No matter how much I loathe Glenn Beck and think that he is a hateful fool I would never take pleasure in him losing his house to a catastrophic fire or losing his health to some horrible illness or losing his job to low ratings

Story at many places including Media Matters.

Chris Dodd Really Really Gets It

The Constitution of the United States belongs to the American people, not to the Bush administration. It is our responsibility as Senators and Congressmen to stand up and fight for it.

That's why I announced last week that I would put a "hold" on any FISA reform legislation that includes retroactive immunity for telecom companies -- and why, if my hold is not honored for some reason by the Senate Leadership, I pledge to filibuster to stop telecom amnesty from becoming law.

Offered without comment except to say that you should Visit his website and give him money. Then you can go to The Huffington Post to read the rest of the story.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Katherine Harris in 2008

A real Republican!

Bogus "healthcare in canada sucks" story

When I was looking at the silliness that has followed the outing of Dumbledore I tripped across a particularly stupid blog story about health care in Canada.

Apparently a routine, if unnecessary, transfer between hospitals went awry because a driver missed an exit in Montreal (trust me, this isn't rare) and the wingnut writing the blog was in full roar that it was evidence of how terrible socialized healthcare was. the part that wasnt quoted from the story is this...
Ms. Robitaille said that what happened to Dany is a potential consequence of the region's two biggest health-care problems: underfunding and a lack of organization.

Bernard Chagnon, a spokesman for the Outaouais health and social services agency, said the agency is working with the regional health centres to better co-ordinate situations where patients need to be transferred. Though the practice has always occurred, it has traditionally been done in an informal way. Mr. Chagnon could not say when a more formal process would be put in place.

So to recap. The main reasons for the problem are that there isn't enough money being put into the system and there isn't enough coordination between the various regional health centers.

All this says to me is that if you spent a similar amount to what the US currently spends and had it centrally coordinated then you would have that particular problem fixed. Of course it wouldnt fix Montreal's roads but ...

Guess what people, there are things that you just cannot decentralize the organization of or it will result in weird incongruities of service levels. Acute Care Health Care is one of those things.

Full story is at the ottawa Citizen and the original pointer to the stupid blogger was from my friends at Sadly,No!