Saturday, November 24, 2007

Writing, meet wall ...

SYDNEY, Australia - Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.


Let's hope the majority of Americans wake up next year the same way the Aussies did this year.


[PM-elect] Rudd said he would withdraw Australia's 550 combat troops from Iraq, leaving twice that number in mostly security roles. Howard had said all the troops will stay as long as needed.


Our Favorite Right-Wing Nut Job

Go read Matt Taibbi on Huckabee.

...I caught myself thinking: Hey, this guy doesn't seem like a total dickhead. I can almost see him as president. . . .

Then I woke up and did some homework that changed my mind. But I confess: It took a little while. Huckabee is that good.

But Huckabee is also something else: full-blown nuts, a Christian goofball of the highest order. He believes the Earth may be only 6,000 years old, angrily rejects the evidence that human beings evolved from "primates" and thinks America wouldn't need so much Mexican labor if we allowed every aborted ­fetus to grow up and enter the workforce. To top it off, Huckabee also left behind a record of ethical missteps in the swamp of ­Arkansas politics that make White­water seem like a jaywalking ticket.

All of which begs the question: If this religious zealot's rise represents the end of corporate dominance of the Republican Party, is that a good thing? Or is the real thing even worse than the fraud?

Phony christians v. a batshit crazy fundie zealot who's convinced he's a real one? As President? Give me the phony every time!

Saturday whorage

As I wake from the tryptophan haze I've been in over the past few days, I realize it's Saturday and time for another chapter of Thirty Days at Zeta at The Practical Press.

Also, today is the Mrs. and my 17th wedding anniversary and we'll be celebrating tonight. Best decision I ever made, asking that girl to marry me.

As always, if you got something for us to see, leave a link in comments.

Friday, November 23, 2007

But they're doing God's work!

So what if godless Commies make our crosses, it's not like we're paying or feeding them:

NEW YORK - A labor rights group alleged Tuesday that crucifixes sold in religious gift shops in the U.S. are produced under "horrific" conditions in a Chinese factory with more than 15-hour work days and inadequate food.


Gotta love them 'moral values'.

Big tip o' the Brain Bucket to our pal UL for the link.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


You know, I bitch a lot about this country, and I have plans of retiring in Europe, but I'm always thankful to be born an American and live in this great nation. Yeah, it's fucked up now and we probably won't get the damage done in the last 7 years fixed until long after I've left the scene, but America has been good to me and I'm deeply thankful for the opportunities I've had.

I've lived in many different parts of the world and seen desperate poverty, sickness, and hopelessness and I've always marveled at the roll of the dice that allowed me to be born here. Since I was born, I've taken decent medical care, a decent education, and opportunities to get ahead as a given. Yes, all those things could be better here, but they could be nonexistent as they are in many places in this world.

I am thankful for the military we have, and I've had the honor to serve with, for they are not mounting a coup every few years. I am thankful for the political system we have, though it could be better, for in many places I'd have been executed for what I've written here or for supporting the candidates I have.

I'm thankful for the America that beckoned both my parents here from foreign shores, for that same America reached out to my wife's grandparents and welcomed them all. I am thankful to all the immigrants who've added threads to the American tapestry, creating a nation more diverse than any other. I'm thankful to be part of this unique social experiment.

Yes, the Constitution is tattered and the American Dream has been put out of reach for many more people, but this is still America and we can fix it if we want to. As Michael Douglas said in The American President, "America is hard work", but it's worth the effort. It is gratifying to see that hard work come to fruition, no matter how small the victory.

I'm thankful that we, my fellow bloggers here and our compatriots around Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!), are capable of inducing change; regular folks from all walks of life making their voices heard. We've proven it and I'm thankful we're here to keep an eye on the criminals who've taken over for the time being. I'm thankful we're making the American people aware of what is really going on and the people are listening.

We will get this nation back on track, one day, and I'm thankful we're able to play a small part in it.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, ladies and gentlemen.

On this day

Thanks. You have done everything you're supposed to do and then some. It's not your fault you have been so horribly used. Some day, some way, we'll get the bastards who did this to you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pulling it off ...

I've been up Harry Reid's ass lately (rightly so) but I gotta hand it to him. There won't be any recess appointment this Thanksgiving.

Just to put a period on a story we were following last week, Senate Dems really are going to have pro-forma sessions over the next couple of weeks in order to prevent the president from making any recess appointments.


More of this, please. And a very Happy Thanksgiving to the senators staying in town:


Kudos to Sens. Webb, Dorgan, and Reed. Gold stars, all around, especially to Dorgan, who’s going to go to Capitol Hill the day after Thanksgiving.


The 'Grand Old Perverts' ...

Via Shakes, oh golly gee, another bible-thumping conservative has drug it in the dirt:

The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch is at the center of a sex scandal of biblical dimensions: He slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.


And this guy's had a lot of practice too:


In truth, this is not the first — or even the second — sex scandal to engulf Paulk and the independent, charismatic church. But this time, he could be in trouble with the law for lying under oath about the affair.


After all these sex scandals among the clergy, I'll never look at a 'man of the cloth' the same way again.

How it'll go ...

This whole mortgage mess? It'll be the Democrats' fault. Digby nails it:


See? The banks and mortgage markets were just trying to help out the blacks and the Mexicans like the liberals kept telling them to and this is the thanks they get for it. Now everybody's blaming them when the lazy blacks and Mexicans refuse to pay their bills ... as usual. (Try to do someone a favor...)

This is why we need to deport all the illegal immigrants and get "tough on crime" like the Republicans are urging us to. This crass exploitation of the poor banking and mortgage industry has got to stop. It's costing real Americans their homes!


It's the bitch that does the slappin'


But, lest you think that The Hammer is about to start playing for the other team, he did poke fun at New York Times columnist -- and favorite conservative punching bag -- Paul Krugman: "I'd like to bitch-slap him." DeLay also ruled out another stab at politics, even if GOP fortunes reverse: "I'm 60 years old, I'm through."

I'm 62 and a little more your own size, Tommy. Wanna try slappin' me, bitch? You'd be through, all right.

The future is now ...

THX 1138:

Pic thanks to Watertiger.

Late, bye ...

What it's come to ...

Avedon makes a good point on the state of our nation:

One of the most frightening and disheartening facts about the last seven years is the silence from the press about the incredible abuse real journalists have suffered at the hands of the conservative machine and its agents, at home and abroad. While writers and photographers have been thrown in jail for no logical reason, or shot in their hotels in Iraq, or kidnapped and held indefinitely by our government without legitimate cause, the only journalist to get any sympathy from the news media was Judith Miller, who helped to sell devastating lies to the American public and was jailed only when she refused to testify as a witness to a crime. [my em]


And Greenwald details one of those cases:

Bilal Hussein is the AP photojournalist in Iraq who was detained by the U.S. military in April, 2006 and has been imprisoned ever since without charges of any kind. I wrote about the case previously, among other places, here and here. He is one of 24,000 people being held in Iraq without charges. Yesterday, the U.S. military -- which refused for 19 months to charge him with any crime -- suddenly announced that they were now recommending that he be tried on unspecified charges in an Iraqi court based on allegedly "irrefutable evidence" they now possess.


Your government at work: refining Stalinism to an art form.

The 'Gay Old Party' ...

Jon at Pensito Review sees a trend in Conservapaedia's site stats:

Click to embiggen

Ya think, maybe, it might be time for the Republicans drop the whole 'demonize the gays' thing? The hypocrisy is starting to get embarrassing.

Quote of the Day

Our pal Creature:


It's the GOP, stupid.

Makes me wanna kill somebody ...

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.


I don't know where to start when I hear this. The first time I heard a wounded, disabled GI being asked for part of their enlistment bonus back, I assumed it was a typical 'military administrative glitch' (if you've served, you know what I mean) but this is unconscionable.

Are they saying leaving a limb behind on the battlefield doesn't square any debt the soldier owes? Are they saying GIs must pay for the privilege of being maimed in defense of their country? Are they saying this is standard policy? Or is it, after throwing the gates of the Treasury open to Halliburton, the government is trying to save money in other places, on the backs of those they sent to this illegal war to begin with?

Supporting the troops, my ass. Happy-fucking-Thanksgiving.

Tip o' the Brain to Dr. Atta J. Turk (Podiatrist to the Stars).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Headin' Out

Me'n Mrs. G are headin' fer the Coast today to go visit her family for Thanksgiving. I have been preparing for the trip for days, which mostly consisted of turning obscure old LPs into CDs. Oh yeah, I re-oiled the air filter on the pickup and filled the windshield washer reservoir. Ho-hum. Maintenance is such a chore.

I might post some from over there, might not, it all just depends. Oh yeah, gotta remember to pack the Depends...

We always have a good time at Thanksgiving, and I hope all of you do, too. See ya.

Hillary Smith

Cenk Uygur at HuffPo asks the question today, "If Senator Clinton was named Senator Hillary Smith would she be the front runner today?" and manages in that single sentence to crystallize my resistance to supporting Hillary. Rephrase that as "If George W. Bush was named George W. Smith would he be President today", and I don't think you have to think much further. Dynasties are not a good thing. One thing we need desperately in D.C. is new blood, new Progressive blood, not more of the same old same old.


Just fuck you ...

And I'm talking about Snot McClellan, an insignificant shitstain of a man whom I was certain would slither off into obscurity. But no, he had to go and write a book. And now the little sniveler has the nerve to say he didn't know what he was saying:


The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself.


Unknowingly? I doubt it. After 35 years in the car business and 8 years in the military, my bullshit detector is a finely honed instrument. If he didn't know he was lying when he stood up in front of the WH press corpse, I'll eat an old combat boot. Another piece of shit who should be in jail.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lay down with dogs ...

Wake up with fleas. Walt:


And I really think we need to start finding some new friends.

And a new, clean energy source.

Worst Op-Ed Day Ever

Matt Yglesias

Not only does today's New York Times contain an op-ed about how Reagan was no racist (he just supported white supremacist policies) and an op-ed about how we should invade Pakistan, but it also features Tom Friedman, who I'd been finding pretty agreeable of late, writing things like:

And that brings me back to the Obama-Cheney ticket: When it comes to how best to deal with Iran, each has half a policy — but if you actually put them together, they’d add up to an ideal U.S. strategy for Iran. Dare I say, they complete each other.

OK, I'm convinced - Friedman's lost his fucking mind.

Read Glenn Greenwald. I don't even want to think about this preposterous Maureen Dowd column. I think this might be the Worst Times Op-ed Page Ever.

There's a rare, thank goodness, phenomenon in the world of auto and bike mechanics when the design tolerances in a product are all on the tightest or loosest side. Too loose, you get rattles, noise, leaks. Too tight, you get overheating and seizing.

Sounds like The Gray Lady had a 'tolerance stack' day on the crazy side.

Cannabis compound 'halts cancer'

The Beeb

A compound found in cannabis may stop breast cancer spreading throughout the body, US scientists believe.

The California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute team are hopeful that cannabidiol or CBD could be a non-toxic alternative to chemotherapy.

"This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects."

Dr Joanna Owens of Cancer Research UK said: "This research is at a very early stage.

The Hell you say! I know a guy who has done extensive research for many years on both breasts and cannabis! You folks better call him.

I betcha Fixer didn't even know he was a scientist!

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Bush Vetoes Funds for Head Start, Reading, Math
Part of long-term military recruitment drive.

Starbucks Reports Fewer Customers
They’re all at the Starbucks down the street.

Boy, ain't that the truth! In my town of 14,000 we have had a Starbucks for years and they just opened one inside Safeway which is less than 100 feet away from the first one.

File this one under "Oh, please God, if only!":

Georgia Governor Holds Official Prayer for Rain on Steps of State Capitol
He's struck by lightning and it starts to pour.

Have a day.

The Trifecta

And for the last Rudy of the morning before I run, go see this.

I leave you with a thought for the day from none other than The Rude-y One himself:

The suspension of disbelief required to support Rudy Giuliani for president is not unlike watching a porn film and thinking, "You know, maybe if I deliver pizza to that hot chick down the street when she didn't order any, she'll fuck me, too." You have to remember that a) the guy in the video has a bigger cock than you, and b) even if they're really fucking, they're only doing it because they're both getting paid to. But, still, delusions persist, pizzas get delivered willy-nilly on a hope and a hard-on, and people say they want Rudy Giuliani to be president.


Being at Ground Zero on 9/11 does not make Rudy a hero.

Call Bill Bennett ...

Rudy's displaying his 'moral values' again.

Yes, it seems I'm intent on shoving it up Rudy's ass this morning. I hate Mondays and who better to take it out upon before I have to go to work and deal with the general public?

In league with his great personnel decisions I highlighted in the post below, it seems he picks pillars of the community to be his friends too:

Rudy Giuliani is jetting around the country wooing Bible-thumping conservatives, but his plane is often provided by a king of Sin City.

The Republican presidential hopeful anted up more than $122,000 last summer alone for jets traceable to casino kingpin Sheldon Adelson, whose Las Vegas Sands empire has made him the third-richest American, a Daily News review of campaign records shows.


Hmmm. What would Jesus say?


"You have to follow the money and ask, 'Why is Sheldon Adelson partnering with Rudy Giuliani?'" asked Stacey Cargill, an anti-gambling and Republican Party activist in Iowa, where the nation's first presidential caucus is set for Jan. 3.

Cargill, who views even legal gambling as a magnet for crime and vice, said, "If Rudy Giuliani wants to be the crimefighting candidate, why is he partnering with a large and growing gambling empire?" [my ems]


And before you say "everybody does it":


Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama accept no corporate aircraft, choosing instead to rent planes at full market cost to avoid the appearance of a conflict.


And some even like to travel with the 'Great Unwashed':


Some even rub elbows with the common folk: Democrats Christopher Dodd and Dennis Kucinich were spotted flying commercial to last week's Las Vegas debate.


Rudy ain't about change or making anything better. Rudy is about Rudy. That and making his friends, some of whom are the shadiest of motherfuckers, wealthier.

Tip o' the Brain to Mr. Aravosis for the link.

They write themselves

... Just a week after the indictment of former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, [former Solicitor General Ted Olson] said Giuliani had shown “the wisdom and humility to surround himself with talented, dedicated and energetic people” as mayor ...

Where to begin?

Go see the Carpetbagger, where I stole this quote, and take a look at some of the "talented, dedicated and energetic people" Rudy has surrounded himself with, a goodly portion of whom are under indictment as we speak.

Even with the White House Propaganda Ministry Fox Noise on his side, Rudy can't escape the record he made for himself here in NYC.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mortgages ... again

It's bad enough we have the subprime mortgage crisis but it's been made worse by shady characters exemplified by this asshole on Long Island:

By all appearances, Aaron Wider is the chief executive of a flourishing mortgage bank in Garden City, issuing more than $33 million in home loans to buyers across Nassau and Suffolk counties over the past four years.

A closer look at his lending practices, however, reveals that many of these loans relied on faulty appraisals and exaggerated loan applications, leaving behind angry homeowners who are struggling to pay mortgages on overpriced homes.


If the allegations are true, it suggests that Wider and his associates turned a profit on the real-estate deals by selling homes at inflated prices; issuing loans to cover those higher prices; and selling off the loans to other banks, thereby eliminating his responsibility for the loans if the borrowers stopped paying their mortgage. The two banks are seeking $19 million in damages.


If you want to see what has happened on Long Island since the bottom fell out, check out these maps:

Nassau County
Western Suffolk County
Eastern Suffolk County

My neighborhood (in Western Suffolk) falls into the 36 - 62% foreclosure rate, up 132% in the last couple years. You see why I been running around with my hair on fire? Every other house has a 'For Sale' sign on it. We got problems.

Great thanks to Mr. Philadelphia for the link.

Okay, look ...

I believe in the right to keep and bear, but idiots like this make me think we ought to re-look at the 2nd Amendment:

(CBS) The 911 call came from a Pasadena, Tex., resident, who alerted police to two burglary suspects on a neighbor's property. Before he hung up, two men were dead by his hand.

Joe Horn, 61, told the dispatcher what he intended to do: Walk out his front door with a shotgun.


Now, if they were trying to get into his house, I wouldn't care if he put a few shots through the door and blew 'em off the porch. Try to break into my house and the cops'll be wrestling my dog for your rib bones, but what the hell is this idiot thinking? Sadly, there are a lot of clowns with guns who'll be raising a drink for him tonight.

... Another letter writer praised Horn, saying, "Where does the line form to pin a medal on Joe Horn? I want to get in line." Another wrote, "Let's get rid of the police force and just hire Joe Horn!" ...

Yeah, let's just get rid of the cops and let a buncha senile, limp-dick old fools run around with shotguns. "Ya damn kids; get off my lawn," has a whole new meaning in that light, don't it?

And, being it's Texas, they probably will pin a medal on him.


They sure know how to hurt a guy ...

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Here's a sobering thought: Hundreds of bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskey, some of it almost 100 years old, may be unceremoniously poured down a drain because authorities suspect it was being sold by someone without a license.

Officials seized 2,400 bottles late last month during warehouse raids in Nashville and Lynchburg, the southern Tennessee town where the whiskey is distilled.


Now that's alcohol abuse. Heh ...

Great thanks to Jersey Cynic for the link.